Engineering Experience Record Template

So it’s time to write your engineering experience record. For me, this was the most time-consuming task of the whole process. Part of the reason for that was procrastination, but a more legitimate factor was that I had to recall and summarize the experience from one Master’s degree and 4 positions at different companies that spanned 8 years.

I must have done *something* at that job 6 years ago…

Yes, as we have already covered on this blog, you only need 4 years of overall experience to qualify. However, to be safe, I decided to summarize most of my professional history, especially since it was unclear how much of that experiences (e.g. my Master’s degree in a different discipline from my bachelor’s, and some positions where I was not supervised by a P. Eng.) would count towards my final tally.

It ended up over 5000 words and 20 pages long (partiallydue to the tabular format and some formatting-related page breaks). I don’t say this to brag nor to provide an example. Ideally I believe that the experience record should be a much more concise document. Consider mine to be a special case.

When I finally sat down to start writing this document, the first thing I did was search to see whether there were any fine examples out there on the world wide web. I was hoping to find some past (successful) applications that demonstrated how to structure and write about my experience.

The PEO does provide a form for the experience record.  One would assume that this template is all that you need. However, once I started actually writing my version, I found this template to be inadequate. Specifically speaking, it seems that too many different criteria were lumped into each of the form’s entry boxes. For example, for Practical Engineering, the statement below outlined the expectations of what your response should contain:

Describe your practical engineering experience in relation to the function of components as part of a larger system, limitations of practical engineering, significance of time in the engineering process, knowledge and understanding of codes, standards, regulations and laws

I wanted to structure the document in a way such that I knew I had covered all of those bases. Further searches revealed only ONE (UNO!) example of a PEO experience record. Lucky for me, it was written by Mr. Darryl Stahlke, hosted on his personal site, and the format he used addressed my concerns exactly. Darryl separated each sub-section into it’s own entry in the form. This made the process of entering all the information slightly less mind-numbing. Kudos to you, good sir!

Important Update (August 2017)
The experience record shared by Mr. Stahlke was a useful inspiration for how to structure my experience record. However, Gavin Simone (of PracticePPEExams.ca, who unlike myself, I consider a true expert on the P. Eng. licensing process) kindly pointed out to me that Darryl’s experience record is rather dated (circa 2002) and its content, in very brief, bulleted format, would be unlikely to meet to PEO’s present-day standards. Gavin has helped hundreds of engineers obtain their license all across Canada, so I trust his judgment on this. 

I took the liberty of creating a very simple template based on Mr. Stahlke’s approach. and you can download it here: PEO Work Experience Template.

Once the structure of the document was decided, it was time to write. This was the most difficult part. I tried to learn from Darryl’s example, but his work experience was just far too different from mine. The vague instructions provided by the PEO didn’t help much either. Next blog post I’ll walk you through my submitted experience record, with real-world examples and text.

32 Replies to “Engineering Experience Record Template”

  1. Did you made your application with the format hat you made? Is it necessary to use the PEO format or we can use the format that we want?

    1. Hi Shkelzen, I believe the PEO format is mostly a guideline, not a requirement. As long as you are including all of the information they request in a clear manner, that should be fine.

  2. Hi,
    I am an internationally graduate Mechanical Engineer.Can you please share your Work experience record which u submitted with the P.ENG application?

    Appreciate your help.

    1. Hi Mohammed,

      The relevant sections from my work experience record are shared throughout this site (divided up by each different employer). The full record is not shared for reasons of privacy. Thanks for understanding and best of luck with your application!

  3. Hello,
    I am graduating in April 2016, and I do have 12 months of pre-graduate experience from my internship. I am very close to getting a job but it is Electrical Design Tech position in an LDC. The work is mainly project management, designing distribution system, new connections etc. I will be working directly under a supervisor and a manager both with a P.Eng. My concern is with the job title. Does one with tech position title also eligible for P.Eng? I have looked up a lot but the only thing I could find was that if you do not have a P.Eng, you cannot call yourself an engineer by law. Your clarification will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks

    1. Hi Farooq,

      Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! It’s great that you’re already looking into P. Eng. certification. What follows below is my educated opinion, rather than fact, so please confirm elsewhere for peace of mind (e.g. you can contact the PEO directly).

