BY GEORGE LEE
The “Kananaskis Model” of a more inclusive regulatory
body for professional practitioners of engineering, geoscience
and related technology – one that welcomes a much broadened
range of engineering and geoscience practitioners –
has been formally shared with the Hon. Clint Dunford, Alberta
Minister of Human Resources and Employment. APEGGA sent a
letter dated Oct. 1 to Mr. Dunford, urging him to adopt the
model as a way to address ongoing concerns that the leadership
of the Alberta Society of Engineering Technologists have continued
to express, and at the same time greatly improve public protection.
For a number of years ASET’s leadership has been lobbying
for its own provincial act, one that would give it self-regulatory
powers. Membership in the society is currently voluntary.
ASET wants to license certain technologists and define their
scopes of practice, even though the job of regulating the
practices of engineering and geoscience clearly lies with
APEGGA under the EGGP Act.
As the body with more than 80 years of experience protecting
the public, APEGGA is strongly against seeing self-regulation
of engineering and geoscience delegated to more than one organization.
The Association holds that technologists are part of the engineering
and geoscience teams integral to the Alberta economy, and
that it just doesn’t make sense to divide up regulatory
More than one regulatory body would be confusing to the public
and employers, would be inefficient, and would not meet the
government’s goal of public protection and well-being,
said APEGGA President Mike Smyth, P.Eng. “We’re
all part of the same team. Members of the same team can’t
play in different leagues,” he said.
Last March, Mr. Dunford gave ASET and APEGGA until Oct. 1
to provide a solution. However, after seven meetings between
the leaderships of the organizations, discussions reached
a stalemate, even though APEGGA is willing to change its very
structure to accommodate the career goals of technologists.
Last May APEGGA Council and senior management developed the
concept of a new model of membership, based on “inclusivity.”
This unanimous agreement of Council came during strategic
planning sessions in Kananaskis Country.
Under the Kananaskis Model, a laddered system of licensure
would allow technologists to work towards full professional
licensure within one organization, providing they’re
working in the engineering or geoscience fields. They could
become members regardless of whether they qualify for an independent
scope of practice.
But the vision covers more than technologists. It would accommodate
internationally trained practitioners, emerging disciplines
and others who are not currently eligible for professional
licensure in engineering, geology or geophysics.
“ The Kananaskis Model recognizes that protection of
the public is paramount,” said APEGGA Executive Director
and Registrar, Neil Windsor, P.Eng. “We believe we’ve
found a way to include more people, many of whom are currently
practicing engineering and geoscience without being regulated
or having any form of licensure whatsoever. At the same time,
this meets the needs of practitioners who want to advance
their careers, and it advances the concept of lifelong learning.”
In recent years APEGGA has continued to move towards inclusivity.
About 100 members carry the designation R.P.T.(Eng.), which
was created in 1999. As registered professional technologists
in engineering, members work under a strictly defined scope
of practice without supervision by a professional engineer,
based on their experience and qualifications. This year, R.P.T.(Geol.)
and R.P.T.(Geoph.) designations were also added to the spectrum
of membership categories.
Mr. Smyth said Association representatives went into discussions
with ASET with open minds. Five options were considered, and
several of them probably would have been acceptable to APEGGA.
The impasse came when ASET’s Council voted that the
only acceptable solution the Society sees is an umbrella type
of provincial act covering a number of different self-regulatory
Such a system is unnecessary, said Mr. Smyth. Technologists
would find exactly what they need under the Kananaskis Model.
“We’re willing to become a very different association
than we are right now. Under the model we’re proposing,
all members would have the full rights and privileges of membership.
A certified engineering technologist, for example, with no
defined scope of practice, could run for Council,” said
Mr. Smyth. Engineers, geoscientists, technologists and, most
of all, the Alberta public would benefit from this proposal.
If you would like more information, or if you would like to
know how you can help communicate APEGGA’s message to
elected officials and employers, please contact Executive
Director Neil Windsor, P.Eng., at firstname.lastname@example.org, (780)
426-3990 or 1-800-661-7020.
Also be sure to regularly check the APEGGA website at www.apegga.org
for additional information on the Kananaskis Model and updates
on this evolving situation.