How APEGA and ABSA Legislations Interact

To resolve some confusion about the legislations that regulate pressure equipment, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) and the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) have collaborated to address some frequently asked questions. The two regulators compared the questions they had received from stakeholders and found that they could be generally categorized as related to jurisdiction, authentication, and outsourcing.

The following list of frequently asked questions, developed over the course of a 14-month collaboration with the support of Alberta Municipal Affairs, is based on a common understanding of how the Engineering and Geoscience Professions (EGP) Act and the Pressure Equipment Safety Regulation (PESR) interact—one legislation does not trump the other and both must be complied with. The answers below are consistent with APEGA standards and guidelines and will be updated as required.

The joint responses to the frequently asked questions were authorized by Jay Nagendran, P.Eng., APEGA Registrar and CEO, and by Mike Poehlmann, P.Eng., ABSA CEO and President.

APEGA and ABSA have collaborated to explain how the EGP Act and the PESR interact. Both serve to protect the public’s safety. The EGP Act regulates the practice of engineering as applicable to all engineered goods, including pressure equipment. The PESR regulates pressure equipment.

The below chart shows the interaction points between the EGP Act and the PESR.

Chart shows the interaction points between the EGP Act and the PESR
  • A flow chart with the following steps:

    1. Unlicensed person (not working for or on behalf of an APEGA permit holder) submits design. No authentication needed. They can submit work to ABSA under the EGP Act exemption.
      OR 
      APEGA licensed professional submits design. Authentication required and must meet APEGA's authentication requirements. No exemption under the EGP Act.
    2. Item submitted to ABSA falls under the scop of the PESR.
    3. ABSA determines item is acceptable for use under the PESR.
    4. Item is considered a commercially engineered good under APEGA's Authenticating Professional Work Products practice standard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Jump to a section

Jurisdiction  Commercially Engineered Goods  Authentication  Outsourced Work


Jurisdiction 

Q: To comply with the PESR and the EGP Act, where does the PESR end and the EGP Act begin?

A: The PESR jurisdiction covers the entire pressure envelope and any weldments on that envelope. Any engineering practised outside of the PESR jurisdiction is subject to the EGP Act. This would include structural and mechanical support systems for pressure equipment and piping.

Q: Under s2(4)(d) of the EGP Act, there is an exemption for pipelines, boilers, and pressure vessels that are covered under another act or regulation. How is this applied?

A: Pipelines, boilers, and pressure equipment fully covered under the PESR are exempted from the EGP Act. Equipment packages not fully covered under the PESR must meet the requirements of both the PESR and the EGP Act.


Commercially Engineered Goods

Q: Is pressure equipment considered a commercially engineered good?

A: If the pressure equipment is acceptable for use under the PESR, it is considered to be a commercially engineered good under APEGA’s practice standard Authenticating Professional Work Products. “Acceptable for use” means the design, construction, and installation of the item complies with the requirements of the PESR. Examples of compliance include:

  1. design registration—has a Canadian registration number, Alberta Limited Design number, or pressure piping number as appropriate
  2. construction documentation—has a manufacturer’s data report for boilers, pressure vessels, fired process heaters, indirect fired heater coils, or pressure relief valves, or piping construction data report for piping
  3. installation—has completion of construction permit for piping, has been issued a certificate of inspection permit, or it meets the certificate of inspection exemption criteria

Q: Does the definition of commercially engineered goods apply to pressure equipment alterations and repairs?

A: Yes. Altered and repaired items are considered commercially engineered goods provided the alteration or repair complies with Section 40 of the PESR. ABSA document AB-513 provides compliance guidance for alterations and repairs.

Q: If the design and manufacture of the equipment is in accordance with a recognized international Code (e.g., ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code), is it a commercially engineered good and, therefore, exempt from APEGA authentication requirements? What if it’s built to CSA B51 and has no code stamp?

A: Whether the item is designed and manufactured to an international code, or CSA B51, it is not a commercially engineered good until it is acceptable for use under the PESR.


Authentication

Q: If ABSA requires a professional engineer to authenticate (stamp and seal) does the PESR’s definition of a professional engineer (s1(2) PESR) supersede the EGP Act’s requirement that authentication must be done by Alberta professional engineers only?

A: No. Until legislative changes can be made, ABSA will not be using s1(2) of the PESR and will defer to the EGP Act’s s.1(v) for the definition of a professional engineer.

Q: Do all piping designs submitted to ABSA require authentication by an Alberta Professional Engineer?

A: Yes.

Q: Complex projects such as Level 3 Fitness for Service assessments, require “expert” level engineers be involved. Out-of-province engineering (world-class expertise) is often engaged for this. Would this mean an APEGA Professional Engineer would be required to authenticate?

A: Yes, refer to APEGA’s Relying on the Work of Others and Outsourcing practice standard.

Q: If ABSA does not require any authentication, does APEGA still require authentication?

A: Yes. Authentication is required on all professional work products (including all submissions to ABSA) when the submitting entity is an APEGA licensed professional or permit holder.

Q: Does a fitting catalogue or individual fitting design that includes fittings designed and manufactured per a standard that defines pressure-temperature ratings, materials, dimensions, and markings require authentication? Is it considered a professional work product?

A: No. If this catalogue or individual fitting design has been accepted under the PESR, it becomes a commercially engineered good.

Q: Are fabrication drawings and design calculations, related to pressure equipment, a professional work product? Do they require authentication (they are often produced by the same company that does the fabrication)?

A: Yes. Fabrication drawings and design calculations are professional work products and require authentication if the submitting entity is an APEGA licensed professional or permit holder. The APEGA Authenticating Professional Work Products practice standard applies to all professional work products submitted by APEGA licensed professionals and permit holders to regulatory bodies in Alberta. If the submitting entity is not licensed by APEGA, it can submit its work under the PESR (see flow chart). APEGA licensed professionals and permit holders must be compliant with both the PESR and the EGP Act. Entities practising engineering outside of what is specifically permitted by the PESR are subject to the EGP Act.


Outsourced Work

Q: What if the engineering and fabrication of pressure equipment are done outside of Alberta?

A: The EGP Act applies. Any professional work products imported into Alberta that will be used by APEGA licensed professionals or permit holders must be authenticated by an APEGA licensed professional and validated by the permit holder in accordance with APEGA’s Authenticating Professional Work Products and Relying on the Work of Others and Outsourcing practice standards.

Q: If the company importing the pressure equipment is not an APEGA licensed professional (sole proprietor) or permit holder, is it bound by the EGP Act?

A: No. However, if, during the importation of pressure equipment, the practice of engineering has occurred, then non-permit holders are subject to the EGP Act and must immediately apply for a Permit to Practice.

Q: If the company procuring the “Alberta made” pressure equipment is not an APEGA licensed professional (sole proprietor) or permit holder, is it bound by the EGP Act?

A: Yes, if the professional work product involved is designed and constructed in Alberta, it is subject to the EGP Act. Refer to APEGA’s Authenticating Professional Work Products and Relying on the Work of Others and Outsourcing practice standards for the definition of a professional work product.

Questions or suggestions concerning this document can be addressed to:
Robin Antoniuk, P.Eng.
ABSA Vice President Technical Services & COO
[email protected]

APEGA Director of Professional Practice