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NPPE PRACTICE EXAMS
1. Countries like the United States do not self-regulate their engineering profession and rely on appointed licencing boards and government regulators to oversee engineering work. In contrast, Canadian engineers are self-regulated. What is the meaning of a “self-regulating” profession:
Interprovincial teams that police the decisions of their members.
An association ensures its members follow bylaws and pay dues and keep the public informed about upcoming projects.
Each province/territory has passed an Act to form an Association which regulates the profession.
A group of people who review each other’s work for correctness.
“Each province/territory has passed an Act to form an Association which regulates the profession.” is the correct answer. The governing council must enforce the Act, regulations and bylaws.
5th ed. ethics text p.31-33 or 6th ed. ethics text p.27-29 or APEGA – Concepts of Professionalism (section 2.2) and Public Guideline on the Practice of Engineering in Canada- Engineers Canada (section 2, bullet 5).
2. At company Cashmear Inc, a team designs a roller coaster structure and the roller coaster train. It produces final drawing ready for construction. The final drawings cover several engineering and geoscience disciplines as there are numerous considerations (structural, systems, mechanical, electrical, geotechnical, transport, etc). How many people should seal the drawing?
Up to five.
Everyone involved in the project should seal.
One for the approving professional and the professional for each discipline
“One for the approving professional and the professional for each discipline” is the correct answer. Each discipline must seal when there is detail from overlapping disciplines.
5th ed. ethics p.102 or 6th ed. p.99 or https://www.peo.on.ca/sites/default/files/2019-10/UseofProfessionalEngineerSeal.pdf (section 6.3).
3. Adam, P.Geo., is vice president at a large environmental consulting firm that provides soil analysis to its clients. It is a fee-for-service business model which consists of a site visit, sample collection, lab analysis, and submission of a report to the client. The total cost of the average analysis (with everything included) is $2,500. One day, one of Adam’s employees comes into his office and tells him that they developed technology on company time that would allow their clients to do their own analysis for a one-time capital cost of $2,000 and that it would take half the time with results just as accurate. Since the technology was developed at the firm the IP belongs to it. Adam considers destroying the technology as the royalties from the technology sales would make the firm a lot less than the consultant fees. However, Adam knows that the technology will benefit thousands of clients (and non-clients) around the world and destroying it would only jeopardize the 100 soil consulting jobs at his company. He decides to proceed with the technology because it produces the greatest benefit for the greatest number of people. Adam’s decision can be most closely described as applying which ONE of the following ethical theories:
Kant’s Duty-Based Ethics.
Aristotle’s Virtue-Based Ethics.
Locke’s Rights-Based Ethics.
“Mill’s Utilitarianism” is the correct answer, as it’s the closest match which seeks out the greatest benefit for the greatest number of employees.
5th or 6th ed. ethics text pg. 211 or utilitarianism | Definition, Philosophy, Examples, & Facts.
4. Adam is a P.Eng., and along with his partner, provides structural design services for their clients. They always give clients a 20% discount on their hourly rates when they sign up for a project expected to take over 100 hours. One day, a new client comes to his door and desperately seeks Adam’s design services on a 120-hour project since the other engineering firm it was using went out of business. Realizing that this new client is desperate and won’t shop around for competitive pricing, Adam decides not to give the 20% discount. Adam also didn’t tell his partner about breaking their company’s discount policy because he wanted to keep the extra money as a secret to surprise his partner with excellent quarterly financial numbers next month. Omar actions are most closely in violation of:
Fidelity to public needs.
The reasonable person test.
The Code of Ethics.
“The Code of Ethics” is the correct answer. Some of you may have selected “secret commission,” which refers to bribery or “the reasonable person test,” which the court may use during a tort case.
5th or 6th ed. ethics p.289 or Code of Ethics (section 77.1(i)).
5. Cashmear Inc., a company based in Guelph, Ontario, has begun manufacturing what it claims to be the “finest trampolines” in all of Canada. To ensure their product’s superiority before distributing to stores, Cashmear Inc. consults the Sale of Goods Act. This act, present in most provinces and territories, defines certain conditions and warranties that a product must satisfy. One of the three main conditions defined by the Sale of Goods Acts is “usability,” meaning that the product must perform the task that it is designed to perform. Cashmear Inc. is confident that their product meets this condition, they are the finest trampolines in Canada after all. The two other main conditions that a product must satisfy according to the Act are:
Quality & durability.
