The Art of Gentle Persuasion
BY DAVE TODD,
My October column addressed what happens when a compliance violation is
identified. The Compliance Department, in most cases, is able to carry
out its mandate by obtaining voluntary compliance through gentle persuasion.
Compliance is usually obtained once the individual or corporation is apprised
of the requirements of the EGGP Act. Occasionally, blatant and intentional
violations require more aggressive enforcement activity. These cases usually
end up in the legal forum.
Two news articles published in previous issues of the PEGG are examples
of voluntary compliance obtained through persuasion. In the December/January
PEGG, I will publish cases which ended up in the legal forum, resulting
The following story, in The PEGG,
May 2001, ran under the headline: Engineers, Microsoft Agree on Use
of MCSE Designation. This is a condensed version.
Microsoft Corp. will advise Canadian holders of its MCSE certification
not to call themselves engineers or use the full title Microsoft Certified
System Engineers, news releases announced earlier this month. The engineering
profession and Microsoft have reached an agreement on the use of the designation,
after compliance efforts were initiated more than a year ago by APEGGA's
Meetings were held last year with the appropriate Alberta institutions
-- those that offer the training in computer science that qualifies graduates
to write the Microsoft exam, which then leads to the MCSE designation.
Attendees were told that the full title of the designation is a violation
of provincial legislation, which reserves the use of the terms "engineer"
and "engineering" to persons licensed by APEGGA.
That got the attention of Microsoft, and discussions at the national level
led to a delegation of provincial association and CCPE representatives
meeting with Microsoft in October. This resulted in the solution announced
by Microsoft and CCPE.
Microsoft's decision should prevent Canadian holders of the MCSE certification
from inadvertently breaking provincial and territorial laws, which protect
the public by restricting the use of the titles and the practice of engineering
in Canada to licensed professional engineers. It should also ensure that
the engineering profession's licensing bodies will not be required to
take enforcement action against MCSE holders.
Representatives of CCPE and several provincial associations met with Microsoft
in Seattle late last year to explain the legal issues surrounding the
use of the title "engineer" in Canada, and to ask the corporation
to stop referring to holders of the MCSE credential as engineers.
Microsoft is currently researching alternatives for the MCSE credential
worldwide, which could result in a new name for the credential later this
Earlier, in The PEGG, January 2001, under the headline APEGGA, Sun Microsystems
Reach 'Engineer' Agreement, more good news on the compliance front was
An agreement has been reached between APEGGA and Sun Microsystems Canada
Inc. over the use of the word "engineer" in the company's job
APEGGA initiated action against an employee of Sun Microsystems Canada
Inc., after learning that the individual -- who is not registered with
APEGGA -- was misrepresenting himself by using the word "engineer"
in his title.
Following two years of discussion in which resolution by legal action
appeared inevitable, APEGGA and Sun Microsystems Canada Inc. have recently
agreed upon a resolution as put forth by Sun Microsystems.
Sun Microsystems has undertaken to no longer use the word "engineer"
in any job titles used in Alberta, unless the individual to whom the title
pertains is a recognized professional engineer as designated by P.Eng.,
in compliance with the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions
There is a growing concern within APEGGA and with other provincial regulatory
bodies over the proliferation of titles such as "systems engineer"
by those who are unlicensed and using the term "engineer" loosely,
thereby misleading the public. In accordance with the EGGP Act, an Alberta
statute, no one may use the words engineer, geologist or geophysicist
in combination with any other name, title, description, letter, symbol
or abbreviation that represents expressly or by implication that he/she
is a professional engineer, geologist or geophysicist, unless licensed
Under the direction of APEGGA's Director of Compliance and the Enforcement
Review Committee, APEGGA's compliance program intends to give members
of the general public confidence that when they retain a person or company
using these titles, they are receiving the services of a responsible licensed
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How is the investigation of the conduct of non-members and
members conducted by APEGGA?
A: The Compliance Department, through enforcement activities,
is concerned with the investigation of the conduct of non-members. Matters
concerning the conduct of members, are the mandate of the Practice Review
Board, the Investigative Committee or the Discipline Committee.