Frequently Asked Questions - Non-Practicing Associate Category

As was introduced in our May 2019 issue of illuminate, we are making changes to our member categories.

In an effort to provide clarity and address member concerns, we have compiled this document with anticipated questions. We will add questions and answers to this document as we receive them.


What is the new category called?

Non-Practicing Associate.

What is the eligibility to enter this category?

If you hold or have previously held license with PEGNL, and are not practicing engineering of geoscience as defined under the Engineers and Geoscientists Act (The Act), you are eligible to become a Non-Practicing Associate.

Why are you removing the Life Member and two Non-Practicing Member categories?

It has been determined in accordance with the Act that we can no longer allow individuals to use protected titles and designations when they are not licensed to practice.

One of our previous categories also referred to an age and years of service requirement, which due to human rights issues, was necessary to amend.

The professional designations P. Eng., P. Geo. etc., are an indication to the public that a person is licensed to practice.  It is confusing to the public if some people using those designations are, in fact, not licensed to practice.

Why does The Act not permit a former license holder to maintain their designation?

Section 2, subsections j-l of The Act refer to the nature of professional members/license holders:

 2. In this Act:

   (j)  "professional engineer" means a person registered to engage in the practice of engineering under this Act;

                   (k)  "professional geoscientist" means a person registered to engage in the practice of geoscience under this Act;

                   (l)  "professional member" means either a professional engineer or geoscientist who is registered under this Act;

While sections 15 and 17 refer to the use of title:

 15. (1) A professional engineer only shall use the title "professional engineer" or the abbreviation "P. Eng.".

17. (1) A professional geoscientist only shall use the title "professional geoscientist" or the abbreviation "P. Geo.".

Further subsections of 15 and 17 provide additional information on who cannot use titles and sections 16 and 18 outline who is permitted to practice in the professions.

Can I continue to call myself a Life Member/ Non-Practicing Member?

In an effort to provide clarity to the public, we ask that all those previously categorized as a Life Member or non-practicing member now refer to themselves as a Non-Practicing Associate. Life Members, however, may choose to continue to refer to themselves as such but must signify that they are non-practicing (Please also see “Can I continue to use the P. Eng. or P. Geo. designation?” below)

Can I continue to use the P. Eng. or P. Geo. designation as a Non-Practicing Associate?

As a Non-Practicing Associate, you cannot use these designations. Only those who are licensed to practice with PEGNL are permitted to do so in the province. Those individuals currently in the Life member and existing non=practicing categories can do so until December 31, 2019.

What are the benefits of being a Non-Practicing Associate?

Non-Practicing Associates retain voting privileges, access to insurance programs and can receive all PEGNL communications. They are also eligible for membership in their regional Connections Chapter and to volunteer with PEGNL.

We are thankful we can maintain relationships with our former license holders and recognize the support they provide in our operations, along with their contributions to the professions.

What is the cost to being a Non-Practicing Associate?

The annual fee for being a Non-Practicing Associate is equivalent to 15% of license holder fees (currently equal to 36.96 plus tax). Existing Life members will not be subject to this fee.

Can I go back to practicing status?

If you wish to return to practice, you can apply to become licensed to practice  again and your eligibility will be reviewed as follows:

Non-Practicing Members who were maintaining-right-to-practice may be able to return to licensed status by making such request to the Registrar. Such members must identify their current or intended area(s) of practice.

Life Members and Non-Practicing Members who were not maintaining right to practice must also make such request to the Registrar. Such members may be required to report recent and planned professional development, recent or planned employment details, take part in competency assessments, work under supervision for a specified period of time, etc.

If I’m not intending to practice again, what do I need to do?

If you are not choosing to reapply for a license to practice you will be transferred to the Non-Practicing Associated category at year end.

What do I do if I wish to become a Non-Practicing Associate now?

If you have been previously licensed with us, or are transitioning from licensed status, please contact Megan by emailing or by calling (709) 753-7714 ext. 0

When will this change happen?

As of January 1, 2020, all remaining Life Members and Non-Practicing Members will become Non-Practicing Associates. Those with pending applications to return to licensure will still be moved to this category, however will be reclassified should they be approved to return to practicing status.

And what other timelines are involved in this process?

On June 6, the PEGNL Board will review the establishment of the new category through by-law.

On January 1, 2020, the existing categories of Life Membership, Non-Practicing-Maintaining-Right-to-Title and Non-Practicing-Not-Maintaining-Right-to-Title will be eliminated.  Use of these categories, including all use of titles and professional designations, must end by this date.

Between these dates, members in those categories are encouraged to move to either the Non-Practicing Associate category or return to practicing status if qualified.

Q: Is there a minimum number of practice hours required to maintaining a practicing license?

No. Any amount of time engaged in the practice of engineering or geoscience, as defined under The Act, qualifies as practice, and a person must be appropriately licensed to do so. However, all licensed practitioners must meet the requirements of the Professional Development program in order to maintain their license. License holders must achieve 80 professional development hours per year, of which a maximum of 50 may be claimed for practice (15:1 ratio). If a license holder is unable to claim 50 professional development hours for practice, they must acquire the remaining hours through the other categories of professional development.