May 2001

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Engineers, Microsoft Agree
On Use of MCSE Designation

Microsoft Corp. will advise Canadian holders of its MCSE certification not to call themselves engineers or use the full title Microsoft Certified System Engineers, news releases announced earlier this month. The engineering profession and Microsoft have reached an agreement on the use of the designation, after compliance efforts were initiated more than a year ago by APEGGA's Compliance Department.

APEGGA President Dale Miller, P.Eng., said: "This agreement shows that difficult problems can be overcome when meaningful discussion is held with a view to finding a mutually acceptable resolution. It will go a long way toward bringing the engineering profession and the information technology industry closer together and working in the interests of public safety. I congratulate Microsoft and all those involved in the negotiations for their insight into this problem and their wise approach to finding the solution."

Meetings were held last year with the appropriate Alberta institutions -- those that offer the training in computer science that qualifies graduates to write the Microsoft exam, which then leads to the MCSE designation. Attendees were told that the full title of the designation is a violation of provincial legislation, which reserves the use of the terms "engineer" and "engineering" to persons licensed by APEGGA.

That got the attention of Microsoft, and discussions at the national level led to a delegation of provincial association and CCPE representatives meeting with Microsoft in October. This resulted in the solution announced by Microsoft and CCPE.

Microsoft's decision should prevent Canadian holders of the MCSE certification from inadvertently breaking provincial and territorial laws, which protect the public by restricting the use of the titles and the practice of engineering in Canada to licensed professional engineers. It should also ensure that the engineering profession's licensing bodies will not be required to take enforcement action against MCSE holders.

"We are very pleased by Microsoft's decision," said Marie Lemay, P.Eng., CEO of the CCPE. "Microsoft has demonstrated corporate leadership by acting in the best interest of the MCSE community. . .Its decision is good for the information technology industry, good for MCSE holders, and good for the engineering profession."

Representatives of CCPE and several provincial associations met with Microsoft in Seattle late last year to explain the legal issues surrounding the use of the title "engineer" in Canada, and to ask the corporation to stop referring to holders of the MCSE credential as engineers.
"We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with the engineering profession and to support it," said Anne Marie McSweeney, the acting director of Microsoft Certification and Skills Assessment. "It opens the door for closer cooperation among all organizations in the information technology industry and the engineering profession in Canada. As the Microsoft credentials continue to evolve, it is our goal to ensure they maintain the highest level of relevance to the industry and represent leaders in cutting-edge technology."

Microsoft is currently researching alternatives for the MCSE credential worldwide, which could result in a new name for the credential later this year.





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