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PEO Code of Ethics

Updated for 2010 Changes to the Professional Engineers Act

These web pages have been updated to include both enacted and pending changes due to the Open for Business Act, 2010. Note that some changes will not be in force until proclaimed by the Lieutenant Governor; for example, the putting into force the end of the industrial exemption has been delayed numerous times.


All information on this website is provided without any warranty to its correctness. The material on these pages reflects Douglas Wilhelm Harder's best judgment in light of the information available to him at the time of its preparation. Any use which a third party makes of these pages, on any reliance on or decision to be made based on it, are the responsibility of such third parties. Douglas W. Harder accepts no responsibility for damages, if any, suffered by any third party as a result of decisions made or actions based on these pages.

The PEO Code of Ethics is unenforceable as a guide to professional conduct. A set of PowerPoint slides are available at Code_of_Ethics.pptx, but the reader is advised that the discussion related to the presentation is just as important as the slides themselves.

A summary of the relevant statutes and regulations: Code_of_Ethics.pdf.

General Overview

The Code of Ethics is divided into eight main clauses which may be most easily summarize as

  • 77.1 General duties of action with respect to society, and
  • Duties in the relationships with
    • 77.2 The practitioner, i.e., the individual (goals and ideals),
    • 77.3 Employers,
    • 77.4 Clients,
    • 77.5 Concurrent employer and clients (the moonlighting clause),
    • 77.6 Other professionals,
    • 77.7 Other practitioners, and
    • 77.8 The profession.

The relationships between the clauses are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. How the clauses in the Code of Conduct affect the relationships of the practitioner.

These clauses are not mutually exclusive, for example:

  • The term society includes not only the public, but all other categories listed in 77.3-8 including employees and subordinates,
  • The clause on the individual includes aspects of duties to the public and the profession, and
  • The clause on other practitioners includes aspects of other colleagues.

The next section lists the Code of Ethics of the Association.

Professional Engineers Ontario Code of Ethics, Section 77 of the O. Reg. 941

77. The following is the Code of Ethics of the Association:

  1. It is the duty of a practitioner to the public, to the practitioner's employer, to the practitioner's clients, to other members of the practitioner's profession, and to the practitioner to act at all times with,
    1. fairness and loyalty to the practitioner's associates, employers, clients, subordinates and employees,
    2. fidelity to public needs,
    3. devotion to high ideals of personal honour and professional integrity,
    4. knowledge of developments in the area of professional engineering relevant to any services that are undertaken, and
    5. competence in the performance of any professional engineering services that are undertaken.
  2. A practitioner shall,
    1. regard the practitioner's duty to public welfare as paramount,
    2. endeavour at all times to enhance the public regard for the practitioner's profession by extending the public knowledge thereof and discouraging untrue, unfair or exaggerated statements with respect to professional engineering,
    3. not express publicly, or while the practitioner is serving as a witness before a court, commission or other tribunal, opinions on professional engineering matters that are not founded on adequate knowledge and honest conviction,
    4. endeavor to keep the practitioner's licence, temporary licence, limited licence or certificate of authorization, as the case may be, permanently displayed in the practitioner's place of business.
  3. A practitioner shall act in professional engineering matters for each employer as a faithful agent or trustee and shall regard as confidential information obtained by the practitioner as to the business affairs, technical methods or processes of an employer and avoid or disclose a conflict of interest that might influence the practitioner's actions or judgment.
  4. A practitioner must disclose immediately to the practitioner's client any interest, direct or indirect, that might be construed as prejudicial in any way to the professional judgment of the practitioner in rendering service to the client.
  5. A practitioner who is an employee-engineer and is contracting in the practitioner's own name to perform professional engineering work for other than the practitioner's employer, must provide the practitioner's client with a written statement of the nature of the practitioner's status as an employee and the attendant limitations on the practitioner's services to the client, must satisfy the practitioner that the work will not conflict with the practitioner's duty to the practitioner's employer, and must inform the practitioner's employer of the work.
  6. A practitioner must co-operate in working with other professionals engaged on a project.
  7. A practitioner shall,
    1. act towards other practitioners with courtesy and good faith,
    2. not accept an engagement to review the work of another practitioner for the same employer except with the knowledge of the other practitioner or except where the connection of the other practitioner with the work has been terminated,
    3. not maliciously injure the reputation or business of another practitioner,
    4. not attempt to gain an advantage over other practitioners by paying or accepting a commission in securing professional engineering work, and
    5. give proper credit for engineering work, uphold the principle of adequate compensation for engineering work, provide opportunity for professional development and advancement of the practitioner's associates and subordinates, and extend the effectiveness of the profession through the interchange of engineering information and experience.
  8. A practitioner shall maintain the honour and integrity of the practitioner's profession and without fear or favour expose before the proper tribunals unprofessional, dishonest or unethical conduct by any other practitioner.