October 2001

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Another Way to Cheapen Professions
Engineers, Geoscientists Require APEGGA Licensing to Legally Practice


Based on the letters and calls I received, it seems that a number of members read my President's Notebook article Let's Stop Cheapening Our Professions (The PEGG, July 2001) before turning it into birdcage liner. For the most part, they agreed that our professionals should be adequately compensated for their work.

But there is another way that our professional are "cheapened." It's a way that, in my view, is more damaging to our professions and certainly to the public we try to protect. The exact number is not known, but it is estimated that about 10 per cent of the engineers and, believe it or not, more than 40 per cent of the geoscientists who practice their profession in this province are NOT registered with APEGGA.

Amazing, but true. You don't see unlicensed doctors or lawyers practicing medicine or law. Why do some of our professionals?

Am I exaggerating the seriousness? One member faxed me an advertisement from a well-known CSPG publication. The ad listed 21 wellsite "geologists." In reviewing the APEGGA membership, only six were registered.

Law-Breakers Around You

So look around you. Aren't those people doing the same work as you? Do they not have a similar title or job? Do they hold themselves out to be a professional? Why aren't they licensed? Isn't this cheapening our professions?

In simple terms, if they have the academic qualifications and experience to be registered and are practicing engineering, geology or geophysics, they must be licensed. Working under the supervision of registered members doesn't exempt them from registration. Yes, it is the law.
And yes, APEGGA has a Compliance Department, using APEGGA volunteers, who seek out non-licensed individuals and corporations to ensure that they comply with the law. They can't do it alone.

Wouldn't it be better if CEOs demanded that all their professionals be licensed, that managers ensured that only licensed professionals practiced the professions, that fellow workers advised violators that they must be registered and HR people ensured that professional positions are filled with licensed members?

There is no excuse for knowingly breaking the law or watching others do it. Let's help our compliance volunteers, it is our professional duty.

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