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    OIQ_InternetHomeI amCandidate - Obtaining a permitFrequently asked questions

    Frequently asked questions for the OIQ’s Web site   

    Why is the compass gone? Will something replace it?

    Considering that a new Regulation respecting the standards for equivalence of diplomas and training for the issue of a permit by the Order has come into force, please note that the Compass, the application that gave users a better idea of the steps they needed to take in order to obtain an engineer's permit, is no longer available. The new equivalence regulation has been in effect since May 31, 2018 and fully replaces the previous version. We will keep you informed of any changes resulting from the new regulation as soon as the information is available.

    If I have already submitted an application, but a decision has not yet been issued, can I have it evaluated based on the new regulation instead?

    You can request to have it evaluated according to the criteria in the new regulation. To do so, you must contact your file manager, who will explain to you the steps you need to take and the related cost.

    If I have already submitted an application and a decision has been issued on it, can I have it evaluated based on the new regulation instead?

    You may request a review of your file. To do so, you must fill out the review request form, provide the appropriate documents and make the requested payment.

    If I submitted an application several years ago and my file has since been closed, what happens if I want to reopen my file?

    Requests to reopen files will be examined according to the regulation in force when the file is reopened.

    Do I have to have my documents translated?

    Documents submitted in support of your equivalence recognition application that are not written in English or French must be accompanied by a translation in one of these languages. The translation must be a certified translation of the original by a translator who is a member of the Ordre des traducteurs, terminologues et interprètes agréés du Québec or recognized by the competent authority of the province or country in which he or she resides, if the translator is not located in Québec.

    Is the new regulation more advantageous for me?

    It is impossible to know in every case whether the new regulation will be more advantageous for you. Nevertheless, applications will be examined using a more personalized approach that takes into account your diplomas, training and all of your professional experience. This approach will better reveal the gaps and competencies for the purposes of training equivalence.

    In Québec, how many engineers have been trained abroad?

  • In 2017-2018, over 11.97% of the OIQ’s members, or 7,561 members, are internationally trained professionals. In 2017-2018, internationally trained professionals also account for:
  • • 24.6% of all applications;
    • 18.9% of newly registered junior engineers on the OIQ’s roll (which is 637 people);
    • 17.06% of engineers who have obtained their title.

    Is the number of admission applications and roll registrations from ITPs rising or falling?

  • The percentage of internationally trained professionals among newly registered engineers has varied in recent years: It rose between 2010 and 2014, fell in 2014-2015, rose sharply in 2015-2016 and fell again in 2016-2017.
  • • 14.6% in 2010-2011 (270/1,840)
    • 15.9% in 2011-2012 (318/2,181)
    • 15.7% in 2012-2013 (320/2,036)
    • 16.3% in 2013-2014 (363/2,216)
    • o 15.7% in 2014-2015 (356/2,258)
    • 18.4% in 2015-2016 (332/1,804)
    • 14.7% in 2016-2017 (286/1,943)
    • 17.06% in 2017-2018 (374/2,192)

    What are the source countries of the internationally trained engineers who practice engineering in Québec?

  • Most of the admission applications in 2017-2018 came from the five following countries:
  • • France: 22.0%;
    • Iran: 6.5%;
    • Algeria: 4.7%;
    • Tunisia: 4.0%;
    • Columbia: 3.3%.
  • • It should be mentioned that the ITPs who come to Québec and those who settle in the rest of Canada are not from the same source countries, primarily for linguistic reasons.
  • In which fields of engineering do internationally trained engineers practice?
  • • Internationally trained engineers practice mostly in three general fields:
  • • civil engineering (25%);
    • mechanical engineering (19.6%);
    • electrical engineering (17.9%).
    What steps do ITPs have to take to obtain their permit to practice engineering in Québec?
  • Each ITP has his or her own specific educational and professional path and we take the time to properly analyze the files so that we can be sure that they are all processed fairly. Depending on the country where the professional was trained, there are two tracks that qualify an internationally trained professional to practice engineering in Québec:
  • 1. Candidates covered by a mutual recognition agreement for diplomas

    Mutual recognition agreements for diplomas* have been signed with 19 countries, including France and several Commonwealth and Asian countries (Japan, Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Turkey), which have accrediting bodies. These mutual recognition agreements provide the OIQ with a guarantee of the quality of training received by ITPs. This means that ITPs who have mutually recognized diplomas can be considered on the same basis as individuals who have diplomas from Québec and are therefore exempt from the confirmatory examinations. After the OIQ’s Admission Department analyzes their permit applications, the OIQ’s Admission Committee (AC) recognizes their diplomas as equivalent, which entitles them to register as candidates to the engineering profession (CEPs).

    * These agreements are possible because independent bodies responsible for evaluating engineering programs exist in both Canada and the source countries. Engineers Canada is responsible for periodically evaluating the engineering programs offered in Canada. An agreement can be reached when the certification standards and procedures of the foreign body are compared and considered similar to ours.

