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
Certain complaints against APEGA members and permit holders come before the Investigative Committee. These involve allegations of unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct as defined by the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act (the EGP Act ) and contrary to the public interest. The EGP Act authorizes the committee to perform this regulatory function for APEGA. When a complaint of this nature is received by the APEGA Registrar & CEO, it is referred to the committee, which then appoints a panel of committee members. This panel may also include the Director of Investigations and other Investigations Department staff. The panel interviews the various parties, gathers evidence, and prepares a report for review by the whole committee, which determines whether a referral of unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct should be made to the Discipline Committee for a hearing. If the investigated APEGA member or permit holder accepts findings of the panel that support the complaint, the panel may recommend an order proposing sanctions and refer it to a designated member of the Discipline Committee for ratification. These are called Recommended Orders, and they have the same standing and effect as actual hearings. During 2018, the committee investigated a variety of complaints from a variety of sources: APEGA members, The Appeal Board and APEGA staff have made every effort to ensure that the board achieved its mandate in 2018. The board met twice to review its work and how that work relates to the Investigative Committee, the Discipline Committee, and the Board of Examiners, all of which—like the Appeal Board—must meet APEGA’s legislated requirements. Board meetings also gave us the chance to review timelines for appeals, examine planned legislative and administrative changes, and discuss changes being implemented. New board members were provided information on their role, and the board continued to develop the skills of the two second vice- chairs as part of our succession plans. The board further reviewed issues and literature relevant to appeals and the professions’ mandate to protect the public interest. Appeal Board panels are formed on the basis of who is available for a specific hearing. Panels consist of 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 can hear appeals related to decisions of the Investigative Committee, the Discipline Committee, the Practice Review Board, or the Board of Examiners. APPEAL BOARD
permit holders, and the public. These ranged from serious, evidence-based allegations to allegations deemed to be frivolous, vexatious, or without insufficient evidence to justify a referral to the Discipline Committee. All parties to a complaint are given an opportunity to present their case to the panel. The investigation process is thorough, challenging, and time consuming. The volunteer members of the committee and APEGA staff spend many hours gathering evidence and compiling reports. Meetings—at least five of them a year—are held in Edmonton and Calgary, and via video conference, to review reports and make recommendations. The committee plays a critical role in the governance of the engineering and geoscience professions. It is central to the protection of the professions and the public interest. It has and continues to do an excellent job of meeting this mandate.
Ian McConnan, FCA Public Member
uphold the decision or refer the matter to the Discipline Committee for hearing. Most appeals in 2018 involved unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct, and the public interest. Hearings dealt with a wide variety of issues, including problems surrounding the taking of exams, building inspections, and construction. The cases indicate that members and permit holders should ensure they engage in clear communications, develop clear written contracts with scope-of-work details, and maintain clear current Professional Practice Management Plans. Such measures go a long way to 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. I am pleased to continue as the board’s public member.
Harold Neth Public Member
Most cases relate to decisions of the Investigative Committee. In these appeals, the board can either
2018 APEGA Annual Report
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