Leaders from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) and the Safety Codes Council of Alberta are signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will lead to increased transparency and public safety for Albertans.
This MOU formalizes and streamlines communication and cooperation processes by outlining mutually agreed upon expectations and roles both parties will abide by related to APEGA licensed professionals sitting on Safety Codes Council appeal panels.
APEGA and the Safety Codes Council have a responsibility for the well-being of Alberta’s residents through the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act and the Safety Codes Act, respectively. Both organizations are dedicated to continually improving their processes and upholding their commitment to safety.
“We are so pleased to be formally constituting an aligned process that already exists through a strong relationship between our organizations. We look forward to working closely with the Safety Codes Council moving forward, to continue to build a safe and robust Alberta,” says Jay Nagendran, P.Eng., APEGA’s Registrar and CEO.
Successful Regulation Through Communication
Occasionally, information regarding unprofessional conduct or unskilled practice in engineering or geoscience comes to light during the Safety Codes Council appeal process. The MOU guarantees that in such circumstances, if there are no immediate public safety concerns, the Safety Codes Council will inform APEGA within two weeks after publishing its appeal decision. APEGA will then determine if further investigation is required. In extreme cases, when public safety is at risk, APEGA licensed professionals are still obligated to report the situation in a timely manner to APEGA.
This new MOU, combined with APEGA’s already robust processes, will ensure the engineering and geoscience professions continue to meet the highest standard.
“Collaboration between regulators in Alberta’s safety system is essential to keeping Alberta’s built environment safe,” says the Council’s President and CEO Amina Deiab. “APEGA’s contributions are invaluable to the safety codes system, and I am pleased to reflect our respective organization’s strong partnership through the signing of the memorandum of understanding.”
Supporting the Professions
The MOU defines boundaries and responsibilities, creating clarity for APEGA members engaged in the Safety Codes Council appeals process. Members have an ethical obligation to inform APEGA of any unprofessional conduct or unskilled practice in the engineering and geoscience professions. Many of these professionals also serve on the Safety Codes Council’s panels, providing valuable knowledge and expertise.
This MOU alleviates any conflict of interest between their roles, allowing them to uphold their commitment to APEGA while safeguarding the Safety Codes Council’s ability to maintain confidentiality and the principals of natural justice and procedural fairness during the appeal process. All information shared will be in accordance with Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and the MOU will be evaluated every two years.
APEGA has a similar MOU with Occupational Health and Safety and is in the process of establishing MOUs with other regulators across Alberta, collaborating to ensure the safety of all Albertans.