The quarterly publication of APEGA. This edition features Plot Devices: Children Engineer Solutions for Storybook Characters; Council Candidates Announced; Legislative Review Wraps Up; Dues Increase Goes to Risk Reserve; Foundation Renamed, Refocused
A Y E AR L I K E NO O T H E R
A NNUA L R E POR T
A YEAR LIK NO OTHER
At work and at home, year two of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to upend our lives. It was a year dominated by the arrival of coronavirus vaccines and variants, social distancing, school closures, mask mandates, gathering restrictions, and some of the biggest social and economic challenges of the past century. Through it all, APEGA members, permit holders, volunteers, and staff faced the trials of 2021 with equal measures of tenacity, thoughtfulness, and compassion. We adapted. We found ways to survive and to thrive. We changed how we work, communicate, and collaborate—often for the better. Our collective willpower and spirit are what truly made 2021 a year like no other. Members and permit-holding companies deserve recognition for their extraordinary efforts in maintaining a high calibre of work throughout the chaos. So do our 862 devoted volunteers. APEGA’s strength and success as a regulator depend on their commitment and contributions to our organization. We focused our efforts this year on building a more inclusive and robust volunteer base that reflects our diverse membership. Working remotely, APEGA staff met and often exceeded performance expectations during disruptive and worrying times. We used technology to improve our application processing times and reduce the impact of pandemic interruptions for everything from examinations to hearings. Working with other provincial regulators, we enhanced public safety and addressed emerging issues. We provided members and permit holders with tools to help them improve their practices. Our virtual events brought people together, celebrated member achievements, and provided opportunities for continuing professional development. Most notably, we fulfilled our mission of safeguarding the public welfare of Albertans.
Our work as a regulator continues.
i i i
Pincher Creek, Alberta
Summit Awards Our Volunteers Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Mentoring
46 48 54 56 57 58 58 59 60 62
iii 6 8 10
A Year Like No Other Key APEGA Milestones President’s Message Registrar & CEO’s Message
Indigenous Relations Government Relations
REGULATORY EXCELLENCE 12
Updating the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act Standards Matter Outreach Sponsorships
Regulatory Trends Co-Regulation Regulatory Division Review Training in Administrative Law and Regulatory Legal Processes Membership Trends Application Processing Times Fair Registration Practices Act Competency-Based Assessment Examinations Practice Reviews Practice Standards Continuing Professional Development Licensure Administration Investigations Compliance Discipline Appeal Board Professional Development
14 14 15 15 16 18 19 21 22 24 24 25 25 26 28 30 31 32 36 39 40 40 41 42 44 34
64 PERFORMANCE CULTURE
Employee Diversity and Retention Giving Back Crisis Management and COVID-19 Cybersecurity Introducing myAPEGA Council Election Special Committee of Council on Nominations and Bylaw Vote Council Annual General Meeting
66 68 70 71 72 73 74
Boards and Committees Appeal Board Council
78 79 80 81 82 83 85
TRUST & RELEVANCE
Our Membership Supporting Members Through a Crisis Branch Engagement Member Benefits and Discounts Member Employment Trends Member Achievements The How of Wow
Board of Examiners Discipline Committee Practice Review Board Summary Financial Statements
KEY APEGA MILESTONES 2021
New Relying on the Work of Others and Outsourcing practice standard published
First virtual APEGA Science Olympics kicks off
myAPEGA online service portal launches for members and permit holders First virtual APEGA Nexus professional development conference
Graduated Risk Assessment of Permit Holders introduced JANUARY
First virtual annual general meeting held with record-breaking attendance APRIL
New memorandum of understanding signed with Alberta Safety Codes Council
APEGA’s General Regulation extended
by five years to Sept. 30, 2026
A record 9,215 National Professional Practice Exams administered DECEMBER Attendance of APEGA virtual events grows 120% over 2020
APEGA Summit Awards 30th anniversary and first virtual Summit Awards Gala
Second virtual Emerging Professionals Summit
APEGA’s Regulatory Division conducted an internal review AUGUST
APEGA members vote to amend the Council nomination process Final Women and Gender Equality report, Women in the Workplace: A Shift in Industry Work Cultur e, published
Brian Pearse , P.Eng.
