July 2001

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Compliance: A Department Looking Outward Unlike Other APEGGA Departments, Compliance Deals With Those Who Don't Belong

This is the initial instalment of a feature regular in The PEGG on Compliance and enforcement activities involving non-members. The section will include Compliance activities, statistics and a frequently asked question and answer. Please address any comments or questions to the Compliance Department.

Why Does APEGGA Have a Compliance Department?

The Compliance Department of APEGGA strives to protect the public and the Association's professionals from those who falsely work as or claim to be qualified engineers, geologists or geophysicists.

The Compliance Department is concerned with non-licensed and non-qualified persons, including corporations. Its job is to seek to ensure that these groups do not engage in the practice of engineering, geology or geophysics; or even hold themselves out as qualified to do so.

The Compliance Department's authority comes from the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act, which you probably know better as the EGGP Act. The department is responsible for administering Part (1) Scope of Practice of the act.
The enforcement process is both pro-active and reactive: the department looks for offences, and it acts when contraventions are brought to its attention.

There are a number of possible sources for this information: the observations of members; inquiries from members of the public; a search of the Alberta Gazette regarding corporate names advertising in the public media; the monitoring of career section advertising; and the monitoring of published Yellow Pages.

Special projects are another source, and they include checking out-of-province member listings and checking for the misuse of computer and software engineering terminology.
Once a potential violation is brought to the attention of the Association, the first function is to investigate in order to determine whether the issue is a practice or a title violation.
That takes staff, of course, which consists of Director Dave Todd, P.Eng., Compliance Coordinator Jo-Ann Marshall, Compliance Secretary Louise Heron, and two part-time contract investigators, Vince Heron, P.Eng., and Rick Young, PhD, P.Geol.
In many cases, the type of violation is obvious and is resolved by APEGGA staff. Cases which are not quite so obvious, however, or require legal action, are reviewed and discussed by the Enforcement Review Committee.

The ERC is appointed by APEGGA Council to support the Compliance Department activities. It consists of Chairman Bradley Mersereau, P.Eng., and 12 volunteers with varied backgrounds representing all three disciplines.

The Compliance Department's high level of activity is supported and encouraged by Council. Resources were increased in 2001 with the addition of two part-time contract investigators. During the period from January to May 2001, investigations were conducted on 165 cases resulting in the following:

Permits to Practice issued 26
Individual applications received 33
Individuals who ceased using non-conforming titles 15
Companies that ceased using non-conforming titles.

Resolution of the Remaining Cases Involves:

After investigation, companies and/or individuals were determined not to be engaging in the practice; permits were verified; companies were deemed to be using their trade names; legal notices issued; serious legal action in the form of court injunctions under the EGGP Act, Section 9, are proceeding in four cases; and one criminal charge is being pursued.

Frequently Asked Question and Answer:

Q: Since I am a registered P.Eng. with APEGS, am I entitled to practice engineering and/or use the designation in Alberta if I specify the provincial association? i.e. P.Eng. (APEGS)

A: No, registration is required to practice and/or use the designation in Alberta. This is the case with the majority of associations in Canada, as each have their own provincial statute.



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