APEGGA Responds Positively
To Defined Scope of Practice
Proposed by Provincial Government
Alberta Public Works, Supply and Services Minister Stan Woloshyn will introduce legislation to permit independent practice by suitably qualified Registered Engineering Technologists (R.E.T.s) based on amendments to the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions (EGGP) Act. These provisions would make it possible for certain technologists who have an appropriate combination of academic qualifications and years of relevant experience in a particular area to be granted an independent and clearly defined scope of practice. Minister of Public Works,
Supply and Services, Hon.
Stan Woloshyn intends to
proceed with legislation on a
Defined Scope of Practice in
in the spring session of the
Under principles outlined by the Minister of Public Works, Supply and Services, Hon. Stan Woloshyn, APEGGA would continue to govern the practice of engineering in Alberta through the EGGP Act. Furthermore, registration for the defined scope of practice designation would be through the APEGGA Board of Examiners, whose membership will be expanded to include technologists. A defined scope would only be available for R.E.T.s recommended by the Alberta Society of Engineering Technologists (ASET).
For a number of years, ASET has endeavored to establish an independent scope of practice for technologists outside the EGGP Act. APEGGA has strongly resisted such a departure, arguing in favor of the engineering team approach, and maintaining that engineering must continue to be regulated by one governing body under one Act. A statement of guiding principles which accompanied a Sept. 3 letter sent to APEGGA team leader Fred Otto, P.Eng., PhD, and to ASET by Minister Woloshyn,the minister responsible for administration of the EGGP Act, upholds that basic principle. In his letter the Minister said: "It is my intention to proceed with legislation in the upcoming Spring 1999 Session which reflects these principles."
Highlights of the principles relating to the defined scope of practice as enunciated by Mr. Woloshyn are as follows:
- APEGGA shall continue to govern the practice of engineering in Alberta
- Legislative changes will be implemented to allow independent practice, within a defined scope of practice, by suitably qualified registered engineering technologists
- A defined scope of practice is only available to R.E.T.s recommended by ASET
- R.E.T.s will be certified via a joint process involving ASET and APEGGA (current practice)
- Registration will be through the APEGGA Board of Examiners whose membership, following a transition period, will be expanded to include persons with a defined scope of practice. The Minister will appoint two persons with a defined scope of practice to the Board of Examiners to be selected from a listed nominated by ASET
- Applicants would be assessed by a subcommittee of the Board with a 50/50 mix of suitably qualified ASET and APEGGA members
- A holder of this category of licensure will practice within the limitations and conditions prescribed by the APEGGA Board of Examiners
- Discipline issues would be handled through the existing APEGGA processes with the addition of technologists with a defined scope of practice to the Investigative Committee when considering other technologists
- The Minister will appoint a Public Member to the Investigative Committee who is acceptable to both ASET and APEGGA
- R.E.T.'s would remain members of ASET and would be nominated by ASET for a defined scope of practice
- Additional relevant work experience satisfactory to the Board of Examiners will be required
- Implementation would be through amendments to the EGGP Act and Regulations
- Related fees are to be kept to a reasonable and affordable level.
APEGGA Council has supported the basic principles of the recommended legislation and welcomed the Minister's initiative to move forward with a resolution to this long-standing debate. During further discussion of the matter at the Sept. 17 APEGGA Council meeting, held in Lethbridge, APEGGA President Dan Motyka, P.Eng., said: "this is a positive initiative that the Minister has taken. It's good for ASET. It's good for APEGGA and it's good for the general public."
APEGGA Executive Director and Registrar Neil Windsor, P.Eng., said a number of stakeholder groups have been informed on the matter, meeting with others are planned for the near future and discussions are ongoing with ASET's newly appointed Executive Director, Don Byers, C.E.T. Mr. Windsor termed the proposal an "opportunity to move forward" and said there are numerous areas where members both ASET and APEGGA will benefit from greater cooperation between the two associations.