APEGA has a number of statutory committees and boards that, like the PRB, assist in our governance and operations. Council provides oversight, but we alone cannot make APEGA a better regulator. It’s a joint duty that requires coordinated effort and regular interaction. That’s why I was so pleased to have board and committee representatives join Council at our strategic retreat in October. Planning our regulatory path forward Because of COVID-19, this was our first in-person strategic retreat since 2019. We gathered—following pandemic protocols—to envision APEGA’s future and create a new strategic plan. As always, serving the public interest is our mandate and our priority. But what steps do we need to take to continue building Albertans’ trust and confidence in our ability to regulate? Our efforts at the retreat were guided by two aspirations: being bold and challenging the norm. We pursued creativity and came together as a collective. It’s time to reimagine and reinvent our approach to engineering and geoscience regulation in Alberta. We must reinforce that we are, first and foremost, a regulator. Working in unison One of the highlights of my presidency has been engaging with members, connecting with them through virtual president’s visits, and responding to their questions about APEGA in my online Ask the President column. I certainly don’t have all the answers—but together, I believe we do. From Council and staff to volunteers and members, we must work in unison to accomplish our goals.
For many of us, our window to the world during the pandemic has often been through a computer screen. It’s been an adjustment, but we’ve made the best of a difficult situation. As APEGA’s 102nd president, I enjoyed my “commute” down the hall, connecting with councillors and fellow professionals (and sometimes their spouses, children, and pets!) via virtual meetings and gatherings. It took hard work, determination, and good humour, but we turned what could have been an obstacle into an opportunity to strengthen our communication and dialogue. This is vital, because we can’t determine where we need to go as a regulator—and how to get there—without open discourse. Communicate. Collaborate. Repeat. At Council meetings, we reinvigorated a process called generative discussions. It’s a clearly defined way for APEGA councillors and senior leaders to engage in thoughtful, future-focused conversations about issues and challenges we’re facing. It begins with an exchange of ideas, stories, and perspectives. Rather than leap to a solution, we explore a topic more deeply to gain a shared understanding. This has a far greater impact, resulting in solutions that are often more powerful than we originally envisioned. Generative discussions are a different approach to strategic planning, but collaboration is not new to APEGA. Indeed, it has been key to our continued growth and transformation. A recent example is this year’s launch of GRAPH, or Graduated Risk Assessment of Permit Holders, an important initiative that resulted from discussions between Council and APEGA’s Practice Review Board (PRB). GRAPH uses a progressive scale to evaluate the engineering and geoscience practices of APEGA permit-holding companies. It improves public safety through better risk management, enables us to complete more reviews, and helps us build a strong regulatory relationship with permit holders.
At APEGA, I believe we do that really well. Like anything, it takes work. It’s a journey we continue on.
And I’m very optimistic about where we’re headed.
MESSAGE FROM THE REGISTRAR & CEO
Jay Nagendran , P.Eng., FCAE, ICD.D, FEC, FGC (Hon.) Registrar & Chief Executive Officer
When COVID-19 arrived in Alberta back in March 2020, many of us prepared for a brief isolation, not expecting to still be washing hands, sanitizing, and distancing for months to come. We’ve now navigated through two full years of working from home and virtual gatherings, of pandemic restrictions and global disruptions. It’s been a time of uncertainty and unknowns, but APEGA has embraced this new reality. We know what we need to do to move forward as a regulator, and we have the technology and tools in place to do it. We remain focused on what matters most: keeping Albertans safe by proactively regulating the practices of engineering and geoscience. Delivering on our strategic priorities Succeeding in an unpredictable environment requires resourcefulness, creativity, and being open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. I’m proud to say our staff and volunteers—including APEGA councillors—are up to this challenge. In fact, I will remember 2021 not for the difficulties we faced, but for the resolution and resiliency I saw all around me. We united with a common purpose to continue delivering on the priorities in APEGA’s strategic plan. These priorities guide our actions every day.
You can find full details on these and our many other successes throughout this report.
Serving through remarkable times At the end of 2021, I am close to completing my fifth year as APEGA’s registrar and chief executive officer. While it has always been a privilege to serve Albertans and APEGA’s more than 70,000 members, it has been an especially remarkable experience to lead the association through these exceptional and unexpected times. There is no pandemic playbook to follow, but I think we got things right. For everyone’s safety, our offices in Calgary and Edmonton remained closed to the public in 2021, and most staff continued to work from home. All APEGA events— from webinars and Science Olympics to disciplinary hearings and Council meetings—were held online. The only exception was our strategic planning retreat and branch golf tournaments, which were held with all public health protocols being followed. It was a wonderful, intangible feeling to engage with my colleagues in person. I look forward to the day when that is once again the norm. A year like no other Looking back, it’s fair to say 2020 was a year for the history books. But 2021—with its ups and downs and highs and lows—was also a year like no other.
