2021 APEGA Annual Report

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.


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