ASK THE REGISTRAR

IMPORTANT: The information contained here is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide advice or guidance to uniquely specific issues or circumstances. Members who have specific questions on any registration issues should consult with the Registrar directly.

QUESTION: We are a small mining consulting firm in the US. We need to send one of our senior geologists for a two-day site visit in Northern Ontario in the near future. Our geologist will have a NAFTA work permit, could you please advise me on what other requirements will be necessary, if any, and how to proceed?
REGISTRAR: If your senior geologist’s work during their visit to Ontario falls under Ontario’s definition of the practice of geoscience, then he/she must apply for a temporary licence to practice geoscience in Ontario. For more information on temporary membership, please visit this link https://www.PGO.net/registration/membership-types.

QUESTION: I recently changed employers and my new employer does not require me to have my professional designation. However, I am still practising geoscience in my new job. I was wondering what my options are.
REGISTRAR: Even if your employer does not require a professional designation, you do need one as long as you are practicing geoscience. However, in cases where you are not going to practice geoscience in your new role, then you have an option to become a non-practising member. In that case, you have to request a change of designation from practising to non-practising membership.

QUESTION: I am currently unemployed and don’t have the means to pay for my annual dues. What are my options to ensure I continue to be a member in good standing with PGO?
REGISTRAR: PGO extends every possible help to its members. When you receive notification for membership renewal in the Fall and you know that you will have difficulty paying for your membership dues, you have the following options:

  • Request for annual dues relief before your current membership expires. Dues relief allows you to pay only 25% of the membership fee to keep your membership in good standing. The remaining balance shall be remitted to the association upon the member’s return to active professional practice in that same membership year.
  • A member can also request for a change of designation to “non-practising” and pay a lower fee.
  • Resigning in good standing is another option if a member is not able to pay at all. You can request for reinstatement within 2 to 3 years without being required to show currency in work experience. However, such documentation will be required if you re-apply for practising membership after three years. If you request reinstatement after 5 years, you will be required to go through entire registration process, except for the PPE exam, which is good for life.

QUESTION: I have recently immigrated to Canada and I am employed full time in a multinational professional services firm in Alberta. I am registered with APEGA as a G.I.T. The reason why I did not meet the requirement as P.Geo. with APEGA was that I did not have enough Canadian experience under a Canadian supervisor. I do believe I meet this requirement now. I am considering moving to Ontario and would like to get an understanding of the process to apply for registration in Ontario.
REGISTRAR: G.I.T. registration is not transferrable among Canadian jurisdictions. However, under the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), Practising membership (P.Geo.) is transferrable from one province to another subject to application process under AIT. If you are moving to Ontario, then you can start your application for Practising membership with PGO. Otherwise, I encourage you to pursue your registration with APEGA until you get registered as a P.Geo.

QUESTION: I am a student member. Since we cannot have more than one course in each subject, are we allowed to choose both the Geology and Environmental Geoscience streams or should we only stick to one stream?
REGISTRAR: Yes, you can move between Geology and Environmental streams for section 2B of the Knowledge Requirements guide.

Follow-up question: For the Environmental Geoscience stream, are we allowed to have 3 courses for the last subgroup of “Geomorphology/Soil Science, Glacial Geology and Remote Sensing” as long as we have one course per each of these subjects? Or is it strictly 2 courses from each subgroup only? 
Registrar: No, it is strictly two courses for any sub-group.

QUESTION: I am not yet a member of PGO and am planning to eventually apply for a P.Geo. designation. I have some gaps in the minimum knowledge requirements that I need to fulfill and I’m wondering what the best route is to get this done. My colleague, who is also pursuing registration with PGO, mentioned taking technical examinations through APEGA or PEO in lieu of taking university courses to fulfill the minimum knowledge requirements. I was wondering if you could briefly explain what the difference is or if one option is better than the other (e.g. faster, more cost-effective)?
REGISTRAR: The Technical Examination option is only for applicants who have either been deferred or denied.  After having reviewed their applications, the PGO registration committee would recommend courses that they deemed will meet the knowledge requirement gap. Since you have not yet applied for registration, may I suggest that you apply for a GIT membership and know exactly what courses you need in order to fulfill the knowledge requirements.

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