Reliability & affordability.
Safety & durability.
Safety & quality.
“Safety & quality” is the correct answer. Safety and quality are two criteria that a product must meet, to satisfy the Sale of Goods Act, as well as usability.
Ethics 5th ed. p.132 or 6th ed. P.130 or Sale and storage of goods in Canada.
6. If a practitioner reports dishonest or unethical conduct by another practitioner, most Association’s Code of Ethics would say that he/she is___________.
maintaining the honour and integrity of the practitioner's profession.
not acting towards other practitioners with courtesy and good faith.
trying to injure the reputation of the practitioner.
not devoted to professional integrity.
“maintaining the honour and integrity of the practitioner’s profession.” is the correct answer. By reporting dishonest or unethical conduct, a practitioner maintains his/her profession’s honour and integrity.
5th or 6th ed. ethics p.219-221 or Public Guideline on the code of ethics – The code of ethics (tenet 10).
7. Adam is a highly skilled land surveyor in a small town. As a result of his excellent work, the local government gives his company a grant to hire another surveyor to support economic growth in the town. The only person Adam knows with these qualifications is his brother. Hiring his brother right away would be a conflict of interest as he would have competing obligations/interests to his brother and the local government. To avoid the conflict of interest Adam’s BEST course of action is to:
Identify the conflicting interests and determine which interest(s) should take precedent.
Interview all candidates and then select the most qualified one.
Not hire his brother as this would look suspicious.
Notify the government that qualified resources are not easy to come by and disclose in writing that he will hire his brother if he can’t find a better candidate.
“Identify the conflicting interests and determine which interest(s) should take precedent” is the correct answer. . “Interview all candidates and then select the most qualified one” and “notify the government that qualified resources are not easy to come by and disclose in writing that he will hire his brother if he can’t find a better candidate” are incorrect as Adam should not be part of the hiring process – a clear conflict. “Not hire his brother as this would look suspicious” is not a good solution either as perhaps his brother is the only candidate. This answer will help Adam understand that the government interests should take precedent. This would allow Adam to find a solution like having an open competition to find the best candidate and not being involved in the evaluation to avoid the conflict.
Law text pg. 14 (2nd edition) or pg. 14 (3rd edition) or Public guideline: Conflict of interest (sections 2, 3).
8. Adam is a director of a dog biscuit company. As a director, he has extra money and at the end of the month invests in a variety of companies. Last month he met with his financial planner and purchased some shares in a local Internet provider. One day, while performing his director duties at the biscuit company, he is asked to vote on the procurement of a new Internet provider, one of them being the company that he recently purchased shares in. The most appropriate action would be for him to:
Vote since it is a small contract.
Declare the conflict of interest and not vote.
Mention the ownership and vote.
Suggest that they select a new Internet provider.
“Declare the conflict of interest and not vote” is the correct answer. It is important at any level to disclose any conflicts of interest.
2nd or 3rd ed. law text chapter 3 or https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/900941#BK93 (section 77.3)
9. Internet threats such as hackers, spammers, or vandals can pose a threat to the businesses of professional engineers and geoscientists. To combat these threats, the following two methods can be used:
Back-up hardware & firewall.
Firewall & antivirus software.
Antivirus software & alert employees.
Firewall & cloud computing.
“Firewall & antivirus software” is the correct answer. The Firewall will act as a computer’s gates and antivirus software can detect and remove viruses.
5th ed. ethics p.160-161 or 6th ed. p.159-160 or https://www.td.com/privacy-and-security/privacy-and-security/how-you-can-protect-yourself/protecting-your-computer/protecting-your-computer.jsp
10. Adam is a P.Eng. that has worked for a number of years as a software programmer. Because of this experience, he is promoted to management. Adam uses lots of instructions to establish power over the relatively young programmers who he believes dislike work, therefore need to be closely monitored. Adam’s style of management could be BEST described as:
Autocratic / Authoritarian.
“Autocratic / Authoritarian” is the correct answer. Autocratic or Authoritarian (Theory X) management style relies on the manager to provide lots of instruction, monitoring, and control due to a manager believing his staff dislikes work. Collegial (Theory Y) is a different approach that believes employees like to work and can excel if given a good work environment and little motivation.
