The term Professional Engineer is protected by provincial law. To use it, and practice engineering, you must complete certain requirements. Basically, this entails

- Complete one of the accredited Engineering Programs

- Register with a Professional Association as an Engineer In Training

- Complete the Engineer In Training program

- Write the Professional Practice Exam

- Prepare and submit your Work Experience Record

- Pay your dues :)

I graduated from Engineering in April '98, and started work at a small Engineering firm in May '98 as a software specialist.

6 months go by, I send in my first report.

6 months go by, I send in my second report.

Starting to get worried, because I haven't heard anything back yet. Turns out my supervisor hadn't sent in his forms.

Looking to move on, 2 months later I get a new job. Send in report for last two months.

Shortly after I leave this company, APEGM calls me up and asks why my supervisor hasn't filled in any reports. You can imagine how interested my old employer was in finishing up that paperwork. After asking several times, I'm ready to give up, so I ask the Association for help. I'm not sure what they said to him, but the reports came in shortly after.

6 months are up at my job. Send in a report. Very careful to make sure my supervisor finishes his on time.

I hear back from APEGM about my first 14 months. First 6 months are accepted. Last 8 are rejected. Turns out the two reports are too similar (what did they expect, I was doing the same work?). They also ask that someone else other than my supervisor file the report. To make it easier, though, they say I can file both reports as one (what did I do in the first case!?!) Ask one of the other partners from the company to fill in the report. Fine. After a bit of prodding, he does.

Receive word that my first 6 months from my current job are accepted. I'm at 20 months. By that time, I send in my next 6 months. (Don't worry, it starts to get interesting)

All the engineers here quit (well, to be fair, one quit shortly after I got there, and the last two quit at this point in the story). According to APEGM, I can have a P.Eng outside the company take responsibilty for me, and both him and my real supervisor fill out the reports. No problem, a guy I worked for throughout university is a P.Eng., and we talk regularily anyway. First report goes through with a few questions from the committee, but other than that, it's smooth riding from then on.

Wanting to get it out of the way, I take the professional practice exam in April. Pass. Yay!

Later on that year, I'm thinking "I'd like to get my P.Eng. earlier". APEGM tells me I can retroactively file for summer work experience. $107 to do it, I get back half if I'm successful. I'll say it's worth it! I file for my summer job in 3rd year, and later on find I'm successful (4 months).

At this point I'm in my final 6 months. One of the mailings from APEGM asks for me to give the names of two P.Eng.s who will recommend me for registration. They receive some forms to fill out.

Final six month report comes back saying the experience committee has approved all my 48 months experience (and PS/PD points), and that they'd forward my file to the registration committee once I paid my dues to the P.Eng. level (around $110 for the final 9 months of the year).

Shortly after the registration meeting, I get a letter welcoming me as a P.Eng in the mail, and my stamp.

Boring story, I know. I had several problems, including no registered supervisor, to delinquent supervisors. Hopefully it lets other people know what the process is, though.

Some advice:

- Register as soon as you graduate, even if you don't have a job. There is a bunch of paperwork and a test that has to be done anyway.

- Recreate the work experience form in the word processor of your choice. Fill it in as you work through your 6 months. Remembering specific things you've done and your PS/PD points is a huge pain after the fact

- Send in your forms on time. Don't wait, or you'll forget. On that note, keep on top of your supervisor, don't let them get behind!

- If you have problems, email or call the association. They're there to help, and are very friendly.

- Take the professional practice exam as soon as you can. It's only offered twice a year, and you have to register well in advance. If you can borrow the books off a friend, or get them used, it might be best to do so.

- When you get down to the end, pick 2 or 3 people that you know will make great references. I'm told you may be asked for people in particular, but I wasn't.

- Don't get behind on those PS/PD points, especially the professional service. Register with the Innovators in the Schools (can't find a link now) to be informed when stuff like science fairs come around. Easy points, and they're fun.

I'd really like to thank Marc for being my surrogate supervisor when all the Engineers left. Extra special thanks to Shirley at the APEGM office for all her efforts and answering all my questions.

Sean A.

P.Eng.