Persons wishing to practice cadastral (legal boundary) surveying in Ontario must hold a licence issued by the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors. Professional memberships, called Certificates of Registration, in the fields of Geodesy, Photogrammetry, Hydrography and Geographic Information Management are also available but are not mandatory.

Academic Requirements

Professional membership in the Association requires completion of a baccalaureate-level program in professional surveying (often referred to as Geomatics), approved by the Association’s Academic and Experience Requirements Committee (AERC), or a course that is in the opinion of the AERC equal in content and level of difficulty, or experience and knowledge that provides equivalent competencies to such an academic program.

This is followed by a term of articles of up to 1-1/2 years during which applicants work for an Ontario Land Surveyor to gain practical experience. A professional entrance examination must be successfully completed at the end of articles.

Once becoming a member, a surveyor must continue a course of continuing professional development.  Within every three years a surveyor must:

  1. Complete at least 36 hours of continuing education courses relating to the practice of professional surveying that are offered by the Association or approved by the Council
  2. Participate in at least 66 hours of professional activities that support the profession of professional surveying, that are approved by the Council and that may include:
  1. Attendance at Association meetings or meetings of Association committees or other professional organizations
  2. Participation in Association committees or other related professional organizations
  3. Publication of works relating to the profession or presentations of papers relating to the profession, and,
  4. Independent learning and self-study activities.

If you are considering becoming an Ontario Land Surveyor or want additional information regarding academic standards see the page "Become an OLS".