Terri-Jane Yuzda


Editor's Note: The following is a report on the most recent APEGGA Council meeting, held Sept. 11 at APEGGA's Calgary Conference Centre. The next Council meeting is Nov. 27 at the D.A. Lindberg Conference Centre in Edmonton, starting at 8:30 a.m.

Mentoring Handbook Nears Completion

APEGGA is putting the finishing touches on a handbook that will help mentors and proteges make the most of their working relationships. Council received the 50-plus-page Strategies for Success in Mentoring, A Handbook for Mentors and Proteges, with an eye for final approval in November and then publication.

Created by Judith Lentin, P.Geol., and the rest of the APEGGA Mentoring Committee, which is chaired by Ed Wilson, P.Eng., the handbook will replace a mentoring guideline published in 2000. The new handbook contains helpful worksheets to make it more useful to mentors and protégés than the guideline, and the writing style is less formal, and it incorporatesing mountain climbing imagery.

The handbook is the outcome of a Calgary pilot project of an APEGGA mentoring program. Mentors and proteges will use the handbook in conjunction with a new area on the APEGGA website.

Watch The PEGG and the APEGGA website, www.apegga.org, for details on ordering the handbook.

Council Adds Detail
To Provisional License Plan

Professionals from other countries often arrive to start their new lives in Canada with just one of the requirements missing for registration: a year of "equivalent" North American experience. These are immigrants who meet the academic requirement for registration. They're also competent in English, of good character, and have written any exams APEGGA has decided are necessarythe Professional Practice Exam.

For these individuals, APEGGA wants to create a new category of professional - one that recognizes that the other four registration requirements have been met, while providing an interim level of status and recognition to help them get their careers back underway.

"These individuals often find themselves in a Catch-22 situation," said Mark Tokarik, LLB, P.Eng., APEGGA's Director of Registration director. "They raise the concern that because they are not licensed with APEGGA, they cannot find an engineering or geoscience job, and because they can't find such a job, they cannot obtain the one year of Canadian experience required to become licensed as a professional member."

Council discussed Mr. Tokarik's report on the issue, which included information on how the Newfoundland, Ontario and B.C. associations are dealing with the matter. A key point is independence - some models allow provisional license holders more independence than others.

Council decided, however, that holders of the new license will be required to work under the supervision of a licensed professional and will not have their own stamps. Protection of the public is paramount, councillors Council said. The experience requirement is important because of climatic and cultural differences, and the need to learn the practice guidelines, policies, codes and ethics that professionals here in Canada follow.

The license holders will have two years to complete the requirement of one year of experience under the supervision of a licensed professional. The provisional license will be open to non-Canadian citizens, landed immigrants and non-landed immigrants.

The new license will require regulationbylaw changes, meaning it will have to be approved be an APEGGA annual general meeting before going to the Alberta Government.

Meanwhile, a task force is looking into new categories of membership and plans to bring policy recommendations to the November Council meeting. The Inclusivity Task Force, chaired by APEGGA President-Elect Linda Van Gastel, P.Eng., comes out of a May strategic planning meeting, which found that APEGGA needs to strive to encompass more member types.

The task force is looking at new categories for international graduates, emerging disciplines, related science professionalss working in the area of engineering, geology or geophysics, other practitioners not possessing full professional qualifications, and technologists.

Business Plan Approved
The 2004 Business Plan, A New Focus met with Council approval. Staff will report back during the year on how the Association is meeting the goals included in it.

The 20-page document divides APEGGA's activities into seven key goals, which come out of the Association's core business roles. Each goal calls for results, and includes strategies, key initiatives and ways to measure success.

APEGGA defines its core business as:

  • Registration and licensure of engineers, geologists and geophysicists in Alberta
  • Regulation of the professions
  • Protection of exclusive scopes of practice and restricted titles
  • Continuance of the privilege of self-governance
  • Support of national associations
  • Delivery of real value to stakeholders
  • Provision of leadership in advancing science and technology.

The full document will soon be available on the APEGGA website, www.apegga.org.

Reserve Policy Stays
For at least another year, APEGGA will continue using a financial reserve policy that ties the value of its financial reserve to operating expenses. Although there is a possibility, in the future, that this policy could force theour reserve to exceed the value calculated to cover the risks inherent in running APEGGA, and that the surplus could be taxed, for now; at the present time our reserve matches the calculated values.

In 2001 the policy was revised to reduce the relationship on expenses from 50 per cent% to between 25 and 35 per cent5% in recognition of the potential to create this taxable surplus. Council adopted the system in 2001 in reaction to a federal government taxation bulletin. If the value was kept too high, Council learned then, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency could choose to tax the Association at for-profit rates. See The PEGG, January 2002.

The policy calls on APEGGA to reduce its reserve to a range of 25 to 35 per cent of operating expenses by 2005. Before 2001, the policy was to keep the reserve at 50 per cent of operating expenses.
Council considered a new policy at the Sept. 11 meeting that would set the reserve at $2,525,000, reviewable yearly, but decided that the present policy was appropriate for now.. That would further reduce the possibility of for-profit taxation, the Finance Committee said, while decreasing the need to put a portion of member dues towards the reserve.

Council accepted the committee recommendation for information, deciding to stay with the status quo for another year.

Insurance Task Force Struck
Professional liability insurance providers are trying to recoup their losses after large claims against their policies. What that means for APEGGA members is less selection, higher premiums, greater limitations and more exclusions in policies sold to them.

Some members are being denied liability insurance all together, Council heard, while others are being forced to buy insurance they don't want, because of the way policies are bundled.
The situation is exposing members to greater personal liability. Also, some old projects covered under old policies qualify for less extensive or no coverage at all under the new policies, Coun. Dave Chalcroft, P.Eng., explained.

"It is imperative that the professions review what is going on, determine the extent of the problem and make some recommendations on how to handle this risk management tool in the future," said Mr. Chalcroft.

Council agreed and approved the creation of the Insurance Review Task Force, chaired by Mr. Chalcroft.

Two Guidelines Approved
A guideline to assist professional members when they're called as witnesses is among two guidelines that Council approved for publication, Sept. 11. The Guideline for Professional Member as Witness helps members understand their roles when a court or quasi-judicial body calls them as witnesses.

"If professionals misunderstand their role as witnesses, it may result in the degradation of professional, intellectual and personal integrity," said Lianne Lefsrud, P.Eng., Aassistant assistant Ddirector of Professional Practice, in her report to Council.

The guideline covers confidentiality, conflict of interest, thoroughness, preparation of data and other topics.

Also approved for publication was the Guideline for Professional Practice Management Plans. It's designed to help members prepare a PPMP for a permit-holding company, to satisfy recently proclaimed new regulatory requirements.

Both plans will be available soon in print and on the APEGGA website, click here. Watch the PEGG for further details.


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