Protecting the public is what we do!
Engineers are required to observe a code of conduct called the Code of Ethics and various laws and regulations that guide them in their work. They must also apply the four values of the profession: competence, ethics, responsibility and social commitment. However, instances of misconduct, such as a lack of integrity, carelessness or negligence, may arise. The Office of the Syndic intervenes to prevent or correct professional misconduct.
The Office of the Syndic is responsible for making sure that engineers fulfill their ethical* obligations by conducting inquiries and lodging complaints with the Disciplinary Council of the OIQ. The purpose of the disciplinary measures is to correct and penalize engineers who are guilty of professional misconduct and protect the public.
What does the Office of the Syndic do?
The activities of the Office of the Syndic are based on four goals:
- prevent misconduct through advice, courses, presentations and articles specifically designed for members or future members;
- inform members, their clients or employers and the public about the professional and regulatory aspects of the profession;
- investigate the conduct of engineers and, if appropriate, begin mediation;
- lodge disciplinary complaints, where necessary.
Who works at the Office of the Syndic?
The government delegates certain supervisory and disciplinary powers to professional orders so that they can fulfill their mission of protecting the public. In doing so, the government makes sure that competent individuals evaluate the work and conduct of professionals in Québec. For that purpose, at the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, peers, i.e. engineers, evaluate the quality of the professional services provided by members.
The OIQ’s Board of Directors appoints a syndic*, assistant syndics* and corresponding syndics* from the OIQ’s membership. Under the Professional Code, they are responsible for ensuring that disciplinary action is taken against engineers who are guilty of misconduct and that engineers comply with the laws and regulations governing the profession. They have the power to conduct an inquiry when they receive information alleging that an engineer may have violated one of the laws and regulations governing his or her professional activities.
The Board of Directors must also take measures to safeguard the independence of the Office of the Syndic while its staff members carry out their duties.
* See the glossary for a definition.
Organizational chart of the Office of the Syndic
(in French only)
Click on the image to see the PDF version.