Another summer has passed, and I’m sure you all took
advantage of the good weather when we had it. Summer is traditionally
a slow period for APEGGA, but this past one was busier than
APEGGA attended the 14th annual Pacific NorthWest Economic
Region Summit, held this year in Victoria, and was represented
by Executive Director & Registrar Neil Windsor, P.Eng.,
and President-Elect Larry Staples, P.Eng.
Our involvement in PNWER is a powerful tool in the ongoing
initiative to improve mobility of professions between Canada
and the U.S. It’s also a direct reflection of the importance
of APEGGA and our engineers, geologists and geophysicists
in the economic development of this powerful region.
Quoting directly from the PNWER website: “PNWER is
a statutory, public/private partnership composed of legislators,
governments, and businesses in the Northwest states of Alaska,
Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington and the Western Canadian
provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and the Yukon Territory.
PNWER promotes greater regional cooperation by governments
and business to enhance the region's global competitiveness,
while striving to maintain or improve its environment.
“If it were a nation, PNWER would rank 11th among
the world's leading industrial economies, with combined population
of more than 18 million and an annual gross regional product
of over $350 billion (USD). PNWER was created in 1991 by
uniform legislation passed in each of the member jurisdictions.
”All state and provincial legislators in the region
are members of PNWER, as are the governors and premiers.
private sector members, counties, economic development commissions,
industry associations and similar entities may join PNWER.”
APEGGA has been a member of PNWER and attended meetings
for the past several years, with the primary purpose of promoting
cross-border mobility for our members. At this last meeting,
Mr. Windsor and Dave Curtis, P.E., Executive Director of
the Idaho Board of Professional Engineers and Professional
Land Surveyors, championed a resolution that encourages licensing
authorities to seek legislative amendments needed to enable
recognition of licenses held in other PNWER jurisdictions,
where the requirements are substantially equivalent. Several
members signed – Idaho, Washington, Alberta and B.C.,
and others indicated significant support.
This is a significant step forward in achieving cross-border
mobility for Alberta engineers, and it has come about largely
through the patient, persistent and effective work of our
executive director in dealing with the other PNWER member
boards. In fact, Mr. Windsor and Mr. Curtis jointly received
PNWER’s Hot Potato Award for their efforts.
This award is given annually to recognize outstanding work
on a particularly difficult issue, and we can all be proud
of Neil’s work on our behalf.
Other Cross-border Connections
APEGGA also attends meetings of the U.S. NCEES, the National
Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.
For licensure in the U.S., individuals are required to pass
two exams, set by nationally by NCEES. The first is the Fundamentals
of Engineering exam, which is administered to graduates of
engineering degree programs, and provides assurance of attainment
of fundamental skills. The second is the Principles and Practice
of Engineering exam, which can only be taken after four years
experience and is meant to provide assurance of attainment
of engineering skills that can only be gained by experience.
APEGGA has been attending these meetings for several years.
Again, the issue is mobility, and especially recognition
of Canadian academic training. APEGGA is widely recognized
as a leader among Canadian engineering associations for our
work in this arena. Mr. Windsor and CCPE President Darrel
Danyluk, P.Eng., a past president of APEGGA, have worked
hard and have developed a significant degree of trust and
respect for Canadian associations and their regulatory practices.
One result of this work is the recent acceptance of APEGGA
as a proctor of the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering exams.
Many Canadian engineering graduates have now taken the exam
through APEGGA and have demonstrated the excellence of Canadian
The most recent session resulted in a 100 per cent pass rate!
This is substantially better than the examinees’ U.S.
counterparts, and will be very helpful in our continuing
bid for recognition of Canadian credentials. We can be very
proud of our Canadian education and accreditation system.
One last note in closing. U.S. state boards, the groups
that license engineers in the U.S., have much in common with
Canadian associations. There is concern about declining licensure
and the difficulties inherent in dealing with emerging technologies.
There are members who are concerned about perpetuation of
the exclusive nature of the licensure process, and those
who believe that the tried-and-true processes are the best
and only way to proceed.
U.S. licensing bodies are challenged to find ways to deal
with their rapidly evolving professions, just as we are,
and the concerns are remarkably similar. Our solutions are
likely to be similar, too, and they will be arrived at through
careful consideration of alternatives.
The strong and overriding need, on both sides of the border,
is to find ways to encourage licensure while maintaining
the high standard of entry and protection of the public interest
that we now enjoy. It will be an interesting journey for
As always, I welcome your comments. You can e-mail me at
firstname.lastname@example.org, and I look forward to hearing from