Protecting the public through regulatory excellence.
Building trust and confidence in our ability to regulate.
It pushed us to innovate. To continuously improve and do better.
Creating a culture in which people are empowered to grow and excel.
To find new ways to connect. To take care of each other.
This year’s annual report clearly shows the progress we have made towards achieving our strategic priorities, improving our performance, and being a leader in regulation. Some of our achievements include a new graduated risk assessment process for permit-holding companies, the launch of our myAPEGA online services portal, and the strides we’ve made to increase equity, diversity, and inclusivity within our professions and our organization.
And it showed us that no problem—not even the swell of a pandemic—is insurmountable when we work together.
R E GU L AT ORY E X C E L L E NC E
As a leader in self-regulation, APEGA employs robust, proactive, and responsive systems, ensuring the protection of the public and the compliance of our registrants.
WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE We recognize and address emerging issues affecting
our professions and our ability to self-regulate.
We undertook several initiatives in 2021 to address emerging regulatory trends and issues. To remain a strong and progressive regulator, we must anticipate change—and be open and responsive to it.
Together, we have a mutual and shared responsibility to safeguard public welfare. We: signed a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Alberta Safety Codes Council (SCC) to close a gap in the safety codes system. The MOU outlined expectations and responsibilities for APEGA professionals sitting on SCC tribunals to ensure a fair appeals process by alleviating conflicts of interest while protecting public safety
Our governing legislation—the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act —overlaps or interacts with the legislation of several other Alberta regulators. We worked closely with those regulators in 2021 to increase public safety through improved cooperation, communication, and information sharing, including clarifying boundaries between our legislations to ensure they work in harmony.
continued to work closely with Alberta Occupational Health and Safety based on the MOU, highlighting a commitment to increase communication and cooperation on investigations involving unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct by APEGA registrants
continued discussions with the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA), clarifying the roles and responsibilities of architects and engineers working on building envelopes collaborated with the AAA, the SCC, and Alberta Municipal Affairs on updates to the National Building Code – 2019 Alberta Edition schedules continued our work with Alberta Municipal Affairs, focusing on matters involving professional regulation and public safety
We detailed key observations, findings, and opportunities from our 12-month review in a 100-page report.
No findings raised issues of non-compliance with our legislation or the common law, or raised issues of risk requiring immediate action. Most opportunities for improved efficiencies and procedures were operational in nature— their response was already underway or will be integrated into our departmental plans.
worked with the Alberta Energy Regulator to enhance investigative cooperation
TRAINING IN ADMINISTRATIVE LAW AND REGULATORY LEGAL PROCESSES We collaborated with the Osgoode Hall Law School to develop a virtual course on administrative law and regulatory legal processes tailored to engineering and geoscience regulation. As part of the intensive, week-long training, staff and volunteers learned how to manage and run fair and effective administrative hearings. This was especially important for our statutory volunteers serving on quasi- judicial tribunal panels, who heard evidence and made decisions within a legislative framework.
held discussions with the Alberta Boilers Safety Association to clarify the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders governed by both, or either, the EGP Act and the Pressure Equipment Safety Regulation (part of the Safety Codes Act )
REGULATORY DIVISION REVIEW We completed an in-depth internal review of our Regulatory Division policies and procedures to discover any gaps in our regulatory framework. The results were positive, confirming we are meeting our public protection mandate. Several Canadian regulators have assessed their organizational structure and methodologies against the Standards of Good Regulation guidelines developed by the U.K.-based Professional Standards Authority, a world- leader in regulatory oversight and public protection. APEGA has used those assessments to complete an in- depth review of our regulatory policies and procedures and to discover any gaps in our regulatory framework. The positive results confirmed we are meeting our public- protection mandate.
Over the past two years, 53 volunteers and 13 staff completed the certification.
We continue to work with Osgoode on an advanced course for administrative and regulatory decision-making.
WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE We ensure the compliance of registrants by establishing, maintaining, and enforcing qualifications and professional standards.
Registration with APEGA is a critical step for those who are starting—or continuing—their engineering or geoscience careers in Alberta. Their skills are essential to building and sustaining our province’s economic prosperity. We work hard to process all applications honestly, fairly, and as timely as possible. Each application undergoes a comprehensive, transparent, and objective review. As a regulator, it is our responsibility to ensure only qualified, competent, and ethical individuals are licensed. Applicants must have the education, experience, English-language competency, good character, and professional knowledge required for professional practice.
Many applicants gained their education and work experience outside Canada. We are committed to treating these applicants equally based on their qualifications and not their country of origin. Since 2012, we have been the only engineering and geoscience regulator in Canada to have a full-time international qualifications officer providing newcomers with guidance and support on our application process and licensing requirements.
“It’s my job to support internationally trained engineers and geoscientists through the registration process so they understand the licensure requirements. I help provide guidance based on their qualifications.” – Enayat Aminzadah, APEGA’s International Qualifications Officer
VOLUME OF APPLICANTS TRAINED IN CANADA VS. INTERNATIONALLY
APPLICATION PROCESSING TIMES We strive to eliminate registration obstacles and expedite our application process without compromising public safety. Our registration practices meet regulatory best practices and are aligned with the province’s foreign-qualification recognition framework. We invest time and resources to renew, develop, and improve our registration tools and processes.
After a successful trial, we fully implemented our new application tracking tool in 2021. It allows us to access and analyze detailed and current application data in near-real time. By closely tracking our performance on all files, we can proactively adjust our practices and procedures to meet government timelines.
Canadian (excluding members-in-training*)
International (professional members and professional licensees)
**Mean number of days to review
Percentage 180 days or fewer
Mean number of days to review
Percentage 180 days or fewer
* Canadian member-in-training applications are typically processed very quickly and are excluded to avoid skewing results. ** We have switched to mean from median to reflect improvements in processing times, which has reduced the level of skewing in the data set.
Mean number of days to review
Percentage 180 days or fewer
Includes 4,141 applications decided on in 2021
FAIR REGISTRATION PRACTICES ACT
The Fair Registration Practices Act , introduced by the provincial government in 2019, aims to simplify and accelerate foreign credential recognition in Alberta. Regulators must provide applicants with an interim decision on their application status within six months of a complete application submission. As part of a multi-year effort, we have made several registration adjustments that have enabled us to meet the six-month requirement for most applications.
We recruited more volunteers to sit on the Board of Examiners (BOE), which reviews all membership applications. There are now 137 volunteers on the BOE—almost double 2019, when there were 70. APEGA professional staff support the BOE by conducting academic and experience reviews for low-risk files. The BOE refuses applications with significant academic deficiencies. This ensures BOE resources are used efficiently and results in more timely decisions for applicants. 87.2% of all application types received an interim decision in fewer than 180 days
Application Decisions Longer than Six Months
(by country of education)
January 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021*
Poland Australia Scotland South Africa
1 1 1 1
APEGA is one of the only regulators in Alberta that performs all academic evaluations for applicants. Most other regulators use a national process. The advantages of using a provincial system are that we set the standards and have direct oversight of the process, enabling us to charge lower fees. Applications may take longer than six months due to the: - complexity of an applicant’s education or experience - uniqueness of an applicant’s education or experience, if it is in an area with fewer knowledgeable examiners *Applications received from August 1 to December 31, 2021, are not shown because they were within the six-month window.
COMPETENCY-BASED ASSESSMENT Our competency-based assessment (CBA) tool, introduced in 2018, is an objective and consistent way for engineering applicants to demonstrate their professional skills and knowledge. It helps us determine each applicant’s ability to perform fundamental engineering tasks and reduces barriers for applicants who gained their work experience outside Canada. Based on our experience over the past three years, we made changes to optimize the CBA process. We: reduced administrative delays by issuing low- and medium-risk decisions twice a month, instead of monthly continued offering virtual information sessions for applicants and their validators (who confirm an applicant’s work experience)
began using a single examiner, rather than two to three examiners, for certain low-risk applications
We began planning additional CBA improvements in 2021. These upcoming enhancements—made possible with this year’s launch of our myAPEGA member portal—will further improve our timeline performance for applications. developed guidelines on when to use more than one examiner and how examiner recommendations will be used began providing applicants with information on how to address application deficiencies instead of refusing those who don’t meet CBA requirements. Deferred applicants can remain inside the application process while they resolve deficiencies, saving them time and money
We began delivering computer-based exams at physical testing centres in 2015 and fully transitioned to remote-proctored exams just three weeks after the pandemic’s arrival in Alberta in 2020. Candidates completed exams securely at home using a stable internet connection and a webcam. Through the webcam, a trained supervisor, called a proctor, oversaw exams to ensure the security of the exam session. Our experience and leadership delivering online exams proved valuable for other regulators in 2021.
