BY GEORGE LEE
Alberta and the rest of the world are generating a new array
of scientific disciplines, and many of them involve elements
of engineering and geoscience. APEGGA, therefore, needs new
types of licensure to extend its protection of the public
into currently unregulated areas.
The Association also needs to do its part to give foreign-trained
professionals their best possible chance in a new land. One
of the stumbling blocks has been the requirement of a year
of Canadian or equivalent North American experience before
The APEGGA Annual General Meeting
will be asked to approve two new categories of registration.
Provisional Engineer, Provisional Geologist,
Provisional licensees will already
have met the academic, character, English language,
and knowledge of law and ethics requirements for
What they will lack is one year of equivalent North American experience
What will the new category
Provisional Licensees will have
the designation for two years, allowing them to gain
the one year of experience needed to become a professional
member. They will not stamp their work during this
period and will practice under the supervision of
a licensed professional.
Registered Engineer, Registered Geologist,
Registered members will meet the
experience, character, English language, and knowledge
of law and ethics requirements for registration.
What they will lack is the academic requirement in an accredited engineering
or geoscience program. They will, however, have university or equivalent
degrees within their defined scopes.
What will the new category
These categories will allow APEGGA
to protect the public through the self-regulation
of emerging disciplines and other practices that
don’t currently qualify for licensure.
Want to learn more?
Town hall meetings will be held
in Calgary on March 23 and Edmonton on March 24.
See the notice on Page 5 of the PEGG for further
These are the underpinnings of two new licence categories
that will come before members at the APEGGA Annual General
Meeting, April 24 in Edmonton. Council, Council committees
and Association staff have worked hard for the last year
to devise changes to the EGGP Act, Regulations and Bylaws
for the new categories, said APEGGA Executive Director & Registrar
Neil Windsor, P.Eng.
“Our members have a lot of questions about this categories
and the entire thrust we call inclusivity,” said Mr.
Windsor. “We certainly respect that – this represents
a paradigm change in how we look at who we should be licensing
and why, there’s no doubt about it, and members will
naturally have questions.
“Some members might think, however, that we haven’t
carefully considered the implications of what we hope to
do. I can assure them that Council has looked at the categories
“What members see now is the result of a year of debate, soul-searching
and refining, positioning us to greatly reduce the amount
of unregulated practice of engineering and geoscience in
Alberta. Simply put, certain practitioners who are presently
practicing engineering or geoscience will be provided with
a means whereby they can be licensed to do what they are
qualified to do by virtue of their education and experience.”
Members will be asked to vote in favour of the titles Registered
Engineer, Registered Geologist and Registered Geophysicist
for university-educated practitioners of individually approved
and defined scopes. These are practitioners who either have
degrees in areas other than engineering and geoscience, or
from engineering and geoscience programs not accredited for
full professional licensure.
APEGGA’s leadership will also seek approval for a category
for Provisional Engineers, Provisional Geologists and Provisional
Geophysicists, for foreign-trained professionals who meet
all the academic and experience requirements to qualify for
full membership except the one year of Canadian experience.
The proposed provisional license will allow them to find
gainful employment and practice under the supervision of
a licensed professional while they meet the Canadian experience
Once approved by the AGM, the proposed changes will be presented
to the provincial government for approval.
Staff and Council will address concerns at town-hall-style
meetings in Calgary on March 23 and Edmonton on March 24. “We
welcome the opportunity to answer members’ questions,” said
APEGGA President Mike Smyth, P.Eng. “We believe in
inclusivity, and believe members will too when they hear
what we have to say about the real benefits it brings.”
Inclusivity has been the major thrust of Mr. Smyth’s
presidency. His column in The PEGG has addressed the issue
over the past year. This month, Mr. Smyth looks at the inclusivity
questions arising as he tours Alberta to meet with members
at the branch level. See President’s
“In some ways, these are profound changes, and I’m thrilled
that members are asking the right questions,” Mr. Smyth
said. “But in another sense, these changes aren’t
radical. The fundamentals of what APEGGA does are not changing
one bit. We are simply proposing to license qualified individuals
to legally do what they are already doing today.
“We protect the public by licensing the practice of engineering
and geoscience. Under these new categories, we will do a
better job of that, without lowering our standards at all.
“Look at what doesn’t change. All members will still
be bound by our Code of Ethics and subject to our investigative,
discipline and continuing professional development requirements.
All members will still be required to practice within the
scope defined by their experience and education.
“And all members must be approved for licensure by our Board
of Examiners, whose job it is to ensure, as it always has
been, that our standards of licensure are kept at a high
level. The board has done a great job up until now and I
see no reason why that won’t continue. We’re
lengthening the standards bar – not lowering it.”
As chair of the Inclusivity Task Force, President-Elect Linda
Van Gastel, P.Eng., has also spent much of the last year
dealing with inclusivity. “Take the area of tissue
bio-engineering. Someone could obviously be trained in that
kind of work, but the syllabus may not be recognized yet,” she
“For that particular area, and many others, certainly the
public is better protected if we can include them in our
profession. I think the same applies to internationally trained
Inclusivity will serve to meet the needs of a number of areas
of practice without lowering the bar and without impacting
on the practice of full professional members.