APEGGA Monitors B.C. Proposal on Technologist Issue

Editor's Note: Following is a report on the most recent APEGGA Council meeting, held Sept. 13 in Grande Prairie. This was the second meeting in the current Council year. Five Council meetings per year are held, in Edmonton, Calgary and one of the branch communities. The next meeting is Thursday, Nov. 28, in the D.A. Lindberg Conference Centre in the Edmonton APEGGA offices.

The APEGGA Executive Committee is keeping a close eye on how British Columbia handles the relationship between professional engineers and geoscientists, and engineering and geoscience technologists and technicians. There, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C. and the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C. are investigating the concept of one act and one association. The act and association would cover technologists, technicians, and professional engineers and geoscientists.

In Alberta, the Alberta Society of Engineering Technologists has embarked on an aggressive campaign to have the government create a separate act with an independent scope of practice for technologists, Council heard. It's important to note, however, that in Alberta there's already a system in place that works, said APEGGA President Ron Tenove, P.Eng. He pointed to the success of the R.P.T.(Eng.) designation, which has APEGGA license engineering technologists to perform engineering within a clearly defined individual scope of practice. See The PEGG, September 2002, Technologists Further Careers, and The Steps to R.P.T.(Eng.)

Oil and Gas Reviews

APEGGA's Practice Review Board is taking a careful look at oil and gas permit holders to see what standard they meet in their evaluation and reporting of oil and gas reserves. Council heard that the board plans to conduct 12 to 15 reviews a year in each of the next three years to see whether the permit holders are practicing within a proposed practice standard designed to bring more consistency and accuracy to evaluation and reporting.

"The reviews are expected to be more intensive than the current set of random proactive practice reviews and will require reviewers with extensive knowledge of that area of professional practice," said the Practice Review Board report to Council.

The proposed new practice standard comes out of an APEGGA inquiry into evaluation and reporting. The inquiry found "significant problems" in the area that the industry were already aware of and are concerned about.

Microsoft Reversal

Other computer technology companies have been satisfied coming up with a term other than "engineer" for their technicians. But not Microsoft Canada Co., Council heard.

The software giant has broken an agreement arrived at a year and a half ago to stop using the term Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer in Canada. Only the acronym MCSE would be used under the agreement. See The PEGG, May 2001, Engineers, Microsoft Agree on Use of MCSE Designation, and The PEGG, September 2002, Microsoft Changes Stance on Title Infringement.

In a July letter to its MCSEs in Canada, Microsoft said they should "feel free" to use the spelled-out version of the designation. APEGGA must proceed cautiously, however, while protecting the public. That's because recently court decisions have not always been favourable to APEGGA's position. Courts haven't always upheld restricting the use of the protected titles to professional members of APEGGA. Other provinces have similar rights-to-title in their legislation.

Kyoto Position

Council instructed APEGGA to take a neutral stand on the Kyoto Accord. The Government of Canada intends to push forward on meeting the terms of the protocol to reduce so-called greenhouse gas emissions, but it doesn't have the Alberta Government's support nor a clear consensus of scientists.
Under Council's instruction, APEGGA will submit a letter to the Prime Minister urging caution and national debate, leading to a full understanding and consensus before action on Kyoto is taken. The letter will be made public. See President's Notebook.

Opinions Gauged

Staff presented summaries of major reports on opinions held about APEGGA and its effectiveness. Council discussed opinion surveys of members, employers and the public, conducted by E.M. Ashmore & Associates Inc., as well as a Downey Norris & Associates Inc. audit of the communications. The audit looks at the effectiveness of communications strategies, plans and activities.

Business Report Received

Council looked over the most recent version of the APEGGA Business Plan, which outlines APEGGA's strategies and goals, and is developed and updated through annual strategic planning sessions of Council and staff. Council is pleased with the inclusion of more measurables in the plan, and wants to see continued improvements after the next planning session in the spring of 2003.

President Ron Tenove, P.Eng., said he believes staff refer to the plan regularly. It's up to Council to make sure directors "are essentially following the marching orders," he said.

The business plan, called The Next Steps, includes seven fundamental goals: that the obligations of the EGGP Act are met; that the quality of practitioners is assured; that compliance with licensure requirements is assured; that government, business and permit holders are assured of the quality and value of practitioners; that national objectives are met and coordinated through CCPE and CCPG; that APEGGA plays an advocacy role for members and permit holders; and that APEGGA's programs enhance the value and awareness of science and technology.


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