The Alberta Government has given APEGGA's role as a Canadian
leader in professional self-regulation an important vote of
confidence. A series of regulation changes and a new regulation
under the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions
Act (EGGP Act) received Cabinet approval Feb. 25, giving the
Association additional tools in its quest to improve professionalism
while becoming more inclusive and more efficient in the registration
APEGGA Executive Director and Registrar Neil Windsor, P.Eng.,
welcomed the regulation changes, saying they will allow the
Association to meet many of the challenges that lie ahead.
He said: "APEGGA members have approved these changes
at Annual General Meetings over the past several years, and
the changes have finally found their way through the government
system as a block, designed to make APEGGA more efficient
A new regulation, made in accordance with 1999 changes to
the EGGP Act, will provide highly qualified geoscience technologists
with a mechanism to become licensed by APEGGA. The two new
categories of licensure are the registered professional technologist
designations of R.P.T.(Geol.) and R.P.T.(Geoph.)
An R.P.T.(Eng.) designation already exists, and in just more
than two years about 80 engineering technologists have proven
they meet APEGGA's standards for the designation.
Mr. Windsor emphasized that technologists registered under
the new designations will practice in specific, well-defined
and limited scopes, just as the R.P.T.(Eng.) members do now.
They'll have to meet strict licensure criteria, including
experience and time working under a professional member.
"This recognizes the skill levels that certain technologists
possess and the fact that, in many cases, these skills are
currently being applied by these technologists under the supervision
of a professional member," Mr. Windsor said. "The
new regulation will allow them to practice independently within
their defined scope of practice and accept responsibility
for their work. Being inclusive of people who possess the
necessary skills is improving efficiency without compromising
public safety in any way."
APEGGA needs to position itself for new disciplines in anticipation
of the changes in traditional professional roles new technology
is bringing. "The R.P.T. designations could prove to
be the first step towards inclusiveness of these new practitioners,
an important issue both for professional associations across
Canada and for governments," said Mr. Windsor.
In addition to the new designations, the revisions include
a number of other refinements and steps forward. Among the
more significant improvements are provisions for the quick
and efficient registration of professional members in good
standing of sister Canadian associations.
"For many of our professional members, and especially
for geoscientists, mobility is a very important issue and
one that Council has given some priority to during the past
four years," Mr. Windsor said. "National mobility
agreements have greatly improved mobility across Canada, however
efforts are underway to establish a form of national registration
that will provide even greater mobility."
The provincial Cabinet has also underlined the importance
of APEGGA's Continuing Professional Development Program in
maintaining high professional standards and protecting public
safety. Provisions specify that APEGGA can cancel the membership
of members who, after due notice, fail or refuse to provide
the necessary documentation.
A new Code of Ethics, the result of extensive member consultation
and volunteer committee work, reorganizes the code by putting
the broad principles into the Act. Specific details are shifted
to the APEGGA Ethical Practice Guideline, which Council recently
This simplifies interpretation of the code and application
to particular circumstances. Approval of the new code is the
culmination of years of work by a large number of volunteers
under the chairmanship of Charles Weir, P.Eng. "All those
who participated in this huge undertaking are to be congratulated
and given our thanks for their dedication to this task,"
said Mr. Windsor.
The regulation changes also give effect to the recognition
of the First Vice-President as President-Elect, a change approved
by the 2002 Annual General Meeting. This provides greater
continuity and assurance that the person assuming APEGGA's
highest office has been fully prepared for the job ahead.
Said Mr. Windsor: "The job of President has become more
demanding in recent years, taking a large percentage of the
President's time and demanding knowledge of a wide range of
important issues. Adequate lead time to properly prepare for
these responsibilities is appropriate and necessary to ensure
continued good leadership at the top."
Further information on the regulation changes appear in Council
Briefs on Page 5 of this month's PEGG. Also, the revised EGGP
Act will appear online at www.apegga.org when it becomes available.