Apegga1c.gif (2007 bytes) The PEGG
May, 1999
Page 6 Darrel Danyluk: In Discussion

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Annual Conference

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APEGGA President Darrel Danyluk, P.Eng., seen right signing Oath of Office at the Annual General Meeting.) offers some views on the presidency, the professions and the Association he now leads.

Q      During the course of your APEGGA presidency, we will pass from the 20th to the 21st century. Do you have any special thoughts in terms of what this means to you personally or for the Association?

A Entrance into the millennium is viewed by many as a significant time. It can be viewed as an end or as a beginning. The fact that this presidency was going to include the change into a new millennium, was a factor in my decision to let my name stand for the position of President of APEGGA. The fact that this time is viewed as being significant by many, provides an opportunity for us to use it as a springboard into the future, or, if we look back, as a testament to the past. In today’s reality, our professions, using an evolving knowledge base, have conceived, designed and built the infrastructure that supported the many changes that have occurred in the last century. As the growth of the knowledge of scientific principles and related experience translate to application of knowledge, the opportunities for the professions are tremendous. In looking at Alberta’s development since 1905 the mega infrastructure systems developed to enhance our quality of life, I see the efforts of our professions and a very positive legacy. In looking forward, the millennium offers the starting point to a positive future. Equipped with broader knowledge, ever-increasing experience, unsurpassed tools and the significant challenges (environmental and economic) we face, our professions are positioned to meet and to exceed society’s expectations. I also believe that we’ll have fun doing it as well.

Is Y2K significant? Look at its economic impact. Millions are being spent to change a two-digit field into a four-digit field. Is there value being added to society by all this activity? The lesson learned from the activity going on to solve the Y2K bug isn’t very much different from the ones our engineers are reminded of each time they look at their Iron Ring. What will happen on Jan. 1, 2000? What will the repercussions be? I don’t know.

Q Do you anticipate APEGGA marking the transition
to the new millennium in any special way?

A Council has struck a committee to deal with this topic. It would be a shame to pass an opportunity to mark the date in some special way, and I believe that over the course of the next several months a millennium project should come to light.

Q Have you established any priorities for the coming year?

A I would like to answer that in two ways. As President of APEGGA, I chair the Executive Committee and the Council meetings. I am the direct link between our Executive Director and our elected Council. The direction of APEGGA and the issues requiring Council attention are determined by Council.

Council will be dealing with five strategic issues that face APEGGA in the coming year. Better solutions come from teamwork.

One issue I believe we must address is in the area of communication. I’m seeing requests from our membership to be better informed on the role of APEGGA, the activities of APEGGA, and where we are going in the future. I believe we can achieve improved communication by providing mechanisms for exchange and public forums with our membership—coupled with President’s Branch visits—where we can get questions and answers to the various concerns or interests of the membership. The results of these forums could then be published in The PEGG or perhaps on the APEGGA website to achieve broader exposure.

Q A few years ago, you were actively involved in a major study on human resources issues as they affected the consulting sector. Do you anticipate bringing any insight you gained from that process to your role as APEGGA President?

A The study, "From Potential Toward Prosperity" was completed in 1994. It was sponsored by ACEC (Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada) and partially funded by HRDC (Human Resources Development Canada). Its purpose was to assess the HR requirements for the industry to ensure that it remains healthy and is positioned for growth. The study looked at large and small firms. Through a series of surveys, round tables and workshops, it received input from the industry’s CEOs, HR managers, client groups, educators (deans of engineering), students and the industry’s employees.

It was determined that a need existed to enhance training in the area of the "soft skills". Interpersonal skills and a wide range of leadership, business management and project management skills were identified as critical to success.

The study’s recommendations included creating an awareness that generates an industry-wide commitment to HR development, establishing a team approach—including the industry, the professions and the educators—to solving the issues, developing national standards for continuing education, and developing leadership and management.

Q APEGGA’s mandatory Continuing Professional
Development Program now is in place and requires Association members to report on a regular basis about their professional development activities. What are your thoughts on the program and the way it is proceeding?

A Over this last year, I’ve been party to the results of the compliance of APEGGA members and I’m pleased that more and more members are seeing the benefit of continuing professional development and the fact that they are reporting it is also important.

