THE PUBLIC PERSPECTIVE: PRACTICE REVIEW BOARD
a nd will no doubt prove to be a tremendous learning opportunity for not only the permit holders and APEGA, but also for the management teams of the firms and the members of the professions who participated. The board will also use some of these findings to improve its services to APEGA members. Some of the findings involve: technical clarifications, expanded digital access and information; and support through clarifications and recommendations for improvement to PPMPs • initiating 26 additional initial practice reviews of APEGA permit holders using the lessons learned from the pilot program • executing a second pilot program to improve enforcement of APEGA’s mandatory continuing professional development program • recommending approval for about 700 reinstate- ment or resumption applications. Reinstatements are for former members wishing to re-establish their APEGA membership. Resumptions are for members who wish to re-establish their practising status after declaring a period of non-practice. As part of this process, the PRB also initiated a panel hearing to en- sure that natural justice was appropriately exercised in the case of an applicant who is not recommended for reinstatement. I participated in that panel Although there were over 30 practice reviews and hundreds of reinstatements and recommendations made by the board, given the date of my appointment, I was only able to attend the last five of eight PRB meetings in 2017. However, I was able to fully participate in the pilot permit holder reviews and in the first on-site audit. I also participated in a tribunal hearing panel and provided input into its procedures. I am very encouraged by the integrity, professionalism, and attentiveness of my fellow board members. I also want to commend the APEGA staff supporting the board for their professionalism, effort, and diligence in undertak- ing innovative steps to improve APEGA's self-regulatory functions and to improve its service to their members. It has been a distinct honour to serve on the Practice Review Board of APEGA. I look forward to our work together and the continued improvements being made within APEGA’s self-regulating professions for members and the overall benefit of Albertans.
In April 2017, I received the official letter from the Minister of Labour appointing me as the Government of Alberta's public member on APEGA's Practice Review Board (PRB). The PRB helps ensure that members of APEGA using the title professional engineer, professional geoscientist, or professional licensee (or the legacy titles professional geophysicist or professional geologist) adhere to the standards, regulations, and ethics of the professions. The PRB undertakes these responsibilities through reviewing and making recommendations on requests for reinstatement and resumption of practice; ensuring that professionals maintain their designation through professional training and development; and reviewing the practices of permit holders. The latter began in 2017 as a pilot project that included on-site reviews of engineering and geoscience firms. As the only public (non-engineer/non-geoscientist) member of the PRB, I am accountable to fully participate in the work of the board. It is also my responsibility to ensure that the public's interests are represented in the board’s deliberations, considerations, and decision- making. The other volunteer members of the board and APEGA staff have welcomed this input and have invited my full participation in all their endeavours. APEGA's strategic plan for the PRB's work has been expanded to more fully undertake assurances that, as a self-regulating body, APEGA serves its members more holistically. The plan also calls on APEGA to strive to improve its enforcement of Alberta's Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act , the General Regulation , APEGA's bylaws, and APEGA’s practice standards and guidelines—some of the essential regulatory documents for the professions of engineering and geoscience. Successes over the past year included: • executing a pilot program to review the professional practices of engineering and geoscience firms that hold APEGA permits to practice. Staff worked diligently to support board members in this work by developing a questionnaire for use in reviewing the Professional Practice Management Plans (PPMPs) of six engineering firms that volunteered for the pilot. Staff also organized on-site audits and compiled the findings on behalf of the review teams for consideration by the full board. These on-site audits were extremely beneficial for all parties involved
Respectfully submitted, Maria David-Evans, B.Sc., MBA, MA, RSW
APEGA Annual Report 2017
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