1.1 Professional Development in a Changing Professional Context

In today's competitive and changing environment, it is increasingly important for professionals to engage in lifelong learning and to continue demonstrating their achievements. That is why, in 1996, APEGGA Council established a mandatory continuing professional development program.
The rate of technological change continues to increase, directly affecting the practice of engineering, geology and geophysics. In most practice areas, individuals who do not continuously improve their skills will soon be out of date. At the same time, society's expectations of professionals have changed. It is no longer enough to establish competence at the beginning of a career. As reflected in government policies on the governance of professions, the public expects professionals to continue demonstrating their competence.
The workplace is also changing. Many members are no longer under a corporate umbrella, which traditionally provided opportunities for training. In APEGGA's 1995 study on structural changes and professional practice, lack of time or resources for training and continuing education was the second highest area of concern; 75% of members surveyed suggested that APEGGA should play a role in developing and issuing guidelines on training and continuing education.
The trend to mandatory continuing professional development is common to many professions. In most provinces the engineering and geoscience regulatory organizations are moving towards mandatory requirements. An increasing number of licensing boards in the United States have introduced mandatory requirements. A similar trend is occurring in Europe. Individuals in jurisdictions that do not implement programs will soon find it more difficult to work in other parts of the world. To address this changing professional context, the Association has developed this program for continuing professional development.

1.2 Establishing Benchmarks for Professional Development

This program establishes a minimum benchmark for members' investment in their professional development. The majority of APEGGA members already undertake a greater level of effort than the minimum requirements set out in this guideline. Indeed, the minimum requirements may not be adequate in many circumstances. It is up to you, and perhaps your employer, to assess your professional development needs using this guideline as a minimum requirement.
The guideline provides a great deal of flexibility for members to undertake activities that provide the greatest benefit to them in the practice of their profession. The program itself is simple and requires a minimal amount of effort to set up and record. Members who have retired or left the practice of the profession of engineering, geology or geophysics can elect to be exempt from this program and will be able to maintain their status as non-practicing members of the Association. They will, however, be subject to some scrutiny if they wish to revert to practicing status.

1.3 Setting Up a Program

Within the parameters in this guideline, the structure and content of your program is up to you. To set up a program, you will
  • describe your individual scope of practice
  • determine what skills you need to carry out your current or future responsibilities
  • establish a plan to develop, maintain or improve those skills
  • keep a record of your professional development activities

You should retain records of your activities for three years. You will not normally have to submit your program or records to the Association. However, a small percentage of members will be audited each year to ensure that their programs are being maintained and the program is being implemented effectively.