Council to move forward with external regulatory review

At its September meeting, PEO Council approved a motion put forward by President David Brown, P.Eng., BDS, C.E.T., to move forward with an external review of PEO’s regulatory performance, at a maximum cost of $125,000. The review is to be carried out by an independent consultant to the United Kingdom–based Professional Standards Authority, who has developed expertise in assessing the practices of regulatory bodies around the world; his recommendations are expected to be received by Council in June 2019. The external review should both assist Council in identifying gaps between the association’s current practices and those of other top regulators and demonstrating to the Ministry of the Attorney General that PEO is committed to regulatory excellence. President Brown pointed out that it is preferable to undertake this review voluntarily than to have it imposed by the provincial government, as has happened in other provinces.

The review is expected to commence in January 2019 and will include reviewing PEO documents, observing meetings of Council and select regulatory committees and interviewing key staff and volunteers.

Council has approved a revised version of the terms of reference and action plan for PEO’s 30 by 30 Task Force, which were originally approved at the February 2, 2018, Council meeting. The 30 by 30 Task Force was created to coincide with Engineers Canada’s 30 by 30 initiative, a commitment to raising the percentage of newly licensed engineers in Canada who are women to 30 per cent by 2030, and to develop and act on a plan for PEO to help resolve the inequity.

When the original terms of reference were written, it was believed the task force would be working jointly with Ontario’s engineering advocacy body, the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) (see Engineering Dimensions, November/December 2017). Since then, it has been determined that PEO will be working on a separate but complementary action plan to the one developed by OSPE, and each organization will inform the other of their progress.

At its September meeting, Council approved transferring the ownership of PEO’s Engineer-in-Residence (EIR) program to Engineers of Tomorrow, which has been managing the program as a service provider since August 2014. The EIR program, PEO’s flagship education outreach program, matches professional engineers with Ontario schools to provide hands-on engineering presentations. When the EIR program service provider contract ended on July 31, 2018, Engineers of Tomorrow expressed an interest in taking over the program as an external organization rather than as a service provider to PEO.

With the motion to transfer ownership, Council also approved donating the remaining $22,000 that was approved in the 2018 budget for the EIR program to Engineers of Tomorrow in support of the program and, as part of the motion, that PEO is willing to consider future requests for sponsorship.