Professional Development

By Christine Smith


In September, 13 Continuing Professional Development Seminars were attended by approximately 287 professional members. Companies and societies which hosted seminars were Alberta Natural Gas, Chauvco Resources Ltd., National Energy Board, Nova Gas Transmission Ltd., Norwest Engineering, Tartan Engineering Corp. Ltd., Weyerhaeuser Canada and the Edmonton Chinese Engineering Society. Public seminars were also conducted in the Calgary and Edmonton offices.

In October, a total of 35 seminars were scheduled to be hosted by Alberta Energy Company Limited, Amoco Canada Petroleum Limited, Chevron Canada Resources, Colt Engineering Corporation, CoSyn Technology, Norwest Engineering Ltd., Pan Canadian Petroleum Limited, Reid Crowther, Rife Resources Ltd., SNC Lavalin, Spartan Controls, UMA Engineering Ltd., Sproule Associates, Stanley Consulting Group, and the APEGGA Lakeland Branch in Bonnyville. Two corporate receptions also covered the subject.

In November, because of the demand for an overview on the Continuing Professional Development Program, we have again scheduled noon-hour seminars in both Calgary and Edmonton. (See advertisement this page.)

Practicing Versus Non-Practicing

Requests continue for help in determining whether a member should declare him/herself to be "practicing" or "non-practicing". The answer can be found in Section 2.1 and Appendix I, of the guideline. The operative word in Section 2.1 is "influence". If the member feels that he/she is influencing the practice of the professions as more formally defined in Appendix I, then he/she should declare him/herself to be practicing. The definition, for the purpose of this program, is much broader than the definition used by the Board of Examiners when registration is granted at which time technical competence is paramount.

The following examples of PRACTICING members may be useful:

Job Title: Chief Executive Officer, Major Oil and Gas Company

Key Job Responsibilities Include: Approval of engineering, geology and geophysics departments’ budgets.

Job Title: Technical Writer, Professional Association

Key Job Responsibilities Include: Writing and editing of technical material pertaining to the field of geology.

Job Title: Associate Dean, Alberta Technical Institute

Key Job Responsibilities Include: Developing engineering-related curriculum. Advising and mentoring students who are pursuing educational opportunities within science.

Job Title: Consultant, My Own company

Key Job Responsibilities Include: Advising on the specifications and requirements for the building of a compressor station.

Job Title: Reserves Analyst, Jr. Petroleum Company

Key Job Responsibilities Include: Determining feasibility of exploration projects through economic analyses.

Job Title: Information Technology Specialist, Major Urban Centre

Key Job Responsibilities Include: Approving computer generated specifications related to proposed roadways.

Examples of NON-PRACTICING members include:


Real Estate Salesman

Life Insurance Salesman


As you progress through your career, your scope of practice changes. While you may have graduated in a specific discipline, your key job responsibilities will broaden to include other areas and skills. The key is to look at your present scope of practice. If you are influencing the field of engineering, geology or geophysics, you are practicing.


What are the Implications of Declaring Yourself to be Practicing or Non-Practicing?

If you are practicing, you must declare yourself to be practicing and must comply with the Continuing Professional Development Program.

If you are not influencing the practice of the professions in any way, you have the option of declaring yourself to be either practicing or non-practicing. It is conceivable that a person who does not influence our professions in any way may earn enough Professional Development Hours to meet the program requirement even though he/she can claim no PDHs in the practicing category.

Non-practicing members retain their professional designation and remain bound by the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions (EGGP) Act, Regulations and Bylaws, and the Code of Ethics. They may not take responsibility for a Permit to Practice.

When a member reverts from non-practicing to practicing, there will be some scrutiny to ensure the member has undertaken the necessary activity to remain competent. The details have not been finalized but it is likely that the member will first undergo a paper review after which a practice review may be necessary if the paper review indicates that there are some areas of concern. It is possible that some time under the supervision of a practicing member will be necessary before practicing status will again be granted. Staff and/or the Professional Development Committee will likely undertake the paper review while the Practice Review Board will undertake the practice review.

You may decide that it would be in your best interest to declare yourself to be practicing if, in your scope of practice, you have been keeping current with technological advancements within your field in anticipation of a new position.

The practicing status of a member will be public information but will be apparent only to those who request such information from the APEGGA offices.


While the Members-in-Training program focuses on obtaining the qualifications necessary for professional status, M.I.T.s are not subject to the requirements of the Continuing Professional Development Program. Their requirements for registration as a professional are more prescriptive than are the requirements for professional members. However, it is expected that M.I.T.s, in their application for professional membership, will submit a CPD Plan for their first year as a professional. A date has not been set for the implementation of this requirement. APEGGA is finalizing Professional Development: A Guideline for M.I.T.s, which will replace the present Experience Guideline, being used by M.I.T.s. In appearance and substance, it will be more apparent that the M.I.T. PD Guideline is a precursor to the CPD Guideline for Professional Members.


Did you know?

The APEGGA website includes links to:

Provincial/territorial engineering and geoscience licensing associations;

other professional and technical associations and societies;

consulting engineering associations;

universities and colleges;

other course, seminar and support providers; and

effective Oct. 8, has Continuing Professional Development: A Guideline for Professional Members with downloadable Program and Activity Records.

Remember to read the PEGG Those Dates section on the courses and seminars being offered by a variety of providers.

Christine Smith, Coordinator of APEGGA’s Continuing Professional Development Program, is based in APEGGA’s Calgary office and can be reached by E-mail; or by phone 403-262-7714.