The year 2018 was one of change and continued growth within APEGA. The organization wound up a legislative review, with hopes that the Government of Alberta will refresh its mandate to reflect a changing regulatory environment. APEGA is building upon its strong traditions as it responds to ever-evolving societal expectations for an effective regulator. Such is also true of the Discipline Committee. The committee embraces the expectation of enhanced transparency, as it fulfills its mandate to support the safety of the general public by helping ensure member competency, professionalism, and ethical behaviour. The committee includes APEGA members who volunteer their time and service. At least one comes from the engineering profession and at least one comes from the geoscience profession. There is also one public member, and the committee is well supported by dedicated APEGA staff and legal counsel. Several new APEGA members were appointed to the committee this year, for whom in-depth orientation was provided. We also faced a change in administrative staff. The seamless manner in which the work of the committee was supported through these changes is an indication of how well the values of APEGA are embedded in the organization. Staff and the committee lost no appreciation of the obligations of being a self-regulating professional organization. In addition to meeting as a committee-of-the-whole four times during the year, the Discipline Committee’s volunteers who are also APEGA members fulfill the case manager roles. Much of the work of our committee flows from decisions of the Investigative Committee. When a member under investigation has admitted to unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct, the investigative committee
recommends an order for resolution of the matter to the discipline committee. One of our members is then designated as case manager. If the case manager agrees with the order, he or she meets with the investigated member to ensure the member has a clear understanding of the charges and the implications of the penalty. If the case manager does not agree with the order, the matter is referred to the Discipline Committee, which in turn will strike a hearing panel. The Investigative Committee can also refer some cases directly to a hearing panel. Hearing panels are made up of at least three APEGA members. The public member may sit on any of these panels, and hearings are open to the public. The practices in place ensure a fair hearing for the member or permit holder under investigation, as well as assurances for the public. These assurances are that the safety of the public is protected, and that high ethical and professional competency standards of the professions are maintained. The Discipline Committee continues to serve the professions and the public well. I am always pleased to share my observations about the dedicated work of this committee with members of the public.
Muriel Dunnigan, M.Ed. Public Member
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