Terri-Jane Yuzda


to Reach Agreement

Discussions about technologists joining a more inclusive APEGGA have broken off for now, but your leadership remains optimistic Alberta can improve upon British Columbia's model.

APEGGA President

Tucked away on the back page of the June issue of the PEGG was an important article detailing a major development in the Province of British Columbia. In B.C., the engineers and technologists have agreed to merge into one regulatory body. Big news, and big ramifications for the members of both organizations.

Meanwhile, here in Alberta, APEGGA and ASET, the Alberta Society of Engineering Technologists, have recently been engaged in discussions aimed at finding ways and means by which the two associations can better serve their respective members, and the public, through greater cooperation and coordination. We were doing so at the direction of the Hon. Clint Dunford, Minister of Human Resources and Employment.

"What does that mean?" you ask. Simply put, APEGGA was talking with ASET about the future of both organizations and the relationship between them.

However, as you have read elsewhere in this month's PEGG, those talks have broken off, and ASET is unwilling at this time to consider becoming an important and integral part of a new and more inclusive APEGGA.

The following letter has been sent to ASET for publication in Technology Today, and is reproduced here for your information. As always, your input and guidance are crucial to the decision-making process within APEGGA. Drop me a note or give me a call with your concerns, comments and ideas. I look forward to hearing from you. Together, we can make a difference.

An Open Letter to Members of ASET
The Alberta Society of Engineering Technologists

Ninety-one per cent of the members of your sister association in British Columbia, Applied Science Technicians and Technologists of British Columbia (ASTTBC), recently voted to merge with the B.C. engineers and geoscientists to become members of a new APEGBC. Imagine 91 per cent of any group anywhere agreeing on anything. I usually have trouble getting my family to agree on what to have for dinner. Imagine agreeing to totally restructure a proud and long-established organization representing some 10,000 technologists and technicians, and joining together with another group to form a new professional regulatory association.

But they did agree, 91 per cent of ASTTBC members who voted.

"I wonder why?" you ask. When asked, John Leech, executive director of ASTTBC, answered simply, "The public, regulatory bodies, as well as members of both associations will be best served by this one-act, one-association model."

"I'm skeptical" you say. The devil is in the details, as the saying goes. Well, the detail that resulted in such an overwhelming show of support is that within a one-act, one- association model, technologists will be able to accept responsibility for work that falls within their training and experience. They will apply "appropriate prescriptive codes or standards within guidelines to be developed by the council of the new association," and will practice independently.

"Sounds too good to be true," you say. It's true. APEGBC engineers and geoscientists also voted positively, in a similar referendum, that a single regulatory association would be best for all stakeholders. APEGBC Executive Director John Bremner said, "This proposal is founded on the fact that the practice of engineering and geoscience technology are components of the fields of engineering and geoscience, and that they should be regulated in a seamless and singular fashion."

"What's the catch?" you ask. No catch. In B.C. they simply agreed that engineering technology is part and parcel of the practice of engineering. They agreed that, in the best interests of the public, technologists should be included. They agreed that the best way to regulate engineering technology is to join together with the engineering association and be regulated. They agreed.

"It's hard to believe," you say. Believe it. Here is one last thing to consider, while we are on the subject of agreement. One hundred per cent of the members of APEGGA's Council agreed on something at our June meeting. This frequently happens under our collaborative decision making model within APEGGA. 100 per cent of the APEGGA Council agreed that the one-act, one-association model under which engineering technologists in B.C. will soon be accepting responsibility for their work, looks to be a viable model. APEGGA Council agreed, 100 per cent.

"Why can't we do that here in Alberta?" you ask. We can. APEGGA and ASET were talking about this and other options. Talks have broken off and the path forward is in the hands of the minister now, but I still have faith that together we can develop a made-in-Alberta solution that improves upon the B.C. model. The ASET leadership has a vision of the future for ASET members, and has done such a good job communicating that vision that I can say confidently that it is not very different from the APEGGA vision of the future. The only thing that prevents this vision from becoming reality is disagreement on how best to accomplish it.

APEGGA has serious reservations and concerns with the model proposed by ASET, and communicated those to your representatives during our discussions. APEGGA proposed several possible alternatives, but it seems that none of these was explored in sufficient detail to make the ASET Council comfortable enough to recommend them to you, the members of ASET.

All I can tell you is that we both tried very hard to find a way to make something good happen. I'm personally disappointed that APEGGA and ASET could not agree on how to do it, but am very encouraged that there is a shared vision for the future.

Your input and guidance is crucial to this decision making process. I know you will discuss this with your executive and council. In addition, though, feel free to drop me a note or give me a call with your concerns, comments and ideas. I look forward to hearing from you. Together, we can make a difference.

Home | Past PEGGs | PEGG Search | Contact Us