Engineering Ethics Notes

View dedicated notes to fundamental topics surrounding the Engineer's Code of Ethics


Engineering is an important and learned profession. As members of this profession, engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Engineering has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness, and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct.

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Engineering ethics is the field of system of moral principles that apply to the practice of engineering. The field examines and sets the obligations by engineers to society, to their clients, and to the profession.

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Professional Practice

Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) produces guidelines for the purpose of educating both licensees and the public about standards of practice. This is done to fulfill PEO’s legislated objectives.

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Law for Professional Practice

In Ontario, regulation of engineering practice dates to 1937, when the Professional Engineers Act was amended and the engineering profession was "closed" to non-qualified individuals; that is, licensure was made mandatory for anyone practising professional engineering. The provincial government determined that it would be in the public interest to restrict the practice of engineering to those who were qualified, and the right to practise was "closed" to those not licensed by PEO as a result of the failures of bridges and buildings, which had been designed by unskilled individuals.

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Professional Law

Engineering law is the study of how engineering ethics and legal frameworks are adopted to ensure public safety surrounding the practice of engineering.

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Regulation of Members & Disciplining Process

Our members are the provincial and territorial engineering regulatory bodies. These engineering regulators are the constituent associations of Engineers Canada. They regulate the engineering profession and license professional engineers in Canada.

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