The ACEC/HRDC study concluded that continuing education is vital for continuing competence and I am pleased that APEGGA has taken a lead role. I have assessed what I have achieved and attained as the result of being a professional, of what it takes to maintain my professional status and the successful career that it has allowed me to develop, and what I would feel like if I lost it. It is easy to conclude that professionalism is a privilege, and that I owe it to myself, to our society and to the government that granted the right of self-governance to APEGGA to maintain my level of proficiency. I am now a very strong supporter of the Continuing Professional Development Program.

Q Your career in the consulting sector no doubt has made you aware of the global dimension of the engineering and geoscience professions. Do you see any particular ways in which APEGGA should adapt to those realities?

A I’ve been fortunate to have my career spread to
countries around the world and I’ve been able to see the opportunities that are out there for engineers, geologists and geophysicists. The needs for infrastructure are great and this creates limitless opportunities for our members. This provides a tremendous opportunity for Alberta to export the knowledge of our 31,000 members. Exporting knowledge is not really exporting knowledge; because with each offshore project we increase the knowledge base, and we get paid to increase it. Really we import foreign capital. In the short term, I think APEGGA needs to finalize the inter-provincial mobility agreement, cut the red tape on approval of members who have been approved in other jurisdictions—such as the member associations of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE). This applies for ones in the U.S. as well. I’d like to see us build alliances where we can facilitate getting our members into the U.S.

Q During the past year, the Alberta Government has
taken steps opening the way for a Defined Scope of Practice for suitably qualified Registered Engineering Technologists. APEGGA’s Annual General Meeting considered bylaw changes to establish an APEGGA membership category of Registered Professional Technologists. How do you view these developments and what are its possible implications for future relations between APEGGA and ASET?

A I viewed and followed the ASET/APEGGA relationship issue with great interest over the years. It was an issue when I was on Council in 1981-84 and it has taken us 15 years to come to a resolution. I believe the resolution is an adequate one that meets the needs of our profession and meets the recognition needs of qualified technologists. With regard to the relationship between APEGGA and ASET, I’ve always believed that the engineering team is a team. In the delivery of any of the projects and services in this province and abroad it takes many skill levels.

Q While you were president of the Consulting
Engineers of Alberta, APEGGA and CEA signed a Memorandum of Understanding defining their respective areas of jurisdiction. How well has this MOU worked and could it serve as a model for APEGGA in its dealings with other sectors?

A I believe that the principle of an MOU should be used
in building or clarifying a relationship between entities. At the time of my presidency in CEA, there was a lot of mistrust between APEGGA and CEA. Members of both were engineers, and it didn’t make sense to have ongoing internal conflict. President Noel Cleland of APEGGA and I got together and basically said exactly that—that it didn’t make sense for there to be conflict, and that there were areas that the consulting industry had a lead role to play and definitely, through legislation, APEGGA had a role to play.

Q     Is it possible to translate it into any other areas?

A     The model can be used effectively where there is a
desire by the two parties to clarify positions in an atmosphere of respect, trust and goodwill. It should be considered in other areas.

  APEGGA has a task force examining the issue of participation by geoscientists and their comfort level within the Association. What level of importance do you place on the work of this task force?

A            I place a very high level of importance to the task force’s approach to this. I’ve been very impressed with the work that has been done by the task force to date. By going to the grassroots, gathering and understanding the views and perspectives of the geoscientists, and bringing that information into the task force process sound recommendations will result. When I was on Council in the 80s, this issue of relevance to the geoscientists was around then. It’s time we dealt with it.

I believe that through the task force process and its efforts we’ll take a significant step forward in addressing the concerns of geoscientists.

Q  There are moves afoot stemming from recent investigations by the Ontario Securities Commission and the Toronto Stock Exchange which would see greater reliance on what are termed "Qualified Persons" in making public statements on resource developments – such as ore bodies? How do you see this fitting in with initiatives to expand registration of professional geoscientists across the country?

A I understand that there has been a significant surge in the registrations of geoscientists in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where geoscientists can be grandfathered into registration. This is seen as a direct result of the requirements of the Ontario Securities Commission. I believe that as the geoscientists recognize that being a member of a profession is a requirement for them to carry out their duties, such as reporting on security issues, that we will see an increased registration in Alberta as well. 


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