PD22: Professionalism and Ethics in Engineering Practice

PD22: Professionalism and Ethics in Engineering Practice helps students prepare for the Professional Practice Exam (PPE), a requirement for students who want to become professional engineers in the province of Ontario. The profession of engineering is defined by legal and ethical obligations, and engineers need to understand the regulations and principles governing their work to effectively serve the public. Students who take PD22 become acquainted with the philosophy, law, and contemporary issues underpinning engineering practice.

What do PD22 students do?

  • Review the philosophical and legal concepts that frame professional engineering in Canada
  • Work through real-world case studies covering topics like environmental ethics and health and safety
  • Write a capstone essay mirroring the essay questions asked during the PPE

If you've completed PD22 and want to feature the course on your résumé, you're welcome to use and adapt the following bullet points in a "Professional Development" or "Relevant Courses" section:

  • Developed an understanding of engineering as a self-regulated practice through knowledge of the Professional Engineers Act, Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO), and Ontario Regulation 941
  • Gained working knowledge of the PEO Code of Ethics and how it guides best practice for professional engineers
  • Applied cradle-to-grave analysis to engineering products to determine their potential societal and environmental impact
  • Learned key ideas from Occupational Health and Safety (OHSA) regulations and duties, including the obligations of individuals and companies to mitigate project risks

How are PD22 students graded?

PD22 students complete a series of assessments, case studies, and a capstone essay over the course of the term. To pass the course, students must earn an overall grade of 50% or higher.

If you have a question about grading in PD22, contact the course team using the information in the sidebar.


PD22’s instructor is Douglas Harder, a lecturer in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo.


PD22 is offered every term.

Enrolment information

PD22 is an elective PD course for co-op students in all faculties. Students must enrol themselves in the course using Quest.

Contact information

Course team: pd22@uwaterloo.ca

ISC: Murray Zink mrzink@uwaterloo.ca