APEGA 2020 Annual Report

Appeal Board

THE APPEAL BOARD AND APEGA STAFF work to ensure that the board and APEGA achieve their mandates. The board met twice in 2020 to review its processes and how these relate to the work of the Investigative Committee, the Discipline Committee, and the Board of Examiners, as each strives to meet APEGA’s regulatory requirements. The board meetings included a review of appeal timelines, an examination of planned legislative and administrative changes, and a discussion of changes to processes to be implemented. New board members were provided information on their role, and the board reviewed succession plans. The board further reviewed issues relevant to appeals and the professions’ mandate to protect the public interest. Appeal panels, formed from a list of board members available for the date of a specific hearing, include a chair, three other APEGA members on the board, and the public member. Whether appeals are written or in person, the Appeal Board uses reasonableness as the appropriate standard of review. The board hears appeals of the decisions of the Investigative Committee, the Discipline Committee, the Practice Review Board, and the Board of Examiners.

Most cases are appeals of the decisions of the Investigative Committee. For these appeals, the board either upholds the decision or refers the matter to the Discipline Committee for hearing. Many appeals involve unskilled practice and/or unprofessional conduct and the public interest. A review of the cases indicates that members and permit-holding companies should ensure they engage in clear communication, develop clear written contracts with scope-of-work details, and maintain clear and current Professional Practice Management Plans. Such measures help prevent complaints and protect the public interest. APEGA and the Appeal Board have met the responsibilities of self- regulation and served the public interest well this past year. HAROLD NETH Public Member

Board of Examiners

IN THE APEGA 2019 ANNUAL REPORT , George Eynon—at that time the current APEGA president—stated, “First and foremost, APEGA is a regulatory agency of the Government of Alberta. We—all 72,000 members, 4,600 permit-holding companies, and APEGA staff—have a duty to protect the public.” Despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19, the Board of Examiners (BOE) and the Registration staff maintained their workload and their duty to protect the public in challenging times. In 2020, the BOE continued to monitor and refine the procedures, tools, policies, and bulletins related to the competency-based assessment (CBA) model, first introduced in 2018 to assess the engineering work experience of applicants. Our goal is to ensure a fair and unbiased process for assessing the work experience of engineering applicants. For CBA, there continues to be a variation in ratings provided by validators, applicants, and examiners. Since CBA yields quantitative data, efforts might be taken to produce relevant and appropriate ways to validate these ratings, such as developing indices of reliability. Access to this information would help CBA examiners and validators to produce more standardized and consistent responses, ratings, and decisions.

While the pandemic prevented in-person meetings and workshops for examiners, a workshop was held electronically in June, and staff continually reached out and assisted when required. As the CBA is further refined, practical workshops for examiners, offered on an ongoing basis, will continue to be necessary. This is in addition to the BOE providing evidence for validating CBA responses. As always, the aim is to ensure an equitable process for all engineering applicants. We recognize the commitment and time of APEGA staff who prepare the BOE meetings and staff who attend them. Last year, to meet the approval timelines, the BOE assigned staff responsibility to approve applications considered low risk. Such a decision allows the BOE to focus on those applications that require a more detailed review. In 2020, APEGA celebrated its 100th anniversary as a regulatory body in Alberta. As APEGA begins its next 100-year journey in 2021, the public can be assured that the organization is capable and ready to take on the future with all Albertans’ safety as its priority.

Respectfully submitted,




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