January, 2001

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Changes to Permit System Approved

At the November meeting of Council a number of changes to the administration of permits to practice were approved. Some of these changes take effect Jan. 1, 2001; others will require the approval of changes to the General Regulation under the Engineering, Geological Professions Act and will only take effect when the Alberta government of the approves them.
The Council has approved some measures that will mean small permit holders will be able to qualify for annual dues that are 50 per cent of those normally paid. Prior to this, the annual dues for a permit were $205, and were set at 1.25 times the member annual dues by a policy established in 1988. Under the new arrangements the permit annual dues are set at 1.5 times member annual dues.

To be eligible for reduced annual dues a permit holder must have only one employee or member of the firm who is a registered professional member, and the annual gross revenue of the firm must be less than $250,000. The invoices and reports required for Permit holders whose billings and reports are due Jan. 1, 2001, will have already received the revised information and are in the process of responding.

At the 1996 and 1998 annual meetings of APEGGA, measures were approved to introduce additional changes to permit administration. These measures include the requirement in the regulations that each permit holder has in place a mandatory Professional Practice Management Plan. In addition, there was to be a permit seminar that focused on the revised permit system with mandatory attendance required of responsible members on a five-year cycle.

The 1998 annual meeting approved the concept that these requirements be waived or varied at the discretion of the Council. The final (and perhaps contentious) point that held up the integration of these changes into permit administration was the criteria that Council would use. These were reviewed at some length with a task force of Council and were also the subject of stakeholder reviews with interested groups.

Council reaffirmed its support for the legislative changes after approving that permit holders may apply for exemption from the requirement if they meet approved criteria. These criteria allow exemption from the requirement that all of their responsible members attending a mandatory seminar at least once every five years. If the permit holder's Professional Practice Management Plan covers all of the topics addressed by the APEGGA Permit to Practice seminar, and includes provisions of appropriate training, and appropriate application and documentation for exemption, then only one of the responsible members must attend the seminar.

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