Certificate of Authorization

No partnership, association of persons or corporation shall as such be a member, or a licensee, or shall, except authorized as follows, practise professional engineering.

Any partnership, association of persons or corporation that holds a certificate of authorization may, in its own name, practise professional engineering if it

(a) engages in the practice of engineering as one of its principal functions; and
(b) has a member or licensee (P.Eng.) of the Association who, as principal of the association of persons, partner of the partnership, or director or full-time-employee of the corporation, is responsible for the practice of engineering and its supervision.

A partnership, association of persons or corporation may apply for a Certificate of Authorization by submitting to the Registrar an application in the form prescribed by the council.

There is a one hundred and fifty dollar ($150.00) fee associated with the Certificate of Authorization. If you wish to pay via Credit Card, go to Pay with PayPal | Engineers PEI.  Click on the down arrow and choose "COA Dues - $155.00" and click "Pay Now".

The applicant or holder of a Certificate of Authorization shall, whenever there is a change in the particulars given in its application, give notice of the change to the Registrar within thirty days after the effective date of the change.


Frequently Asked Question:  Certificate of Authorization - Do I need One?


Are you self-employed?  Do you do engineering work for someone other than your employer?

If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, you may need a Certificate of Authorization (COA).  The COA issued by Engineers PEI is a licence that permits you to offer and provide engineering services to the public.  The public in this case is considered to be any person or corporation with whom you have an arm's length relationship.  This may be a corporate client, a level of government or an individual.


Are you offering or providing your services to the public?

If you "hang out your shingle" as a professional engineer, or advertise and promote yourself through a legal entity such as a company or partnership, a Certificate of Authorization is required.

If you provide engineering services to the public through the sale of a product that is custom-designed or an original (as opposed to an off-the-shelf product) a Certificate of Authorization is required.

If you are a full-time employee, but offer engineering services directly to the public on your own time or on a volunteer basis you must hold a Certificate of Authorization.  Under these circumstances you should also, as a matter of professional courtesy, inform your employer that you are undertaking such work in order to avoid potential conflict of interest.  As well, you should provide your client with a written statement noting your status as an employee and the attendant limitations on your services to the client.


A contract employee generally does not require a Certificate of Authorization, although determining whether you are a contract employee or an independent contractor is sometimes difficult.  In most cases, you do not require a Certificate of Authorization if:

  • you work exclusively for one firm;
  • you have set working hours;
  • payment is in the form of salary or hourly wages;
  • expenses are reimbursed;
  • vacation pay is provided;
  • you work at the firm's place of business, using its equipment;
  • your work is covered under the firm's professional liability policy, and
  • your employment contract addresses non-disclosure, ability to control work hours and time off, expectations related to performance, notice and termination.

If your situation meets some but not all of these conditions, you should contact the Association Office to discuss whether you need a Certificate of Authorization.

Members should note that a Certificate of Authorization is required no matter what the size of the client or project, or how often the services are provided.  It is also important to know that a Certificate of Authorization is required to offer engineering services and obtaining a COA (or retaining a COA holder) after you have secured a contract is not sufficient.