Terri-Jane Yuzda

Raising a Glass to the Summer Gone By; Making A Better Future for Our Professions

APEGGA President

As summer winds down and vacation allotments run dry, we enter September with a full calendar of APEGGA activities to enhance the value of our professional members to our public audiences. My presidential tasks were relatively light over July and August.

Of note was attending the annual general meeting of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying in the United States. NCEES develops and administers exams for professional registration. In each state, a government-appointed board regulates the profession while NCEES provides the exam services to all as part of the licensing process. This approach is quite different from Canada's, where we enjoy self-governance through provincial legislated acts and handle all activities through one organization, such as APEGGA.

Regardless of licensure structure, professionals in both countries wrestle with the same problems of ensuring their relevance to society, members and users of engineering (surveying, geology and geophysics) services. Following is the list of the most pressing topics of attention, decided by delegate voting at the NCEES AGM:

1. Accreditation and Education Issues
2. Mobility of Professionals -- between states and internationally
3. Value of Licensure
4. Splintering - emerging disciplines
5. Exam Issues - relevance, quality control and security of process
6. ELQTF - studying merits of a new model for engineering licensure

How Full Is Your Glass?
Over the last few months I have had many discussions with members about how the professions of engineering, geology and geophysics are viewed by their peers, customers, and acquaintances in the general public. In an earlier column, I referred to our collective apathy towards individually taking responsibility to raise the profile of our professions as an essential component in a healthy and vibrant Alberta. Generally, the glass is viewed as being 7/9ths full, but because it is human nature to dwell on the 2/9ths that's empty, I received numerous suggestions for actions to enhance the profile of APEGGA's role and membership.

Following is a partial list of your suggestions, presented as questions, on how we can take the initiative in communicating value and responsibility.

1. Has a member of the general public ever commented respectfully to you on your contribution to the community as a professional?

2. Have you ever talked to an elected official of the community, municipal, provincial or federal government, and received encouragement or endorsement for the fine work and community involvement of APEGGA members?

3. Have you ever sought out an APEGGA volunteer and listened to their pride in giving back to a profession that has provided a respected career and quality lifestyle?

4. Have you ever spoke to a teacher in your child's school or an APEGGA Outreach volunteer about their value in encouraging young minds to consider further studies in the sciences and mathematics?

5. As a buyer, user or provider of engineering, geology or geophysics services, have you ever discussed the societal value of life-cycle costing in deliberations of the scope of work and commercial terms for the study or project?

6. Have you ever taken the initiative to seek out and talk to a non-registered engineering, geology or geophysics graduate about the value and requirement of being a licensed professional engineer, geologist or geophysicist?

7. Have you ever talked to a respected technologist in your organization about the opportunity to become a registered professional engineering technologist, or R.P.T.(Eng.), with APEGGA to enhance their profile and independence within the regulated environment?

8. Have you ever talked to your peers about the merits of lifelong learning within your employer's training program or the APEGGA Continuing Professional Development program?

9. Have you ever sent a note to a visionary or leader in our professions, one of the Summit Award winners or a volunteer listed in the APEGGA Annual Report, offering congratulations for his or her contribution and achievements?

Well, if you score 7/9 or higher, then you are truly engaged as a motivated and aware member of a valued profession. If your glass is more than 2/9ths empty, however, I encourage you to pick at least one item per month and enjoy the experience.

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