Document Authentication

An authenticated professional work product (PWP) indicates that an APEGA licensed professional has completed the work and is assuming technical responsibility for the PWP. If the licensed professional is assuming professional responsibility for only part of the PWP, the authentication must specify which part(s).

The products of engineering and geoscience services are called outputs. If the output contains technical information, final plans, specifications, calculations, reports, simulations, models, or any other technical document, it may be a PWP requiring authentication.

Answer the following three questions to determine whether an engineering or geoscience output is a PWP that must be authenticated:

  • Does the engineering or geoscience output contain technical information?
  • Is the technical information complete for the intended purpose of the output?
  • Will others rely on the technical information related to the output’s intended purpose?

If the answer is yes for all three questions, authentication is required. Authentication can only be completed by a licensed professional if:

  • the PWP was prepared by the licensed professional
  • the PWP was prepared by someone under the licensed professional’s direct supervision and control, or
  • the PWP was thoroughly reviewed by the licensed professional who accepts professional responsibility for it

Authentication Methods

Authentication requires the following criteria depending on the authentication method.


  • an ink impression or electronic image of the licensed professional's stamp
  • the licensed professional's handwritten signature
  • the handwritten authentication date


  • an electronic image of the licensed professional's stamp
  • the licensed professional's digital signature (verifiable through a digital certificate provider meeting APEGA's best practice) and an electronic image of the licensed professional's handwritten signature
  • the authentication date included with the digital signature and inserted as an electronic image

Validating PWPs

Validation is the process through which a Responsible Member demonstrates that a professional work product (PWP) meets the quality control and assurance measures described in a permit holder’s Professional Practice Management Plan. Validation is required if the PWP is produced by a licensed professional employed by, or working under contract of, an APEGA permit holder.

Validation Methods

A permit holder’s Responsible Member validates a PWP after it has been authenticated by a licensed professional. Validation consists of:

  • the permit holder’s name and Permit to Practice number
  • the Responsible Member's full signature and membership number
  • the date the Responsible Member signed the PWP, which may be different than the date it was authenticated


Digital Signatures

When using this method for authentication, APEGA licensed professionals must apply a digital signature supplied by a digital signature provider approved by APEGA.

Currently, Notarius is the only APEGA-approved digital signature provider.

Find a Digital Signature webinar to learn more


To order an APEGA professional stamp, download the order form and email it to [email protected].

If you are a Responsible Member and wish to have a physical permit to practice stamp or an electronic image of a permit to practice stamp created, you may do so through our current stamp supplier, Royal Rubber Stamp & Sign Co., by calling 1-800-272-8859.

More Information

Due to COVID-19, APEGA has changed the enforcement date of the new Authentication Practice Standard to November 1, 2020.

Learn more about how COVID-19 has affect APEGA's operations

For further details on authentication, please refer to APEGA's practice standard, Authenticating Professional Work Products.

You can find additional practice standard resources on the Practice Standards and Guidelines section. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.