July, 2000

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Relevance Task Force Outlines
Possible Future Paths for APEGGA

By Nordahl Flakstad

With an APEGGA Council Task Force on Relevance having completed its work,
the Association has taken an important first step in defining the role it
will play over the next decade, and possibly beyond.

Coun. Linda Van Gastel, P.Eng., who has chaired the Task Force set up in
May 1999, presented a Framework for Action when Council met in Calgary on
June 15 for its regular meeting. The Task Force's findings and suggestions
now are in the hands of Council and staff for further refinement, and,
where appropriate, implementation and incorporation into an updated
APEGGA Business Plan.

According to Ms. Van Gastel, the aim is to provide "a line of sight for

Mission Statement Amended

Action was taken on one area reviewed by the Task Force when
Council at the June meeting agreed to amend APEGGA's Mission Statement
by adding the words "protect the public". As a result, the Mission
Statement now states: "To serve society and protect the public by regulating , enhancing and providing leadership to the practice of the professions of engineering, geology and geophysics."

The action plan prepared by the Task Force is the product of consultations
held over the past year with various stakeholders, including members,
Permit holders, technical societies and those who employ APEGGA members or
purchase their professional services. Also taken into account were areas
of priority focus identified at an APEGGA strategy session held in May.

In presenting the Task Force report, Ms. Van Gastel noted that the May
strategy session identified the following as important areas for
consideration as the Association weighed its future, namely:

* protection of the public
* self-governance
* value of membership
* business relations
* mobility
* government relations
* continuing competence
* advocacy
* involvement with national bodies (the Canadian Council of Professional
Engineers and the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists) and
* promotion of science and technology.

These topics are reflected in the
strategic directions and initiatives that the Task Force suggested the
Association pursue.

Threats and Challenges

The Relevance Task Force also noted that the Association faces a number of
near and longer-term threats and/or challenges. Near-term threats and
challenges include: possible discontinuance of enabling legislation; erosion of professional designation; apathy; a proliferation of disciplines; and ineffective
communication. Looking toward the year 2010 and beyond, professional
organizations should expect to be impacted by globalization, cultural
change and differing attitudes toward the professions; and changes in the way
work is carried out -- be it through virtual offices, integrated products
and/or design build.

It is possible that governments, faced by political pressure, may
abandon current structures of self-governing professions or bow to
pressure and implement parallel legislation for emerging groups. Already
there are demands on governments -- notably in Quebec -- to exempt
engineers employed within industry from registering. A
further threat is posed if various provincial or territorial associations decide to pursue a variety of different paths on key issues,
thereby opening attempts to breach the weakest link.

Valued Partners

The Relevance Task Force provided Council with a Vision 2010 Statement
which foresees APEGGA serving both as a) a regulator that
protects the public through effective regulation and b) as a partner
delivering real value to stakeholders, including business.
In order that APEGGA be seen as a valued business partner, the Task Force
suggests, business must be convinced that:
* use and hiring of professionals brings value to the business;
* it is possible for the Association to establish partnerships with
business that respond to changing business models.

Significantly, the principles advanced by the Relevance Task Force in the
Vision 2010 Statement would not abandon APEGGA's role as an effective and
sole regulator of selected professionals.

The Task Force suggests that public trust can be built on a pyramid of values
grounded on the principles of protecting the public through regulation,
licensure and self-governance. In addition, trust will result from the
Association and its members delivering value to both the membership and business, and
through service to society.

The recommendations of the Relevance Task Force, which now has stepped
down, will be the basis of a draft action plan expected to be considered
by Council in September.

APEGGA Executive Director Neil Windsor, P.Eng., said: "We have to move ahead
in these areas -- we can't sit back and talk about it any more."

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