We initiated a partnership with engineering and geoscience
regulators across Canada to eliminate pandemic interruptions for technical exams by switching from paper-based to computer-based exams with remote proctoring. More than a dozen provincial and national professional associations contacted us seeking advice on how to successfully transition to computer- based, remote exams. Many had delayed or cancelled licensing exams because of the pandemic.
National Professional Practice Exams
For the second straight year, we administered a record number of National Professional Practice Exams (NPPEs)—all via remote proctoring. The exam tests applicants’ knowledge of professionalism, law, regulations, and ethics. APEGA develops and oversees the NPPE for 13 partner jurisdictions across Canada that, like us, require engineering and geoscience applicants to pass the exam before they can become licensed.
The growth in exam delivery is due, in part, to the recent adoption of the NPPE by Professional Engineers Ontario and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan. Despite the increase in exam volumes for the NPPE and other exams, we had no inquiry backlog—we resolved all candidate and partner association questions within 24 hours.
“Great work being able to adjust to the pandemic and move the testing to be online! Very impressed and grateful.” – APEGA exam candidate
NUMBER OF CANDIDATES REGISTERED TO TAKE THE NPPE BY YEAR
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Practice reviews are objective and thorough evaluations assessing the engineering and geoscience practices of APEGA permit-holding companies, called permit holders, from sole practitioners to major corporations. We introduced the Graduated Risk Assessment of Permit Holders—a revised practice review process—in 2021. It strengthened public safety by significantly increasing the number of reviews that could be done on an annual basis while maintaining their quality. The process evaluated permit holders on a progressive five-level scale, with a focus on managing risk. If a permit holder met regulatory requirements at the lower review levels, their practice review was closed (with or without conditions). If outcomes were unsatisfactory, the permit holder progressed to additional review levels with increased scrutiny until risks were resolved and corrective action—such as quality management and control processes—was in place.
Regulatory requirements are continually evolving. To protect the public interest and help registrants meet their professional obligations and responsibilities, we publish practice standards, bulletins, and guidelines, as well as online learning materials. We: published the Relying on the Work of Others and Outsourcing practice standard in May, to outline minimum requirements for registrants when outsourcing and relying on professional services provided by others revised the Authenticating Professional Work Products practice standard to include the APEGA ID on registrant stamps and to clarify requirements for validating professional work products introduced the draft Professional Practice Management Plan practice standard as part of the public engagement phase to collect additional input after conducting an external stakeholder review. The draft will be submitted to APEGA Council for approval in 2022 published the Authentication Requirements for Drilling and Completions practice bulletin, which clarifies authentication and validation requirements for professional work products created by the upstream oil and gas industry
By working closely and collaboratively with our permit holders, we better equipped them with the tools to improve their practices and keep Albertans safe.
Our long-term goal is to review 10 per cent of our permit holders each year.
Reviews are usually completed at permit holder sites, though most were conducted remotely in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
developed online learning courses for our Permit to Practice Seminar and the Relying on the Work of Others and Outsourcing practice standard
Reviews completed by year:
Number of APEGA registrants who completed an online course:
Authenticating Professional Work Products
Permit to Practice Seminar
Relying on the Work of Others and Outsourcing
CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Our mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program ensures the public’s safety by requiring APEGA licensed professionals to engage in lifelong learning. In 2021, we introduced activity-based CPD reporting with the launch of myAPEGA, our online member and permit holder portal. We focused on educating and providing support to registrants with the new CPD tools. Although APEGA temporarily suspended CPD reviews in 2020 due to COVID-19 and the anticipated implementation of myAPEGA, we supported more than 6,000 registrants with their CPD reporting obligations to come into compliance with the program. At year-end, 74 per cent of APEGA registrants were CPD compliant. We expect it will take a few years for this number to stabilize and improve as registrants become more familiar with myAPEGA and technical issues are resolved. We also updated our CPD practice standard to align with activity-based reporting, providing clarity on CPD requirements and licensed professionals’ obligations. Registrants must report and submit CPD hours annually. This includes:
2021 CPD Numbers
increase in inquiries
special-consideration requests approved
44% CPD reviews originated from other regulatory activities conducted
an average of 80 hours per year in at least three CPD categories
of CPD reviews originated from licensure administration applications
at least 240 CPD hours over a three-year cycle
To ensure safe and competent practice, we approved just over 50 per cent (or 244) of reinstatement and resume-practice applications with at least one condition or restriction.
