November 2001

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Professional Mobility
Strategy Continues

APEGGA Executive Director/Registrar

Consistently during the past few years, many members have been telling us that the ability to move quickly and easily from one jurisdiction to another is of ever increasing importance. The rapidly changing workplace environment is responding to technological and communication advances that have changed how we work, and sometimes how we think.
APEGGA Council has heard this message and has identified mobility of professionals and one of the top priorities for action.

No Quick Fix

Council also recognizes that this is not a short-term problem with a quick solution. The task of understanding the many different systems of evaluating professional credentials and licensing professionals is immense. The Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE) and more recently the Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists (CCPG) are working on our behalf to deal with this problem in the international arena and some considerable progress has been made.

Closer to home, in 1999 an Inter-association Mobility Agreement for engineers was signed and in 2001 a similar agreement for geoscientists was also signed. These agreements provide ease of mobility throughout Canada for engineers, geologists and geophysicists.

In 1995 a Mutual Recognition Agreement was signed in accordance with the NAFTA agreement with the USA and Mexico. This agreement has not been as effective as had been envisioned due to the provincial jurisdiction in Canada and the state jurisdiction in the U.SA.
Accordingly, more than two years ago, APEGGA Council decided that negotiation of bilateral agreements with selected states might be more effective than a national agreement and efforts to establish relations with our southern neighbors began. Other provincial/territorial associations have taken a similar approach.

Bilateral Success
Since then considerable progress has been made in raising awareness of the mutual value of such agreements and creating an understanding of how bilateral agreements might recognize the equivalency of Canadian and U.S. professionals.

This has been accomplished through discussions with state boards responsible for licensure; national associations in the U.S. such as NCEES, NSPE and PNWER; state government officials and governors; Consuls General and ambassadors; and a major mobility forum hosted by APEGGA in Calgary in conjunction with our Annual General Conference last April. Executive directors have been invited to visit APEGGA to learn more about our association and to observe our Board of Examiners in action.

APEGGA's position has been clear. Our Canadian system of accreditation of university programs; uniform standards and quality across the country; professional references; thorough review by our independent Board of Examiners and the Professional Practice Exam give us with confidence that Canadian professionals meet high professional and ethical standards. Similarly, the U.S.A. system of accreditation, professional references and the F.E. and P.P. exams provide assurance that professionals in that country also meet high standards.

Although the two systems are considerably different in their focus, APEGGA believes that the end products are equivalent and is prepared to recognize them as such. Hence our assertion that professionals should be accepted for licensure in either country without further examination other than local codes, ethics and practices.

States In Our Sites

Mobility of professionals continues to be a high priority for Council and efforts to reach bilateral agreements will be vigorously pursued. Emphasis will be placed on Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, California and Wyoming in particular and others as appropriate.

Together with CCPE , CCPG and the other Canadian associations, international and bilateral agreements will continue to be a major focus for the foreseeable future.


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