APEGA Updates Regarding COVID-19

We will be updating this page with information on events and programs, and what APEGA is doing to address operational changes resulting from COVID-19.

Logo for APEGA's Centennial

A message from the Registrar & CEO of APEGA

April 6, 2021

Hello everyone,

March marked one year since COVID-19 reached our province—on March 5 and March 19, respectively, Alberta Health announced the first case and the first death from the virus—and Alberta declared a public health emergency. Many families, friends, and colleagues prepared for a brief isolation, not expecting to still be washing hands, sanitizing, and distancing well into the new year.

I am proud of how our members have united during this crisis in an exceptional display of innovation, teamwork, and resilience. Together, we demonstrate that no problem—not even the swell of a global pandemic—is insurmountable when we work together.

Now that we have learned how to live and manage in a pandemic, APEGA is re-evaluating the emergency measures we enacted last April and moving back to established processes to support our members. Here are some specifics:

  • Member dues reductions: Recognizing the double hit of the pandemic and the ongoing economic downturn, the exemption allowing members to apply for a second year of member dues reduction in the event of unemployment or loss of income is extended for one additional year. It is in effect from March 15, 2021, to March 14, 2022, unless revisited by Council.
  • Permit holder fee deferral: This exception ended on March 15, 2021.
  • Minimum CPD hours reduction: As APEGA has pivoted to providing professional development opportunities virtually, this practice will not be continuing. Members who are unable to meet their CPD requirement can apply for special consideration.
  • Halting of cancellations: This exception ended on March 15, 2021.

While our Edmonton and Calgary offices are still closed to the public, our work as a regulator continues. Members and permit holders can still contact staff by phone and email, and our website remains your best source for up-to-date information.

I’m looking forward to an exciting year with a multitude of webinars and virtual gatherings. Regulatory events such as Permit to Practice seminars and consultation sessions have been moved to online delivery with minimal changes to content and materials.

I hope to see you virtually at one or more of our events this year. Until then, stay safe, be well, and take care of one another.

Jay Nagendran, P.Eng., FCAE, ICD.D, FEC, FGC (Hon.)
Registrar & CEO

Previous Registrar & CEO Updates

  • Hello everyone,

    We are now into the first month of 2021 and the pandemic is still impacting us personally and professionally. Although after more than 10 months, it is becoming more like the new normal.

    Last year we outlined measures to support our members and permit holders during the pandemic by putting a hold on the cancellation of permits for non-payment of dues until March 14, 2021. In addition, we extended the deadline for permit holders to apply for a dues deferral until March 14, 2021.

    These dates are now approaching, and we want to remind you that it is your responsibility as a member or permit holder to ensure your licence to practise remains current and in good standing. Please be sure to log in to the Member Self-Service Centre and verify the due date of your membership renewal.

    APEGA’s Council reviewed the COVID-19 special considerations that we implemented in April 2020 and the following decisions are now in place for 2021.

    • Member dues reductions: The exemption allowing members to apply for a second year of member dues reduction in the event of unemployment or loss of income is extended for one additional year and will be in effect from March 15, 2021, to March 14, 2022, unless revisited by Council.
    • Permit holder fee deferral: This exception will not be continuing, and standard processes will resume on March 15, 2021;
    • Minimum CPD hours reduction: APEGA has pivoted to providing professional development opportunities virtually, therefore this practice will not be continuing. Any members that need special consideration will need to apply starting March 15, 2021.
    • Halting of cancellations: Effective March 15, 2021, cancellations will revert back to standard practice.

    APEGA continues to closely monitor any announcements from the Government of Alberta regarding changes to public health measures that will impact how we operate. We are following the mandatory restrictions that were announced at the end of November and are taking all the necessary precautions to protect our staff.

    Despite our Edmonton and Calgary offices being closed to the public, our work as a regulator continues. Members and permit holders can still contact staff by phone and email, and our website remains your best source for up-to-date information.

    Let’s hope for a better year ahead and that we can once again meet with each other in person soon.

    Jay Nagendran, P.Eng., FCAE, ICD.D, FEC, FGC (Hon.)
    Registrar & CEO

  • Hello everyone,

    COVID-19 is still with us and looks like it will be around for some time to come. Back in March, when APEGA first started working on a plan to support our members during the pandemic, we hoped we would soon be past the worst of it—but prepared for the long term, just in case.

    As we head into the fall season, APEGA offices in Edmonton and Calgary remain closed to the public, but our work as a regulator continues. Members and permit holders can still contact staff by phone and email, and our website remains the best source for the most up-to-date information.

