Current Requirements Should Be Maintained, Member Says

I am reluctantly drawn into the debate on inclusivity. I share the concerns raised by Dr. Philippe Erdmer, P.Geol., and Dr. Gary Faulkner, P.Eng. (Inclusivity Thrust Must Not Lower Standards, Readers’ Forum, The PEGG, February 2004).

With respect to the possible acceptance into APEGGA of those who do not currently qualify for registration as professional engineers, geologists or geophysicists in Alberta, the two Board of Examiners members have elucidated the relevant issues very clearly.

I wish to go further, however, by casting my vote against the registration of anyone who does not meet the current requirements. As I understand the process, persons shall be considered for registration providing they have successfully graduated from an accredited engineering, geology or geophysical program and have served the required member-in-training internship.

Alternately, persons who do not have a recognized degree, but who can demonstrate adequate relevant experience, may be allowed to write exams as determined by APEGGA. Upon satisfactory completion, they may then be awarded either M.I.T. or professional status.

I have often wondered as to the motivation of APEGGA to open registration to those who do not meet the current standards; those who have inferior academic qualifications to those of us who have graduated with relevant degrees from accredited universities. Is APEGGA being forced by the provincial government or some other political pressure to open registration to all comers?

This approach may well suit some, however I do not see any benefits to APEGGA or to the community (the same community we are mandated to protect) resulting from "dumbing-down" the integrity of the professional designation.

There is already a trend in the engineering industry in Alberta to hire non-professional engineers, pay them much lower wages (particularly those from foreign countries) and designate them as engineers.

APEGGA doesn’t appear to do enough to stop this practice. Why? Is it because this practice may occur in the shops of some of APEGGA registrants?

I have long believed that APEGGA membership and registration are of questionable worth to me. My current work constrains me to maintain registration. The value of engineering is not promoted sufficiently by APEGGA. That is one of the reasons why today, lawyers, accountants and physicians generally continue to be remunerated much more appropriately than most APEGGA members.

Engineering does, in fact, affect all aspects of our everyday lives from the time we rise from bed. When we visit hospitals, even lawyers' or accountants' offices, engineering is there.

If APEGGA proceeds with the currently contemplated action, I will be seriously considering giving up my membership and registration.

Horace R. Gopeesingh, P.Eng.

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