Editor’s Note: The following statistics
track this year’s APEGGA Compliance Department activity
from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31. The department’s job is to
enforce the right-to-practice and right- to- title provisions
of the EGGP Act Part 1. The Compliance Department’s
focus, therefore, is on individuals and companies that are
not members – those which may be, inadvertently or
otherwise, holding themselves out as members or practicing
the professions illegally.
|Active files as of January 1, 2004
|Files opened during period
|Files Resolved for Individuals
| Ceased using restricted title
| Personal registration
| Verified not practicing
| Files Resolved for Companies
| Permits issued or reinstated
| Ceased using restricted title/violating
| Verified not practicing
|Active Files at May 31, 2004
*Note: Compliance files not mentioned above were resolved
for various other reasons, such as confirmation that an individual
or company is already registered with APEGGA, verification
that an individual contacted is not living or working in
Alberta, clarification that a company is actually a trade
name of a member etc.
When a company employs APEGGA members, the Compliance Department
assumes that the company’s activities constitute
the practice of engineering, geology or geophysics and
a permit to practice is required. This is not always the
case, however. Periodically, the Compliance Department
encounters companies employing APEGGA members whose activities
are not clearly the practice of these disciplines.
In these situations, the Compliance Department, with the
assistance of the Enforcement Review Committee, must reasonably
and responsibly apply the broad definition of the practice
of engineering, geology, and geophysics as found in the EGGP
Act to specific activities or sets of activities in specific
settings and contexts. In addition, we must determine whether
or not the activities in question would be exempt under the
EGGP Act sections 2(4), 5(2), or 7(2).
The following are two examples of cases in which companies
employ APEGGA members, but a clear case could not be made
that their activities constitute the practice of engineering
as defined in the EGGP Act.
Company number one was contacted for the reason that it
employs engineers and their activities appeared to constitute
the practice of engineering. It responded by describing activities
as that of a manufacturer’s agent. The company’s
clients provide specifications and it matches these requirements
to items listed in catalogues of the various manufacturers
it represents. Any engineering in developing the specifications
is done by the clients’ engineers.
In analyzing this case, a decision-making process was applied
to the legal definition of engineering. It was determined
that the company is involved in some of the activities mentioned
in the definition (such as reporting on, advising on and
evaluating), however in doing these, it is not involved in
making judgments or recommendations that require the professional
application of the principles of mathematics, chemistry,
physics or any other related applied subject. Also, as the
company supplies products designated by engineering performed
by clients, it could be considered to be exempt under the
EGGP Act section 2(4)(a).
In concluding this case, the fact that the confirming information
was provided by a professional member was taken into consideration.
The company was advised that the activities as described
are exempt under section 2(4)(a) and are not considered to
be the practice of engineering as defined by the legal definition.
For this reason, APEGGA would not be pursuing a permit to
practice any further at this time.
However, if any change is contemplated in the future, we
would expect the company to apply for a permit before any
engineering activity takes place.
Company number two is a construction company employing APEGGA
members. We contacted the company on the assumption that
some of its activities would involve the practice of engineering.
In response, the company advised that it is a general contractor
and project manager, and does not engage in the practice
One purpose of the EGGP Act section 2(4)(a) is to exempt
traditional contractors who do not practice engineering,
but whose projects are designed and supervised by a P.Eng.
With this in mind, the company was requested to provide detailed
information by responding to the following question: “After
considering the definition of engineering, do you feel that
the company’s activities constitute at least some engineering
or would you consider them to fall entirely into the category
of a traditional contracting firm and qualify for an exemption
under section 2(4)(a)?”
A very detailed response was received from a senior P.Eng.
employee in which the various activities stated in the definition
of engineering were applied to the activities of the company.
Although several of these activities (such as reporting on,
advising on, evaluating and directing the construction of)
are carried out, it was determined that none require making
judgments or recommendations that require the professional
application of mathematics, chemistry, physics or any related
It was concluded that the activities have to do with achieving
the specifications of third-party engineers, as opposed to
developing the specifications. After considering all of the
information, it was concluded that the company operates as
a traditional contracting firm as opposed to an engineering
firm, and the exemption under section 2(4)(a) applies.
Similarly to company number one, company number two was
advised that the activities, as described, would not be considered
to be the practice of engineering as defined by the legal
definition, and that APEGGA would not be pursuing a permit
to practice any further at this time. However, if change
is contemplated in the future which would involve the practice
of engineering, we would expect the company to apply for
a permit before the additional activity takes place.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Q. What is the correct procedure for laying a complaint
to APEGGA on a compliance issue?
A. The Compliance Department encourages complaints from
both members and members of the public regarding non-members
who are practicing or holding out to practice engineering,
geology and/or geophysics. The complaint is not required
in writing, but it must be accompanied by evidence such as
a business card or report etc. If the evidence is sufficient
to support the complaint, the Compliance staff will make
contact with the person or company complained against. The
source of the complaint is treated anonymously.
If you suspect a non-member or non-permitted company
operating in contravention of the EGGP Act, contact
Toll-free 1-800-661-7020, Ext. 2325