    In our update from May 7, 2020, we outlined the measures that APEGA was taking to help support our members and permit holders during the crisis. At that time, any cancellation of permits for non-payment of dues was put on hold until October 2020. This date has now been extended to March 14, 2021. In addition, we have extended the deadline for permit holders to apply for a dues deferral until March 14, 2021.

    It is your responsibility as a member or permit holder to ensure your licence to practise remains current and in good standing, so please be sure to log in to the Member Self-Service Centre and verify the due date of your membership renewal.

    While we remain closed to the public, APEGA has begun to slowly reintegrate our Edmonton staff back into the office. The safety of our staff is our top priority, and we are taking every precaution to ensure the return to the office is sustainable and measured.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding during this tough time as APEGA continues our work to regulate the professions and safeguard the public welfare.

    Jay Nagendran, P.Eng., FCAE, ICD.D, FEC, FGC (Hon.)
    Registrar & CEO

  • Hello everyone,

    Over the past couple months, Albertans have made major personal and professional adjustments to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. It’s amazing how many things have changed in such a short amount of time for so many people, and it’s encouraging to know that we’re not alone in this crisis. With the help of our families, friends, and communities, we’ll get through it together.

    APEGA is continually searching for additional ways to support our members and permit holders while still upholding our mandate of safeguarding the public welfare. While the pandemic has caused many members and permit holders to conduct their business remotely, they continue to offer their services as before, and APEGA is bound by the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act to ensure they maintain the proper licences to practise as required by law. The dues APEGA receives from our registrants make it possible for us to continue to ensure public safety and well-being through the regulation of the professions, even in times of a downturn. Because of this, we’re unable to simply stop collecting dues.

    APEGA’s Crisis Management Team, executive leadership, and Council meet regularly—virtually, of course—to discuss feasible ways we can support our membership while still being able to function the way we need to. Many great ideas have already been initiated, including:

    • Enabling members to apply for a reduction in their dues two times within three years.
    • Lowering the continuing professional development (CPD) requirement for all registrants to 30 hours for this year.
    • Creating a new fee category—Retired Member—to enable those who do not qualify for life member status to retire while maintaining use of the title.
    • Convening the Board of Examiners virtually to continue reviewing and approving licensing applications.
    • Enabling permit holders to defer 75% of their dues in 2020.
    • Holding on all cancellations of licences and permits from April 2020 to March 14, 2021.
    • Offering extensions to M.I.T.s who are under- or unemployed and unable to gain four years of experience.

    We will continue our discussions and will provide updates on options and initiatives as they become available.

    This is an uncertain time for all of us, and I’m proud of the extraordinary levels of innovation and teamwork I’ve seen from our members, our permit holders, and our staff. I appreciate your flexibility, collaboration, and commitment, and I am heartened to be part of such an inspiring community of professionals.

    Please stay healthy and safe—keep looking after yourselves and one another.

    Jay Nagendran, P.Eng., FCAE, ICD.D, FEC, FGC (Hon.)  
    Registrar & CEO

     

  • Hello everyone, 

    Albertans have been faced with some difficult decisions over the past weeks as we try to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. As one great community, we’re pulling together more than ever while respecting the need to keep our distance. As we work our way through this crisis, we’re proving that compassion and cooperation burn brightest in dark times.

    Following recommendations from the government and health officials, the APEGA offices in Calgary and Edmonton will be closed to the public starting Thursday, March 19, and staff will be working remotely. APEGA will still function with our staff continuing to be available by email and phone. We are closely monitoring the situation as it evolves and will continue to support the health and safety of employees and members.

    As the COVID-19 situation unfolds, APEGA staff is working to address applicant and member concerns. A frequently asked questions section has been added to this page below and will be updated as modifications and resolutions to concerns are identified. 

    Thank you for your patience and understanding as we make our way, together, through these uncharted waters. 

    Jay Nagendran, P.Eng., FCAE, ICD.D, FEC, FGC (Hon.) 
    Registrar & CEO 

  • Hello everyone,

    I know this is a difficult time for all Albertans as we deal with the outbreak of COVID-19 in our province, an unprecedented event that has left many of us uncertain and looking for answers. APEGA's members, permit holders, and staff have always been stronger together, and we remain united throughout these trying times.

    We have been actively monitoring the outbreak over the past weeks, and we have been assessing our activities and operations to decide the best way forward. Like many of you, we are receiving guidance and accurate, up-to-date information from the Government of Alberta, the Government of Canada, and the World Health Organization.

