APEGGA members with professional practice or ethics questions are welcome to mail them to Ray Chopiuk, P.Eng., Director, Professional Practice, APEGGA, 1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper AVE NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 4A2; fax them to 780-426-1877; or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In our municipal district office, we occasionally receive design drawings from engineering firms that have a notation on them where we would normally expect to see the APEGGA professional engineer’s stamp and signature. Typically this appears as a circle with words like, “The original of this drawing has been stamped by so-and-so.” Has the requirement for engineers’ stamps on drawings changed?
The requirement for stamps, signatures and dates on professional documents such as engineering drawings has not changed. As noted in the Practice Standard for Authenticating Professional Documents, “all originals and all copies of final documents shall include a signed and dated professional stamp or a facsimile thereof.” In other words, substitutions for the engineer’s professional stamp and signature are not acceptable, particularly where the documents are being submitted to an authority having jurisdiction (city, municipal district, county, etc.) in conjunction with an application for a building permit, for example.
The practice standard is available on APEGGA’s website at www.apega.ca/pdf/Guidelines/26.pdf.
I’ve heard that the APEGGA permit stamp that our company has been using is no longer required to be applied to our documents. Is that correct?
Yes, that is correct. The regulations regarding permit stamps and permit numbers were revised several years ago. At that time, the requirement for permit stamps was withdrawn and replaced with a requirement for permit numbers.
Regulations now stipulate that “all final … documents of a professional nature must … show the permit number” issued to the permit holder, in addition to being signed and stamped by a professional member with his or her professional member’s stamp. So, the permit stamp itself is not required, but the permit number is.
Permit holders who currently hold a permit stamp may still apply the stamp to their documents as a means of showing the permit number. The permit stamp provides space for the signature of a permit holder’s Responsible Member, and it would probably be advisable to sign the document (the stamp) if you apply the permit stamp.
Otherwise, it is possible the person receiving your document will question the absence of a signature or reject the document, even though a signature on the permit stamp is not necessary.
APEGGA continues to issue permit stamps to those new permit holders that request them. Permit- holding organizations typically use the permit stamp as a means of internal control, allowing a senior Responsible Member the opportunity to review or, at least, to be aware of the professional documents that have been prepared and stamped by the organization’s professionals.
In keeping with our regulations, though, all that is required is that you show the organization’s permit number on the professional documents that the organization’s professional members prepare or review (for the purpose of accepting responsibility for the reviewed documents).
The permit number could be part of a drawing title block, for example. It could also form part of a report title page or appear on the permit holder’s letterhead. It could even be written by hand.
To be meaningful, the number should be accompanied by words such as “APEGGA Permit” or “APEGGA Permit to Practice,” since someone unfamiliar with the professions would not necessarily interpret “P1234,” for example, as a permit number.