      First of all, you are correct that people should not be using an “engineer” job title without the P. Eng. designation. This is an offence under the Professional Engineering Act and it is enforced by the PEO (http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php?ci_id=1824&la_id=1). People still do it all the time and there are honestly more violations than the PEO can afford to prosecute (it’s very common in my field, software, for example). However, if you’re going to apply for your P. Eng., you should make sure that none of your positions that will appear on your experience record will be in violation of the act. So in that sense, the fact that your job title will be “Design Tech” shouldn’t be an issue. What will be scrutinized is the type of work you did in that position and whether it qualifies as engineering experience. For example, I mostly held positions with titles of “Software Developer” or “Programmer” during my work experience, but still qualified for the P. Eng. because my experience record was able to successfully convey that work as engineering experience.

      Unlike myself, you’ve got an early start on this process and I recommend taking advantage of that. Write up your experience as you go, perhaps every 6 months or so. Don’t do what I did and leave it all until the end, because you will have a hard time remembering all of the work you did.

      Good luck!

  4. Just curious, do you only need one P.Eng reference per job? The PEO’s response to me about this was somewhat confusing. They mentioned needing more than one P.Eng reference, but not with respect to employment. In my case, my supervisor is a P.Eng, but there aren’t any other P.Eng’s in my company.

    1. Hi Pearce,

      Here is the language directly from the PEO requirements document (http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/22929/la_id/1.htm):

      Three references from individuals who are familiar with the details of the applicant’s work are required. It is strongly recommended that two of these references come from licensed professional engineers and at least one should be from a person in authority at the applicant’s place of employment or at a client firm. The applicant’s present and past direct supervisors are the most suitable referees. If an applicant is claiming experience from multiple work situations, additional referees may be required

      I interpret this as:
      – You need at least 1 reference per work situation
      – Of all of your references, at least 2 should be licensed P. Eng’s (but you should have as many as possible)
      – If you don’t include your direct supervisor at each position, that may seem fishy

      I decided to play it safe on all of the above.

  5. Good Day,

    Thank you for your wonderful information. I am and I was quality inspector (Materials and Welding Engineer) you know that application of theory in our job is not easy. Do you think that my record should be something like more than 10 pages?
    How much are they serious about the experience?

    1. Hi Moe,

      Thank you for commenting. To be honest, as a computer/software engineer, I know very little about work in your domain. So I can only answer your questions in a very general sense. I wouldn’t focus on the *length* of your experience record, but rather the *content* of it. It should provide enough detail for the person evaluating it to determine whether your experience could be considered “engineering experience”. I realize that’s an incredibly vague answer, but unfortunately the evaluation process is a bit of a black box. With my experience record, you have at least one example of something that had sufficient detail and content to be accepted, but that is only an N of 1 and in a totally different domain.

      As to your other question, I would assume that the PEO is very serious about experience. In licensing every engineer, they put an enormous amount of faith and trust in that person, since one bad engineer can tarnish the profession for thousands, so I would imagine (and hope) that they take the entire evaluation process (including scrutinizing our experience) very seriously.

      All the best with your application and please come back to let us know how it goes!

  6. Hello.

    I have obtained B.Eng and M.Eng from Ryerson University and will be completed 48 month of engineering experience in May 2016. I am currently preparing P.Eng application, and was wondering if my M.Eng (which was only course and project work) can gain certain months of experience out of 48 months.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Harry,

      First, I always like to emphasize that I am not an expert, nor do I have inside information from the PEO. I’m just using publicly available information and educated guesses in most instances.

      That said, based on this section of the PEO FAQ (http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php?ci_id=2075&la_id=1#postgrad), there is a good chance that your M. Eng. can count for 12 months towards your experience if it was in the same discipline as your undergrad. It is especially helpful if you can write up the experience from the Masters (coursework and projects) such that it qualifies as engineering experience.

      Good luck!

  7. Hello!

    I am so grateful that someone like you would blog their engineering licensure experience online. Thank you so much!

    I do have 12 months of pre-graduation experience from my internship which was completed after I have finished 50% of the Bachelor program’s course load. The internship was absolutely insightful and practical and it mostly satisfied the 5-quality-based criteria. Yet this internship experience was not a Canadian one, I worked overseas and thus it was not signed by a P.Eng but a professional engineer in another country / Region.

    I have also checked PEO’s website regarding this matter and I quote from their website:

    Does my supervisor have to be a professional engineer (P.Eng.)?
    Do I require a P.Eng. signature?

