P u b l i c M E m b e r s — A M a t t e r o f p e r s p e c t i v e
Our responsibility is to ensure that the process for licensure is fair and unbiased, and that assessments are valid and reliable. In this report, we report on the assessment of experience and academics. During 2018, the BOE, in cooperation with the staff of the Registration Department, implemented the competency-based assessment (CBA) model for assessing the work experience of all engineering applicants. A similar assessment is being developed for geoscience applicants. CBA presents a list of 22 key competencies that applicants are required to demonstrate from their work experience. CBA is a more transparent and objective process, making it easier for applicants to understand how their skills are recognized and evaluated. We endorse the CBA approach but also caution that it is early in its implementation days and work still needs to be done to further refine it. We suggest that training sessions and materials be provided for validators and examiners. Validators have a key role in the CBA process. They are the applicants’ professional engineer supervisors and have the responsibility of attesting to the applicants’ work experience and proficiency. To perform their duties effectively, validators must have proper training to understand their responsibilities. As well, all related APEGA bulletins and policies need to be reviewed and updated to address any questions or confusion about how to apply CBA. COUNCIL APEGA’s Council has been through a rigorous few years of adapting the association to external risks and challenges. These actions were necessary, even as an economic downturn was eroding APEGA’s bottom line and forcing members into unemployment. Yet Council made the tough decisions and put the association on track. It’s our opinion that, in 2018, APEGA began to reap what Council has been sewing. Council’s relationship with senior staff, especially the Registrar & CEO, is stellar and productive. Senior staff are now in place to facilitate moving forward. Communication is clear, complete, and unflinching, and trust is strong. We can’t emphasize too much how important this is to the future of the organization and, therefore, the protection of the public interest, though Council ensuring the robustness of the agency it governs. Financial oversight and allocation of resources had been a concern. Council and senior staff addressed these problems and made the tough decisions. We are pleased to report that the financial position of APEGA today is healthy. In fact, we were pleased that Council did not turn to members for a dues increase in 2019 and has contingency funds available to cover unexpected costs. Another thing Council really needs to get right is strategic direction. The strategic plan that was in place lacked the appropriate focus, was out of date and needed improvement. In some sections, it was operational and not strategic at all. In others, it was simply not relevant. Also the world of professional regulation is changing and plans need to be focused with this in mind.
To move forward, Council recognized a new plan was needed. We, Council, gathered with senior staff in early 2019 for an extremely productive session of strategic planning. The public, members, Council, staff , APEGA, the membership, and ultimately Albertans will benefit from that work. The result will be a new strategic plan—one that actually is strategic, one that is fully relevant, and one that communicates Council’s goals and expectations. That’s something all of us can look forward to. Yes, there is a positive path forward for APEGA. It is one we are very excited about, and it will be reflected in an all-new strategic plan. A final side-note: our fellow public member Susan McRory, LL.B., ARCT, has stepped down because of other commitments. We miss her sharp wit, her clear and direct way of putting things, and her deep reservoir of experience and knowledge. Good luck, Susan, and all the best.
Mary Phillips-Rickey, FCA, FCPA Georgeann Wilkin, RN, LL.B Public Members
BOARD OF EXAMINERS
While the BOE has made advances in assessing applicants’ experience, such is not the case for academic requirements. It is disappointing that a more quantitative method for assessing academic qualifications is still being developed. Currently, the assessment of academic requirements is not uniform across all applicants. As mentioned in last year’s report, a uniform standard for licensure is highly important and we recommend that APEGA make this a priority. Registration staff members are to be commended for the work they do behind the scenes in reviewing all applications before presenting them to the BOE. The system of consent polls and consent agendas is a highly efficient way of obtaining all members’ input and ensuring the best use of everyone’s time at monthly APEGA Registration Executive Committee meetings.
Leslie Beard Ernest Skakun, PhD Public Members
2018 APEGA Annual Report
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