Bylaw Changes for Council Nominations
Inform yourself on draft bylaw amendments related to the Council nomination process.
Draft Bylaw Amendments on Council Nominations
In June 2021, Council approved the four recommendations of the Special Committee of Council on Nominations. Implementation of two of the recommendations requires amendments to the APEGA bylaws pertaining to the nomination process for candidates to serve on Council.
From August 30 to September 9, 2021, licensed professionals were invited to register for virtual information sessions about the draft bylaw changes. Thank you to everyone who attended, as well as those who took the time to watch the information videos and submit the survey!
Council will decide in October whether to proceed with bylaw amendments and the potential for a member vote, which, if it proceeds, will be presented to licensed professionals for approval via an electronic vote in November 2021. If approved, bylaw amendments will be in effect for the 2022 nomination process to identify candidates for the 2023 Council election.
Read the Report on Draft Bylaw Amendments
This report provides background, an overview of draft bylaw amendments, and the draft bylaw changes, including a redlined version of the bylaw comparing current and drafted wording.
Participate and be informed
In addition to reading the Report on Draft Bylaw Amendments on Council Nominations (PDF), you can find out more about the draft bylaw amendments by:
- Registering for a virtual information session from August 30 to September 9, 2021.
- Viewing three information videos online.
Why bylaw amendments are necessary
Self-regulation is a unique and increasingly complex business that requires Council to possess a mix of competencies and experience over and above the professional and technical competencies of engineering and geoscience.
First and foremost, Council’s mandate is to provide strategic leadership, financial oversight, and sound governance to APEGA in accordance with the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act. As such, Council must ensure its governance practices continue to reflect emerging trends, expectations, and best practices, and that it consistently has the competencies and diversity required to govern effectively in an ever-changing environment. A transparent and robust nomination process is fundamental to accomplishing this.
In March 2021, Council also approved a new, fully transparent governance framework that provides greater consistency with current legislation, clear and detailed principles of APEGA’s governance, and an interconnected framework for robust governance of APEGA. The draft bylaw changes pertaining to the nomination process are aligned with the new governance framework.
Prior actions and activities
In response to a motion passed at the 2019 annual general meeting, APEGA Council established a Special Committee of Council on Nominations to review the process for the nomination of candidates to ensure candidates have the competencies required to fulfil Council’s mandate and to foster diversity.
Council received the Final Report of the Special Committee (PDF) in June 2020. The report recommended that APEGA rewrite its bylaws related to nominations to provide clearer and more consistent direction, as well as to clearly outline the authority of the Nominating Committee, leaving any procedural activities to be developed on the authority of the Nominating Committee.
Member engagement on the report’s six key findings and four recommendations was conducted in spring 2021. It involved nine webinars, a survey, and a dedicated email link for questions. Most members agreed with the four recommendations as outlined in the table below. See the Member Input Report (PDF) to review complete member feedback.
Agreement by licensed professionals with the Special Committee's recommendations
|RECOMMENDATIONS||Strongly agree/agree||Disagree/strongly disagree||Neither agree nor disagree|
Move to a simplified, transparent nomination approach using a formal structured assessment based on needed skills, knowledge, and attributes.
Implement an ongoing education and communication strategy to communicate the nomination process to licensed professionals.
Update the Nominating Committee composition, authority, and process.
Create a nomination approach that is inviting and easily accessible for licensed professionals and actively works to attract a more diverse pool of qualified nominees for Council, and other volunteer roles, as a means of succession development.
Based on a survey of members between April 5 and May 7, 2021, 95 per cent confidence level, with a margin of error of plus/minus 6 per cent.
APEGA has the authority and responsibility to regulate the professions of engineering and geoscience, as granted by the Government of Alberta. A robust Council nomination process is key to ensuring we have the diversity of competencies and experience necessary for Council to continue to effectively govern APEGA.
