BY RON TENOVE, P.ENG.
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
6. ELQTF - studying merits of a new model for engineering
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
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
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.