Crossing the bridge from Eng’r. to P.Eng.
By Ethel Clemente Fernandez
2014 Executive Committee. (L-r): Edwin Yazon, Edgar Duroni, Angelito Velasco, May Jonson, Ethel Fernandez, Nancy Santoyo, Alen Joson, Norman Garcia
Golf Tournament, Players Golf Course, August 16, 2014
Summer Picnic, Kildonan Park, July 12, 2014
Licensed engineers in the Philippines add the title “Eng’r.” before their names – e.g. Eng’r. Juan dela Cruz. In Canada, licensed engineers add the designation “P.Eng.” after their names, which stands for “professional engineer” – e.g. Juan dela Cruz, P.Eng.
As Filipino engineers, we’ve all completed our immigration applications with the common response to the planned occupation: “Engineer.”
What happens though after landing here in Manitoba is anything but common. While a few went on to become professional engineers, most have had a career change.
Most of us are aware that engineering is a regulated profession in Canada. Thus, it is illegal to practice the profession without proper licensing and training.
What most of us may not be very aware of, or not very familiar with, are the requirements and the process of getting that license to practice. Each Canadian province has its own licensing body and regulations. In Manitoba, it is the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of Manitoba (APEGM). The process and documentation requirements vary from province to province, but in general, applicants must fulfill the following requirements:
- academic qualification
- work experience
- English language competency
- professional practice examination
- good character
In fulfilling the academic qualification requirements, Philippine-educated engineers must undergo academic assessment. Usually, an assessment will necessitate the assignment of five or fewer confirmatory exams.
Compared to other provinces though, the APEGM offers more options in lieu of confirmatory exams. The following options are offered:
- take equivalent university courses (if available)
- interview process (if applicant has over 10 years of experience)
- Internationally-Educated Engineers Qualification Program (IEEQ)
As there are several options, you can choose the one that best suits your current situation. Oftentimes, when presented with options, choosing the best is a bit overwhelming. People often need help and sometimes that help is just a support group away.
For more than three years, the Filipino Members Chapter of the APEGM (FMC-APEGM) has been providing Philippine-educated engineers with the support and assistance that only those “who have been there” can provide. Volunteer chapter members who have gone down that road before can share a lot about the challenges and how to overcome them. They provide helpful information in your practice areas; your goals and making recommendations that will eventually help you choose your options. Other helpful information can also direct you to financial assistance, bursaries and scholarships.
The chapter provides various supports through its different committees, spearheaded by the FMC-APEGM Executive Committee. Several networking events are organized throughout the year, which include the Summer Picnic, Golf Tournament, and Christmas Party.
It is true that going through the licensing process is not a walk in the park. It may be challenging, but the rewards are great – not to mention the feeling of immense fulfillment and a great sense of achievement upon completion.
Read more on the FMC-APEGM and how it can further assist you in crossing that bridge from “Eng’r.” to “P. Eng.” in the next issue.
Ethel Clemente Fernandez is a registered member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of Manitoba (APEGM). She currently works for a federal crown corporation and is serving on the Executive Committee of the Filipino Members Chapter (FMC) - APEGM. For inquiries, please e-mail email@example.com