Learning the hard way

I’d imagine no other experience would increase the heart rate of an engineer quite like receiving a call from PEO’s complaints department. The good news is few engineers ever get that call, and fewer yet ever come face to face with PEO’s Discipline Committee (DIC): Of the 63 complaints officially filed last year, only eight were referred to the DIC. Although the complaints and discipline processes are two of PEO’s most important regulatory functions—they go hand in hand with the licensing of members—the ins and outs of these processes remain somewhat of a 
mystery to most licence holders.

In “Beyond the blue pages,” we explore the DIC’s role as an independent decision maker that hears and determines matters involving alleged incompetence or professional misconduct of licensees or certificate of authorization holders. In particular, we highlight the DIC’s ongoing efforts to streamline its processes, especially as recent media—notably the Toronto Star’s coverage of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario’s mishandling of some discipline cases—adds pressure to an already sensitive balance between transparency and privacy when handling cases and meting out penalties that are not too lenient and not too harsh.

This issue we also introduce you to David Brown, P.Eng., BDS, C.E.T., PEO’s new president for the 2018–2019 Council year and share full coverage of our annual general meeting events, including the business meeting, where Brown took the oath of office; the luncheon keynote speaker; the Volunteer Leadership Conference and the lavish Order of Honour gala. 

As you get to know President Brown through his President’s Message columns this year, you’ll notice he isn’t taking his new leadership role lightly. In fact, he’s got a lot to say, particularly when it comes to his well-reasoned concerns for PEO’s future as a self-regulating body. Find out how he plans to steer the organization in “Pushing the envelope” on page 28.

As we look ahead to the 2019 Council elections, everything you need to know to nominate members for next year’s Council can be found starting on page 41. Be sure to make note of the important deadlines if you want to get involved.  

And, sadly, we say goodbye to long-time Associate Editor Michael Mastromatteo, who retired—conveniently—the day after this issue’s writing deadline. As many readers have noticed, Mastromatteo had countless bylines over his 13 years—that’s 78 issues—with Engineering Dimensions. His journalistic sense and quiet determination will be missed.