We improved our application review processes for former and existing licensed professionals wanting to make changes to their licence, resume their practice, or reinstate their licence. We introduced a licence- reactivation application to streamline the process for low-risk applicants seeking to regain their licence. We completed 923 licensure administration applications, with almost 50 per cent (or 447) being licence reactivations.
Completed applications in 2021:
344 132 447
To safeguard the public from unskilled practice and unprofessional conduct, we rigorously investigate all written complaints against registrants and permit- holding companies. Our investigators include former law enforcement officers and mediators. They gather the facts of each case fairly and objectively, under the guidance of professional members who volunteer on our Investigative Committee. If sufficient evidence is found, allegations are referred to our Discipline Committee for a formal hearing.
INVESTIGATIONS ACTIVITY BY YEAR*
*These numbers have been updated as they were incorrect in previous annual reports.
Protecting the Public During Preliminary Investigations
Interim suspensions: APEGA’s Investigative Committee temporarily suspended two registrants in 2021, pending completion of our investigation and a Discipline Committee decision. This is an extraordinary measure warranted by the circumstances of these cases.
Voluntary undertakings: The Investigative Committee also restricted the scope of practice of two registrants. The restrictions were mutually agreed on by the committee and the registrants, and the investigations continue in 2022.
To increase transparency, interim suspensions and voluntary undertakings are published on our website .
Discipline Hearing: The Investigative Committee has referred the matter to the Discipline Committee for a formal hearing. Mediated: The Investigative Committee has approved the mediated agreement between the parties. RDO (Recommended Discipline Order): The registrant has admitted to unskilled practice, unprofessional conduct, or both, and has agreed to specific sanctions. Terminated: The Investigative Committee has determined the complaint was either frivolous or vexatious, or there was insufficient evidence of unskilled practice, unprofessional conduct, or both. Withdrawn: The complainant has either withdrawn or abandoned the complaint.
HOW CASES ARE CLOSED
WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE We protect the public from unlicensed practice of engineering and geoscience and unauthorized use of our professional titles.
Compliance Cases Overview
Cases referred to court
527 515 58
Outstanding cases (backlog)
We protect public safety by taking action to stop individuals and companies from illegally claiming to be APEGA professionals and from illegally practising engineering or geoscience in Alberta. Individuals must be licensed by APEGA to practise engineering or geoscience in Alberta or to use our reserved titles, including P.Eng. and P.Geo., in their job titles, on résumés, or on social media. Companies must hold an APEGA Permit to Practice to practise engineering or geoscience in Alberta or to use words such as engineering, geology, geophysics, or geoscience in their corporate titles.
Cases with legal counsel, pending court action
Risk Categories of Outstanding Cases
8% 47% 45%
(likelihood of significant public harm)
We assess compliance cases based on their risk level: low, medium, or high. Priority is given to closing high-risk cases.
(potential disruption to business)
(little inconvenience or impact to the public)
COMPLIANCE CASE CLOSURE
HOW CASES WERE CLOSED
600 6 0
7% 2% 1%
51% 15% 12% 13%
Ceased to Violate
Ninety-nine per cent of compliance cases were closed without litigation.
515 CASES CLOSED IN 2021
Reduction of High-Risk Cases
High Risk 139
Medium Risk 285
of the cases closed in 2021 were in the high- and medium- risk categories. 82%
Jan. 2020 Jan. 2021 Dec. 2021
Three hundred high-risk cases were closed in 2020 and 2021.
A professional engineer designs a building that doesn’t meet required safety codes. A professional geoscientist provides a client with falsified soil tests. A permit-holding company improperly tests construction materials to save time and money.
