APEGA Strategic Plan

This strategic plan reinforces the mission and vision of APEGA. It sets long-term goals in being a leader in self-regulation while protecting the public. It stresses the importance of being relevant to our members, mindful of changes affecting our professions, and accountable to delivering on APEGA’s priorities.




“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” —Yogi Berra



Our members and permit holders practise engineering and geoscience in a diverse array of sectors. They are integral to the Alberta economy, enhancing the quality of life Albertans enjoy. From academia to industry, from government to not-for-profits, from natural resources to environmental consulting, APEGA’s members make ethical and skilled decisions that protect and serve the public. • APEGA is governed by a Council made up of 16 elected professional members, including a Council president, plus three appointed public members. • APEGA takes part in national conversations on engineering and geoscience issues through its involvement with Engineers Canada and Geoscientists Canada. • With more than 74,000 members, APEGA is the largest organization of self-regulated professionals in Western Canada. • APEGA has more than 4,600 permit-holding companies. Within this group, nearly 8,000 Responsible Members oversee these employers’ professional practices. • APEGA consistently processes more than 5,000 membership applications each year with more than 25 per cent of these coming from internationally trained applicants. • APEGA delivers about 7,000 exams a year to applicants and members. • APEGA relies on the support of more than 2,000 volunteers working more than 55,000 hours in total each year. • APEGA’s outreach programs inspire our future

COMMITMENT TO REGULATORY EXCELLENCE The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) regulates the practices of engineering and geoscience in Alberta on behalf of the Government of Alberta. We are the largest association of self- regulated professionals in Western Canada. Our members work in diverse industries, contributing significantly to Alberta’s economic success and enhancing the quality of life Albertans enjoy. APEGA and our members have a shared commitment to public safety and well-being through the self-regulation of the professions.

generations of professional engineers and professional geoscientists by engaging with more than 3,000 Grade 1 to 12 students each year.




Past-President Nima Dorjee, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.)

Welcome to the APEGA strategic plan. This carefully conceived and developed plan sets us up for success as we meet the challenges—and act on the opportunities—that our storied organization faces. An environmental scan during our planning session revealed four key areas of attention. Here’s my quick take on each of them: • Our volunteers are critically important to our success, so they should reflect the diversity of our members in the field. • Our members achieve their professional titles from a variety of Canadian communities and from around the world. This is a strategic strength of perspective and knowledge that we have, and we need to ensure that we’re putting it to proper use. • Self-regulation must be adaptable to the rapidly changing world and to the merging of technologies—a landscape in which the overlap of disciplines is becoming more common and professional challenges are becoming more difficult to assess. • APEGA must continue to seek ways to improve the regulation of work outsourced to other jurisdictions, given the prominent role it plays in engineering and geoscience in our province.

• The way we regulate must demonstrate positive social change, because that’s an expectation widespread among the public, whose interests we serve. Self-regulation is an exceptional, proven model for protecting the people of Alberta. However, we must continue to demonstrate our excellence, and we must do so in new, more relevant, and more visible ways. A large number of our members continue to be unemployed or underemployed, and there is no blanket, quick fix to move them into meaningful, well-paid positions. I do believe, however, that improving our strategic relevance, in concert with changing times, will actually help create opportunities for members as the economy of Alberta finds its new normal. The elected leader in charge of the next steps in this journey is George Eynon, P.Geo., FGC, FEC (Hon.), the 100th President of APEGA. Through his commitment, combined with a deep well of regulatory and governance experience, our members and this plan will be well served as he leads us into our centennial year. Over to you, George!




President George Eynon, P. Geo., FGC, FEC (Hon.)

As the 100th President of APEGA, it is my good fortune to launch our new strategic plan. The credit for it, however, is not mine. I was involved, yes, but this document is the result of the hard work of many, under the leadership of my predecessor, Past-President Nima Dorjee, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.). It is the outcome of careful reflection, spirited discussion, and supportive collaboration from APEGA’s elected leaders and top management. When we started this journey, we knew we needed an improved structure and that we needed to reflect the learnings APEGA has collected over the final five years or so of our first century. These learnings are profound, and many of them resulted from APEGA’s review of the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act . The review involved the largest and most thorough consultation of stakeholders in APEGA’s history. This plan is one example of how that groundwork is making us better now, well before a new Act becomes law.

The plan required an update, but two other challenges drove its creation: the need to inform all our stakeholders about APEGA and the need to address Alberta’s growing reliance on the outsourcing of professional services. We must explain to stakeholders that APEGA protects the public. And we must make sure outsourcing is properly regulated. This plan will help guide us in both areas. My final point is that practising our professions is a privilege and so is self-regulation. The Government of Alberta (and therefore the people of Alberta) grants us these privileges, entrusting us to self-regulate in service of the public interest. We are obligated to practise and self-regulate properly, which also means we must adapt and evolve with the times. All that and more is reflected in APEGA Strategic Plan: Building a Safe and Resilient Alberta .