    We have assembled the APEGA Crisis Management Team to monitor the situation, develop mitigation risk scenarios, and make recommendations to ensure APEGA is able to continue operations.

    For now, the APEGA offices in Edmonton and Calgary remain open with a reduced staff—with many staff working from home. We ask that you do not visit either office. We will be deciding on the status of potential office closures and will keep you updated as we work through this situation.

    As well, scheduled professional development sessions, events, and activities up to April 30 have been assessed and are being cancelled, rescheduled, or offered online. As we continue to evaluate our upcoming activities, we will ensure that you are informed of any changes. Registration fees for any cancelled or rescheduled events or activities will be refunded. 

    As a reminder, some of the basic precautions are:

    • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
    • Use approved hand sanitizers
    • Avoid touching your face and mouth, especially with unwashed hands
    • Avoid close contact with people and animals if illness is suspected
    • Cough into a tissue or your elbow and then wash your hands immediately
    • Follow instructions from Alberta Health Services if you think you may have COVID-19

    Rely on reputable sources, such as the Government of Alberta website and the Government of Canada website, for more information. We are stronger in a crisis by supporting one another and working together. Please stay healthy and be kind to one another during this time.

    Jay Nagendran, P.Eng., FCAE, ICD.D, FEC, FGC (Hon.)
    Registrar & CEO

Latest COVID-19 Updates from the Alberta Government

The Alberta Goverment has a page that contains up-to-date information on the outbreak, including:

  • Risk factors
  • Public and personal safety measures
  • Symptoms
  • Obtaining treatment
  • Measures being taken by government organizations
  • Further news and updates as they happen

Visit alberta.ca

Newsletter Updates

See all the latest information in our ePEG newsletter, now sent weekly!

Read the latest ePEG newsletter

APEGA events are now virtual!

Until further notice, all APEGA events will be held via webinar or virtual meeting. Regulatory events such as Permit to Practice seminars and practice standards consultation sessions are being delivered online with minimal changes to content and materials. Online professional development and branch events are also being continuously added for members to attend from their homes.

If you have any questions about professional development offerings or events, please contact [email protected]. We look forward to seeing you online!

See all upcoming events

Frequently Asked Questions

We have been collecting your questions in response to changes in APEGA's operation during this time.

Member Dues  Permit Holder Dues  CPD Requirements  Authentication  Examinations  Application Processes  Investigations


Questions Regarding Member Dues

 

Please note: We are constantly reviewing our processes due to COVID-19. We will provide updates as they become available.

Q. I have been laid off due to COVID-19 or the economy. Do I qualify for a reduction of my membership dues?

A. APEGA currently offers a dues reduction once every three years due to unemployment. Given the extraordinary circumstances, APEGA is allowing members to apply for a second year of member dues reduction. If you are unemployed, you can apply to have your 2021 dues reduced under the unemployment category. Dues are reduced by 75%, so the amount owing would be 25% of your invoice, plus GST. To be approved, your request for a dues reduction must be received prior to the due date listed on your current invoice.

At this time, this extended policy applies to members who experience a loss of employment between March 15, 2021, and March 14, 2022.

Q. Due to COVID-19 or the economy, my working hours or benefits have been reduced. Do I qualify for a reduction of my membership dues?

A. If you are experiencing a direct and significant financial impact due to pandemic measures or the present economic situation, you may apply for a dues reduction. If you are applying for reasons of underemployment, part-time employment or loss in earnings, you will need to provide additional evidence to support your application. This could include:

  • Employment offer or change letters that identify a reduction in work hours or salary
  • Pay stubs showing a significant loss of income
  • Evidence of receipt of the federal Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB)
  • A signed declaration that a significant loss in income has occurred due to underemployment, reduction in hours, or loss of income

This dues reduction cannot be applied retroactively for dues that have already been paid.

Q. Due to COVID-19, my benefits have been reduced or my company is no longer paying my dues. Do I qualify for a reduction of my membership dues?

A. If you are currently employed and have not experienced a loss in earnings, you do not qualify for a dues reduction at this time. It’s important to note that individuals own their membership, even if the permit holder pays for it.

Q. I don’t qualify for a membership dues reduction at this time. What are my options?

A. We are aware of the stress and uncertainty our members are facing during this challenging time. See the list below for opportunities you may benefit from. We will add to this list as more options arise.

