Members Have More Say
In Inclusivity Proposal

APEGGA Slows Down the Process to Hear Concerns, Refine Category

APEGGA President Mike Smyth, P.Eng., listens to members speak out about inclusivity, March 24 in Edmonton.

APEGGA is giving members more time to consider a new category of licensure under the Kananaskis Model. As it now stands, the new category for university-trained practitioners in limited, defined scopes will be discussed – but not voted on – at the Annual General Meeting, April 24 in Edmonton.

The category will not be brought forward for an actual AGM vote this year.

“We have made every effort to engage our members in dialogue on this issue,” said APEGGA President Mike Smyth, P.Eng. “However, town hall meetings and other representations make it clear to us that members still have a lot of questions about what this means to the professions and what this means to their Association. We welcome this input and will build on this to ensure that we get it right.”

Also, Council still has the option of taking the new category to a full membership vote, through a mail ballot. Normally, actions that require changes to the EGGP Act, Regulations and Bylaws are approved or rejected at the AGM but Council can decide to use the mail-in ballot in exceptional circumstances.

The new category comes out of Council’s concern that many university-educated applied scientists are currently performing elements of engineering, geology and geophysics. In order to better protect the public, these practitioners – who don’t hold geoscience or accredited engineering degrees – should come under the APEGGA regulatory umbrella.

That way, their practice will be evaluated by the Board of Examiners for admission and regulated through the APEGGA Code of Ethics, discipline system, mandatory Continuing Professional Development and other self-governance functions.

Town hall meetings were held March 23 in Calgary and March 24 in Edmonton. All told, more than 300 members attended. Most of those who spoke were either against the new category or had serious reservations about various aspects of it.

Council is determined that members and other stakeholders have sufficient time to become knowledgeable about the proposed new category. Council proposed lengthening the licensure bar only after much consideration, consultation and debate, going back over a year.

A number of aspects of the new category will be revisited, including the name. Council had proposed Registered Engineer, Registered Geologist and Registered Geophysicist for the titles. Many members, however, have said they think the name downgrades the P.Eng., P.Geol. and P.Geoph. designations, and will be confusing to the public.

“The name was also a subject of much debate at the Council table and much consideration by the Inclusivity Task Force,” said Mr. Smyth. “Council will re-visit this in view of concerns expressed.”

Council also needs to look closely at the experience area of the new category. The last version of the terms of reference accepted by Council called for at least four years of experience, with at least two of them in the application of the engineering, geological or geophysical principles used in their defined scopes.

“Two years in the scope may not be enough, given the recent feedback from members,” Mr. Smyth said.

“Even though refinements are necessary, the concept of inclusivity and the new category will be pursued,” he said. “Members and others have certainly been vocal about the inclusivity proposal in recent weeks, and, with the input we’re receiving, I believe we will make our Association stronger and more pertinent,” he said.

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