I hope you will find it interesting, challenging, and motivating.



RELIANCE ON VOLUNTEERISM Volunteerism is an essential ingredient of our self- regulatory system, so we must remain mindful of our reliance on an engaged volunteer pool. We must pay attention to changes in member demographics and volunteering trends to ensure we efficiently and effectively continue to deliver on our mandate to protect the public interest in Alberta. NEW TECHNOLOGIES Since the inception of the professions, a major challenge has been incorporating new technologies into the work we do and the professions we regulate. The pace of change is accelerating, and we need to be aware of emerging and disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and software engineering, to name a few. Combined with increasing disciplinary work that crosses major fields of study, such as engineering, medicine, chemistry, and physics, we face new challenges that did not exist when our regulatory framework was established. GLOBALIZATION Off-shoring of engineering and geoscience continues and is increasing. Increasingly, design work for a single project happens outside of Alberta. This situation creates a difficult challenge in protecting the public welfare. How do we regulate professionals who practise in other countries and provide services remotely to Alberta? POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE Protecting the public has always been at the heart of APEGA’s mandate. With new approaches in regulation, we must complement that role by demonstrating positive change by working towards bettering the lives of all members of society. RELEVANCE We know that to remain trusted and respected, we must continue to provide value. Yet for many members and stakeholders, APEGA’s value proposition is unclear. Are we a self-regulator, a member association, or something in between? Beyond our responsibilities in the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act , what products and services should we offer? Value means different things to different people, so understanding the answers to these questions and the expectations of the majority is the key to ensuring our long-term relevancy.

EVOLVING LANDSCAPE To inform Council and shape the direction of this strategic plan, we scanned trends in regulation, technology, volunteerism, and demographics, along with key emerging issues.




THE EGP ACT: • defines the practices of professional engineering and professional geoscience • establishes the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta • stipulates that one must be a member of APEGA to engage in the practices of professional engineering or professional geoscience in Alberta • charges APEGA with the administration of the Act • vests in Council all authority to govern APEGA Through self-regulation, we fulfill our obligations under the EGP Act . APEGA’s duties under the Act are to: • protect the interests of the public • protect the integrity of the professions governed by this Act

Since 1920, APEGA has been a strong, self-governing body, proudly fulfilling the mandate given to us by the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act (EGP Act) to protect the public welfare. APEGA’s authority is derived from this Act.

• regulate the practices of the professions • regulate the competence and conduct of members and permit holders


OUR CORE VALUES APEGA’s core values are the guiding principles that dictate our behaviour and actions each day. Each of our four values are equally important, but integrity is at the core of our corporate values. WE EXHIBIT INTEGRITY WHEN WE: • Match actions to words • Behave openly and honestly • Treat everyone fairly and impartially • Do the right thing—even when no one is watching


APEGA safeguards the public welfare of Albertans by proactively

regulating the practices of engineering and geoscience.



• Own our outcomes • Help others succeed • Use transparent processes

WE EXHIBIT SERVICE WHEN WE: • Exceed expectations • Seek solutions

• Keep commitments • Listen and empathize

WE EXHIBIT INNOVATION WHEN WE: • Identify problems • Seize opportunities • Champion solutions • Learn and share

Building a safe and resilient Alberta.



CURRENT PULSE We are facing extraordinary change in this era of global economies and global practice. The increased pace of emerging technologies and disciplines, a changing regulatory landscape (e.g., work that is outsourced to other jurisdictions but implemented in Alberta), and shifting demographics all present challenges of which we must stay mindful. For APEGA to perform our role effectively, we need to demonstrate our commitment to upholding the standards of a strong, credible, yet compassionate regulator while safeguarding the public. We must strive for excellence with rigorous and regular reviews of our regulatory operations. WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE • We ensure the compliance of registrants by establishing, maintaining, and enforcing qualifications and professional standards. • We protect the public from unlicensed practice of engineering and geoscience and unauthorized use of our professional titles. • We equip registrants with the understanding of their ethical and regulatory obligations, and the tools to practise within the framework of self-regulation. • We recognize and address emerging issues affecting our professions and our ability to self-regulate.

Strategic Priority 1 REGULATORY EXCELLENCE As a leader in self-regulation, our systems are robust, proactive, and responsive, ensuring the protection of the public and the compliance of our registrants.