  • Payment grace period: Currently, APEGA allows a 60-day period after the invoice due date for payment to be submitted—please contact [email protected] to discuss.
  • APEGA’s member benefits: As an APEGA member, you can receive discounts on a selection of services, including home and auto insurance and mobile phone plans. See the Member Benefits webpage for more information.
    • APEGA has partnered with The Personal to offer our members group rates on home and auto insurance. If you currently hold a policy with The Personal, you may be eligible for a discount on your auto insurance and a free, temporary top-up on your home insurance.
    • APEGA also offers the APEGA Wireless Program powered by Rogers to bring you discounted rates as low as $45 a month for a 3 GB plan (other plans are available).

Please note: In 2020, APEGA temporarily waived job board and mentoring fees. These have now been reinstated. For more information, please contact [email protected].

Q. I think I qualify for dues reduction. How can I apply?

A. Please send an email to [email protected] requesting your membership dues be reduced.  Please state the reason for the request. Our membership administrators will send you the required form should you qualify under one of the categories for dues reduction.

 


Questions Regarding Permit Holder Dues

 

Please note: We are constantly reviewing our processes due to COVID-19. We will provide updates as they become available.

Q. My company has experienced a significant loss in income due to COVID-19. What are my options?

A. In 2020, some permit holders who had experienced a significant loss in income were eligible for a one-year deferral of dues. The deferral was 75% of the fee calculated at the date of renewal. The balance of 25% or $250, whichever was greater, was due at the time of renewal, and the deferred portion of dues were to be added to the company’s next annual invoice. The deferral did not apply retroactively to any dues already paid.

This COVID-related dues deferral has been discontinued.

Sole practitioner permit holders received a broad reduction to $250 annual dues in 2019 and, as such, do not qualify for a deferral.

Q. Are there any additional supports for permit holders?

A. Notarius has made the Business 5 version of its e-signature platform free for 30 days with no financial commitment beforehand. For more information, visit info.notarius.com/covid-19-ensure-business-continuity-with-esignature. 

We’re aware of the stress and uncertainty our permit holders are facing during this challenging time, and we will keep you updated as additional supports become available. 

 


Questions Regarding CPD Requirements

 

Q. I'm concerned that I might not meet the CPD requirements for this reporting period because of cancelled formal training due to COVID-19 restrictions. What are my options?

A. As a result of the pandemic, Alberta declared a public health emergency that impacts the means by which APEGA registrants can complete continuing professional development (CPD) requirements. If you’re concerned about your ability to meet your CPD requirements, consider the following options.

  • In 2020, APEGA Council automatically granted special consideration to all APEGA members due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption of regular professional development activities. The CPD annual requirement was lowered to 30 PDH (instead of 80 PDH) and one category (instead of three categories) for one CPD reporting period (out of three).

    The reduction in CPD requirements is not continuing in 2021—APEGA and many others have pivoted to providing PD opportunities virtually, so there are many options for completing your hours. Members who are unable to meet their CPD requirement may apply individually for special consideration.

  • Most licensed professionals will have extra PD hours that they couldn’t claim in the previous two years because of the limits in each category. These hours can be claimed up to two years after they were earned.

    Here is an example of a licensed professional's detailed activity record (DAR) that shows extra earned hours in a few of categories.

    Example of DAR for previous reporting period (XLS)

    Here is an example of how the professional claimed earned PDH in their current DAR.

    Example of DAR for current reporting period (XLS)

    The professional was able to cover an entire year of CPD using carry over. Here is an example of the online entry in the Member Self Service Centre (MSSC).

    Example of MSSC Entry (XLS)

    Take the time to review your previous records and see if you have any carry-forward hours that you could use this year.

 


Questions Regarding Authentication

 

Q. How do we authenticate and validate while we are working remotely?

A. COVID-19 is an evolving situation that is presenting many challenges to professional engineers and geoscientists in Alberta. Adherence to standards is mandatory and the responsibility of professional work products (PWPs) reside with licensed professionals. However, we recognize the challenges registrants may face in performing physical and digital authentication and validation during these times. Licensed professionals must use due diligence to ensure that PWPs are tracked and controlled and ensure they are eventually authenticated and validated as soon as practicable in accordance with the standard Authenticating Professional Work Products.

For example, you may not be able to physically authenticate the original PWP because you are working from home and do not have access to a large-format printer, or any printer. In those cases, particularly when you are not using digital authentication, APEGA expects some provision to ensure that PWPs are authenticated and validated, even if the ink stamp cannot be applied to the original document. A listing of drawing and version numbers could be kept by the professional, and that document authenticated, with the originals marked "authentication held on a separate document." When the health crisis passes, the original documents must be authenticated. 

