Terri-Jane Yuzda

Moving From One Province to Another? You Must Register Again


Director, Compliance

Editor's Note: This column is one in a series prepared by the APEGGA Compliance Department.

APEGGA and other professional associations are becoming increasingly concerned about the non-registration of engineers who relocate from other provinces. The problem arises when professional engineers, registered and in good standing in the province they've left, neglect to contact the new association about registration.

Many don't realize that registration in the new province is a requirement in order to practice or even use a title that implies they are registered. This applies whether they are practicing as an independent, an employee or employer.

In one of their yearly national meetings, discipline and enforcement officials from each provincial association discussed how they would locate and contact these individuals. The most effective way, the meeting decided, would be to annually exchange lists of members who have relocated. For example, APEGGA sends a list of its members who are now residing in Ontario to Professional Engineers Ontario, and PEO reciprocates.

For several years the APEGGA Compliance Department has been actively contacting individuals who have neglected to apply after moving to Alberta from other provinces. Initially we sent a letter asking whether or not they are actively engaged in the practice or using a restricted title. The response was minimal.

As a result, we developed a one-page, user-friendly questionnaire. It has three simple questions, asking whether or not individuals are actively practicing, using their professional designation or using a restricted job title in Alberta.

The response rate has substantially improved since we adopted this system. The program has been in place since 1998, and has, with the odd exception, received excellent reception and cooperation from those contacted. To date, registrations due to the Out of Province Program's efforts total approximately 360.

The reasons for not applying for registration vary. Some non-registrants genuinely don't realize they have to, or they procrastinate. Some are unaware of or don't understand the current mobility agreement, and are under the misconception that everyone moving here has to write the Professional Practice Exam.

Through diligent work and co-operation, the provincial associations and the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers have made much progress in simplifying and improving mobility. As a result of these efforts, Canada's 12 territorial regulatory engineering associations signed an historic agreement on June 18, 1999, which eliminates virtually all inter-provincial barriers to the free movement of licensed engineers between jurisdictions.

Signed during the annual meeting of the CCPE, the Inter-Association Agreement on Mobility of Professionals Within Canada ends the requirement for engineers to be licensed for five consecutive years in one provincial or territorial jurisdiction -- before they can relocate to a second jurisdiction and be fully licensed. It also makes it easier for engineers to hold licenses in more than one province or territory at the same time.

Under the terms of the agreement -- provided they are members in good standing of the provincial or territorial regulatory engineering association in their home jurisdiction, they can apply for and obtain a license to practice in another jurisdiction. In most cases, the only requirement is that the engineers agree to abide by the continuing competency of that jurisdiction.



Q. If I am a member in good standing in another Canadian association, am I required to write the Professional Practice Examination to become registered with APEGGA?

A. Most Canadian associations have had a professional practice examination in place for a number of years. Some transferees have written an examination for another association, and it's deemed equivalent to the one APEGGA applicants write. Others are exempt because membership in their home association had no such requirement at the time they first registered.

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