A message from the Registrar & CEO of APEGA
May 7, 2020
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 to October 1, 2020.
- 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.
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
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
Previous Registrar & CEO Updates
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
- Obtaining treatment
- Measures being taken by government organizations
- Further news and updates as they happen
2020 AGM Officially Cancelled
In response to the extraordinary circumstances relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and following guidance from government and public health officials, APEGA Council has passed a motion cancelling the 2020 annual general meeting (AGM).
Update on Summit Awards and PD Conference
With the developments surrounding COVID-19 in Alberta and announcements by the Canadian government and health agencies, APEGA has cancelled the the 2020 Professional Development Conference. Registration fees will be refunded. Updates regarding the 2020 Summit Awards will be forthcoming.
The actions Albertans take today will determine how this situation unfolds, and we encourage everyone to prioritize their well-being and take the necessary steps to stay healthy.
Upcoming APEGA Events Have Been Postponed or Cancelled
Currently, all of APEGA's events that have been scheduled through June have been updated in response to COVID-19, including the AGM, Summit Awards, and PD Conference. Unless otherwise stated, these events have been postponed and may be rescheduled at a later date.
Refunds will be automatically issued to everyone who was registered for paid events. If you have not received a refund that you were expecting, please contact [email protected].
Regulatory events such as Permit-to-Practice Seminars and Practice Standards consultation sessions are being assessed for online delivery. If you were already registered for one of these events, you will be emailed directly with further information.
Please note: Due to supply-chain difficulties, we are currently unable to provide physical copies of member cards or receipts. Once we can resume printing, you will receive any outstanding items.
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 current 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 2020 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, 2020, and March 14, 2021.
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 between any pay period in December 2019, January or February 2020, or March to June 2020
- 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.
- Waived mentee fees: Connecting digitally or over the phone during this evolving public health situation is crucial now more than ever. To support our members, APEGA is temporarily waiving the mentoring fee for mentees during the application process. For more information, please contact [email protected].
- 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).
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. Some permit holders who have experienced a significant loss in income are eligible for a one-year deferral of dues. The deferral is 75% of the fee calculated at the date of renewal. The balance of 25% or $250, whichever is greater, must be paid at the time of renewal. The deferral must be made no later than October 1, 2020. If you have not applied for a deferral or paid your invoice in full by that time, your permit may be cancelled.
The deferred portion of dues will be added to your next annual invoice and will be payable at that time.
This deferral does not apply retroactively to any dues already paid.
Sole practitioner permit holders received a broad reduction to $250 annual dues in 2019 and, as such, do not qualify for a deferral.
Q. How can I apply for a dues deferral?
A. Once you have received your invoice or renewal notice email, please complete the permit holder dues deferral request form and send an email to [email protected] with the subject line "Permit holder dues deferral request." In your email, please state the reason for the request. The application form will require a signed declaration from a corporate officer that your business has experienced a significant loss in income due to the pandemic or the economic downturn.
Once received, a permits administrator will review the form and respond to you with the next steps, including the reduced amount owed by your company.
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, the Province of 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.
APEGA Council has 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 is lowered to 30 PDH (instead of 80 PDH) and 1 category (instead of 3 categories) for one CPD reporting period (out of three).
Most licensed professionals will have extra professional development hours (PDH) that they couldn’t claim in the previous two years because of the limits in each category. This earned PDH is still available to 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.
Here is an example of how the professional claimed earned PDH in their current DAR.
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).
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].
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.
- If you have questions regarding the National Professional Practice Exam, email [email protected].
- For all other APEGA exam programs, please email [email protected].
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 for the remainder of the 2020 winter semester.
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.
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
Jun 12, 2020, 13:35 PM by Michael ShiplackAPEGA has granted all of its members Special Consideration for COVID-19 for the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program. If you still have questions about how this applies to you, then you might find the answer here.Full story
Jun 5, 2020, 09:59 AM by Michael ShiplackAPEGA is implementing a new online system for how licensed professionals report their continuing professional development (CPD) hours.Full story
May 5, 2020, 12:03 PM by Jordan AllanAPEGA Council has passed a motion cancelling the 2020 annual general meeting.Full story
Apr 24, 2020, 10:42 AM by Jordan AllanOn April 24, APEGA’s 101st president—an energy industry executive with 35-plus years of experience—took the helm during the unprecedented public health emergency.Full story
Mar 19, 2020, 09:22 AM by Jordan AllanAPEGA staff available by email and phone.Full story
Mar 17, 2020, 09:11 AM by Bailey AndersonInformation about APEGA's response to the COVID-19 outbreak and how it will impact operations.Full story
Changes to This Page
- 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.
Members of the media who would like to reach out to APEGA for a statement regarding this topic may contact:
Toll free: 800-661-7020