    The supervisor who signs your pre-graduation work experience form
    does not have to be a professional engineer. However, if there is
    a question about the eligibility of your experience, having a
    P.Eng. supervisor will aid PEO in its evaluation.

    Your work experience has to satisfy PEO’s experience
    requirements.Therefore, anything you can do to demonstrate
    clearly the appropriateness of your work experience can be
    valuable. For example, if your supervisor was not a P.Eng., but
    his/her manager was, you might consider having both your
    supervisor and his/her manager sign your pre-graduation
    experience summary.

    So I am even more puzzled right now as to whether or not my internship experience would be accepted by PEO in the future.

    I would love to have your opinion on this matter 😀

    Tremendous thanks!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! To be honest, you’ve done the exact research I would have to answer this question. I think the PEO’s wording there is intentionally vague so as to leave themselves room for judgement calls. This is not a bad thing, but it means that you need to be a bit more diligent in writing up that experience to make sure that it clearly falls into the PEO’s prescribed categories for engineering experience. If something sounds a bit shaky and you can afford to leave it out, do so. Try not to give them reasons to disqualify it, because you don’t have the benefit of a P. Eng. vouching for you in this instance.

  8. Hello! I have questions on the PEO pre-graduation Record Form that I think you would be the perfect person to answer my questions.

    There is this section “Job Description” in the form and I quote from that section in which it says “Please describe the engineering component of your position in three to five sentences” http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/22884/la_id/1.htm

    Q1. Unlike the PEO’s prescribed categories for engineering experience, there are no guidelines whatsoever on this section. How would one know if PEO prefer a specific job description (project-orientated) or a general job description ?

    Q2. Must the job description corresponds to the chosen project in the record form? (Let’s just say I did not just work on one project during the internship, but I chose that particular project because it best represents PEO’s prescribed categories)

    Q3. How long should one write for the PEO’s prescribed categories? I could guess that PEO want quality but not quantity, but what if I did have both quality and quantity in the experience record form?

    Much Thanks!

    1. Hi Dave,

      Thanks for posting. I’ll do my best to answer your questions, but these are all just my opinions. I recommend contacting the PEO directly with your questions if you want an “official” answer.

      Q1 Based on the wording, I would lean towards general job description. If you can tie in a reference to the project that you’re describing, even better. At 3-5 sentences, I doubt that this section is “make or break”. They’re more interested in making sure you weren’t a non-engineering position such as sales or marketing.

      Q2 I’m not 100% clear on what you are asking here. I think the Job Description should describe the general position (duties and responsibilities) that you held when you completed the project described in the rest of the form. If you can briefly describe the project in there as well, that’s even better. No problem if that project is “one of many”.

      Q3 Quality trumps quantity, but if you believe you have both, I don’t think that can work against you. See my own experience record for examples of an application that was accepted.

      Good luck!

  9. Hey man, Thanks so much for this post.
    I am currently starting the process of my PEO PEng application. I recently came to Canada for my masters which i completed april 2016. My Undergraduate degree was in my home country. Do you know if i will have to send in my undergraduate transcript to the PEO too or my masters transcript in Canada should be enough?
    Also, I have some post undergraduate engineering experience in my home country of about 23 months. Do you know if this experience will be recognized by the PEO if I put it into writing? will it be a credit towards the 4 years of experience? My masters is in the same discipline as my undergraduate so Im hoping that works as 12months credit.

    1. Hi Teddy,

      I’m going assume that you’re talking strictly about work experience and that you have already met the academic requirements of the PEO (which I say because you did not do an undergraduate degree at an “accredited” program and would thus have to further prove to the PEO that you meet the academic standards, see: http://peo.on.ca/index.php?ci_id=2061&la_id=1). The PEO only states that 1 year of experience must be in a Canadian jurisdiction, so it sounds like experience outside of Canada is fine (as long as it meets their definition of engineering experience). I would agree to expect 12 months of credit for your Master’s. For all of these questions, I would recommend contacting the PEO directly first and asking them.

      Good luck!