In response to a motion passed at the 2019 annual general meeting, Council established a Special Committee of Council on Nominations to review the nomination process and provide recommendations to:
- consistently deliver Council nominees for election that have the competencies required to fulfill Council’s mandate in accordance with the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act
- foster diversity in the recruitment of nominees for election
The Special Committee of Council on Nominations comprised four licensed professionals with diverse backgrounds and experience and a consultant from the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI).
The work done by the Special Committee of Council on Nominations included:
- a detailed review of the nomination process considering Council’s responsibilities and legislated obligations
- an internal assessment of what key stakeholders need from the process
- a thorough assessment of the nomination process, procedures, and related policies by the CCDI
- an online survey of about 2,000 APEGA licensed professional volunteers to seek input on the nominations process and their perspectives on diversity in APEGA.
From this work, the Special Committee produced a report listing six key findings and four recommendations.
- APEGA licensed professionals do not fully understand how Council election nominees are identified and recommended.
- The current approach to identify nominees is generally perceived to be unfair and biased towards nominees who know someone within established APEGA networks.
- The current nomination approach is prone to unconscious bias and may unintentionally disadvantage some nominees based on characteristics unrelated to their qualifications.
- The current types of engagement by APEGA of licensed professionals do not fully consider the diversity of licensed professionals nor the variety of approaches that may be required to enable their participation.
- The two most significant barriers to running for Council are the perceived time commitment and a common self-perception by licensed professionals that they don’t have enough to offer.
- The demographic makeup of Council is well represented in some diversity aspects, such as gender, but less so for other APEGA demographic groups, such as racialized and Indigenous populations, geographic location, industry, and age.
- Move to a simplified, transparent nomination approach using a formal, structured assessment based on needed skills, knowledge, and attributes.
- Implement an ongoing education and communication strategy to communicate the nomination process to licensed professionals.
- Update the Nominating Committee composition, authority, and process.
- Create a nomination approach that is inviting and easily accessible for licensed professionals and actively works to attract a more diverse pool of qualified nominees for Council, and other volunteer roles, as a means of succession development.
More background information
Thank you for taking the time to inform yourself on this important topic. Council will decide in October whether to proceed with bylaw amendments and the potential for a member vote, which, if it proceeds, will be presented to licensed professionals for approval via an electronic vote in November 2021. If approved, bylaw amendments will be in effect for the 2022 nomination process to identify candidates for the 2023 Council election.
Chapter 1: Important Information and Context
Chapter 2: Nomination Process
Chapter 3: Nominating Committee
After watching the three information videos, please complete the following survey by September 10, 2021.
The draft bylaw amendments are designed to support the development of a nomination process that addresses Council’s need to consistently attract nominees with the competencies and experience required to fulfil Council’s mandate to oversee the regulator of the professions of engineering and geoscience in Alberta. The changes will clarify the nomination process and ensure it is fully transparent to members. The exact draft bylaw changes are available in the report to APEGA licensed professionals (PDF).
The intent is that if Council makes proposed bylaw changes in October and the members vote in favour of the changes, all four recommendations of the Special Committee will be implemented together to create a more transparent and structured nomination process that will be better communicated to members. All four recommendations are intended to work together as a harmonious whole.
Currently there is no formal process or formal criteria to build the Nominating Committee roster. The bylaw amendments will require Council to develop formal criteria and processes for the composition of the Nominating Committee, the selection of its members, and quorum, and to make this available to APEGA members. The goal is to ensure that the Nominating Committee is filled by individuals with the necessary skills to assess whether nominees have the required competencies to stand for election to Council.
Diversity is about the unique dimensions, qualities, and characteristics of each individual. It involves a wide range of considerations, including gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, geography, knowledge, and experience. For APEGA, it is about embracing, respecting, and reflecting the differing qualities, characteristics, experiences, and perspectives of its members.
Ensuring all Council members have the skills, knowledge, and attributes to provide strategic leadership, financial oversight, and sound governance are, and will remain, paramount when identifying nominees for election. As well, Council will always include, as per the legislation, a minimum number of professional geoscientists and professional engineers. In future, Council will work harder to inform members about the opportunity to run for election to Council and the process to do so in an effort to reach its broad and diverse membership.