When Should You Hire a Professional Engineer or Geoscientist?

As municipalities prioritize infrastructure projects to boost the economy following the pandemic, it is more important than ever to ensure that you are hiring the right professionals for the job — professional engineers and geoscientists, that is — who are licensed and regulated by APEGA.

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The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) regulates and licenses professional engineers, professional geoscientists, and professional licensees. These professionals are dedicated to the safety and well-being of Albertans, and they help build strong, reliable, and safe communities for the benefit of all citizens and their quality of life.

Their specialized knowledge and adherence to applicable standards; professional engineers and geoscientists aid municipalities during all stages of the infrastructure and facilities lifecycle, including:

  • planning
  • design
  • construction
  • operation
  • maintenance

No matter your project — whether it's civil, environmental, transportation, commercial, residential, or utility based — licensed professionals have the expertise you require to complete them safely and efficiently.

Like the communities they serve, licensed professionals are directly accountable to protect the interests and safety of the public.

How APEGA Professionals Can Help You

  • Licensed professionals can turn your vision into a practical, biddable plan by comprehensively preparing requests for proposals and evaluating bid submissions — it's what they do every day!
  • Because of their training and experience, licensed professionals can ensure that your project plan meets present and future needs without being over or under designed.
  • Licensed professionals know how to balance the costs to build, operate, and safely maintain your assets.

  • Licensed professional can make decisions you can trust because they apply complex problem solving and use sound data analysis when facing technical challenges.

  • As a municipality, you cannot compromise one critical service for another, and licensed professionals can ensure the continuity of water supplies, roads, bridges, electrical grids, and sewers.

  • By analyzing lifecycle options for your project, licensed professionals can consider the cost of operating the asset over its expected life and make recommendations.

  • Licensed professionals can oversee the construction of your asset, as well as the ongoing maintenance, so that infrastructure is built and maintained correctly to ensure longevity and maximum value for taxpayers.

Understanding Scope of Practice

When engaging a team of experts for your next project, we understand that it is not always obvious when you require the services of a professional engineer or professional geoscientist. It also might not be clear what the differences are between APEGA-licensed professionals and technologists.

Understanding this difference and building an integrated team that includes APEGA-licensed professionals is vital to meeting the legal responsibility within the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act (EGP Act) to ensure the safety of the public is upheld.

Understanding Engineering and Geoscience Designations

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Scope of Practice Comparison
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Full Scope of Practice

As defined by the EGP Act, only APEGA-licensed professional engineers and professional geoscientists have the legal right to provide the full scope of engineering and geoscience services, which allows them to authenticate all technical work and to supervise others on the team.

Limited Scope of Practice

There are others who have been licensed to provide a limited scope of practice within the engineering and geoscience fields: these include professional licensees and professional technologists. They can authenticate only the work that is granted to them within the scope of their limited license.

Authentication and Supervisory Requirements

In addition to licensed professionals with full and limited scope of practice, there are also engineering and geoscience technologists who can and do assist with many aspects of project work on the team.

If any of the work being conducted by an engineering or geoscience technologist falls within the scope of practice of licensed professionals, they must – by law – be working under the supervision of a licensed professional, who can review and authenticate all technical work to ensure safe and consistent efforts.

When is Authentication by a Licensed Professional Required?

View the PDF below to determine whether an output of an APEGA licensed professionals service must be authenticated (stamped, signed, and dated).

See more about when to authenticate (PDF)


Contact [email protected] if you would like to discuss anything further.

We look forward to hearing from you!