Every professional member and permit holder has important responsibilities to ensure the safety and resiliency of all Albertans. Ensure you know your obligations and contribute to the sustainability of the professions.

Logo for APEGA's Centennial

Shared Obligations and Duties

Alberta’s engineers and geoscientists have earned the privilege of self-regulation. As APEGA members and permit holders, you are part of an exclusive community with important obligations and responsibilities that help keep Alberta safe and resilient.

Everyone licensed to practice engineering or geoscience in Alberta is expected to assist in the task of self-regulation to ensure skillful, ethical and professional practice. Through self-regulation, APEGA fulfills its obligations under the Engineering and Geoscience Professionals Act. APEGA’s duties under the Act are to:

  • protect the interests of the public
  • protect the integrity of the professions
  • regulate the practice of the professions
  • regulate the competence of members and permit holders

"Our APEGA members know how important their role is in keeping Albertans safe, but what it means to be a self-regulated profession is not always clearly understood."

—Matthew Oliver, CD, P.Eng., former APEGA deputy registrar and chief regulatory officer

The Importance of Self in Self-Regulation 

By Matthew Oliver, APEGA’s Deputy Registrar and Chief Regulatory Officer


Matthew Oliver, CD, M.Eng., P.Eng.
Former APEGA Deputy Registrar and
Chief Regulatory Officer

A question I run into whenever there is an event involving poor engineering or geoscience is “When will APEGA do something about this?” This question comes as often from APEGA members as it does from the greater public, which is a sign that we have more work to do to communicate with our membership about how self-regulation works.

Every member is integral to the success of self-regulation. Let me unpack this assertion.

It would be impossible for APEGA, as a regulator, to be an expert in every technical standard for every act of engineering or geoscience that takes place in the province. With over 56,000 Licensed Professionals and 4,600 corporate permit holders executing thousands of engineering and geoscience decisions per day, our presence in all those processes is simply not possible.

The breadth and the depth of knowledge and skill required in our professions demands high levels of integrity and trustworthiness. In a high-performance self-regulatory framework, everyone licensed to practice is expected to assist in the task of regulating, with the legal Regulator being the final step in a four-part process:

  1. Members regulate themselves by exceeding expected performance and professional standards and supporting regulatory activities.
  2. Members regulate each other by openly and ethically addressing issues with other members which deviate from the established standards.
  3. Corporate members (permit holders) oversee the practice of staff and other permit holders, with added obligation to ensure all members in their employ are engaged in self-regulation.
  4. Finally, APEGA regulates as the final tier of protection of the public welfare and setting standards and expectations for practice.

This means the onus to regulate rests on every person or corporation which holds a license to practice in Alberta. For this reason, the obligation to protect the public is written right into our professional Rules of Conduct.

Canada is one of the last places where self-regulation still exists in a traditional form. If we value the privilege of self-regulation and wish to maintain the present framework every registrant must be an active part of self-regulation.

Video: About Self-Regulation

What does self-regulation mean to professional engineers and geoscientists in Alberta? Hear what former APEGA deputy registrar and chief regulatory officer, Matthew Oliver, has to say. 

If you have questions or concerns about self-regulation, please contact us at [email protected].