Before being granted registration as a professional member or licensee, an applicant must pass the Professional Practice and Ethics Examination. The exam is 3.5 hours in length and consists of a 2.5 hour 120 question multiple-choice section and a 60-minute essay question. The examination tests an applicant’s knowledge of ethics, professional practice, business law, professional liability and responsibility to the public (see Scope and Syllabus).

To be eligible to write the Professional Practice and Ethics Examination, an applicant must have an active application for Professional Membership/Limited Licensure or be enrolled as a Geoscientist-in-Training and have submitted a change of designation request.

An applicant does not have to take the Professional Practice and Ethics Examination if:

  • They are applying for registration/licence under the Inter-Association Mobility Agreement and are a professional geoscientists in good standing with another Canadian association/ordre; or
  • They have previously passed a professional practice examination for an Engineers Canada or Geoscientist Canada constituent association/ordre;

The examination is graded as a “pass” or “fail”. Applicants who fail will receive a report showing their performance in each category of the syllabus. There is no penalty for wrong answers. The grade is final.

The pass mark is 65%. Pass marks may be slightly adjusted for individual sessions based on valid psychometric factors designed to ensure that over time, and among groups of applicants, pass-fail decisions are made on a consistent basis.

NEW Computer-Based National Professional Practice and Ethics Exam

Starting October 19, 2015 the PPE Examination will be computer-based. APEGA has secured the services of Yardstick to administer the online PPE exam in secure testing locations across Canada. Yardstick maintains a large test centre network with hundreds of locations across Canada. The benefits of this improvement to the applicants include the following:

  • More timeslots to choose from;
  • Multiple testing centre locations across Canada; and
  • Faster processing of exam results – from 6 weeks to 2-3 weeks.

Now Available! NPPE Online Practice Test

Several practice tests are available to help you prepare for the NPPE. Practice test questions are ones used on previous NPP exams. The practice test gives you detailed feedback showing you your areas of strength and weakness in terms of learning. To best use the practice tests, we recommend that you take one early in your studying process and then later to determine which areas you still need to focus on.

The practice test site also sells an NPPE preparation package, which includes the two textbooks and access to a 100-question practice test at a discounted price.  ORDER PRACTICE TESTS     ORDER AN NPPE PREPARATION PACKAGE 

Do I qualify to write the exam?

An applicant is qualified to write the examination if they are a current G.I.T. member of PGO and have submitted a change of designation request, or if they have submitted a completed application for Professional or Limited membership to PGO.


All PPE exam testing centres are closed, but exams are going ahead as planned using a virtual proctoring system. All candidates that have registered for the exam will be contacted directly by APEGA/Yardstick with instructions. Any candidate registered for the April exam who wishes to postpone the exam to the June sitting, can do so at no further cost. Yardstick is recommending that any candidates preparing for the June exam should be prepared to take the exam using the virtual proctoring system, since there is no guarantee when the testing centres will re-open.

While PGO continues the closure of the physical office until further notice, staff are processing applications at the usual timeline. We strive to respond to queries in a timely manner and continue to provide guidance on registration process when needed. For assistance, please contact PGO at

What are the exam dates?

The schedule for upcoming PPE examinations is as follows:

Exam Date

Deadline to Apply

April 6-8, 2020

February 28, 2020

June 8-10, 2020

May 1, 2020

September 14-16, 2020

July 17, 2020

November 23-25, 2020

October 9, 2020

How can I apply to write the exam?

The form, Application to Write the Professional Practice and Ethics Examination, must be used when applying. The completed application must accompany the fee of $262.50 (G.S.T. included) and must be received by THE DEADLINE TO APPLY DATE.


Yardstick will be booking the applicants in based on their preferred location, date, and time. All candidates will receive an email from Yardstick confirming their booking which outlines the date, time, and location that they will be taking the NPPE. This is the booking confirmation email. Applicants are requested to print off the confirmation email and to bring it with them to the testing centre on exam day along with a piece of government-issued photo ID.

  • Click here to view the Virtual Proctoring Guidelines (Please return signed Virtual Proctor form directly to APEGA with your PPE application).
  • Click here to view the full PPE Candidate Guide.
  • Click here to view PPE Testing Centres.

How many times can I write this exam?

An applicant can write the PPE examination three times. Please note that for each time an applicant writes, they have to submit the examination fee. Membership and registration may not be granted for those who fail to pass the Professional Practice and Ethics Examination on this third attempt.

What do I need to study?

The recommended study material has been divided into two categories. Apart from the textbooks, other suggested study material may be downloaded from the websites provided.

1. Recommended Texts and Related Acts/Regulations:

Canadian Professional Engineering and Geoscience: Practice and Ethics: Sixth Edition (2018) – Gordon C. Andrews;

Practical Law of Architecture, Engineering and Geoscience, Second Canadian Edition (2010) – Brian M. Samuels and Doug R. Sanders;

The Professional Geoscientists Act, Bylaws and Code of Ethics;

Acts and Regulations governing major areas of geoscience practice in Ontario;

Industry Canada Booklet – A Guide to Patents;

Industry Canada Booklet – A Guide to Trade Marks;

Industry Canada Booklet – A Guide to Industrial Design;

Industry Canada Booklet – A Guide to Copyrights;

The Canada Labour Code;

Quick Guide to the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Act;

Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act.

2. Additional References:

Additional useful reference material is posted on many of the other professional engineering and geoscience association websites. Two such examples on the APEGA website are:

Each question, except for the essay question, is multiple-choice with four possible answers. Old examinations are not available, however, sample test questions are provided (Review sample PPE exam questions). 

Other Study Aids:

A number of independent companies, colleges and universities in Ontario offer seminars and workshops that prepare candidates for PPE exams. Most of the seminars and workshops available at present are more tailored for the PPE exam set by Professional Engineers of Ontario for those who are in the process of registering as a P.Eng. However, as the PGO PPE exam is based on the National Professional Practice Examination, much of the material covered in these seminars would be directly relevant. Also in a number of locations in Ontario, groups of members of PGO are independently approaching course providers to arrange workshops or are organizing local study groups.

The current listing of courses, workshops and additional references on this website have not been approved or sanctioned in any way by PGO, but are provided as a service to interested PPE exam applicants.

Applicants requiring assistance preparing for their Professional Practice Exam (PPE) may seek additional resources on the Internet using their preferred search engine.

Suggested search term: Professional Practice Exam

There are also Law and Ethics Education CDs that can be purchased from APEGBC.