The following news items were gathered from the last
APEGGA Council meeting, held Sept. 16 in Edmonton. The
is Nov. 25 at APEGGA’s Calgary Conference Centre.
Government Favours Self Regulators
Reclamation certificates mark the official completion of
a company’s responsibility for an upstream oil-and-gas
site. But right now there’s a backlog of certificate
applications at Alberta Environment, resulting in extensions
of surface leases and extra industry costs.
As well, problems in the quality of reclamation and remediation
work have undermined the public’s confidence in industry
What’s the solution? Turn responsibility over to
members of APEGGA and five other professional regulatory
Alberta Minister of Environment Lorne Taylor has decided.
In accepting a proposal from the six self-regulators, the
minister has endorsed the concept of members signing off
and not requiring additional specialist certification, APEGGA
However, to handle the demand until the agrologist and
biologist associations establish technologist categories
the various players will develop an interim certification
board. The six self-regulators are also developing a joint
practice standard, which will define members’ professional
responsibilities and practices in upstream remediation
The participating organizations – representing more
than 6,000 licensed environmental professionals – are
APEGGA, the Alberta Institute of Agrologists, the Alberta
Society of Professional Biologists, the Association of
the Chemical Profession of Alberta, the College of Alberta
Foresters, and the College of Alberta Professional Forest
Electronic Voting Investigated
as Way To Improve Participation
Council and staff are taking a hard look at the virtual universe
as a way to get more APEGGA members involved in self-governance.
Right now, only about 16 per cent of eligible members take
part in the mail-in Council elections held each year. A much
smaller percentage of members attend the Annual General Meeting,
which alternates between Edmonton and Calgary each April.
The idea is to increase member participation in votes and
polls through the use of computers and software. And the
challenge, Council heard, is to do so without eliminating
the essential qualities of the old-fashioned way – an
audit trail and voter privacy, for example.
If APEGGA uses both the Internet and regular post for elections,
the combined system must include a reliable way of validating
a member’s right to vote, Deputy Registrar Al Schuld,
P.Eng., told Council. It must protect the secrecy of a voter’s
choices, and it must provide equal access to voting to all
Council discussed the electronic linking of off-site venues
to the Annual General Meeting. Systems also exist to allow
electronic voting at large meetings.
The Acts, Regulations and Bylaws Committee is looking at
how electronic voting and other electronic participation
can be accommodated within APEGGA’s governing legislation.
Awareness Emphasized In Dealing
With Insurance Issues
APEGGA will focus on awareness and helping members maintain
and better the quality of their practices, as a way to improve
their risk ratings with insurance companies. Council approved
a long list of implementation items that came out of the
work of the Insurance Review Task Force, which has held a
dozen or more meetings since it was struck a year ago because
of insurance troubles facing members.
The problem is that professional liability insurers became
leery of engineering firms after significant losses in their
industry. For APEGGA members, that’s in some cases
meant less selection, higher premiums, greater limitations
and more exclusions. Some members have ended up buying policies
they don’t want because of the way insurance is bundled.
The task force and Council decided against competing with
private insurers by creating a self-insurance system for
errors and omissions insurance. So far, the Canadian Council
of Professional Engineers has not supported self-insurance,
See related stories, Practice
Quality Identified As a Key to Better Insurance (page
1 of The PEGG) and A Peer Review Primer
for Consulting Engineers (page 24 of The PEGG)
Members Take Part
Of New Logo
Next month, members will have the chance to tell APEGGA
which of four logos they think would best represent their
Association. APEGGA consulted six focus groups of members
on the rebranding of the Association, over the summer, and
learned that a logo Council approved in February has only
Members will rank logos and tag lines in an online and print
poll. One of the logo alternatives will be the existing pyramid.
Two of the main underpinnings of the rebranding initiative
are the development of a clear APEGGA image and the improvement
of communications. Focus groups generally favoured both,
Manager of Communications Philip Mulder, APR, and consultants
held three focus groups in Edmonton and three in Calgary.
