Get Ready to Welcome
R.P.T. (Eng.)s Into APEGGA
Darrel Danyluk, P.Eng.
In a couple of months, we’ll be making adjustments as we move into
a new century and a new millennium.
If you’re like me, for a while I need to keep in mind the change
as I date a document or a cheque. This time around, will require
a bit more effort as we strike out the 19— and replace it with 2000.
As we enter the new year, APEGGA Members also will have to adjust
as a new group of professionals — Registered Professional Technologists
(Engineering) — find their place within our Association. Though
it’s likely that the first individuals will receive their R.P.T.
(Eng.) designation early in the new year, the timing as we enter
the new millennium is somewhat coincidental.
As many of you are aware, the path toward registration of R.P.T.(Eng.)s
has been a long and sometimes winding one. Over the years, it has
entailed countless hours of discussions with the Alberta
Society of Engineering Technologists (ASET), as well as with
elected and appointed provincial officials. Some of my predecessors,
notably Fred Otto, P.Eng., PhD, and the late Dennis Lindberg, P.Eng.,
as well as others, devoted a great deal of time and effort to these
Dennis chaired an APEGGA task force which explored, developed and
then in 1996 reported on the concept of a Specified
Scope of Practice (later renamed a Defined Scope of Practice).
The proposal called for a form of licensure within APEGGA for some
individuals who, based on the criteria in place at that time, would
not qualify for standing within the Association. The task force
acknowledged that there might be individuals — technologists, scientists
and others — who, by virtue of the their education and training,
could assume responsibility for their practice in engineering geology
or geophysics despite lacking the necessary prescribed requisites
for APEGGA membership. In the past, such individuals could practice
our professions only under the supervision of a properly registered
Professional Member. They could not sign off their work as a Professional
Member of APEGGA can do.
Legislative changes brought into force earlier this year to amend
the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions (EGGP) Act
have paved the way for those with suitable qualifications to be
designated as Registered Professional Technologists (Engineering
(While initially the R.P.T. title applies to engineering, similar
designations for qualified geology and geophysics technicians can
be implemented via changes to the regulations under the EGGP Act.)
With the necessary legislative approval in place, APEGGA officials
worked with their counterparts from ASET to develop the mechanism
and procedures for candidates to register as R.P.T. (Eng.)s. The
title is only open to persons currently registered and in good standing
with ASET as Registered Engineering Technologists (RET). Once they
have approached ASET, and after they have been reviewed and accepted
by an ASET Nominating Committee, their applications are forwarded
to the APEGGA Board of Examiners. Candidates must prove they have
obtained at least six years of engineering-related work experience
that is acceptable to the Board of Examiners. At least two years
of experience must be in the candidate’s specific area of professional
practice and must be completed under the supervision and control
of a Professional Member. Like others seeking professional standing
in the Association, would-be R.P.T. (Eng.)s must demonstrate English-language
proficiency, must be of good character and reputation, and must
pass the National Professional Practice Exam administered by the
Once these requirements have been met, the R.P.T. (Eng.)s will
have the right to practice engineering in Alberta within the defined
scope of practice specified on their R.T.P. (Eng.) certificate.
Like Professional Members, they will be able to obtain and apply
a stamp. In common with APEGGA Members, they will be bound by our
Code of Ethics. It also means R.P.T.(Eng.)s can be called before
and reprimanded by our disciplinary bodies. By the same token, APEGGA
will have a duty to prevent unauthorized use of the title.
During the initial transitional period of about a year, several
APEGGA Members with past experience on the Board of Examiners will
sit as part of the ASET Nominating Committee that will vet R.P.T.
(Eng.) candidates. In addition, the APEGGA Board of Examiners will
be expanded to include two R.P.T.(Eng.)s.
As an advocate of a reasoned approach to change, I also see this
as an example of what can be accomplished through a process of dialogue
and mutual respect.