May, 2000

Relevance Task Force
Reports to AGM

Participants at APEGGA's Annual General Meeting were challenged to peek into the future when the APEGGA Task Force on Relevance presented its preliminary findings on April 28.

The task force, chaired by APEGGA Councillor Linda Van Gastel, P.Eng., was formed a year ago to look toward the year 2010 and to examine APEGGA's future role. It is to develop a plan that would include recommended strategies and actions enabling the Association to maintain continued relevance and to serve society.

To date, Ms. Van Gastel explained, the task force has conducted a series of stakeholder consultations including with Permit holders, sole practitioners, representatives of the geosciences and emerging disciplines, Consulting Engineers of Alberta, the provincial government, APEGGA branch chairs and, through PEGG and Web surveys, with APEGGA members.

Based on these consultations, three key areas of concern are: regulation, differentiation and communication. Key regulation issues are: improving mobility; effective regulation of title and practice; accommodating geoscientists, resolving emerging discipline issues, and enhancing quality control (through effective minimum standards to protect the public, and qualification-base selection).

Matters relating to differentiation centre on clarifying to all stakeholders the value of hiring licensed, accountable professional practitioners who offer independent judgment and ethical practice, and who can provide assurance of skilled, responsible practice.

Important issues related to communication centre on marketing the value of professional licensure by conveying this message through a variety of means to various stakeholders. In addition to focusing on issues in Alberta, the task force expects to stay tuned to a number of national issues, such as software engineering, challenges raised in Quebec to licensing of engineers employed within industry, and the emergence in Ontario of an engineering advocacy body distinct from Professional Engineers Ontario.

Ms. Van Gastel noted that the Relevance Task Force expects to draw uponfindings of two other Council task forces, on emerging disciplines, and on the geosciences. AGM presentations on these task forces also were made by the task force chairs, Elizabeth Cannon, P.Eng., PhD (emerging disciplines ) and Neil O'Donnell, P.Eng., P.Geol. (geoscience). Findings of these task forces point to participation in APEGGA by eligible professionals working in these fields to be lower than in other disciplines. (See also earlier PEGG articles, May 1999, pages 3 and 11, and January 2000, page 5). Having completed its mandate, the Emerging Disciplines Task force is handing its findings over to the Relevance Task Force, while the Geoscience Task Force is expected to continue for another year.




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