Editor’s Note: The Compliance Department’s job is to enforce the right-to-practice and right-to-title provisions of the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act. The department’s focus, therefore, is on individuals and companies that are not registered — those that may be, inadvertently or otherwise, holding themselves out as professional members or practicing the professions illegally.
The Activity Report provides statistics from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31, 2008, and reflects a reconciliation of the Compliance database, as well as applications received just before or during the holiday season. Below, under the various categories, are actual examples identified as a result of the Compliance Department’s proactive efforts and member, public and anonymous complaints with supporting evidence.
Ceased using restricted title/holding out. Six individuals and eight companies were found to be using a restricted title or holding out in some other manner as entitled to practice while not licensed. Investigation by the Compliance Department confirmed that the activities were either not the practice of engineering, geology or geophysics, or the individuals were practicing under the supervision and control of a professional member.
Company determined not to be practicing forced to remove claims of “professional engineering experience” from website.
Company listing under the wrong heading of Engineers-Consulting in the Yellow Pages will be moved to a more appropriate section.
Confirmation received from a company that promotional materials will be edited to remove misleading references to engineering.
Forced name change through the Business Corporations Act — a company under investigation had to remove engineering from its corporate name — confirmed by Corporate Registries.
Business cards changed to remove Sales Engineer, after a Compliance investigation found that an individual had edited cards.
Personal registration. Twenty-two qualified but non-licensed individuals were contacted regarding a practice or title violation. As a result, the individuals have applied for personal registration with APEGGA.
Twenty-one of these individuals had recently relocated to Alberta, primarily from Ontario and Saskatchewan, and were contacted through the Compliance Department’s Out of Province Campaign.
One membership was reinstated as a result of a member complaint the Compliance Department received.
Verified not practicing. Eight individuals and 13 companies were contacted because their activities implied the practice of engineering, geology or geophysics. Websites and all other information are required to be modified to remove all implications of practice. Disclaimer letters are sent advising that if activities should change in the future to include the practice, a permit will be required.
Eight individuals contacted through Out of Province Campaign returned the signed declaration indicating they are not practicing or using designation.
Letter from director of company under investigation due to an online job board posting for a Cost Engineer confirmed that the company does not practice any of the disciplines regulated by APEGGA.
Investigation of a company arising from a member complaint determined that the company is not engaged in the practice of geology.
Permits issued/reinstated. This applies to non-permit-holding companies whose activities constitute the practice of engineering, geology or geophysics, as well as companies whose permits have lapsed or been struck while their activities have not changed. The 34 companies were contacted and have either obtained a permit to practice or submitted an application.
Company listed under Engineers-Consulting in the Yellow Pages was contacted by the Compliance Department and submitted a permit application.
Permit application received from company investigated due to listing in the Oil & Gas Index.
Consulting engineering company found in Alberta Gazette was contacted and consequently registered for a permit.
Other applies to the 46 individual files and 22 company files resolved for other reasons, such as
confirmation that an individual or company is already registered with APEGGA
clarification that a company is actually a trade name or a member operating as a sole proprietor
lack of sufficient evidence or other information available to further pursue the violation at this time
determination that one of the exemptions applies under the EGGP Act, Sections 2(1)(4), 5(1)(4) or 7(1)(4).
One investigation under this category determined that a company pursued by the Compliance Department had recently been taken over by a permit-holding corporation.
There appears to be some misinterpretation of the Compliance Department’s article The Whole Truth About Permits, published in the January 2008 PEGG.
Some readers may have understood the article to say that individuals practicing under contract for a corporation through a trade name or sole proprietorship require a permit to practice. This is not a correct interpretation.
Individuals practicing in this manner do not require a permit to practice. However, if these same individuals should decide to incorporate, they would then be considered to be practicing through their corporation and require a permit to practice — even though the member is the only employee and the client is another permit holder.
We hope this clarifies the issue. The January 2008 Compliance article can be found in its entirety on APEGGA’s website, www.apega.ca, under The PEGG Online.