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Engineers Nova Scotia Requirements


Are you aware that your co-op work terms can qualify for up to 12 months of experience towards your P.Eng designation? You need to acquire your P.Eng designation to practice as an engineer. For residents of Nova Scotia, once you graduate, you must go through the Engineer in Training program through Engineers Nova Scotia. This section has been included to provide you with a brief overview of what you must do in order to qualify. If you have questions, please contact your local provincial or territorial engineering association.

Criteria for Professional Engineering Designation

This list forms the criteria for obtaining a Professional Engineer designation.
Logo for Engineers Nova Scotia
  • Academic qualification
  • Experience
  • Language competence
  • Good character
  • Understanding of professional practice and ethics
  • Understanding of local practices and conditions

Accredited programs are automatically recognized and Dalhousie has an accredited engineering program.

Post-graduation, there is a four year experience requirement to earn your P. Eng designation in Nova Scotia. However, pre-grad experience can qualify for up to one year. Your experience does not have to be gained through co-op but it does have to be valid engineering experience.

Regarding codes and standards, these are guidelines typically determined at the provincial level. For example, if you are working in constantly frigid temperatures, there is more attention paid to structures. It is important to be aware of the environment you are working in.

All of these criteria are minimum requirements.

Experience Record Diary

Your experience must be documented. This list represents the work experience sections of the experience diary.
  • Application of theory
  • Practical experience
  • Management techniques
  • Communications
  • Social implications

During experience reviews, assessment is based on a mix of these five categories as it provides a broad exposure to engineering work. In your diaries, or experience records, it's important to demonstrate you've worked within these areas.

View completed samples in Monthly Experience Record Samples. There are also written examples on the Civil Engineering website. Use this form to ensure that you are capturing key details of your work experience.

Experience Records – What to Write

This is your tip sheet on what should formulate your experience record. Students are discouraged from writing the records based on projects. A chronological account makes it easier for the reviewers to assess your experience.
  • Prose (typed), not bullets or point form
  • First person (I did this; I did that)
  • What you did, not what the company or others did
  • Describe various tasks, projects, etc.
  • According to the five experience categories
  • One to two pages per month
  • Check written examples on the Civil Engineering website or view completed samples in Monthly Experience Record Samples.

Experience Records – What To Do

While students maintain their daily log, they typically ask "what if I'm doing the same thing?" Reviewers advise that you continue to document your experiences as they happen. Remember, you're only on a work term for 4 or 8 months so there will be some degree of repetition. Further, the use of daily logs is a good practice to develop for use in your professional life, so it's best you start now.

Your supervisor must sign your records and she or he does not have to be an engineer.

Make sure that you cover the five identified areas in the experience record. If you can't cover all five in your first experience, try to find something for your next work term to complement.

Remember while on your work term:
  • Keep a running record (e.g. daily log).
  • Get signatures (P.Eng. whenever possible).
  • Remember the five experience categories.
  • Bottom line: You want credit for pre-grad experience. Make a truthful, convincing, clear, well-written case for obtaining that credit.

Pre-Grad Experience

To obtain credit for your own pre-grad experience, check with your own province or territory association. The maximum amount you can obtain is 12 months.

  • National guideline recommends up to 12 months of required 48 months (36 months in Quebec) towards your P.Eng. designation.
  • Actual amount of pre-grad experience permitted depends on province/territory (12 months in Nova Scotia).
  • At least 50% of academic studies must have been completed.
  • Does not have to be co-op experience.

Pre-Grad and Co-op Requirements

Below is a comparison between the requirements for Engineers Nova Scotia and the Co-op Program at Dalhousie University. Both have similarities but the assessment is made differently. Co-op relies more on the work term report and Engineers Nova Scotia relies on the experience records. Three requirements for co-op must be fulfilled in order to pass the work term: your monthly experience records, a work term report and a satisfactory or above performance appraisal.

PRE-GRAD (Engineers Nova Scotia) CO-OP (Dalhousie University)
  • Experience Record (Diary)
  • Supervisor's Report
  • Experience Record (Diary)
  • Work Term Report
  • Performance Appraisal

Below is the evaluation comparison between Engineers Nova Scotia and the Co-op Program at Dalhousie University. The difference lies in who assesses your work and when you receive credit. You are not eligible to apply for the Engineering In Training (EIT) until after graduation. Co-op is assessed as you move through.

PRE-GRAD (Engineers Nova Scotia) CO-OP (Dalhousie University)
  • Apply for pre-grad credit as an EIT (i.e. after graduation)
  • Assessment is done by a mentor
  • Receive credit as you go through the program
  • Assessment is done by a member of the Faculty of Engineering


Keep in mind, if you have questions please ask. Ask the Co-op Office, your faculty or Engineers Nova Scotia. Again, there are written examples on the Civil Engineering website so take a look for some guidance on the content. Don't forget to keep a copy for your records before you submit them to your department for review.