Al Schuld, P.Eng., Director, Registration
The Registration Department is responsible for the processing of new applications, reactivation of old applications and the maintenance of existing memberships and permits. Nineteen ninety-five saw a 22 per cent increase in applications received due primarily to the increase in experience requirements to four years to be implemented in 1996. Approvals had not caught up with the applications at year end. In total, APEGGA membership rose 2.5 per cent to 28,069. Life Members continue to grow, although at a reduced rate from the previous four years. Professional Members and Licensees grew by 1.5 per cent. M.I.T.s grew at the rate of 9.8 per cent, continuing the trend started in 1994. Examination Candidates and Students again dropped in numbers but appear to be levelling off.
Board of Examiners
The Board of Examiners' purpose is to ensure that individuals approved for registration meet the standards for admission as defined in the Act and the Regulations. An applicant's academic background and experience are the Board's primary focus but character, English-language competence and knowledge of professional law and ethics are other qualifications that must be met. To this end, the Board's Executive Committee met 11 times to consider 2,305 individual applications. The entire Board met twice to consider policy issues, examination results and three appeals of decisions of the Executive Committee.
The Board approved improvements to the Interprovincial Mobility Agreement that had been suggested by APEGGA at the time of the initial signing of the agreement. The Board reviewed the NAFTA as being acceptable without reservations, although further review is ongoing by the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE). Revisions to the existing application form and a new form for engineers registered elsewhere in Canada and the U.S.A. were approved.
Improvements were implemented in the examination system to keep examiners better aware of the Board's objectives, to ensure texts are available and to increase the consistency between examinations. A new set of examination exemptions for NAIT and SAIT graduates was approved.
The Board approved the awarding of up to six months credit for summer, co-op or intern work prior to the completion of a degree for those applicants who are subject to the four-year experience requirement. A plan for the implementation of the four-year experience requirement in January 1996 was approved. Concerns from the spring 1996 co-op graduates were reviewed but no changes were made to the plan. A review of the Structured M.I.T. Program was initiated with an interim report presented. The significant points presented to date include a re-emphasis of the need for professional supervision, the need for a mid-term review, the need for something to replace professional development seminars, and a de-emphasis on mentoring and logbooks.
Good Character Qualifications
The Board agreed to improve its ability to evaluate applicants in this area by defining good character and approving a series of questions to be answered on the application forms. Further work is necessary on the process and the principles for making decisions.
Knowledge of Professional Law and Ethics
The Board continues to refine the topics covered, the resource material and the effectiveness of the questions asked on the examination.
Permits to Practice
Corporations, partnerships and other like entities that are engaged in the practice of engineering, geology and geophysics are registered by APEGGA with the issuance of a Permit to Practice. There has been a net increase of 4.9 per cent in the number of active permits over 1994. This continues to be due to the increased creation of corporations by members who have been affected by downsizing.