BY NEIL WINDSOR, P.ENG.
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
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
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.