Engineers and technologists in British Columbia
have approved in principle a merger of their two associations.
In recent voting, members of the Association of Professional
Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) voted
72 per cent in favour of the proposed merger with technologists.
At the same time members of the Applied Science Technicians
and Technologists of British Columbia (ASTTBC) voted 91 per
cent in favour.
This paves the way for the two associations to propose legislative
changes to the Government of British Columbia to combine their
roles under one act. It is anticipated that amendments will
go to the legislature in the spring of 2004.
Under the proposed terms of the merger, technologists will
have representation on the Council as defined within a new
act. They will have full voting privileges and the right to
serve on committees.
In addition, through a definition of practice to be included
within the act, technologists will be permitted to accept
responsibility for their work when it falls within their training
and experience. They must, however, be "applying appropriate
prescriptive codes or standards in conformance with generally
accepted engineering principles and within practice guidelines
to be developed by Council," says the proposal.
Said, APEGBC Executive Director & Registrar John Bremner,
P.Eng.: "This proposal is founded on the premise that
the practices of engineering and geoscience technology are
components of the fields of engineering and geoscience, that
members typically work in a team environment, and that they
should, therefore, be regulated in a common fashion."
When implemented, the proposal will create grades of membership
that recognize the roles of engineering and geoscience technicians
and technologists, as well as members-in-training, limited
licensees, licensees, professional engineers and professional
geoscientists. It will establish a regulatory framework that
defines members' practice rights and holds them accountable
to a common code of conduct and practice standards.
ASTTBC Executive Director John Leech, AScT, believes the merger
will significantly enhance the overall regulation of engineering
and geoscience practitioners. "The public, regulatory
bodies, as well as all members, will be well served by this
one act, one association approach - a general model, by the
way, that is being actively considered in the United Kingdom,"
APEGGA has been monitoring the B.C. merger proposal in order
to be better informed. Council agreed at a recent strategic
planning retreat that the concept is one that it would be
prepared to consider.
Meanwhile, APEGGA and ASET (Alberta Society of Engineering
Technologists), at the direction of the Hon. Clint Dunford,
Minister of Human Resources and Employment, are engaged in
discussions aimed at finding ways and means by which the two
associations can better serve their respective members, and
the public, through greater cooperation and coordination.
"This proposal is founded on the premise
that the practices of engineering and geoscience technology
are components of the fields of engineering and geoscience,
that members typically work in a team environment, and that
they should, therefore, be regulated in a common fashion."
John Bremner, P.Eng.
APEGBC Executive Director & Registrar