BY GEORGE LEE
A young program that attracts qualified engineering technologists
to APEGGA's professional fold is winning high praise from
those who carry the designation, as well as from the companies
they work for and the clients they serve. Right now, more
than 70 APEGGA licensees are permitted to put the designation
R.P.T.(Eng.) after their names. It means they have met the
qualifications contained in the legislation and that they
are able to independently practice engineering within their
defined scope of practice.
"From the clients' perspective, this demonstrates that
I have the experience and training to perform the tasks they
expect of me," says Herb Putz, R.P.T.(Eng.), a senior
electrical consultant in Edmonton with the worldwide engineering
firm Stantec. Clients see his proposals, check his credentials
and learn that Mr. Putz is proficient within his scope. "By
the time they've accepted my proposal, they know that the
designation is credible."
Credibility is built into the approval process. See related
story. Mr. Putz was among the early technologists to follow
this career path, receiving his APEGGA designation in December
2000, and the decision to apply has proven itself a good one.
It's no empty title, either. Being an R.P.T.(Eng.) has helped
Mr. Putz do a better job.
"I have the opportunity to take full responsibility for
my area of a project - and accept full liability. I'm extremely
aware of my responsibilities. I often go back and review the
requirements of the designation, my scope of practice and
the ethical responsibilities of what I do."
Competent and Capable
Mr. Putz's supervisor needs no convincing. "He's excellent
on both counts - as an R.P.T.(Eng.) and as an employee. His
most exemplary characteristic is technical knowledge and background,"
says Glenn Stowkowy, P.Eng., a Stantec Consulting principal.
"He was competent and capable before, and it's definitely
carried forward. He earned a high degree of respect before,
and he elevated that to an even higher level when he demonstrated
further qualifications and was granted the title," says
There were financial implications, too. After Mr. Putz, 49,
received his designation, he approached his employer and negotiated
a better salary package.
Like Mr. Putz, George Germain, R.P.T.(Eng.), has no regrets.
Mr. Germain, the president of natural gas pipeline SCADA for
Tandem Technology Consulting Inc., consults natural gas pipeline
operations in computerized real-time operating processes.
He'd worked with engineers and technologists for many years,
and believed he could qualify for the designation by combining
his education and experience.
"I now have clients in the gas industry who seek out
my experience for consultation," says the 47-year-old.
He's currently consulting for Petrobras, the oil and gas company
of Brazil, helping it with its SCADA evolution. "Since
registration, I have more confidence working with clients,
even though they tend not to know the designation very well
yet. They do trust, however, the broader process of ASET/APEGGA
registration to show ability."
Mr. Germain is thankful for the efforts of the people at ASET
and APEGGA who pushed for the designation. "These people
worked hard for many years, through all the changes needed
in legislation and within ASET and APEGGA. Their perseverance
has paid off as professional status for me, and I thank them
Ken Moore, R.P.T.(Eng.), is another APEGGA professional working
on SCADA from a Calgary base. The president of Atlantis Controls
Ltd., Mr. Moore designs SCADA acquisition, instrumentation
and control, and communications and low voltage power systems
for crude oil and natural gas facilities. "The opportunity
to gain recognition and have the responsibility for work performed
within a defined scope has been very rewarding," says
Mr. Moore, 44.
His working relationships with clients and professional engineers
have improved. With the combining of his designation and experience,
Mr. Moore has also become more credible and respected on the
job, he says. "Recognition is becoming more noticeable
within the professional community. I have had clients mandate
the R.P.T.(Eng.) designation and responsibility on all work
There's been one surprising benefit come Mr. Moore's way,
too. "It seems that recognition from the financial and
insurance industries, as well as the general public, is more
noticeable, and somewhat of an unexpected advantage."