  • If possible, APEGA encourages use of digital authentication and validation methods. Digital signatures, other than digital certificates provided by Notarius, should not be used as they are not approved by APEGA. Sign up here: www.notarius.com/apega.
  • Notarius has made the Business 5 version of its e-signature platform free for 30 days with no financial commitment beforehand. For more information, visit info.notarius.com/covid-19-ensure-business-continuity-with-esignature.

Section 4.13 of the standard describes a process to use during urgent situations and COVID-19 is considered an urgent situation. The permit holder must be able to justify its actions and prove that its licensed professionals and responsible members exercised due diligence to meet the intent of the standard.

Further inquiries can be sent to [email protected].

See more about digital authentication

 


Questions Regarding Examinations

 

Q: Can I still take my exams through APEGA during the COVID-19 situation?

A: Due to COVID-19, disruptions to APEGA examination programs are occurring. The APEGA Examinations team will be communicating directly with those candidates impacted for each exam program.

 


Questions Regarding Application Processes

 

Q: Will my application and review process be delayed?

A: APEGA is reviewing all regulatory processes to ensure we continue the critical work necessary to protect the public welfare while we all respect the need for social distancing.

The Board of Examiners will meet virtually to review and approve licensing applications. While this change in procedure may lead to slightly longer wait times, application reviews will remain ongoing.

APEGA’s regulatory processes will continue throughout this public health emergency.


Q. I've applied to become a M.I.T. How will this affect my application to APEGA?

A. The unprecedented health emergency in Alberta has greatly disrupted the educational atmosphere. To fight the spread of COVID-19, many educational institutions have employed alternative course offerings and grading systems until government restrictions are lifted.

To help Alberta graduates understand how recent developments may impact their potential APEGA applications, we have answered the most frequently asked questions. Any changes to application processes will be applied to Canadian and internationally trained applicants.

Read the FAQs on the M.I.T. Application page

 


Questions Regarding Investigations

 

Q: How will my complaints and investigations be handled?

A: Investigations will continue uninterrupted during the pandemic. We can carry out interviews using video conferencing or teleconferencing, which will be arranged on a case-by-case basis.

Any supporting documents for a complaint should be emailed to [email protected]. Due to APEGA security protocols, we cannot accept documents sent via file-share applications such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

Once complaints are submitted, our Director of Investigations will be in touch to discuss next steps.


Other News and Updates from APEGA

COVID-19 News Posts

Changes to This Page

  • April 6, 2021: Added updated RCEO message.
  • March 16, 2021: Updated FAQs now that the March 14 deadline has passed. Retained previous information for reference.
  • January 28, 2021: Updated RCEO message, removed outdated dates and information, added new information regarding upcoming annual general meeting.
  • September 4, 2020: Updated RCEO message, updated deadlines.
  • June 30, 2020: Removed Notarius discount information as the deadline has passed.
  • June 22, 2020: Added new information about Notarius discount for APEGA members until June 30.
  • June 11, 2020: Added new information regarding Special Consideration for continuing professional development hours.
  • May 27, 2020: Added message about supply chain issues. Removed Events box as all scheduled events have passed.
  • May 15, 2020: Removed outdated FAQ regarding DAR submissions.
  • May 7, 2020: Added new RCEO message.
  • May 6, 2020: Updated information regarding member dues.
  • May 5, 2020: Updated blurb regarding AGM cancellation with link to news story. Added FAQs for permit holder dues reduction.
  • April 27, 2020: Updated information about AGM and PD Conference cancellation for 2020. Updated FAQs regarding member dues reduction with new information.
  • April 24, 2020: Updated information related to CPD hours.
  • April 9, 2020: Added FAQ information regarding member dues.
  • April 2, 2020: Added FAQ link for applicants to become members-in-training.
  • March 26, 2020: Added FAQ about continuing professional development (CPD) hours and detailed activity record (DAR) submissions.
  • March 20, 2020: Added FAQ about digital authentication. Added information about Notarius e-signature discounts.
  • March 19, 2020: Updated RCEO message about office closures.
  • March 18, 2020: Frequently Asked Questions have been added to the page.
  • March 17, 2020: A message from APEGA's Registrar & CEO is posted. An update regarding AGM, Summit Awards, and PD Conference is added.
  • March 16, 2020: All events scheduled through March and into April have been postponed or rescheduled. Those already registered will be issued full refunds as described above.

Media Inquiries

Members of the media who would like to reach out to APEGA for a statement regarding this topic may contact:

Gisela Hippolt-Squair
Director, Communications 
Office: 587-489-1567
Toll free: 800-661-7020
[email protected]