5th ed. ethics p.105-106 or 6th ed. p.102-103 or https://www.inplantimpressions.com/article/are-you-theory-x-theory-y-leader/
11. Adam is a P.Eng. and has a new project at a manufacturing plant that neighbours a lake. One of his duties is to ensure that his company complies with all environmental laws. Adam reads up on the Fisheries Act which is a federal act that______________.
levies penalties for dumping toxic materials into bodies of water.
forbids activities that might harm any fish habitat.
alters the pH level of any pond, river or lake.
“forbids activities that might harm any fish habitat” is the correct answer. All others are specific examples. The Fisheries Act forbids all activities that jeopardize any fish habitat.
5th or 6th ed. ethics p.309 or https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/f-14/page-1.html (section 2.1)
12. Adam, P.Eng., is promoted to an officer position and receives a large pay increase and a company car. The same week of his promotion, Adam starts up a side business that operates in competition with his company. The shareholders find out about this and the stock price begins to decrease. What statement is true about Adam’s fiduciary duty:
He has no fiduciary duty as it is only for the directors of the company.
The company’s interests should always be higher than his own.
The shareholders may sue him for breach of fiduciary duty.
Adam is not responsible as a fiduciary duty clause was not in his contract.
“The company’s interests should always be higher than his own.” is the correct answer. "He has no fiduciary duty as it is only for the directors of the company” is incorrect as officers, directors and anyone with the ability to exercise some discretion of power has a fiduciary duty. “The shareholders may sue him for breach of fiduciary duty” is incorrect as only the company can sue for breach of fiduciary duty. “Adam is not responsible as a fiduciary duty clause was not in his contract” is incorrect as general guidelines are still in place in the absence of a contract clause.
Law text pg. 39, 141 (2nd edition) or pg. 40, 145 (3rd edition) or https://www.fasken.com/en/knowledge/doing-business-canada/2019/06/directors-officers-liability/
13. Adam is a Professional Engineer who is ready to seal his first drawings. The other engineers in his office seal drawings by hand, but he wants to save time by sealing his drawings electronically. Adam checks with his local Association and finds out that his association, along with most Provincial and Territorial Associations in Canada, believe that electronically sealing a drawing is _________ sealing a document by hand.
more secure than
not as good as
as good as
“as good as” is the correct answer. As more and more work is done online and paperless, the Associations have come to accept electronic sealing as equivalent to hand stamping.
5th ed. ethics p.103 or 6th ed. p.100 or https://peo.on.ca/sites/default/files/2019-07/Use%20of%20Professional%20Engineer’s%20Seal.pdf (section 6.1)
14. Adam, an electrical engineer, entered a contract with Cashmear Inc. this March. He agreed to design and oversee the installation of an air traffic control tower for a new municipal airport in Whitehorse, Yukon. However, days later, Adam realized that he made a mistake in assuming that the project owner had already obtained all necessary permits to begin work immediately, which they had not. As a result of the lengthy permit application process, the project start date was set for over six months away, which interfered with another project that Adam had hoped to be a part of. Adam consults a lawyer in an attempt to void the contract. His lawyer explains that in order to void a contract by mistake, he must prove that the mistake was material, mutual and existed at the time the agreement was made. Adam is not clear what “material” means. His lawyer tells him:
It has significant impact and relates to facts central to the heart of the contract.
It is when sections of the contract contradict another section and can have financial consequences.
It relates to the estimating or budgeting of physical goods.
It is a mistake that is trivial.
“It has significant impact and relates to facts central to the heart of the contract” is the correct answer. In order to void a contract as a result of a “mistake,” the mistake must be significant, meaning the damage caused as a result of the mistake must be of significant nature. For example, a mistake that set the project start date back by one week would not be considered a significant.
2nd ed. law text pg. 50 OR 3rd ed. law text pg. 51 or Mistake And The Ability To Avoid The Agreement
15. Intellectual property (IP) benefits society by giving people access to new property to improve their lives. Adam has a business that develops a variety of IP including patents on military defence machinery, copyrights on its machinery manuals, and trademarks for its business taglines and machinery names. Adam is spending a lot of money on IP and wants to know more about the regulation of IP. Through his research, Adam finds out that the basic principle for regulating intellectual property is:
To limit the amount of profit the creator can make on their product.
