Right to Practise & Title | APEGA

Right to Practise & Title

As part of its obligation to protect the public, APEGA has the legal right and requirement to restrict the practices of engineering and geoscience, along with the related titles and designations, to licensed individuals and companies.

Only Professional Members and companies (Permit Holders) licensed by APEGA have the right to independently practise engineering or geoscience in Alberta. This is called reserved practice.

APEGA regulates the professions by ensuring that anyone we license meets certain technical, ethical, and professional standards.

Titles & Designations

To protect the public, only Permit Holders and certain Member categories have the right to use certain titles and designations. These are called reserved titles and reserved designations. See examples below.

Individual Titles & Designations

If you are not licensed, you can’t use reserved titles or designations in job titles, on resumes, or on social media because the public may believe that you have the right to practise engineering or geoscience. This can endanger public safety.

Examples of Reserved Titles & Designations


  • Professional Engineer
  • Professional Licensee (Engineering)
  • P.Eng.
  • P.L.(Eng.)
  • any title or abbreviation that implies you are licensed with APEGA

The word engineer combined with any name, title, description, letter, symbol, or abbreviation that implies you are licensed with APEGA.


  • Professional Geoscientist
  • Professional Geologist
  • Professional Geophysicist
  • Professional Licensee (Geoscience)
  • P.Geo.
  • P.Geol.
  • P.Geoph.
  • P.L.(Geo.)
  • any title or abbreviation that implies you are licensed with APEGA

The word geoscientist, geologist, or geophysicist combined with any name, title, description, letter, symbol, or abbreviation that implies you are licensed with APEGA licensed.


APEGA’s Compliance Department decides if a title is being used improperly and if the public would believe that the person can practise engineering or geoscience.

For example, if a person working in a bakery uses the job title cupcake engineer, it is unlikely that someone would believe that a cupcake engineer is allowed to practise engineering. Therefore, this title doesn’t endanger public safety.

Professional Member Examples

Fully licensed APEGA Members (Professional Engineers, Professional Geoscientists, Professional Licensees, Foreign Licensees, and Life Members) can use reserved titles.


Jane Doe, P.Eng., Structural Engineer

Jane Doe, P.L.(Eng), Civil Engineer


John Smith, P.Geo., Wellsite Geologist

John Smith, P.Geo., Hydrogeochemist

Member-in-Training and Student Examples

As a Member-in-Training, you are not fully licensed but have the right to represent yourself as an engineer or geoscientist if you clarify it with in training.


Jane Doe, E.I.T., Civil Engineer-in-Training

Jane Doe, Engineer-in-Training


Jane Doe, G.I.T., Petroleum Geoscientist-in-Training

Jane Doe, Geoscientist-in-Training

As a student, you are not fully licensed, which means you must represent yourself in that context.


John Smith, Civil Engineering Undergraduate Student


John Smith, Geology Undergraduate Student

Non-APEGA Member Examples

If you are not licensed to practise engineering or geoscience but work in that industry, here are some alternatives:

Jane Doe, Wellsite Consultant

John Smith, Environmental Scientist

Jane Doe, Construction Manager

Corporate Titles & Designations

Companies without a Permit to Practice from APEGA are not allowed to practise engineering or geoscience, nor can they use reserved titles. In addition, companies without a permit are not allowed to be incorporated or registered with the words:

  • engineering
  • geology
  • geophysics
  • geoscience
  • any variations of those words that would give the public the impression that the company can provide engineering or geoscience services


  1. John Doe Consulting Services designs, manufactures, installs, and tests pressure-vessel equipment. Although the company name does not include a reserved title, it is doing engineering work. Therefore, it must have a Permit to Practice from APEGA to legally provide engineering services.
  2. Jane Doe Consulting Services sells pressure vessels. This is not providing an engineering service. Therefore, the company does not need a Permit to Practice.
  3. John Doe Hydrogeological Consulting provides geoscience services but does not have a Permit to Practice. This company must either stop providing this service and change its name or get a permit from APEGA.

If you need help with a job title or corporate name, or if you are unsure if you can legally use a reserved title, email us at compliance@apega.ca or call us.