Monitoring Illegal Practice

Prevention and monitoring

The Engineering Act specifies that only members of the OIQ may engage in activities reserved for the profession and use the title of “engineer” (including its abbreviation, “ing” or “Eng.”). The OIQ has the power to enforce the law and can prosecute those who violate it.

Monitoring unlawful practice is one of the mechanisms the OIQ uses to protect the public.

What is illegal practice?

Unlawful practice can take many forms. Here are the most common ones:

  • Misusing the title of an engineer or its abbreviation (“ing” or “P.Eng.”) or falsely implying that one can practise engineering.
  • Practising the profession of engineering without being a member of the OIQ.
  • Using plans or specifications not signed and sealed by an engineer to perform engineering work.
  • Using a company name that includes the words “engineering” or “engineer” (or in French “génie,” “ingenierie,” “ingénieur,” or “ingénieur”).
  • Illegally authenticating an engineering document with a seal, signature or initials.

Whether intentional or unintentional, these violations compromise public safety. For this reason, they are punishable by a fine.

How does the OIQ work to prevent illegal practice?


Our prevention consultants regularly visit private and public organizations under the authority of the Engineers Act. The consultants provide these organizations with tools and information on the requirements of the laws and regulations governing the practice of the profession.

To organize a training session adapted to your organization, please contact us.


The OIQ makes unannounced visits to construction sites throughout the province.

During these random visits, our inspectors:

  • Confirm that engineering work is being performed according to plans and specifications signed and sealed by a member of the OIQ or by a person holding a temporary permit.
  • Make engineers, contractors, and municipalities aware of the requirements of the law.

The inspector’s ’s objective is not to control the quality of the work, but any situation deemed dangerous will be reported to the appropriate authorities (such as the CNESST).

Also, the inspector may take photographs or request information and documents on a project or works in the process of being carried out. Anyone present on the work site must cooperate or face penalties or fines.


Legal recourse

The OIQ investigates reports of illegal practice and may, if necessary, prosecute offenders with fines ranging from $2,500 to $62,500 for an individual and from $5,000 to $125,000 for a corporation.

The renewed Engineers Act and cities

Some of the changes made to the Engineering Act on September 24, 2020, directly affect municipalities. To assist cities in decision-making, the OIQ has created guides on essential issues affected by the legislation, including culverts, buildings, waterways, and retaining walls.

See our Decision Support Tools publication (in French) for full details and consult the guides created by the OIQ.

Do you want to verify the professional status of an engineer?

If you want to verify that a person is a member of the OIQ and can use the title, consult our membership directory.


You can also access the list of individuals and companies found guilty of illegal practices by the courts.

Do you want to report an illegal practice?

Check out our reporting page. It explains the nature of a report and its process. If necessary, you can fill out the form and send it to the OIQ.

Understanding the report