The Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is the OACETT CPD program important?
Under the OACETT Code of Ethics, members have a responsibility "to hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public, the protection of the environment and the promotion of health and safety within the workplace". The Code further states that members must "keep informed to maintain proficiency and competence." These obligations require continuing education to satisfy. Continuing education also improves the prestige and appearance of the profession as a whole, helping all members. Furthermore, in this age of disruption, the workplace changes quickly and often, especially in technology related professions; continuing education is necessary for OACETT members to continue being valuable workers to their employers and society.
 
2. Who does the CPD program apply to?
  • Certified members 
  • Life and Fellow OACETT members
  • Associate members who are not within a 3 or 6 year certification timeline
3. Who does the CPD program not apply to?
  • Associates still within their 3 or 6 year certification timeline
  • Student members
  • Members with retired status
  • Honourary members
4. What is a 3 year CPD cycle?
A 3 year time frame within which a member must meet their CPD obligations. All cycles begin on January 1st of a given year and end December 31st three years later. At the end of each cycle an audit of CPD compliance will be conducted. Activities from one cycle do not carry into the next.
 
5. I am on maternity/parental/medical leave. Am I automatically exempted from the CPD requirements?
No, you are not automatically exempted from the program. If you are unable to complete your CPD, contact cpd@oacett.org with the reason you are making a request. Exemptions are very rare but an extension may be given. 
 
6. What are the requirements for mandatory CPD?
Over a 3-year cycle, members are required to complete four activities. One activity must be from either the Contributions to Technical Knowledge OR Management/Leadership Training categories. Any activity in those two categories must be a formal course at least three hours in length, or an informal course or self-directed study at least six hours in length.
 
The other three activities can be from any of the four categories; however, any activity in either the Contributions to Technical Knowledge or Management/Leadership Training categories must also meet the same minimum time requirements given above. All CPD activities and courses must be at least one hour in length. To learn more about the CPD categories click here.
 
7. Can I carry over activities and courses to the next cycle?
You cannot carry any CPD from one cycle to the next. CPD must be on-going throughout your career.
 
8. How do I know if the course is formal or informal?
  • Formal Course refers to a type of learning program from an educational institution or training provider, online or in person, in which the goals and objectives are defined, and include a means to evaluate performance. Does the institution have the right to issue diplomas, did you receive a transcript or certificate, did you write an exam, did the course include a syllabus? Answering yes to these questions suggests a formal course.
  • Informal Study refers to learning from a source other than an educational institution. This could include on-the-job training, webinars, lunch-and-learns, self-study etc. In place of transcripts, informal courses can be documented by study notes, written summaries, letters of attendance. Letters of training signed by a company official (such as an HR manager, C.E.T., P.Eng. etc.) on company letterhead are also acceptable documentation. All CPD activities and courses must be at least one hour in length. A total of six hours for informal study is needed to make one activity.
9. What are acceptable examples of CPD in each category?
For acceptable examples of CPD in each of the four categories, click here
 
10. Do OGRA, CEO, and EPIC courses count towards the CPD program?
OGRA (Ontario Good Roads Association), EPIC (Educational Program Innovations Center), and CEO (Consulting Engineers of Ontario) courses are all considered formal. Courses must be a minimum of 3 hours in length to qualify as one activity. EPIC webinars are considered informal.
 
11. What evidence of CPD is required? 
Members must collect documentation from their CPD activities in order to confirm completion. Suitable documents could be: certificates of completion, letters of attendance, receipts with course outlines, or letters from an employer. These are just a few of many possibilities. For more information, click here
 
12. How will I keep my records?
Members are encouraged to log their activities using the CPD tracking spreadsheet
 
13. How and when do I submit my tracking sheet along with supporting documents?
You are not required to submit your CPD tracking spreadsheet and supporting documents unless you are selected for audit after the end of your 3 year CPD cycle. OACETT recommends you keep all documentation related to CPD as part of a professional portfolio. At the minimum, CPD records from one cycle should be kept at least through the following 3 year cycle. 
 
14. Is there an online tracking system/option for CPD records? Can I see/track my progress online?
At this time, OACETT is currently in the build phase of a new database, and a CPD module is included in that package. This will be implemented when OACETT’s new database and website are constructed. Members can use the excel spreadsheet to record their CPD activities until that time.
 
15. What are the requirements for “retired status” and how can I apply?
If you would like to apply for retired status you must meet the following criteria:
  • be at least 55 years of age in the calendar year that membership dues apply
  • have been an active member for at least 10 years or reach 65 years in the calendar year that membership dues apply
  • be working less than 100 hours annually in the engineering technology, applied sciences, or a related field.
Members who hold retired status are not required to complete mandatory continuing professional development. 
 
16. How does mentoring work for the OACETT CPD program? If I am guiding/leading at my company, does that qualify?
Mentoring at work does not count as CPD if it is one of your day-to-day responsibilities; therefore, training new staff or managing student/co-op staff does not qualify as mentoring.

If you are part of a formal mentoring program at your place of employment, that may be considered CPD. You will need to provide a copy of the program and a corroborating letter from your employer on company letterhead. Your submission must include the signature of the mentor and mentee, a log of meeting times, the dates of meetings, and a list of the topics discussed. 
 
If you would like to pursue mentoring as a CPD activity, OACETT recommends a mentoring organization. For more mentoring guidelines, click here
 
17. Who will be audited? 
The Registrar will randomly audit a percentage of members each year. Members may also be chosen specifically based on performance in previous audits or other reasons at the Registrar’s discretion. Members selected for an audit will be required to submit a CPD log and supporting documentation within 30 days.
 
18. I am not working in an engineering capacity right now. Do I still need to complete CPD?
If your role does not involve engineering or technical aspects then CPD is even more important for you; ongoing education is necessary to maintain your knowledge. If you do not think you will benefit from courses in Technical Knowledge, then consider taking courses in the Management/Leadership category. The Management/Leadership category includes soft skills that can help in any professional role. Investigate this list of CPD providers, many will be suitable for you. 
 
19. What happens if I don’t comply with CPD?
If you do not comply with your CPD obligations you will be granted a 6 month grace period. You may be required to submit a compliance plan before being given the grace period. If, at the end of the six-month grace period, you are still not in compliance with the CPD requirements, your name will be sent to the CPD Audit Committee for a decision. The CPD Audit Committee will consider the information that you have provided about your CPD on a case-by-case basis and make one of the following decisions:
  • Grant an extension for you to complete the remaining CPD activities. This option is given in extenuating circumstances only
  • Approve your continued membership but provide guidance on CPD or select you to be included in the next audit
  • Remove your membership
Read more about CPD compliance here.
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