The following items were on the agenda or were discussed
during the June 10 APEGGA Council meeting in Edmonton.
New Summit Award For Education Excellence
Council has approved a new APEGGA Excellence in Education Award, to be presented during the annual Summit Award ceremonies. The new award will be presented to a Member of good standing in the Association who has made an exemplary contribution to teaching and learning at a recognized post-secondary teaching establishment in Alberta.
In recommending establishment of the award, the Honours and Awards Committee noted that the criteria for the new award are weighted heavily toward personal teaching effectiveness, as well as evidence of the nominee having contributed to the learning environment, having provided a leadership role in improving education beyond his or her own courses, and having contributed toward improvement of pedagogy and improvement of service to students and peers.
Nominations for the award may be proposed by any group of three persons or more, with at least one of the three nominees being a professional Member and one being a current or recent student from the nominee’s educational institution.
It is expected that the first APEGGA Excellence in Education Award will be presented next year.
Coun. Bill Roggensack, P.Eng., PhD, has been appointed as a Council representative on the Practice Review Board. He replaces John Boyd, P.Geoph., whose three-year Council term ended in April.
Accord With France on Mutal Recognition
Subject to further consideration by the APEGGA Board of Examiners, APEGGA Council has endorsed a Mutual Recognition Agreement for engineers, negotiated through the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE) and La Commission des Titres d’Ingénieurs (CTI) of France. For the accord to take full effect, French authorities and constituent associations of CCPE must implement the agreement.
The mutual recognition agreement recognizes that Canadian registered engineers who have graduated from a program accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board as having qualifications equivalent to the "ingénieur diplomé" in France.
CCPE has noted that the agreement "will bring Canadian engineering to the forefront of international exchanges of engineering services".
In briefing Council on the agreement, APEGGA Deputy Registrar Al Schuld, P.Eng., noted that French engineers seeking membership in APEGGA still would have to write the APEGGA Professional Practice Exam and meet experience requirements set by the APEGGA Board of Examiners.
Code of Ethics
Council has renewed the mandate of a subcommittee of the Practice Standards Committee drafting a revised APEGGA Code of Ethics. The subcommittee began a review of the Code in 1996, but a draft report by the subcommittee was tabled at the Council meeting in February this year. With a renewed mandate and an expanded membership, the subcommittee will review work done to date and build upon that work. This, in order to expeditiously finalize a proposed Code of Ethics and a companion background commentary. In preparing the draft Code, the subcommittee also will develop a draft manual and suggested changes to the regulations, for inclusion in the package of recommendations that Council will consider.
The subcommittee will continue to be chaired by Charlie Weir, P.Eng., and also will include Joe Pfaefflin, P.Eng.; Diana Purdy, P.Geol.; David Watt, P.Eng.; Larry Staples, P.Eng.; Ted Lord, P.Eng., and Anast Demitt, P.Eng. Three additional members will join the subcommittee, respectively from the Appeal Board, Act Regulations and Bylaws Committee, and the CSPG/CSEG Liaison Committee.
Council has approved a request for $15,000 from a Council Task Force on Emerging Disciplines to assist the gathering of information on emerging disciplines. The task force, chaired by Coun. Elizabeth Cannon, P.Eng. PhD, was set up following Council’s 1998 strategy meeting with a view to garnering better understanding of issues relating to professional registration of qualified individuals in the so-called "emerging discipline areas".
The ear-marked funds are expected to be used to determine compliance rates in the emerging areas as well as to conduct follow-up focus groups or lunch-time information gathering sessions with participation by members and non-members working in the emerging disciplines.
In a related development, newly elected APEGGA Councillor Ken Porteous, P.Eng., PhD, has been appointed to the Task Force on Emerging Disciplines.
Proxy/Mail-In Voting Reviewed
Subsequent to a presentation by APEGGA Executive Director and Registrar Neil Windsor, P.Eng., Council has reaffirmed APEGGA’s present voting policy. Following suggestions by some Association Members that proxy and mail-in voting might provide Member input into the decision process, such voting options were reviewed by Association staff. In recommending against the use of proxy voting, the report stated:"Proxy voting is more applicable to corporations that have shareholders who vote in accordance with the number of shares that they hold. It is not an appropriate form of voting for a professional association."
Furthermore, the report says: "Mail-in votes are provided for in Part 14 of the bylaws to facilitate the work of Council in exceptional circumstances. To expand the usage of this provision for general application would be cumbersome, contains inherent difficulties and greatly reduces the independence, authority and effectiveness of Council."
The report to Council also noted: "We must recognize that APEGGA’s form of governance is based on the representative system of governance common to most organizations and democratic systems. The heart of such a structure is the concept that representatives are elected by the membership at large, through an open and transparent election process, to represent them on a Council or Board."
Specifically with regard to mail-in voting: "it could be argued that mail-in voting provides a greater number of members to have input into major decisions. On the other hand, it provides opportunities for advocacy groups to unfairly influence the results of a vote in favour of their particular views which may not be representative of the majority opinion."
The report concluded: "There is little likelihood that a higher percentage of members than respond to election ballots would respond to such votes, indeed, participation would most likely be much lower. Therefore little would be accomplished toward determining the true feelings of the majority."
Mr. Windsor told The PEGG: "It is clear to Council that we have to find more effective ways of communicating to our members on important issues and providing opportunities for dialogue. That will be a priority for the coming year."
Registered Professional Technologists
Council was provided with an update on the procedures being developed for the licensure of Registered Professional Technologists (Eng) under the provisions of the recently enacted legislation permitting technologists with specific training and experience to be licensed by APEGGA. It is possible that processing of the first applications from individuals seeking licences as Registered Professional Technologists (Eng) could begin as early as September.
Geoscience Task Force Meets Permit Holders
Coun. Elaine Honsberger, P.Geoph., on behalf of Council’s Geoscience Task Force, reported on a meeting held June 2 with Permit Holders to discuss geoscience participation and involvement in APEGGA.
It was also announced that Coun. Brenda Wright, P.Geol., and 2nd Vice-President Gordon Williams, P.Geol., PhD, will join the task force.