Baking a Great Cake
Many Key Ingredients
Go Into Every Professional
BY DALE MILLER, P.ENG.
What makes you a professional? What differentiates you from non-professionals?
These are questions most of us rarely have time to contemplate, but I
believe they are central to our chosen careers. Here's the recipe.
Higher education is certainly a major ingredient. Most APEGGA members
have graduated from a university program accredited by the Canadian Engineering
Accreditation Board or a similar geoscience program, or been designated
as equivalent to a Canadian program if they graduated from a foreign country.
Some of our professional members were required to take confirmatory exams
if they did not graduate from an accredited program.
Add experience. Alberta, as in most provinces, requires four years of
professional experience under supervision of a professional before being
granted professional status or licensure.
Add ethics. The trust that society has placed on our professions as a
whole, and in individual practitioners, is fundamental. APEGGA professionals
adhere to a Code of Ethics that
guides them in their relationships to society and to other professionals
and limits their practice to their specific areas of competence.
All new members are required to successfully complete the Professional
Practice Examination prior to registration. However, adherence to a Code
of Ethics does not in itself define a profession. Others also adopt similar
Having met the educational, experience and ethical requirements, new members
apply to the Association. But our cake is not done yet.
Being licensed by APEGGA means that we agree to live by the Code of Ethics,
that we subject ourselves to the discipline process if a complaint is
lodged, that we will comply with the mandatory requirements of the Continuing
Professional Development program, and that we understand and meet the
minimum professional requirements set out in the numerous Practice Standards
published by the Association.
Then there's the secret ingredient: responsibility. In the final analysis,
being licensed by APEGGA means that we accept legal responsibility for
our professional actions. It is this acceptance of responsibility under
the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act of the Province
of Alberta that makes our recipe a winner. It is this that differentiates
us from non-professionals.
So, why would anybody want our cake? APEGGA is not a trade union. It is
not a club that exists only to provide Air Miles or other member services.
APEGGA exists primarily to serve society and protect the public. Member
services are designed to enhance professional and personal development.
The province of Alberta has granted us the privilege of self-governance.
With our cake you get accepted responsibility. Employers and clients know
that as professionals, we add value. They know that the investment of
billions of dollars of capital could not be done without our expertise,
our dedication, ourcommitment and acceptance of responsibility.
Resource development, construction, public works, transportation, information
technology, manufacturing, and much more - if it's happening, chances
are that Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists are involved.
And our cake will get a blue ribbon at any fair.