Professional Geoscientist certification (PGO)

Ontario requires all professional geoscientists in the province to be licensed with the designation “Professional Geoscientist” (abbreviated P.Geo.) as stated under the Ontario Professional Geoscientists Act of 2000. This professional designation can be transferred to other provinces across Canada.

Steps to obtain your P.Geo. in Ontario

1. Complete the required academic courses

We have developed a PGO academic requirement guide  that allows you to select your program to view PGO requirements and the Waterloo course equivalents you will take throughout your degree.

2. Check your courses with PGO

The Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (PGO) is the licensing and regulatory body responsible for ensuring that geoscientists have the qualifications and professional ethics to practice their profession. The PGO website outlines the requirements for becoming a Professional Geoscientist. Please note that co-op students participating in geoscience work may use some of their work terms to satisfy PGO’s professional experience requirements. This decision is made by the PGO.

3. Write professional practice and ethics exam

Immediately upon graduation, students are encouraged to write the professional practice and ethics exam, after which they become part of the PGO mentorship program and qualify for the designation Geoscientist-in-training.

4. Work experince and references

An applicant for registration as a professional geoscientist is required to demonstrate at least 4 years (48 months cumulative) of verifiable and acceptable work experience. For more information on what type of work is needed please see the PGO work experince website. In addtion, an applicant must supply three selected referees with the Membership Reference Form to verify the content of an applicant’s work experience. To read more about who can be a reference please see APGO references website.

More information

We usually have at least one information session on professional accreditation during the regular academic year. Although we can assist with designing a program to meet the PGO requirements we can not guarantee that you will qualify, you must do your own due diligence using the tools and resources provided by the PGO.

For more information, please visit the PGO websiteThe Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists (CCPG)the national council that regulates the geosciences profession in each of the jurisdictions in Canada, can help you transfer your license to another province or territory should you move outside of Ontario.