To ensure that the idea is not copied and used illegally by foreign companies.
To encourage creativity by protecting creative people's rights and providing an orderly way to exchange innovative ideas.
To allow inventors to profit from their designs and creativity.
“To encourage creativity by protecting creative people’s rights and providing an orderly way to exchange innovative ideas” is the correct answer. Encouraging creativity is the basic principle for intellectual property.
5th ed. ethics p.168 or 6th ed. p.171 or A guide to copyright (see section "Protect your valuable creations").
16. Fifteen years after obtaining your P.Eng. designation, you start your own construction company, Cashmear Inc. You win a competitive bid to supply pipe sections for a new natural gas pipeline. You hire the subcontractor "Wrighthaven" to supply you with the nuts and bolts to fasten the pipe together. On January 12th, Wrighthaven delivers the hardware to the site, completing its contract with you. At the end of January, Wrighthaven sends you an invoice for the full amount. Since you are a new business, you have a lot to do and didn’t think to have extra money to pay subcontractors at the beginning of the job. Months go by and Wrighthaven doesn’t receive any money from you. Wrighthaven considers suing you but realizes that you don’t have any business assets or cash. It then turns to lien legislation that provides Wrighthaven with a cause of action (right to sue)__________.
against the owner’s property.
you and collect any personal assets you have up to the value it is owed.
“against the owner’s property” is the correct answer. Lien legislation allows a party to sue against the owner’s property, even if there is no contract between the two. This is allowed because you don’t have any assets to provide and the owner’s property has increased in value due to the materials supplied by Wrighthaven.
Law text pg. 203 (2nd edition) or pg. 211 (3rd edition) or https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90c30 #BK53 (section 14).
17. Adam, P.Eng. is working for a large construction company that wins a mandate to build a bridge in Sicamous, B.C. There is a clause for a $30,000/day liquidated damages if the construction company fails to deliver on time. When reviewing the contract with the company lawyers, Adam remembers when Sicamous had severe flooding and mudslides in that very area. Adam suggests that his lawyers include a clause to extend the contract should an event out of their control occur. Adam's lawyers tell him that such a clause is called:
Negative restrictive covenant.
Duty to good faith.
“Force majeure” is the correct answer. Force Majeure is a clause that provides relief to the contractor for “acts of God”.
Law text pg. 52 (2nd edition) or pg. 53 (3rd edition) or https://ca.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/3-501-8499
18. Adam, P.Geo., has worked as a professional geoscientist in Dawson City, Yukon for over ten years. In search of more financial and creative freedom, Adam decides to start his own business, and begins looking to long-time colleagues for support. Adam approaches Heidi, P.Geo., about his idea, in hopes that she will contribute in some way. Heidi states that she would like to inject money into the business, but does not want to participate in running the business, and Adam accepts her offer. This type of arrangement is known as which of the following?
A general partnership.
A limited partnership.
A sole proprietorship.
“A limited partnership” is the correct answer. By agreeing to contribute financially, but choosing not to be involved in running the business, Heidi and Adam enter a limited partnership By not being involved in the day-to-day operations, Heidi is limited in liability. The answer “a general partnership” is incorrect, as this type of partnership requires both or all partners to manage the business, as well as contribute to it financially. In a general partnership, both or all partners share liability. All other answers are incorrect.
5th ed. ethics p.128 or 6th ed. p.110-111 or https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/entrepreneur-toolkit/templates-business-guides/glossary/pages/limited-partnership.aspx
19. Adam is an electrician and runs a business as an electrical contractor. He wins a bid to construct a new server room for an owner. The owner provides the design from an electrical consultant, and Adam provides the material and labour to complete the job. A few months after the job, during the night, the server room burns down. An independent investigator is called in and determines that the cause of the fire was a poor selection of wiring that overheated. The owner takes Adam's company to court to determine who is responsible for this negligence. The owner believes the contract will protect it and the consultant because there is an indemnity clause in the contract signed with the contractor. If this is the case, the owner/consultant is said to be ______, and the contractor is said to be _______.
the indemnitor / the indemnitee.
the surety / the obligee.
the indemnitee / the indemnitor.
“the indemnitee / the indemnitor” is the correct answer. Here, if the owner/consultant is not responsible for damages, they would be the indemnitee, and the contractor is the indemnitor who holds the owner/consultant harmless for damage claims. The answer “the surety, the obligee” is incorrect because that is related to a bond which is a different form of insurance than the role of an indemnity.
Law text pg. 70 (2nd edition) or pg. 73 (3rd edition) or The indemnitor and the indemnitee.
20. Adam, P.Eng., entered into a contract with Cashmear Inc. a local mining company in Iqaluit, Nunavut. The contract included a specific indemnity clause, which stated that both parties would be liable if injury, damage or loss should occur, but liable only to the percentage of fault that could be proven attributable to each party. As an example, if $100,000 of damage occurred, and it was found that Adam was 20% at fault, and Cashmear Inc. was 80% at fault, their liability would match those percentages, meaning Adam would be responsible for $20,000, and Cashmear Inc. for $80,000. This breakdown of liability is a result of a ______ being present in the contract.
duty to indemnify.
comparative negligence statute.
limited liability agreement.
“comparative negligence statute” is the correct answer. Comparative negligence statutes aim to reduce the liability according to the level of fault. Therefore, because a comparative negligence statute was present in this contract, each party can only be held liable to the percentage of fault that is attributable to them. All other answers are incorrect.
Law text pg. 71 (2nd edition) or pg. 74 (3rd edition). The other terms can be found in the glossary or https://lawshelf.com/coursewarecontentview/comparative-negligence/
21. Fixed-price contract, lump sum contract and stipulated price contract all refer to a contract in which goods and services are provided for a lump sum. The most common form of standard contract for this type is the CCDC 2. CCDC refers to:
Canadian Contract Document Committee.
Canada Contracts & Documents Council.
Canadian Construction Document Committee.
Canada Contractor & Designer Council.
“Canadian Construction Document Committee” is a correct answer. CCDC refers to Canadian Construction Document Committee.
Law text pg. 115 (2nd edition) or pg. 119 (3rd edition) or https://www.ccdc.org/about/
22. Before receiving an engineering licence from your association you must document your experience in a Work Experience Record or Competency Assessment. You want your submission to shine, but you also want to focus on the most important criterion the most. Every association in Canada agrees that _______ is the most important criteria with _______ being the second most important criteria.
practical experience / communication skills.
practical experience / application of theory.
application of theory / practical experience.
application of theory / management.
“application of theory / practical experience” is the correct answer. Application of Theory is the most important criteria because it allows you to apply the formulas/theory/methods learned in school to real projects. Practical Experience is a close second as it allows you to apply the theory and get feedback from real world experiences.
5th ed. ethics p.87 or 6th ed. p.83 or Experience Assessment
23. Adam, P.Eng., was asked by a close friend, Steven, to inspect a load bearing beam that he had installed without a building permit in his home in Moncton, New Brunswick. If Adam signed off on the beam, essentially taking responsibility for the design, it would retroactively solve the issue of having no permit. Adam entered Steven's home, inspected the beam from below, and in trusting that his friend had installed the beam properly, Adam did not enter Steven's attic to verify the beam size, or ensure that it was securely installed to supporting ceiling joists. Later that day, Adam authenticated a field review report, mentioning no concerns with the structure or installation of the beam. Months later, the beam collapsed causing significant financial damage and Steven reported the incident to New Brunswick’s provincial engineering association. At the discipline hearing, the association would likely find that Adam acted ________, meaning he lacked knowledge, skill or ________.
Incompetently / understanding.
Unprofessionally / good character.
Incompetently / judgment.
Unprofessionally / understanding.
“Incompetently / judgment” is the correct answer. Most provincial or territorial associations would find that Drew acted incompetently, meaning that he lacked knowledge, skill or judgment. Sound judgement is what typically determines a successful professional career. It is when judgement is not strong that one is susceptible to poor decision making. In this scenario, Drew did not use good professional judgement in trusting his friend’s installation. As a professional, he should have adequately inspected the beam’s installation before sealing the document and taking responsibility for the design.
Ethics 5th ed. p.65 or 6th ed. p.60 or your provincial / territorial Professional Engineers Act or https://engineerscanada.ca/sites/default/files/PEI/PEI_Engineering_Profession_Act.pdf (section 18.2)
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