THE PUBLIC PERSPECTIVE: BOARD OF EXAMINERS
or cause the registration process to be compromised may have consequences in terms of protection of the public interest. The third initiative deals with the transition to a more quantitative method for assessing academic qualifica - tions and experience requirements. The goal of this ini- tiative is to assure the public that all applicants meet the same standard for licensure. Although initially planned to be in place during 2017, it is our understanding that implementation is now scheduled for 2018. A uniform standard for licensure is highly important. We recommend that APEGA provide the resources to implement the new proposed methods for academic and competency-based experience assessments and to consider this initiative a top priority. Assuming the new methods will be implemented in 2018, we also recommend that measures be put in place to evaluate their impact on the assessment process. A fourth initiative, increased transparency and openness, is one that the APEGA Registration Department and the BOE have integrated into their decision-making and other actions over the past few years. One way this is demonstrated is through registration staff continuing to provide extensive BOE support. This support takes the form of orientation sessions for new public members; in-service and workshops on academic and competency-based assessments for BOE members; and the development of policies and bulletins to guide changes to academic and experi- ence assessments. Staff members also help applicants by offering an online self-assessment tool. Above all, registration staff members carry the additional responsibility of conducting the initial review of applicants’ academic qualifications and experience requirements. This work is done in an exemplary manner. Considering the short turnaround, staff is to be commended for the efficiency and timeliness with which consent polls and consent agendas are distributed to the APEGA Registration Executive Committee. The BOE and staff of the APEGA Registration Depart- ment continue to perform their duties diligently, focus- ing on the fundamental principle of public safety.
In July 2017, the Hon. Christina Gray, Alberta Minister of Labour, appointed to the Board of Examiners (BOE) two new public members, Becky Kallal and Leslie Beard, who joined longtime public member Ernest Skakun. The role of these three public board members is to protect the public’s interests. We help ensure that those licensed as engineers and geoscientists are competent and that the process for licensure is fair, unbiased, consistent, and valid. During 2017, the BOE introduced several intiatives based on a risk management model adopted by APEGA Council. One of these was the restructuring of the BOE, which still exists legislatively, into two bodies: a registration committee, comprising academic and experience subject matter experts; and a registration executive committee, comprising 20 members. The latter committee has decision-making responsibilities. From our perspective, this change makes better use of the expertise residing with BOE members and in-house professional staff. This restructuring paved the way for the second initia - tive, an increase of responsibility for in-house profes- sional staff. Much of the work related to the in-depth review of applicants’ academics and experience, once done by BOE members, is now delegated to in-house professional staff. This allows BOE members to review and assess applicants identified as potentially high risk. Registration staff has built into the process several safeguards that ensure applicants provide all the necessary documentation to enable professional staff and the BOE to conduct proper reviews. All files are reviewed independently by the director of registration and the assistant director of registration, prior to the files being included on a consent poll and the agenda. We believe that these changes provide sufficient system checks to ensure that the reviews are fair, unbiased, and consistent. With the increased responsibility on in-house staff, it is imperative that the APEGA Registration Department be adequately staffed and that the workload for each staff member is reasonable. We are not suggesting that the department is inadequately staffed or that workloads are unreasonable. However, factors that may lead to
Leslie Beard Becky Kallal Ernest Skakun, PhD
APEGA Annual Report 2017
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