BY DAVE TODD, P.ENG.
In my March article, you were reminded that as well as individual
registration, the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical
Professions Act also requires that partnerships, corporations
and other such entities which practice engineering, geology
and geophysics hold a Permit to Practice.
The article provided a brief overview of the history of the
permit-to-practice, who requires a permit, why a permit is
required, and overall responsibility. In the next two columns,
I will discuss more specific responsibilities and administrative
It is recognized in the act and regulations that effective
control of the quality of professional practice in partnerships,
corporations and other such entities requires that the employer
of professionals provide the atmosphere and organizational
structure necessary for the proper practice of the professions.
This involves three distinct levels and/or types of responsibility:
The chief operating officer of a company undertakes to maintain
an organization in which the practice of the professions can
be conducted in accordance with the intent of the Act.
Member Assuming Responsibility for the
Full time employees or members of the firms undertake to
provide responsible direction and personal supervision of
the professional practice engaged in.
Member Supervising or Performing the
The individual APEGGA member, in accordance with the Code
of Ethics, undertakes only such work as he/she is competent
to perform or supervise by virtue of training and experience.
An individual who is a professional member or licensee of
APEGGA, who engages in the practice of engineering, geology
or geophysics in his or her own name does not require a permit
to practice. Their personal registration is, in effect, their
permit. If this same individual practices through a company,
then the company requires a permit to practice, even if the
member is the only employee.
If a parent company or joint venture group holds a permit
to practice, any subsidiary of that company that engages in
the practice of engineering, geology, or geophysics must also
hold a permit if the subsidiary is a separate entity with
a different name.
The Association will issue a permit to practice to any partnership,
corporation or other entity provided at least one full time
employee or member of the firm, who is also a member or licensee
of APEGGA, undertakes to direct and accept responsibility
for the professional practice of the permit holder. The member
or members who assume responsibility for the professional
practice must be qualified by training and experience in the
fields of engineering, geology or geophysics in which the
firm provides services and must be available to the full extent
necessary to direct the day to day activities engaged in by
the permit holder.
Large organizations with functional divisions spread geographically
over several operating centres are encouraged to name as many
professional members as necessary to provide responsible direction
and personal supervision to the professional practice engaged
in. The number of members selected to assume that responsibility
for the organization should complement the organization's
structure and will vary according to the type of operation
and management style of the organization.
Reference in the act to a full-time employee or member of
the firm is interpreted to mean that the relationship between
the APEGGA member and the firm is an ongoing and continuous
one, as distinguished from one that does not have the depth
or responsibility normally associated with a full time employee
If the permit to practice is cancelled, lapses, is revoked
or for any reason becomes invalid, approval by APEGGA to use
the words engineering, geology and geophysics or any form
thereof in the firm's name is automatically withdrawn.
Permit holders whose registration is cancelled by APEGGA
due to nonpayment of annual dues or for any other reason are
assessed an administrative fee when applying for reinstatement.
Permit holders who request in writing that their permit to
practice be cancelled will not be assessed the administrative
fee when they apply for reinstatement.
Frequently Asked Questions and
Q. When/in what circumstances
is a person acting under the "supervision and control"
of a member of APEGGA?
A. When the member of APEGGA has in place an adequate
supervision and control system including an appropriate approval
process and the person being supervised is included in that
Q. What is an adequate
supervision and control system?
A. An engineer's or geologist's or geophysicist's
supervision and control system is adequate when that engineer,
geologist, or geophysicist is willing to accept responsibility
for and thus incur liability for, both to the public and to
APEGGA, the results of the engineering, geological or geophysical
tasks done by others working under his/her supervision and