You are on page 1of 5

Lecture 3 Tuesday, May 24, 2011 1

ES 4498F Engineering Ethics, Sustainable Development and the

*Disciplinary Procedure under the Engineering Act*
4. Disciplinary Powers [Section 28 of the Act]
- point of this section has to do with renovating bad engineers. Point out mistakes of
engineers and teach them not to do it anymore
Duties of Discipline Committee
28. (1) The Discipline Committee shall:
[have the right to haul us into court and teach us how to act]
Disciplinary Powers and Procedures [overhead]
Prosecution for unlawful practice:
A person who is not a member or licensee of a provincial or territorial Association
but who nevertheless

Practices professional engineering, or

Uses the title Professional Engineer, or
Uses a term or title to give the belief that the person is licensed, or
Uses a seal that leads to the belief that the person is licensed

is guilty of an offense under the Act.

[Only time they go outside of the engineering community]
The Disciplinary Process
Stage 1: Gathering Information

Complainant notifies PEO. Member of Registrars staff discusses complaint,

advising complainant of the kind of evidence necessary. Staff also assists in
wording of complaint in relation to the Professional Engineers act.
PEO staff do a preliminary investigation hiring an Expert Witness if necessary.
Complaint is signed by complainant and filed by the Registrar, who then
sends it to the Engineer in question with a period of time for a response.
Complainant is given opportunity for rebuttal.

Stage 2: Evaluation of the Complaint


All material is presented in confidence to the Complaints Committee, which


Lecture 3 Tuesday, May 24, 2011 2

ES 4498F Engineering Ethics, Sustainable Development and the
1. refer the complaint in whole or in part to the Discipline Committee;
o 2. not refer the complaint;
o 3. send a letter of advice to the Engineer without referring the case of
the Discpline Committee; [a letter of warning]
o 4. take such actions as it considers appropriate under the
circumstances [if people are in danger, work will stop]
o 5. direct staff to obtain more information.
o 6. Since 1994, a process called a Stipulated Order has been in use
for less serious complaints. If the Complaints Committee decides to use
a stipulated order, the discipline case is handled by a single member of
the Discipline Committee. [engineer has to agree they are guilty]
Reasons for the Complaints Committee are stated only if the matter is not
referred to the Discipline Committee or as a Stipulated Order. However, if the
matter is referred no reasons are given.
If the Complaint is dissatisfied with the way the complaint has been handled,
it can be reviewed by the Complaints Review Councillor, who reviews the
procedures only.

Stage 3: Formal Hearing


If the case is referred to the Disciplinary Committee, a written notice of

hearing is prepared by the PEOs lawyer and served on the accused Engineer,
who usually hires legal counsel. A hearing date is set. A disclosure meeting is
held between the respective lawyers, in which the PEO makes its case known
to the Engineers legal counsel.
The hearing follows court procedure, with a court reporter present. The
defendant can be represented by legal counsel. The discipline committee
consists of five members, including the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council
appointee. A written decision is given, with a copy to the Complainant.
Appeals are made through the civil courts. [Usually engineers do not appeal
because engineers like to be self-regulated]

Professional misconduct
(2) A member of the Association
[relevance to suitability of practice. Ex. bad judgement drinking and driving, might
be making other bad judgements. You have to disclose if youre convicted of a
criminal offence.]
(3) The Discpline Committee may find

Lecture 3 Tuesday, May 24, 2011 3

ES 4498F Engineering Ethics, Sustainable Development and the
[a lack of knowledge, skill or judgement or disregard for welfare of public. Suffering
from a physical or mental condition, not making good decisions but theyre not
realizing it.]
Powers of Discipline Committee
(4) Where the Discipline Committee finds a member
[They try doing many things instead of just taking back your license]
[can take your license; can suspend your license; stop them from doing certain
projects; may test you/send you back to school; add restrictions such as:

suspend a license such that they can only practice under supervision of a
professional engineer (expensive, you must pay them)
can not practice engineering alone (your work always must be checked)
must write reports to the Discipline Committee/expert on everything you do
(you pay for the privilege)

they keep records of you of how you were punished; if you were a specialist, they
may take the specialization away from you; may impose a fine to a maximum of
5000$; they will publish the name and company names in the Engineering
Dimensions book, publically, of what you did wrong (bad for reputation, can ruin
your business); fix and impose costs to be paid (ex. lawyers, something you did
wrong); may delay the suspension: well decide youre guilty once you write an
exam, may be waiting on physical evidence or waiting on a physical or mental
handicap, people may be temporarily ill (ex. stroke) and can delay and see if you
get better.
Publication of revocation or suspension
(5) The Discipline Committee shall cause an order
[publish that youre guilty]
Publication on request
(6) The Discipline Committee shall cause a determination by the
[clear up if youre not found guilty]
(7) Where the Discipline Committee
[ex. If it was unwarranted, they may decide to pay for your lawyer]

Lecture 3 Tuesday, May 24, 2011 4

ES 4498F Engineering Ethics, Sustainable Development and the
Engineering Ethics: The Burden of Responsibility [in course notes]
Richard Responsible Case in a chemical company

Where are the engineers? Richard Responsible

Where is the ethical issue?
o Dumping
o Not labeled (WHMIS), not properly trained (dont know what theyre
doing, dont know what theyre dumping)
Conrad Careless, not an engineer, is in charge of waste

Richards responsibility in terms of the code of ethics:


Tried going to plant manager (go to professional in charge)

Conrad told him to back off and said the president knows
o but theres still dumping and he doesnt know if the president actually
o He is keeping information/observations to himself, should share his
o Dissolved heavy metals being dumped into the sewer he should stop
the work immediately, shouldnt have waited until the next morning
Im P. Eng, I take responsibility, do not complete this work
(think of public safety. This is publics water)
o He must go fast to his boss
o Must call Ministry of Environment
o Company might go down, but he has a greater public hes obligated to
care for
o Must get people trained to know how to properly remove waste, must
be labeled according to WHMIS

You HAVE to report up the ladder, immediately, until it gets resolved.

4 ways to think about ethical problems [From textbook]
1) Aristotle ethics: everybody develops virtues, everybody desires to be good (but
depends on what they think is good)

Engineering ethics expects you to develop certain virtues (ex. loyalty,

reasonable, honest, courteous, faithful, etc)

2) Theory of Utilitarianism: the greatest good for the greatest number

*missed the 3rd one*

Lecture 3 Tuesday, May 24, 2011 5

ES 4498F Engineering Ethics, Sustainable Development and the
We have certain rights as engineers

Right to fair and adequate compensation

Perform engineering work
To be self-governing

4) Kant: all born with a sense of duty

We have many duties in code of ethics

Public safety
Must report
Must disclose

The Engineering Design Process [overhead]

1. Recognize that a problem or need exists.
2. Gather information and define the problem to be solved or goal to be achieved.
3. Generate alternative solutions or methods to achieve the goal.
4. Evaluate benefits and costs of alternative solutions.
5. Make a decision and optimize the situation.
6. Implement the best solution.
Textbook Page 254: Accepting a job offer

Accepted one job but she wants another

Ethical problem: Honourable? Loyal?
Isnt an engineer yet so act doesnt STRICTLY apply to her, but she needs to
show good character, and do what you say youre going to do
Code: Loyalty, disclosure