Editor’s Note: Following is a
report on the most recent APEGGA Council meeting, held June
24 n the APEGGA Conference
Centre in Calgary.
Registered professional technologists should be allowed to
play a greater role in their Association’s business,
Council decided. An R.P.T. should be able to vote in APEGGA
elections and referendums, and hold elected APEGGA positions,
a Council motion recommends.
However, Council stopped short of extending the same rights
to members-in-training. Some councillors were concerned that
M.I.T.s need to earn the experience necessary for full rights
and that they still practice under supervision.
There was some discussion that those M.I.T.s who have passed
their professional practice exams are deserving of the rights.
However, that idea was dismissed because it would create
two classes of M.I.T.
R.P.T.s have the right to practice in narrow, defined scopes
approved by the Board of Examiners. Their work within their
scopes does not require the supervision or stamp of a professional
engineer, geologist or geophysicist.
The Acts, Regulations and Bylaws Committee will now develop
act amendment proposals for the additional R.P.T. rights.
Changes to the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions
Act have to be made by the Alberta Government.
originate with APEGGA must be passed by an APEGGA Annual
General Meeting before going to government.
Restricted Titles OK
In M.I.T. Job Names
To bring policy in line with practice, Council decided that
APEGGA members in training will now be able to hold employment
titles that include the terms engineer, geologist or geophysicist.
However, they must make it clear on business cards and other
listings that they are still training and therefore not yet
Until this decision, an engineer-in-training could not, strictly
speaking, be legally referred to as a project engineer. Similarly,
a Geol.I.T. could not be a field geologist, and a Geoph.I.T.
could not be a junior geophysicist.
However, APEGGA’s Compliance Department, charged with
upholding exclusive right-to-title provisions in the Engineering,
Geological and Geophysical Professions Act, was reluctant
to pursue cases against M.I.T.s. They do, after all, hold
a type of APEGGA membership, and Compliance is more concerned
about protecting the public from actual abuses by non-members.
M.I.T.s work under the supervision of professional members
and do not stamp their own work. They cannot use the titles
P.Eng., P.Geol. or P.Geoph. until they have completed four
years of experience and passed their professional practice
exams. That won’t change under the new policy.
Staff looked at the policies of other Canadian associations,
finding that some do allow M.I.T.s to use the restricted
titles while others don’t. Under the new APEGGA policy,
use of the member-in-training classifications E.I.T., Geol.I.T.
and Geoph.I.T. are acceptable with the actual job title.
That means all the following descriptions are allowed:
John Jones, E.I.T., Project Engineer
Jane Smith, Geol.I.T., Field Geologist
Jim Johnson, Geoph.I.T., Junior Geophysicist.
APEGGA Challenges Power Engineers
Over Trademark Application
Members of the Alberta Institute of Power Engineers have
the legal right to use the term power engineer and the professional
designation PE. It’s a designation exempted from right-to-title
provisions in the EGGP Act.
But the institute wants to trademark PE with the Canadian
Intellectual Property Office, and that could pose problems
for U.S. engineers working in Alberta or Canadian engineers
holding dual licensure, Council heard. In the U.S., the official
designation for a professional engineer is PE.
About 200 foreign licensees are working here who qualify
as professional engineers with one or more state licensing
boards. “While it is true that their official title
under legislation in Alberta is P.Eng., they may well self-identify
as PE in official documentation used in Alberta,” says
a staff report to Council.
Also, many full APEGGA members are qualified in the States
and carry the PE title as well as P.Eng. They normally live
and work in Alberta, but often use PE to identify themselves
in reports, proposals, drawings, designs and business letters.
If the Alberta Institute of Power Engineers is successful
in its trademark application, other uses in Canada could
be deemed illegal. APEGGA’s legal counsel will file
The AIPE representatives verbally assured us that there was
no intention to pursue the use of PE by a professional engineer
in the event that they have the trademark,” says the
report from Deputy Registrar Al Schuld, P.Eng. “However,
the nature of a trademark creates the possibility of such
Strategic Planning Loop Widened
Council has created a Strategic Planning Task Force that
seeks to keep APEGGA stakeholders in the planning loop. Under
the approved terms of reference, the task force’s purpose
is to “prepare an updated Strategic Plan, and to formalize
an annual strategic planning process which encourages stakeholder
The terms of reference call for the plan to be modelled after
the best practices of organizations similar to APEGGA. An
interim report is slated for the November 2004 Council meeting,
and a final report for June 2005.
On the task force are Past President Mike Smyth, P.Eng.,
President Linda Van Gastel, P.Eng., public Council member
Larry Ohlhauser, M.D., Vice-President Dave Chalcroft, P.Eng.,
and Council members Ian McIlreath, P.Geol., PhD, Chrys. Dmytruk,
P.Eng., and Barbara Howes, P.Eng.
Should Voting Be?
APEGGA currently uses a regular mail-in vote for members
to elect councillors. But shouldn’t an Association
of applied scientists be doing the job in a more high-tech
Not necessarily, a report to Council on electronic voting
APEGGA does use an optical scanner to count votes, under
the scrutiny of a volunteer committee ultimately responsible
for making sure the count is accurate and fair. But to shift
voting onto the Internet, APEGGA would need to ensure there’s
a verifiable audit trail and that the software comes up to
necessary accuracy standards.
Voting booth touch-screen systems that can’t be audited
are particularly suspect. And the punch-card system used
in the 2000 Florida presidential elections was also flawed,
introducing the world to such problems as “hanging
chads” and “butterfly ballots.”
Says the report to Council: “The availability of relatively
secure and reliable Internet-based transactions has led to
a variety of proposals for paperless voting in a variety
of organizations. (But) try putting ‘electronic voting’ into
a Google search and you will note the huge number of issues
Member Advocates Program
On Peace and Conflict
The University of Alberta should lead Canada in the creation
of an undergraduate program on peace and conflict, an APEGGA
life member says in a proposal sent to Council. Retired
engineer Ron Grantham, P.Eng., says the program would provide
in-depth, practical knowledge about the preservation of
peace and the resolution of conflict.
“As a member of professional engineering associations for
56 years, I never thought I would ever become a peace activist,” says
the engineer. “That is, until I learned that in the
20th century 183 million lives were lost in warfare – of
which 60 per cent were civilians, mostly women and children.”
Mr. Grantham has been discussing the idea with the Alberta
Government and the university since December 2003. His letter
sought an official APEGGA endorsement.
Council wished Mr. Grantham well on the project, but noted
that endorsing the creation of particular university programs
is beyond APEGGA’s mandate.