    2. Candidates not covered by a mutual recognition agreement for diplomas
    The admission process is more elaborate for candidates who are not covered by a mutual recognition agreement, as the Admission Committee (AC) has to examine and issue a recommendation on their files. The EC, which is composed of 13 members whose specialties reflect the wide range of engineering fields, examines each candidate’s training (8 of these members are appointed by schools of engineering). After its review, the committee makes one of the following decisions: recognize their diploma or training as equivalent, which entitles them to register as candidates to the engineering profession (CEPs), or recognize their training as partially equivalent, in which case it recommends training activities to them.

  • Previously, applications not subject to a mutual recognition agreement were examined only on the basis of the diplomas obtained. Under the new regulation, these applications are examined not only on the basis of the diplomas obtained, but also on the basis of the candidates’ work experience.
  • Another major difference between the old and new regulations concerns the options available to candidates for filling in gaps identified during the examination of their applications. Under the old regulation, candidates were recommended up to 11 examinations designed to test and complete their knowledge, a demanding step that required them to go back to school. Under the new regulation, gaps can be filled in different ways, such as by taking university courses or participating in a supervised project.
  • Regardless of the track taken (covered or not covered by an agreement), all ITPs, just like all individuals who have received their diploma in Québec, are subject to the following three conditions:
  • Theoretical component:
  • until September 1, 2019: Pass the professional examination (which tests knowledge of the laws and regulations that concern the practice of engineering, such as the Code of Ethics of Engineers);
  • starting on September 2, 2019: Complete 30 hours of online theoretical training and pass the professional examination (which tests knowledge of the laws and regulations that concern the practice of engineering, such as the Code of Ethics of Engineers);
  • Practical component: Accumulate 24 months of engineering experience to acquire the targeted competencies, including those that concern engineering practice in Canada;
  • The professional examination: This examination tests knowledge of the laws and regulations concerning the practice of engineering, such as the Code of Ethics of Engineers;
  • Experience: Three years of relevant experience are required;
  • Knowledge of the French language: Candidates who have not studied at least three years in French at the secondary or university level will have to prove their proficiency by passing the French tests of the Office québécois de la langue française. This requirement is not imposed by the OIQ, but rather the Charter of the French Language, and it applies to all professionals in Québec.
  • How much time can these steps take and how much do they cost?

    1. The required cost and time vary depending on the candidate’s profile.

    2. Candidates trained in a country covered by a diploma recognition agreement can expect to wait 6 to 8 weeks once their file is complete.

    3. The process for obtaining the junior engineer’s permit is longer and more expensive for candidates who have to pass the confirmatory examinations. Refer to the fee schedule to find out the applicable fees.

    4. Varying admission fees apply to both categories of candidates. Refer to the fee schedule to find out the applicable fees.

    5 A 50% discount on the cost of admission (including the permit application fee and the examination fee) is granted to individuals with refugee status.1

    How does the OIQ assist ITPs in their efforts to obtain permits?

  • The OIQ supports ITPs in their efforts with an assistance program that includes:
  • Online information tools available on the OIQ’s Web site (e.g. the OIQ’s previous examinations);
  • Information sessions held in all regions of Québec to explain the process of obtaining a permit to new candidates (1,143 ITPs were given explanations in these sessions in 2017-2018);
  • Support in preparing for the professional examination: study document available on line and information meeting;
  • Programs offered in partnership:
  • • Centre RIRE (15 participants in 2017-2018);
    • IPOP (junior engineer salaries funded by Emploi-Québec for a few months).
    Do you have data on the acceptance rate of ITP permit applications?
  • Diploma equivalence applications in 2017-2018: 210 accepted and 0 rejected.
  • Training equivalence applications in 2017-2018: 427 accepted, 406 partially accepted and 0 rejected.
  • Once they are admitted to the OIQ, to what extent do ITPs find a job related to their training?
  • The unemployment rate among full-fledged engineers who were trained abroad is a little higher than that of OIQ members who were trained in Québec.
  • • 58% of internationally trained engineers had a job in the profession in September 2016 (summary report submitted to the Québec Interprofessional Council by a working group responsible for examining ITP access to a first job in a profession, working version of September 1, 2016)
  • The challenges are greater for junior engineers who were trained abroad, since 12.5% of junior engineers who graduated outside of Canada declared that they were unemployed, which is a lot higher than the percentage of unemployed junior engineers who were trained in Québec. This shows the usefulness of a program like IPOP, which funds the salaries of a certain number of internationally trained junior engineers for a few months under an agreement signed between the OIQ, Emploi-Québec and Québec’s ministry of immigration, diversity and inclusion.
  • After a permit is issued, how does the OIQ help internationally trained engineers enter the job market in Québec?

  • Just like all other professional orders, the OIQ’s primary mission is to protect the public. The OIQ can reassure employers that effective mechanisms are in place to verify the competencies of internationally trained professionals.
  • After issuing a permit, the OIQ is not responsible for assisting internationally trained professionals with entering the job market, as that is not its mission. Some external agencies have set up job search and assistance activities for internationally trained engineers.
  • For the other aspects of your integration in Québec, we recommend Immigrant Québec, an organization that can guide you in your efforts to find a job and meet other necessities.
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