November , 1999

President's Notebook

Get Ready to Welcome
R.P.T. (Eng.)s Into APEGGA

By 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.

Lengthy Process

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 deliberations.

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.

Legislation Changed

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 APEGGA.

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.

Transitional Period

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.


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