Strategic Priority 2

CURRENT PULSE We must deliver regulatory excellence for the protection of the public interest while maintaining the trust with our stakeholders. We will enhance engagement by sharing relevant, credible, and accurate information, and by providing tools, resources, and opportunities that create meaningful experiences. As we strengthen our brand, our members will be increasingly sought after for their ethics and professional expertise. WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE • Our members are engaged and clearly understand the value that APEGA delivers; we are proud of the APEGA brand. • Our members are recognized for their professional expertise and the contributions made to society. • Our diverse and welcoming community inspires members to achieve personal and professional fulfillment through volunteer opportunities and meaningful engagement. • Our stakeholders understand the mandate and role of APEGA. • Our external partnerships are mutually beneficial and aligned with APEGA’s strategic direction.

TRUST AND RELEVANCE As a trusted organization,

our members and stakeholders recognize APEGA for the value our professional community delivers.



CURRENT PULSE Organizational sustainability requires continuous improvement in the work we do and how we govern ourselves while delivering on our mandate. Council, management, and staff must seek new opportunities to effectively communicate, strengthen collaboration, and increase efficiencies. Finding ways to attract, recruit, and retain engaged staff and volunteers is integral to our success. WHAT SUCCESS LOOKS LIKE • We operate under a framework of good governance. We are accountable to government and responsive to our stakeholders. • We foster innovation by attracting, developing, and retaining diverse talent. • We make value-driven, risk-informed, and evidence-based decisions. • We adopt relevant technologies and implement opportunities that increase organizational effectiveness. • We collaborate across the organization, participate in open dialogue, and engage in constructive debate. • We establish clear performance metrics throughout the organization, measure results, and celebrate success.

Strategic Priority 3 PERFORMANCE CULTURE As a high-performing collaborative organization, we are accountable to deliver APEGA’s priorities.



It becomes mandatory that all professional engineers in Alberta become members of APEA, with annual dues of $2. The Dominion Council of Professional Engineers is established.

The Dominion Council of Professional Engineers becomes the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers. APEA expands to include geologists and geophysicists as professional engineers.

In 1913, the University of Alberta introduces the Faculty of Engineering.







The Engineering and Related Professions Act is passed, and geology and geophysics become their own professions. The University of Calgary creates the Faculty of Engineering. APEA requires all companies performing engineering, geology, or geophysics work to have a Permit to Practice.

On April 10, 1920, the Engineering Profession Act is passed and the Association of Professional Engineers of Alberta (APEA) is created. Initial professional membership is 69 civil, 20 mining, 10 electrical, and seven mechanical engineers.

In 1941, the University of Alberta begins to give special courses in electronics to support wartime naval and air force personnel. The discovery of oil in 1947 attracts many geologists connected with oil-drilling operations to Alberta. APEA helps establish the petroleum engineering program at the University of Alberta.


APEGGA reaches nearly 25,000 professional members and nearly 34,000 total members.

APEGA will celebrate 100 years of self- regulatory service.

To better serve the public interest, the first mandatory continuing professional development program for engineers and geoscientists in Canada is launched.

APEGGA launches its first website.







Geology and geophysics merge into geoscience and APEGGA changes its name to the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).

The name of the Act changes to the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act .

APEA changes its name to the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA). APEGGA surpasses 10,000 professional members and reaches nearly 15,000 total members.

The Canadian Council of Professional Engineers changes its name to Engineers Canada. APEGGA celebrates the arrival of the 21st century by participating in the Calgary Construction Association’s Millennium 2000 Time Capsule project. A collection of APEGGA items are included in the capsule, scheduled to be opened in 2100.




Registrar & Chief Executive Officer Jay Nagendran, P.Eng., M.Sc., QEP, BCEE, FEC, FGC (Hon.)

APEGA has realized many wonderful accomplishments since its founding nearly 100 years ago. However, I believe that APEGA’s greatest accomplishments are still in its future. For that reason, I am very excited about the launch of the APEGA Strategic Plan: Building a Safe and Resilient Alberta . As with any effective strategic plan, ours was developed collaboratively. I thank everyone who contributed feedback over the past many months. This renewed plan reinforces the mission and vision of APEGA. It sets long-term goals in being a leader in self-regulation while protecting the public. It stresses the importance of being relevant to our members, mindful of changes affecting our professions, and accountable to delivering on APEGA’s priorities. The identified goals and strategies are a road map to guide the organization for years to come. The guidance a strategic plan provides is crucial, particularly for regulatory bodies, as it supports governing at the highest level of excellence. Translating strategy into execution will be the work of all leaders at APEGA, requiring an

unwavering commitment to our priorities, and ongoing collaboration with Council and our many stakeholders. My staff and I look forward to this challenge and turning each priority into a set of clearly defined objectives, strategies, and tactics. I’d like to extend many thanks to Past-President Nima Dorjee, P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.), for leading us through the early stages of our strategic planning process, and President George Eynon, P.Geo., FGC, FEC (Hon.), for carrying the baton into our centennial year.

The identified goals and strategies are a road map to guide the organization for years to come.


“It is impossible to progress without change, and those who do not change their minds cannot change anything.” —George Bernard Shaw

Publication date: June 2019

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