  10. Hi, Thanks for your reply.

    I have a few extra questions please. I am applying soon for the E.I.T in PEO. I was wondering if I could just send the application with my transcripts, fees etc to PEO office but send my experience details after. Do you think this is smart? I’m working/job hunting and I need to be an E.I.T as soon as possible thats why. are there any disadvantages to sending experience details after initial application to be an E.I.T? say maybe 2 or 3 weeks after application

  11. Hi, thanks for your fruitful posts.

    I have a big concern regarding Experience Records and the interview (if applicable). Let ask my question about yourself, you are a software developer as I picked up in the comments and probably you have applied for Electrical category? then shouldn’t your records as well as the projects … be in same direction as the applied category? most probably you have not worked on designing a Medium Voltage system as an Electrical engineer normally does. So how they evaluate your knowledge for applied category? I have heard that most of the applicants to some extents justify their CV and Experience Records to be in accordance with the requirements.
    I, myself am an Elec. Eng. majored in automation, however electrical automation and electrical power are completely dependent and the university courses are more than 85% identical, I wonder if I must present my records/CV/interview in Electrical Power to be eligible for this category. (consider I am trying to avoid taking part in “Confirmatory Exam Programs” since my BCs and MSc are both Elec. Engineering)

    Can you please a little elaborate on this issue?

    1. Hi, sorry for the late response – holidays + a growing family! Unless it has changed, when I applied, there was no “category” to apply for. You simply submit your credentials and experience. I definitely had concerns (as I wrote in a previous post) that my Bachelors was in Computer Engineering, my Masters was in Biomedical Engineering, and professionally I have done mostly software development. I contacted the PEO and they simply said everyone is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. I submitted my experience as described above and was approved. I did not have to write the confirmatory exam. I know this is just a single anecdote, but I hope it helps. If you have more questions, I recommend asking the PEO directly. Good luck!

  12. Hi,
    Thanks for your blogs,
    I have done multiple projects in one company. For each I should use one template or multiple projects can be in one sheet?
    Thanks,
    Sajith

    1. I don’t think there is a strict rule on this and I imagine both are acceptable. I recommend choosing the format that allows you to describe your experience in the most clear manner. If you can “tick all of the boxes” using multiple project in a single template, without having the content become unclear, that would seem fine. If doing so clutters things up and makes it difficult to distinguish between projects, then perhaps multiple tables in the way to go.

      As always, I am not affiliated with any of the licensing bodies and my advice is my own and unofficial. It’s best to contact your licensing body with any questions you have.

      Best of luck!

  13. Hi,
    While preparing ER “WWHO” found as important, actually under which heading we should consider this – like “Application of Theory” or “Practical Experience” including its sub headings?

    or in the ER document it should be an invisible but embedded as overall?

    Regards,
    Sajith

  14. Good day P.Eng Applicant,

    I have structured my experience reports in combination to yours and Mr. Stahlke’s examples . Based on the AUGUST 2017 notice you’ve provided regarding Gavin Simone comments, I am extremely worried about the format of my reports. Also, on the PEO experience record application document I’ve received from the PEO it states “NO OTHER FORMAT WIL BE ACCEPTED”.

    Application of theory
    Analysis Using existing building drawings and on-site verification, I
    determined the building was constructed of open web
    steel roof joists bearing on reinforced 10″ masonry block
    walls. I analyzed the compressive capacity the existing
    masonry walls to determine if additional roof loads could
    be supported. This information was incorporated in the
    design of the building addition.

    I made a spreadsheet similar to Mr. Stahlke’s to input the information. I will be attempting to copy/paste most of it into the PEO experience record word document. Is this what I should be doing or should I just submit the records as is?

    Thanks again,
    Brody

    1. Hi Brody,

      The notice that I added regarding Darryl’s experience record is not to say that the format is problematic, but rather that the content is likely insufficient. Gavin specifically said that there wasn’t enough detail in his brief bullets. So if you’ve used his format, but provided lengthier and more specific details about your work (rather than brief snapshots), you should be alright, but if you want to be sure, I would recommend the Experience Record course over on Gavin’s site.

  15. Application of theory

    Analysis

    Using existing building drawings and on-site verification, I
    determined the building was constructed of open web
    steel roof joists bearing on reinforced 10″ masonry block
    walls. I analyzed the compressive capacity the existing
    masonry walls to determine if additional roof loads could
    be supported. This information was incorporated in the
    design of the building addition.

  16. Also I’m not sure how to fill in the PEO experience record form if I have documented my experience on individual projects as opposed to different positions and companies. I have only worked for 1 employer, therefore I only fill out 1 experience record form?

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