Terri-Jane Yuzda


Volunteers Do Vital Work for APEGGA

Executive Director and Registrar

Another year is fast drawing to a close, and I can’t help but look back on 2003 in wonder at the contribution volunteers have made. Hundreds of professional members who serve on the Council, boards, committees and task forces that do the work of the Association provide a service that we simply could not buy.

The dedication of these members can not go without due recognition, for they represent what being a true professional is all about: service to others with high standards of practice and ethics.

Visiting the Legislature

APEGGA’s 40,000th member Sebsibe Asfaw, P.Geol., displays a PEGG front page about his licensure. In the background is the Alberta Legislature, where he was officially introduced in November. The Calgary professional was also a guest of APEGGA during a pre-Council meeting dinner, where he was presented with a plaque commemorating his – and APEGGA’s – achievement.

There is a large measure of pride that comes from being part of a profession. Pride in what you do, pride in the quality of service you provide, pride in your Association, but most of all, pride in yourself. Because you know that you have completed the task to the best of your ability and with the highest of ethical standards.

It is the role of APEGGA to ensure that all persons who practice the professions are fully qualified and experienced to do so, and are licensed by APEGGA under the EGGP Act. That responsibility rests on all of us as professionals – not only to provide professional service ourselves, but also to monitor the activities of other members and those who might be offering such services without possessing the required qualifications, and are not licensed to do so.

APEGGA needs to hear from you if you are aware of instances that need to be addressed. As a professional, you are obligated to report such instances.

We have now reached two plateaus – 40,000 members and 3,000 corporate permit-holders. The task of regulating all these professionals is a major challenge.

But it is an even greater challenge for the Compliance Department to identify unlicensed persons who may be violating the legislation and to take the appropriate action. Staff has been highly effective in dealing with such cases once they are brought to our attention, but we know there are many more that should be corrected.

Our responsibility to the public we serve dictates that we make every reasonable effort to eliminate violations of the act and cause unlicensed persons to either be licensed, if they are qualified, or to cease their illegal practices.

The courts have not been supportive in interpreting the act as it was intended, and such legal remedies are expensive and tedious. We will be seeking clarification of our legislation to strengthen our ability to enforce the protected titles, and to ensure that we can effectively and efficiently take the action necessary to protect the public.

So many important challenges lie ahead for our professions. Council has developed a new vision of what APEGGA should represent to members and how we can accommodate the needs of those who have been unable to qualify for full professional licensure. More importantly, the concept would provide a means to regulate those who are currently working in Alberta but are not regulated in any way.

How APEGGA serves members is an important matter of debate and new approaches have been explored.

Opening the doors to full mobility – your ability to practice your profession in other jurisdictions without delay, nationally and internationally – is a major concern for many members.

Speaking out or facilitating debate on behalf of the professions on matters that directly impact members has been well received and promises to be an important role that needs to be filled. Advocacy in this manner is both appropriate and necessary if our collective professional voice is going to be heard.

So many areas to be explored and challenges to be met. Council can set the course and define the guidelines, staff can provide the support – but it will be the volunteers that must do the work and provide the expertise to accomplish our objectives. The contribution of these people is essential and their excellent work greatly appreciated by APEGGA.

As areas of endeavor expand, so too will the need for volunteers. If you are not already involved, consider doing so. Let your Association know that you are willing to contribute to your profession in this important manner. The experience you gain and the feeling of satisfaction you derive will reward you many times over.

To all our volunteers and those who support the professions in any way, a sincere thank you for the contribution you have made. Together we will accomplish great things in the year ahead. May you and your families enjoy the peace and joy of the Christmas season, and much joy and fulfillment in the New Year.

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