Our discipline process is critical to serving the public interest in Alberta and building trust and confidence in our professions. We publish discipline decisions on our website and confirm all sanctions and orders are carried out.
When registrants and permit-holding companies don’t meet our technical, ethical, and professional standards—like in the examples above—we hold them accountable through disciplinary action. They may be found guilty of unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct. APEGA and the registrant or company being investigated may agree to a recommended disciplinary order (RDO), which summarizes the facts of the case and recommends appropriate sanctions. A formal hearing is held if an investigated registrant or company does not agree to the findings and disciplinary actions in an RDO. An expert panel of professional engineers and professional geoscientists reviews evidence and determines what discipline, if any, is appropriate.
12 completed 16 active
Sixteen hearings were in queue for scheduling Six hearings were held resulting in two dismissals Two approved adjournment requests One declined stay request
(case is carried over into 2022) Two hearings resulting in sanctions
2021 Discipline Statistics
Overall Hearing Sanction Monitoring
Overall RDO Order Monitoring
Fines and hearing cost issued
Letters of reprimand issued
Potential restricted practice
Fines issued Potential restricted practice Disclosures to jurisdictions
Referrals to professional practice
Recommended discipline orders
26 Total Publications
APPEAL BOARD A panel of engineering and geoscience professionals on our Appeal Board hears appeals for decisions made by the Discipline and Investigative committees, the Practice Review Board, and the Board of Examiners. The panel decides if the committees and boards used a fair process and made a reasonable decision. In addition to an order from the Practice Review Board, appeals can be made for:
Advanced adjudication training in 2021 provided Appeal Board members with further insight on decision-making impartiality and consistency. The training covered topics such as unconscious bias in decision-making and ended with a mock deliberation session.
2021 Appeal Board Statistics
cases in progress at end of 2021
days (average time to render decision)
withdrawn modified overturned
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Professional development shouldn’t stop just because we can’t meet in person. To help our licensed professionals continue learning and growing during the pandemic, we hosted all our conferences and webinars on virtual platforms in 2021. Through a mix of informative, inspiring, and interactive sessions, we helped build better careers and meet mandatory continuing education requirements. Virtual delivery greatly increased member engagement and our ability to reach more people, with participants logging in from urban and rural Alberta, across Canada, and globally.
Attendees signed in for the APEGA Nexus Conference from as far away as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East, and Texas, California, Mississippi, and Georgia in the United States.
2020 (Mix of In-Person & Virtual)
1,468 737 2,205
regulatory non-regulatory total regulatory non-regulatory total
2,200 1,089 3,289
regulatory non-regulatory total regulatory non-regulatory total
2,598 4,646 7,244
regulatory non-regulatory total regulatory non-regulatory total
42 37 79
29 12 41
34 57 91
We launched our annual professional development conference under a new banner: the APEGA Nexus Conference. More than 700 online attendees joined us for two days of expert-led sessions on innovation, diversity, technical competence, and regulation in Alberta. The event included a virtual trade show, poster showcase, and themed networking rooms. In comparison, our in-person conference in 2019 had 222 attendees.
“I learned a lot and did what I like to do—network!” – Jose Manuel Sánchez, P.Eng., APEGA Nexus Conference registrant and volunteer
Emerging Professionals Summit
Young engineering and geoscience professionals took their careers to the next level at our second- annual Emerging Professionals Summit. Industry leaders and APEGA representatives led sessions on personal branding, transferrable skills, workplace communication, and professionalism. A networking mixer gave participants the opportunity to make connections and share ideas. Attendees logged in from across Canada, ensuring the river of information flowed well past provincial lines.
“It’s a personal goal of mine to try and network and meet different engineers. Attending APEGA’s Emerging Professionals Summit was one way I met this goal.” – Habib Adesola Jinadu, E.I.T., Emerging Professionals Summit attendee
Those who wondered about the habits of influential leaders or needed advice on how to thrive during disruptive times found answers in our 2021 professional development webinars. From technical to motivational, we presented dozens of online sessions on a wide range of career development, employment, and regulatory topics. We also offered a free, three-part series—Building Mental Health Together—to support the well-being of APEGA registrants and staff. Fully funded through sponsorships, the series provided 587 participants with valuable strategies on how to sustain mental health, cope with stress, achieve a healthy work-life balance, and build a mentally healthy workplace.
