APEGA has launched an improved system for reporting and examining the work experience of applicants applying for professional engineer and engineering licensee designations. Anyone applying to be a professional engineer or an engineering licensee will from now on be directed through the new system, called competency-based assessment (CBA). Applications in process before today will continue using the former system.
Featuring a list of core competencies that applicants will use to measure and explain their engineering work experience, regardless of discipline, CBA is a fairer, more transparent, and more equitable process. CBA makes it easier for applicants to understand how their skills are recognized and evaluated. It is also less complicated, more consistent, and more objective for APEGA's Board of Examiners when the board determines whether candidates meet Alberta's standards for qualification as an engineer.
View our guide to learn more about CBA.
Note: engineering licensee applicants do use CBA, but P.L. (Eng.) applicants do not use CBA. These are two different types of membership. An engineering licensee has met all academic and experience requirements for licensure as a P.Eng. and can practise independently—but is not yet a Canadian citizen. A P.L. (Eng.) practises within a clearly defined scope of practice only.
Licensure can be complex, especially for internationally trained applicants who gained their experience outside Canada. CBA will help APEGA meet targets set by the federal Forum of Labour Market Ministers for recognition of foreign qualification.
Other types of engineering applications and all geoscience applications will, for now, continue using the system being replaced by CBA. Geoscientists Canada is developing improvements for assessing geoscience applicants. Like CBA, a system called admission support tools (AST) aims to enhance assessments through a competency profile for geoscience practice. The tool will describe core abilities and skills that a geoscientist needs for independent practice.
APEGA hopes to be the first geoscience regulator in Canada to implement AST. Depending on progress at the national level, that could happen within a year.
How Does CBA Work?
CBA asks applicants to explain how they meet specific competencies in 22 key areas, which are grouped into six categories:
- technical competence
- project and financial management
- team effectiveness
- social, economic, environmental and sustainability
Applicants are given a list of indicators for each competency. The indicators are examples of work situations an applicant can use to demonstrate competence. For each competency, applicants must provide at least one actual situation, plus several actions or details, making it specific to their experience. Then applicants must summarize the outcome of each situation, highlighting how their actions contributed to its overall success.
APEGA began developing an Alberta CBA model in 2015, with support from an Innovation Fund grant from the Government of Alberta. It’s a major piece of a multi-year registration renewal project. The registration renewal project is designed to improve tools and service, allowing us to process increasingly complex applications faster and more efficiently.