SCOPE OF PRACTICE DISCUSSIONS PAPER
January 31, 1996
adopted the terms 'Defined Scope of Practice'
Specified Scope of Practice Task Force established by The Association
of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta
(APEGGA) is actively exploring the concept of providing for a
Specified Scope of Practice category of licensure within the
Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act (EGGP
Act). As a result of deliberations to date, the task force considers
that the concept has merit and should be examined in more detail.
This evolution of a form of licensure is seen to be consistent
with a guideline produced by the Canadian Council of Professional
Engineers in 1992. APEGGA Council has reviewed and endorses the
task force conclusions. This discussion paper has been prepared
to provide background information and to seek stakeholder feedback.
individuals with the requisite years of relevant experience may
be granted full professional membership status provided that:
have acquired a degree in engineering, geology or geophysics
from an accredited university, or
have passed examinations assessed by the Board of Examiners
to confirm or to supplement their academic status.
is recognized that self governance is a privilege delegated
to a profession only when the public interest is best served
by doing so. Important parts of "public interest" are
the standards of professional service, environmental stewardship,
and the safety of those exposed directly or indirectly to
the work of self-governing professionals
task force acknowledges that there are some individuals who
do not have the credentials required for full professional
membership but who, by virtue of their post-secondary education,
combined with a number of years of relevant experience, could
be allowed to practice within a specified scope of engineering,
geology or geophysics, and to accept responsibility for such
practice without posing a threat to public interest. Such
individuals include scientists as well as technologists.
They also include some of those with offshore degrees whose
academic training is not considered broad enough for full
professional registration. Some become discouraged at the
prospect of having to write several examinations and may
drop out of the professional workforce altogether. Introduction
of a Specified Scope of Practice category of licensure for
suitably qualified applicants will be a responsible way of
recognizing the competence of these individuals.
proposed Specified Scope of Practice category of licensure
will enable individuals who currently do not have the
credentials required for professional membership, but who do
acceptable combination of academic training and experience,
to undertake and to accept responsibility for specified
activities that fall within the practice of engineering, geology
geophysics as defined by the EGGP Act. Public safety
will be assured by requiring that the new category of practitioner
be subject to the same Code of Ethics, practice reviews,
discipline, and continuing competency requirements
to full professional members.
SPECIFIED SCOPE OF PRACTICE
is not a new concept. It is addressed in national guidelines
issued by the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE)
Professional Engineers of Ontario included a provision for
issuing limited licenses in their 1984 Act revisions. It
is quite restrictive and a small number of limited licenses
have been granted.
Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of
BC (APEGBC) incorporated provisions for limited licensure
in their Act changes of 1993 and Bylaw revisions of 1994.
Draft guidelines for registration dated April 20, 1995 provide
a definition of limited licensure as follows:
Limited License is intended to recognize and to formalize
the fact that certain individuals, whose academic background
or experience is not sufficient for them to become registered
as full Professional Engineers or Professional Geoscientists
in British Columbia, can be permitted to carry out certain
specific functions, normally within the definition of the
practices of professional engineering or professional geoscience
and to do so independently and without the supervision of
a Professional Engineer or a Professional Geoscientist. It
is an official authorization granted to an individual who
is deemed qualified to engage in the practice of professional
engineering or professional geoscience within a specifically
and strictly limited scope of work."
Alberta, if a Specified Scope of Practice category of licensure
is to be adopted, registration criteria will take into account
discussions and feedback from stakeholders. In general, however,
it is anticipated that some or all of the following will
as a new category of licensure within EGGP Act and Regulations;
specified scope for each candidate will be defined and
described in terms of a specialized function or activity;
will have acquired a minimum number of years of experience
in their specified scope of practice;
experience and education credentials will be evaluated
by APEGGA's Board of Examiners;
new category of practitioner will be subject to the same
Code of Ethics, practice review, discipline, and continuing
competency requirements as apply to current members;
new category will be provided with a restricted title and
stamp or seal..
is recognized that introduction of a Specified Scope of Practice
category of licensure will be viewed in different ways by different
stakeholders. Before proceeding further, the task force wishes
to hear and consider the questions, concerns and support that
individuals or groups are prepared to offer.
is a summary of some of the impacts that may be expected.
intent of the Specified Scope of Practice category of licensure
will be to enable technologists, scientists, and others who
are suitably qualified, to practice in a specified area of
engineering, geology or geophysics, independently and to
assume full responsibility for their work.
and physical scientists currently practice in their area
of science with no impact from the EGGP Act and Regulations.
The licensure discussed in this document will not change
scientists and others are currently able to practice in areas
defined by the EGGP Act as engineering, geology and geophysics,
provided that a professional member supervises and takes
responsibility for such practice. The licensure discussed
in this document will not change this fact.
interests and safety will not be compromised by the introduction
of a Specified Scope of Practice category of licensure.
candidates will be recommended for licensure by full professionals
and will be screened for acceptance by other professionals.
They will continue to practice in their demonstrated, specialized
skill area. They will be able to accept full responsibility
for their work and will be governed by APEGGA's Code of Ethics,
practice review, discipline process and requirement for continuing
the public relies on a professional member's adherence to
APEGGA's Code of Ethics and trusts that they do restrict
their practice to those areas where they have acquired appropriate
training and experience. This will also be the case for an
individual provided with a Specified Scope of Practice category
Existing Professional Members
applicants for a Specified Scope of Practice category
of licensure (or membership) will continue to
work within the
specified area of expertise in which they were engaged
prior to being accepted. Introduction of a Specified
Scope of Practice
will not, however, increase the number of individuals
practicing within the professions of engineering,
geology or geophysics.
are now being made to contact and to solicit feedback from all
identified stakeholders. These efforts will include discussion
forums, telephone calls, letters and the provision of information
to relevant professional and technical publications.