Valuing the "Professional" in Professional Engineering
Date & Time
Thursday, November 3, 2022, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Bruce G. Matthews, P.Eng.

For decades now, the engineering profession has sought to be regarded by the public in a manner similar to doctors and lawyers, with little success. The fact that a profession is regulated by the province, and that unqualified practice represents a public interest risk, is not sufficient on its own to garner high public esteem. By that measure, we should expect to be regarded by the public in the same way as dieticians, physiotherapists, and opticians. This presentation will examine the issues impacting the public perception of professional engineers, and the means by which associations such as OSPE and ACEC-Ontario can shift that perception, such that professional engineering work will be properly valued for its contributions to the social, environmental, and economic welfare of Ontario. The key factors that are impeding our ability to raise the profile of the profession will be identified and assessed. These include lack of visibility, vague scope of practice, weak and unfocused regulation and enforcement, and diverse self-interests. Solutions to the problem will be proposed including significant regulatory reform, and a focused communications strategy on the part of OSPE and ACEC-Ontario, targeting all levels of government and consumers of professional engineering services.

Session Type
Professional Engineers and Public Safety