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    Ipsos survey shows improvement trend in the image of engineers

    mardi 3 juin 2014
    • Montreal, June 3, 2014 – A recent Ipsos Survey conducted for the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ) shows that public opinion on engineers stabilized last year, with a favourable rating of 72%. The image of engineers is actually improving, as their perceived competence rose from 66% to 72% last year, which marks a return to the level of confidence they enjoyed before the Charbonneau Commission began its activities. The revelations heard by the Commission had caused a significant decline in public opinion on the profession between 2011 and 2013, when its favourable rating dropped from 87% to 72%.
    • “We have to be pleased about these results, which are generally positive. The many initiatives taken by the OIQ to uphold its commitment to the public have certainly helped to stabilize popular perceptions. Nevertheless, there is still much to do if we are to regain the level of confidence we enjoyed earlier in the 2000s. That is why the OIQ and its members must continue to make major efforts to achieve that,” explained Isabelle Tremblay, Eng., OIQ Vice President and Vice President of Finance and Treasurer.
       
      In May 2013, the OIQ made a commitment to better protect the public by taking action in the areas of prevention and discipline, by finding concrete solutions to the current challenges facing the profession and by transparently managing the situation. This commitment has specifically resulted in new training activities on ethics and professional conduct, the creation of an investigative unit within the Office of the Syndic that specializes in instances of collusion, corruption and political contributions, and an increase in OIQ communications with its stakeholders.  An audit program for the business practices of consulting engineering firms is also being developed in partnership with the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) and with the support of two government departments and four public agencies (Autorité des marchés financiers, Commissaire au lobbyisme du Québec, ministère des Transports du Québec, Office des professions du Québec, Secrétariat du Conseil du trésor and the Unité permanente anti-corruption), which are acting as observers.
       
      Understanding the OIQ’s role
       
      While supervision of the profession remains the role most often attributed to the OIQ, the general public is less than clear about the real role of the organization. However, there are fewer and fewer respondents who think that the mission of the OIQ is to protect the interests of consulting engineering firms (from 41% in 2011 to 31% in 2014) or of engineers themselves (from 61% in 2011 to 54% in 2014).
       
      The respondents think that verifying competencies (66%) and training (62%) are the most effective means available to the OIQ for supervising the profession. Moreover, respondents identified communication of disciplinary actions (74%) and prevention (71%) as the most effective ways of restoring public confidence in the engineering profession.
       
      Methodology
       
      This online survey was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of the OIQ between May 22 and May 27, 2014. The sample consisted of 767 respondents between the ages of 18 and 74. Results were weighted by the respondent’s age, gender and region.
       
      About the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec
       
      Founded in 1920, the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec has a membership of approximately 60,000 engineering professionals in all fields, except forest engineering. The mission of the OIQ is to ensure the protection of the public by supervising the practice of the profession within the framework of its constituent laws and ensure that the profession serves the public interest. For more information, go to http://www.oiq.qc.ca.
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