In total, members donated about 100 hours of their time to
take part in the process.
The five key elements of the brand strategy are that APEGGA
Focus on members as first priority
Focus on building commitment
Focus on building the perception of value and stature of
membership and designations
Brand members and their designations, not the Association
And practice some targeted communications to engage member
The branding initiative comes out of a communications audit
and a member and stakeholder survey, both conducted in 2002.
Gas Price Break
Through New Service
A fleet card through Imperial Oil will give APEGGA members
a 4.5 per cent discount on fuel purchased from Esso service
stations. Council approved the new member service over one
other proposal, after staff compared the two offers.
The four largest fuel marketers were invited to make proposals.
Imperial rated better than the other responding company because
of greater savings, a larger number of outlets and its Speedpass
The Association uses 14 criteria in selecting a member service.
The arrangement must be essentially revenue neutral, for
example, and it must not conflict with either the professional
image or the not-for-profit status of APEGGA.
APEGGA Updates Statement on
What’s so important about professionalism? Plenty,
says an updated version of The Concepts of Professionalism – An
“The privileges granted to Professional Engineers,
Geologists and Geophysicists – self-regulation, technical and
professional independence, and the public’s trust – require
APEGGA members to uphold the highest standards of professional
behaviour,” says the paper. “It is through our
daily, individual actions that we can influence the reputation
of the professions as a whole.”
Council approved for publication the latest draft of Concepts
of Professionalism, subject to editorial changes. The 10-page
statement is the updated version of one originally issued
“This version takes a more personal, positive and pragmatic
view of professionalism, while updating the professionalism
model, language, tone and references,” says a report
By appointing him to another three-year term, Council reaffirmed
its support of Al Schulz, P.Eng., as the APEGGA representative
on what is now called the Alberta Recycling Management Authority.
The management authority grew out of the successful Tire
Recycling Management Association, which enjoyed significant
success turning worn-out tires into useful products.
APEGGA’s head office will remain in the Scotia Place
building in Edmonton, after staff made “a very good
business decision” in negotiating a new 10-year lease,
Executive Director & Registrar Neil Windsor, P.Eng.,
The Association’s Administration Department reviewed
other leasing options, “but none of them were as attractive
financially as the renewal offer,” said Mr. Windsor.
Council approved participation in a second register designed
to make it simpler for engineers to move their work into
other jurisdictions. The Engineering Mobility Forum Register
joins the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Engineer Register
on the APEGGA list.
Both registers have identical approval criteria. The newest
one, the EMF Register, is designed to increase the mobility
of engineers within the Washington Accord signatory economies,
as well as a number of other economies. The APEC Register
does the same within the APEC region.
The Washington Accord is an agreement signed in 1989 by the
bodies that accredit engineering degree programs in Canada,
the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Ireland,
the United Kingdom and South Africa. The accord recognizes
what’s called the “substantial equivalency” of
the accredited programs.
APEC represents more than 20 economies, working together
on improving the Asia-Pacific’s economic growth, trade
Being on the registers doesn’t guarantee an engineer
will be registered by other licensure bodies. But it’s
not a bad calling card.
The registers provide assurance that listed engineers have
a high level of competence. The engineers must have at least
seven years of practical experience since graduation, for
example, and must have spent at least two years in charge
of significant engineering work.
Demand for the APEC Register among APEGGA members has been
light, so APEGBC has been looking after Alberta registrations.
B.C. will do the same for the EMF Register, at least for
APEGGA’s work stems from the high-minded roles of
its self-governing legislation, and that’s always been
reflected in the annual business plan. But in recent years,
Council has encouraged staff to improve the value of the
plan by tying these important ideals to the day-to-day functions
and goals of each department.
The latest incarnation carries that philosophy further, to
the actual resources necessary to carry out responsibilities
and undertake new initiatives. The 2005 plan also follows
goals through strategies and actions to actual measurables.
Council took a look at the current draft of the plan, and
heard that it meshes with Council’s own strategic initiatives,
with departmental performance measures, and with the budgeting