April 2006 ISSUE

APEGGA Offers To Partner With ASET


In a recent presentation to government’s Standing Policy Committee on Education and Employment, APEGGA suggested partnering with ASET under a one act, two association model in the regulation of our professions. “Win-win-win means a solution which is a win for ASET, a win for APEGGA, and — most importantly — a win for the public which we serve,” said APEGGA President Larry Staples, P.Eng.

Engineers, geoscientists and technologists all work together as a team in the workplace. This is an opportunity for APEGGA and ASET to work together in regulating the practice of the professions, which include technology as an integral component.

As most members are aware, in 2005 the Alberta Society of Engineering Technologists submitted a change of name to the Corporate Registry of the Government of Alberta, the agency responsible for the Societies Act. Over the objections of APEGGA and other professional associations, approval was given for the change of name to the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta.

The acronym ASET is still being used to identify the society. APEGGA’s primary concern is the use of the words “engineering” and “professional” together in this name, which has significant potential for confusion in the minds of the public as they might think that members of ASET are licensed to provide services independently. APEGGA will continue to oppose this new name.

On Jan. 30, 2006, ASET appeared before the government’s Standing Policy Committee on Education and Employment. This important and influential body receives information and advice from Albertans and uses it to formulate policy that is reflected in the government’s legislative agenda. ASET requested a new act for all “applied science, information and engineering technologists” that would make ASET a regulator of technologists with the right to practice independently and accept responsibility for their work.

This concept also concerned other professional groups and resulted in the formation of the Pro 10 Group, consisting of APEGGA plus

  • Alberta Association of Architects

  • Alberta Institute of Agrologists

  • Alberta Land Surveyors Association

  • Alberta Society of Professional Biologists

  • Alberta Veterinary Medical Association

  • Association of the Chemical Profession of Alberta

  • Canadian Information Processing Society

  • College of Alberta Professional Foresters

  • College of Alberta Professional Forest Technologists

On March 21, the Pro 10 group and APEGGA made separate presentations to the Standing Policy Committee addressing these issues. The 10 associations jointly addressed concerns about the name change as well as the proposal to make ASET a regulator of a wide range of technologists, many of whom are already provided for under existing legislation regulating these professional groups.
APEGGA, in addressing specific concerns for the proposed legislation, rejected the concept of independent legislation and instead suggested a solution that would seek to resolve this long-standing impasse with ASET.

APEGGA’s proposal is three-part:

1) Government to reject separate legislation for technologists.
2) The Engineering, Geology and Geophysics Professions Act, which governs APEGGA, be amended to also include ASET, i.e. two Associations under the one act. ASET will have right to title and a regulatory role in relation to technologists practicing under supervision. APEGGA and ASET would jointly regulate technologists who may be qualified to practice independently, i.e. R.P.T.s
3) A government-appointed mediator would be requested to work with APEGGA and ASET to develop a mutually acceptable solution within a specific time frame.

This proposal provides

  • seamless protection  of the public interest

  • consistent standards of practice

  • consistent regulatory practices (e.g. discipline)

  • recognition of the workplace reality

  • enhanced cooperation to handle hyper-growth in the economy.

Joining with ASET as a knowledgeable partner in the regulation of our professions is in the best interests of the public, our professions and technologists.

We await government’s formal response to our proposal, however we have reason to be optimistic that government will embrace this proposal and assist both organizations in arriving at a mutual solution within a relatively short period of time.

We will provide additional information on this subject as it becomes available. Stay tuned for further developments and be sure to discuss this issue with your fellow professionals and the technologists and technicians in your workplace. See also the President’s Notebook in this issue on page 5.