September 2006 ISSUE

Professional practice & Ethics corner

APEGGA members with professional practice or ethics questions are welcome to send them to Ray Chopiuk, P.Eng., Director, Professional Practice, APEGGA, 1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper AVE NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 4A2; fax 780-426-1877; e-mail rchopiuk@apegga.org.


Q What is the penalty for a company that has a permit to practice and produces professional documents but does not stamp them? Does APEGGA actively pursue members with regard to stamping of documents?

A There is no specific penalty that is spelled out for not meeting the stamping requirements of the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act and its regulations. If an order (or penalty) were to be assessed against someone, it would be made by the Discipline Committee after the committee had taken into account the circumstances surrounding the violation. The Discipline Committee would order whatever it felt was appropriate.

That would only happen if someone made a complaint to the Investigative Committee, which then laid a charge against the member. This would subsequently need to be decided by the Discipline Committee.
APEGGA does not proactively search for evidence of compliance with the stamping requirement but deals with specific situations as they arise. In a recent instance (see the Discipline Committee decision in the June 2006 issue of The PEGG), the Discipline Committee ordered a permit holding company to be reprimanded for failure to stamp a report and affix its permit number. The record of the decision and reprimand remain permanently in a member’s registration file.


Q Is it a breach of the Code of Ethics for an individual who is a real estate agent and a professional engineer to use the P.Eng. designation in his or her real estate ads or his or her realtor business cards?

A As long as the individual is registered with APEGGA, there is nothing in the Code of Ethics or in the act or regulations that would prevent the member from using the professional designation. Even though the individual might not be practicing engineering, he or she would still be expected to abide by the code’s rules of ethical conduct.


Q I have an engineering drawing that was submitted to me with the stamp of a registered professional technologist (engineering) applied to the drawing by means of a sticker. Isn’t a professional engineer’s stamp required on all engineering documents?

A  An individual who is registered and therefore licensed by APEGGA as an R.P.T. is entitled to independently practice engineering within the scope of practice specified in his or her certificate. In that regard, the R.P.T. stamp is as valid as a P.Eng. stamp. Using stickers is not an acceptable means of applying a stamp, however, either by R.P.T.s or professional engineers or geoscientists.
Documents may only be stamped using the stamp issued to the member by APEGGA. Of course, the document must also be signed and dated by the professional member, as outlined in the Practice Standard for Authenticating Professional Documents, which is available at www.apegga.org.