Document Authentication | APEGA

Document Authentication

An authenticated professional work product (PWP) indicates that an APEGA licensed professional (LP) has completed the work and is assuming technical responsibility for the PWP. If the LP 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 LP if:

  • the PWP was prepared by the LP
  • the PWP was prepared by someone under the LP’s direct supervision and control, or
  • the PWP was thoroughly reviewed by the LP 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 LP’s stamp
  • the LP’s handwritten signature
  • the handwritten authentication date


  • an electronic image of the LP’s stamp
  • the LP’s digital signature (verifiable through a digital certificate provider meeting APEGA’s best practice) and an electronic image of the LP’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 (RM) demonstrates that a 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 an LP employed by, or working under contract of, an APEGA permit holder.

Validation Methods

A permit holder’s RM 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 RM’s full signature and membership number
  • the date the RM 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.

It is unacceptable to use scanned stamps or signatures when authenticating and validating PWPs, because their integrity can be compromised.

Stamps & Seals

To order APEGA stamps and seals, download the order form and email it to The Permit to Practice stamp is still under development and will be available in the fall of 2019.


More Information

For further details on authenticating and validating documents, please refer to APEGA’s Authenticating Professional Work Products practice standard.

You can find additional practice resources on our website.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns.