Editor’s Note: The following
statistics track this year’s APEGGA Compliance Department
activity from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30. The department’s job
is to enforce the right-to-practice and right-to-title provisions
of the EGGP Act Part 1. The Compliance Department’s
focus, therefore, is on individuals and companies that are
not members — those which may be, inadvertently or otherwise,
holding themselves out as members or practicing the professions
|Active files as of January 1, 2004
|Files opened during period
|Files Resolved for Individuals
| Ceased using restricted title
| Personal registration
| Verified not practicing
| Files Resolved for Companies
| Permits issued or reinstated
| Ceased using restricted title/violating
| Verified not practicing
|Active Files at Sept 30, 2004
*Note: Compliance files not mentioned above were resolved
for various other reasons, such as confirmation that an individual
or company is already registered with APEGGA, verification
that an individual contacted is not living or working in Alberta,
and clarification that a company is actually a trade name
of a member etc.
In previous Compliance Department columns, we reported on
our activities pertaining to the permit to practice. This
time, we would like to update you on the Compliance Department’s
activities and progress relating to title violations, in particular,
use of the word “engineer” in the title “Microsoft
Certified Systems Engineer” (MCSE).
This is a Microsoft program in which that title is bestowed
by Microsoft upon the program’s graduates.
Although the activity of the graduates is not considered
to be the practice of engineering, use of the word “engineer”
in the title is misleading to the public and is in violation
of the EGGP Act, Section 3(1), as it implies that the individuals
are professional engineers.
In and around the year 2000, there was a proliferation of
the use of “engineer” in the Microsoft title.
The Compliance Department conducted a survey and determined
that there were approximately 90 learning institutions offering
the MCSE program in Alberta. In conducting the survey, it
was concluded that an awareness program was required as most
of these institutions did not know of APEGGA and its responsibilities
under the EGGP Act. As a result, a focused action plan was
developed and put in place to contact each institution.
Information sessions were organized in 2000. These were held
over breakfast and lunch in both Calgary and Edmonton. Invitations
were extended to the decision makers from all of the institutions
offering the MCSE program.
The objective was to introduce and develop an appreciation
for APEGGA and its regulatory responsibilities. An overview
of APEGGA was presented at each session, in which the major
focus was on the exclusive use of the word engineer.
Grads At Risk
We emphasized that the graduates of the programs, and not
the institutions, are subject to legal action. By including
the word engineer in the MCSE title, the various institutions
are creating potentially embarrassing situations for their
graduates and making them vulnerable to prosecution under
the EGGP Act.
Quite a few of the institutions were not familiar with APEGGA,
and after attending the information sessions immediately agreed
to comply. Others were more reluctant, primarily due to their
relationship with Microsoft.
After the completion of the information sessions, the Compliance
Department continued with ongoing follow-up, as well as monitoring
of advertisements, websites and promotional literature. As
a result, more institutions are gradually complying with the
EGGP Act and the results are encouraging.
The recent success by Ordre des Ingenieurs du Quebec in
its prosecution of Microsoft Canada has also contributed to
this increased compliance. We are now finding a distinct decline
in the use of the word “engineer” in the MCSE
Many institutions are simply using the acronym without any
reference to the word “engineer.” Others have
replaced “engineer” with “expert”.
By removing or replacing the word “engineer” with
a more appropriate word, learning facilities are not prevented
from offering or advertising the course or other similar courses
in this province.
Recently we received some additional encouraging news, relating
to two large institutions that had been reluctant to modify
their program advertising. In addition to using “engineer”
in the MCSE and other unaccredited engineering programs, they
were also using the word “engineer” in the titles
of future employment opportunities for their graduates.
After continued contact, and in one case a face-to-face
meeting with senior management, these two institutions have
now modified their respective websites to replace the word
We’ve also taken note that one large Edmonton college
was advertising the MCSE program on a large sign outside one
of its building as “Microsoft Certified Systems Expert.”
In addition to maintaining contact with the various educational
institutions, several meetings were held by the Compliance
Department during the early stages of this focused program
with senior managers in Alberta Learning. They were very supportive
and actually drafted a notice to be sent to the educational
institutions. The notice describes the potential legal concerns.
The Compliance Department continues to monitor websites,
newspaper advertisements and other sources for title and practice
violations, but we also rely on our members and members of
the public to report violations to APEGGA.
If you become aware of any such violations, please contact
If you suspect a non-member
or non-permitted company of
operating in contravention of the
EGGP Act, contact
Toll-free 1-800-661-7020, Ext. 2325
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Q. Where is it stated in the EGGP Act that
an individual must be a member of APEGGA to use the title
A. Information outlining the restriction
of the title “engineer” by non-members can be
found in Section 3(1) of the EGGP Act. It states the following:
Exclusive use of name engineer
3(1) No individual, corporation, partnership or other entity,
except a professional engineer, licensee or permit holder
entitled to engage in the practice of engineering, shall
(i) the title “professional engineer”, the abbreviation
“P. Eng.” or any other abbreviation of that title,
(ii) the word “engineer” in combination with any
other name, title, description, letter, symbol or abbreviation
that represents expressly or by implication that the individual,
corporation, partnership or other entity is a professional
engineer, licensee or permit holder,
(b) represent or hold out, expressly or by implication,
that the individual, corporation, partnership or other entity
(i) is entitled to engage in the practice of engineering,
(ii) is a professional engineer, licensee or permit holder.