Close on the heels of the Annual General
Meeting, APEGGA Council and senior staff traditionally hold
a weekend strategy
session. The session provides an opportunity for new Council
members to meet and build relationships with the people
they will be working with for the next several years.
More importantly, it provides an opportunity for focused
discussion of issues and helps set the agenda for Council
for the coming year.
This year we focused on APEGGA’s long range plan – a
plan that provides strategic direction for APEGGA over the
next five to 10 years. We began by reviewing the existing
plan, and moved from there to identifying issues facing APEGGA
in both the short- and long-term.
Council, staff and members had been asked for input to the
identification of issues prior to the session, so we already
had a good starting point. Most of the issues raised naturally
fell into one of four major theme areas: regulation, reputation,
connection and governance.
The regulation theme area includes many immediate issues – inclusivity,
ASET and the technologists, enforcement effectiveness, offshore
sourcing of professional services, and others. APEGGA’s
primary responsibility is protection of the public through
regulation of the practice of the professions, and our continued
ability to fulfill our mandate depends in part on our handling
of these issues.
It has become clear over the past few months, however, that
many of our members do not necessarily share a common understanding
of APEGGA’s regulatory role – our mandate.
Council believes that we must first understand and clearly
articulate our regulatory role – in a way that clarifies
for everyone the basic expectations of APEGGA, and provides
a foundation for building consensus on long-range strategic
direction. We have formed a task force to deal with this
The reputation theme area deals with recent challenges to
the reputation of our professions such as the charges of
bad engineering associated with mega-project cost overruns,
and with the perceived value – or relevance – of
the professions to members and other stakeholders. Our primary
tool in dealing with issues in this area is advocacy on behalf
of the professions. APEGGA is increasingly active in this
The major issue in the connection theme area is connection
with members. We are very much aware that APEGGA needs to
improve communication and consultation with members of the
Association – not just when significant issues such
as inclusivity are being considered, but on an ongoing basis.
We have had a lot of feedback from some members regarding
how to improve, and we spent a good portion of our strategy
session dealing with this issue. Many good suggestions were
made, and you can be assured that Council and staff view
this area as a top priority for the coming year.
We’ll start with engaging our members and stakeholders
in dialogue on inclusivity, but we won’t stop there.
You can expect several opportunities to become engaged on
issues of importance to our professions and our Association
over the coming year.
The final theme area is governance of the Association. This
is Council’s job – Council acts as the board
of directors of APEGGA – and several opportunities
for improvement were suggested. Council, staff and the governance
committee work together to tune up Council processes and
improve performance measurement, stewardship and effectiveness.
We have formed a Strategic Planning Task Force, led by President-Elect
Larry Staples, P.Eng., with a mandate to document the current
state of our strategic plan, incorporate input from Council
and then engage the membership in dialogue on the content
of the plan. The intent is to affirm well-understood and
broadly endorsed strategic directions for the organization.
Look for more information on this as the year progresses.
APEGGA has an ambitious agenda for the year ahead. We want
to see improvements in a variety of areas – in our
regulatory practices, our advocacy activities on behalf of
our professions, our member consultation and communication
practices, and the internal functioning of our organization.
Some of this work is in response to near term challenges
resulting in part from our increasingly diverse professions
and changing work environments. Some of the work capitalizes
on continuous improvement opportunities. Some of the work
is more proactive in nature and recognizes that, just as
our professions are evolving, APEGGA must evolve to maintain
relevance to members, the government, the public and other
Some of you have already taken the time to contact me with
your perspectives and concerns regarding APEGGA initiatives.
I’d like to hear from more of you. The website has
an e-mail contact area that makes that easy, and I encourage
you to use it.
An organization like ours thrives on member involvement – and
I look forward to hearing from you.