T RUS T & R E L E VA NC E
As a trusted organization, APEGA is recognized by our members and stakeholders for the value our professional community delivers.
WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE Our members are engaged and clearly understand the value that APEGA delivers. They are proud of the APEGA brand.
Alberta’s economic rebound in 2021 was positive news for the engineering and geoscience sectors, though the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 recession continued to impact APEGA’s membership. The number of professional engineers and professional geoscientists increased by 1.3 per cent in 2021, or 670 members. Despite the economic uncertainty, the number of active permit-holding companies performing engineering and geoscience in Alberta is growing. In 2021, there were 4,511 permit holders registered with APEGA, down from 4,581 in 2020.
TOTAL MEMBERSHIP NUMBERS (broken down by membership category for P.Eng., P.Geo., E.I.T., G.I.T., and other) from 2016–2021
Professional member (engineering) Geoscientist-in-training
Professional member (geoscience) Other
Total Membership Growth
APEGA PERMIT HOLDERS
Active Permit Holders
SUPPORTING MEMBERS THROUGH A CRISIS It’s been a steep learning curve, but we now have the skills to live and manage during a pandemic. Still, many APEGA professionals continue to face stress, uncertainty, and financial difficulties. That’s why we extended the available reduction in annual membership dues for a second year.
Members experiencing unemployment or loss of income could apply to have their fees reduced by 75 per cent . This will continue until March 2022.
After careful consideration and evaluation, we ended some emergency measures we enacted early in 2020, returning to established processes. Permit holder fee deferrals ended in March. We also resumed professional membership and permit holder cancellations for non-payment of dues. Continuing professional development requirements returned to normal in March. Mandatory hours had been temporarily reduced. Registrants who were unable to meet the requirements could still apply for special consideration.
Our 10 branches—and the volunteers who run them— help members stay connected with APEGA and each other through activities like networking luncheons and industry tours. Most branch events moved online during the pandemic. This made it easier to reach more professionals, especially those in rural communities. Event attendance jumped by 281 per cent in 2021.
Total Events (Webinars & In Person)
Total Webinar Attendees
Total Event Attendees
MEMBER BENEFITS AND DISCOUNTS We have partnered with more than 20 companies and organizations to offer members discounts on personal, financial, insurance, travel, and other services. New and enhanced programs in 2021 provided added value to members who took advantage of the savings. The number of overall discounts used in 2021 jumped to 22,194, up from 18,688 in 2020. Home and auto insurance and wireless rate plans remain our most popular programs—members who signed up with The Personal Insurance Company saved an average of 30 per cent on their bill, and those who signed up with Rogers Wireless saved up to 32 per cent.
Some of our most well-attended branch events across Alberta were: Did you know?
Alberta’s Transition to Hydrogen Calgary Branch, 817 attendees
The Oil Sands in a Carbon-Constrained World Fort McMurray Branch, 435 attendees
Five Rules for Investors Lakeland Branch, 384 attendees
Local Perspective on the Far-Infrared Universe Fort McMurray Branch, 435 attendees
Salary freezes. Reduced work hours. Pay equity. Alberta’s shifting labour market is more complex than ever.
MEMBER EMPLOYMENT TRENDS
Our annual Salary Survey —one of our most popular publications—provides professionals and employers with valuable information about relevant employment trends at engineering and geoscience firms across the province.
This year,162 APEGA permit-holding companies shared valuable insights into their human resource practices and compensation offered to more than 12,000 APEGA engineering and geoscience professionals.
APEGA Salary Survey
16 organizations reported a 17% average reduction of hours per week.
Planned Head Count Adjustment to Professional Staff Over the Next 12 Months (Engineers and Geoscientists)*
Types of Salary Adjustments Made
*Data effective as of May 1, 2021
WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE Our members are recognized for their professional expertise and contributions to society.
ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS THROUGH A PANDEMIC
The pandemic hasn’t hindered engineering ingenuity in Alberta. APEGA professionals teamed up with scientists and health-care experts to find creative solutions to some of the pandemic’s biggest challenges.
From entrepreneurs to university professors, many of our members were driven by a shared purpose: to prevent the spread of COVID-19, protect front-line health-care workers, and keep our communities safe. Among their inventions: fabric that kills the coronavirus, protective respirators, virus containment tents, and a software program to support virtual mental health programs.
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