BY RON TENOVE, P.ENG.
Let me start my last PEGG column by stating how impressed
I have been by the vibrancy of our professions, after meeting
so many dedicated individuals who contribute so much to our
Association and the relevance of engineering, geology and
geophysics professionals. Here are a few personal conclusions
of the my year as APEGGA President:
- Professionals in engineering and the geosciences are increasingly
in demand, employment rates are very high and stakeholders
value our stewardship of accountability for protection of
public safety and well-being.
- Current APEGGA organization restructuring will successfully
meet our growth demands. Executive Director Neil Windsor,
P.Eng., leads an excellent team of staff and hundreds of
- Alberta teachers, school boards and students praise our
Outreach programs and commitment to encourage young minds
in the sciences.
- Our steps into advocacy (the Kyoto Protocol, for example)
are encouraging members to get informed and involved in
issues vital to the health of our communities and economy.
- Our world is changing, including the role of our professions.
We launched exploration into aspects of an inclusive licensure
to better accommodate immigration of foreign-trained engineers
and those emerging disciplines where technology will impact
- APEGGA is very active in licensure, mobility and member
development topics in Alberta -and nationally, where our
role in Canadian Council of Professional Engineers' is highly
You were well served by an exceptional elected body. Council
members are passionate about our professions.
Role of the Professions
As the public attempts to comprehend the impacts of global
security, advances in genetic engineering, climate change
and the new frontier of nanotechnology, what are we doing
to serve our governance mandate to protect public safety and
APEGGA's views and participation in these important issues
continue to be sought by educators, government and public
stakeholder groups. APEGGA members and our army of volunteers
in Outreach, working committees, boards and Council are making
a difference. As I travelled across Alberta and Canada as
your president, it was good to hear the interest and trust
our audiences have in our professions.
Health of the Professions
The Canadian Council of Professional Engineers' recent national
survey shows 97 per cent of all engineers are employed and
the demand for more engineers is increasing. Geoscientists
and engineers are increasingly enrolled in professional development
training to meet the diverse "soft skill" needs
of the workplace, the CCPE survey found.
Alberta universities currently graduate about 850 of the
2,100 professionals registered each year, necessitating that
we attract qualified people to Alberta. APEGGA registration
offices continue to be overwhelmed with the demand in Alberta
for engineers and geoscientists.
The Alberta Advantage of a strong economy and exceptional
living conditions fuels Alberta as a priority destination
for business and employment. Globally, Canada competes to
attract foreign-trained engineers and geoscientists. The federal
government has provided CCPE with funds to develop a model,
Consideration to Integration, aimed at attracting the best
professionals to live and work in Canada. APEGGA is heavily
involved in this program.
APEGGA members and the provincial government demand diligence
to ensure all qualified engineers and geoscientists are licensed
to practice. The scope of practice and right to title compliance
budget has nearly tripled in the last two years. As a result,
we are seeing more legal challenges, with the result that
our government legislators are acutely aware of the governance
challenges to the professions.
Where are we headed as professions in Alberta and in Canada?
The APEGGA Licensure Task Force is developing a discussion
paper for Council and government on the direction of licensure
of the professions.
Value of the APEGGA R.P.T.(Eng.) program is visible with
81 new APEGGA members licenced for a defined scope of practice.
Recent legislative approval to provide similar title and scope
of practice for geoscientist technologists should add notably
to recognition of the geoscience team.
APEGGA is closely monitoring actions in British Columbia
wherein APEGBC (engineers and geoscientists) and ASTTBC (technologists)
propose to merge as "one act, one association,"
and provide a seamless ladder for governance of technology
practitioners. Would this structure improve employer access
to qualified persons in a regulated practice framework for
engineers and technologists in Alberta?
More than 60 per cent of members and a higher percentage of
engineering students desire "borderless" mobility
between Canada and the United States. APEGGA is working to
reduce barriers to P.Eng. = P.E. In western states, the July
2003 Calgary meeting of Pacific Northwest Economic Region
should result in a significant mobility milestone.
For geoscientists, the need to enhance mobility provisions
within Canada is at a critical state and APEGGA is working
with the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists and
others to find solutions. Adding a Manager of Geoscience Affairs
in the Calgary APEGGA office will notably increase geoscientist
services and profile.
An APEGGA councillor defined advocacy as any activity of APEGGA
that is not strictly regulatory in nature. Our Advocacy Task
Force provided guidelines for public statements of engineers
and geoscientists on matters central to our responsibility
for protection of public safety and welfare.
APEGGA tested the waters of advocacy in 2002, writing to
the Prime Minister on the Kyoto Protocol (not expressing a
yes or no on the national debate) and challenging our members
to get informed and involved. CCPE members, government, industry
and APEGGA members acknowledged APEGGA's appropriate actions.
I joined Council to better understand and participate in those
issues that speak to the national relevance and performance
of our professions. This year has been very insightful and
rewarding as the president representing your interests.
Thank you for the privilege of working with a great team
of Council, branch chairs, staff and volunteers.