Salary Survey SUMMARY
The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta
Bring your families (and their rocks and fossils) to the APEGA Rock & Fossil Clinic. Professional geoscientists and their team will inspect your collections and share all sorts of fun facts—for free! Saturday, October 13 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. TELUS World of Science — Edmonton
Please do not bring any rocks and fossils taken from provincial and national parks. It is illegal to remove, deface, or destroy fossils and rocks from all provincial and national parks.
FEATURED GRAPHIC: PAGE 17›
10 Council Nominations Close Soon 12 Authentication Sessions Underway 14 Choose Your PD Carefully 17 Diversity Grant Update 18 APEGA Makes Education Grants 39-55 Value of Professional Services
4 President's Notebook 7 RCEO’s Message 13 Professional Development 19 Movers & Shakers 28 The Watch
38 Branch Calendar 56 Volunteer Listings 59 Member Benefits
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The PEG (ISSN 1923-0052) is published quarterly — online — in the spring, summer, fall, and winter, by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. Publication of a print version of The PEG ceased with the distribution of the winter 2016 edition. The PEG ’s content relates primarily to APEGA, our statutory obligations, our services to Members and Permit Holders, and the professional development of Members. The magazine also celebrates Member and Permit Holder accomplishments in Professional Engineering, Professional Geoscience, and other areas. The PEG is not a technical, peer-reviewed publication. Although we publish items about accomplishments in research, we do not publish actual academic or scientific papers and presentations, even in summary form. The PEG does not accept advertising. Opinions published in The PEG do not necessarily reflect the opinions or
VOLUME 2 | NUMBER 3 | FALL 2018 ISSN 1923-0052 Director of Communications Katie Starratt Katie.Starratt@apega.ca Editor George Lee , FEC (Hon.), FGC (Hon.) George.Lee@apega.ca EXECUTIVE TEAM Registrar & Chief Executive Officer Jay Nagendran , P.Eng., FEC, QEP, BCEE Deputy Registrar & Chief Regulatory Officer Matthew Oliver , CD , P.Eng. Chief Membership Services Officer Heidi Yang , P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.) Chief Financial & Corporate Officer Sharilee Fossum , CPA, CMA, ICD.D, MBA Director of Communications Katie Starratt Senior Advisor & Director of Council Relations Sloan d’Entremont , P.Eng. BRANCH CHAIRS Calgary Gobind Khiani , P.Eng. email@example.com Central Alberta Travis Fillier , P.Eng. firstname.lastname@example.org Edmonton Kyle Fodchuk , P.Eng. email@example.com Fort McMurray Ajaya Anuradha Ghosh , P.Eng. firstname.lastname@example.org Lakeland Andrew Francis , E.I.T. email@example.com Lethbridge Albert Tagoe , P.Eng. firstname.lastname@example.org Medicine Hat Clayton Bos , P.Eng. email@example.com Peace Region Kari Anderson , P.Eng. firstname.lastname@example.org Vermilion River Blake McCord , P.Eng. email@example.com Yellowhead Calvin Goveia , E.I.T. firstname.lastname@example.org
policy of APEGA or its Council. Inquiries: George.Lee@apega.ca
Nima Dorjee , P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.) Vice-President Timothy Joseph , P.Eng., PhD, FCIM President-Elect George Eynon , P.Geo., FGC, FEC (Hon.) Past-President Jane Tink , P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.)
Natasha Avila , P.Eng. Jennifer Enns , P.Eng. Darren Hardy , P.Eng. Dr. Brad Hayes , P.Geol., FGC, FEC (Hon.) Tim Hohm , P.Eng. Walter Kozak , P.Eng. RaeAnne Leach , P.Eng. Manon Plante , P.Eng., MDS, CD1 Bob Rundle , P.Eng., PMP Jason Vanderzwaag , P.Eng. Claudia Villeneuve , P.Eng., M.Eng. Emily Zhang , P.Eng.
Mary Phillips-Rickey , F CA Georgeann Wilkin , RN, LL.B., MBS
Public Members of Council
APEGA CONTACT INFORMATION HEAD OFFICE 1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper Avenue NW Edmonton AB T5J 4A2 PH 780-426-3990 TOLL FREE 1-800-661-7020 FAX 780-426-1877
NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS Engineers Canada Directors Lisa Doig , P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.), MBA
Dr. Gary Faulkner , P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.) Dr. David Lynch , P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.), FCAE, FEIC, FCIC (President-Elect) Connie Parenteau , P.Eng., FEC, FGC (Hon.)
Geoscientists Canada Director Colin Yeo , P.Geo., FGC, FEC (Hon.)
CALGARY OFFICE 2200 Scotia Centre, 700 Second Street SW Calgary AB T2P 2W1 PH 403-262-7714 TOLL FREE 1-800-661-7020 FAX 403-269-2787
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WHO WILL BE CELEBRATED NEXT?
Shine a light on excellence in engineering or geoscience by nominating a colleague or project for an APEGA Summit Award.
SUBMIT YOUR NOMINATION TODAY. apegasummit.ca/nominate
Nominations close September 21, 2018.
A Few Tips for Succeeding in a Tricky Economy BY NIMA DORJEE, P.ENG., FEC, FGC (HON.) APEGA President
prominently featured in this edition of The PEG . This document, a.k.a. the salary survey, is among the most popular of our reference materials. Who doesn’t want to know the going rate for their work? Most employers we surveyed this year—a higher percentage of them than last year, in fact—predict salary and staffing increases. No massive change is reflected in recent salaries, however. Average actual increases over the last four years range from 2.6 per cent to three per cent, which tracks close to cost-of-living increases. Alberta’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.6 per cent in July 2016. It had decreased to 6.7 per cent by July 2018. That’s a positive indicator, although the numbers do not reflect those Albertans who have dropped out of the job market entirely. That always happens during recessions, economists say— some people simply give up, so recoveries are not always as strong as they appear. If you’re, say, a 50-plus-year-old professional member laid off by an oil company a few years ago, you may well be continuing to struggle for consistent employment. I live in Calgary, so I connect with members in this situation all the time. Baby boomers take their breadth of knowledge and experience to the job market, but employers tend to think of junior professionals, rightly or wrongly, as more adaptable, affordable, and energetic. Even government incentives to encourage the hiring of skilled employees tend to focus on younger adults. Recent graduates, perhaps, are too much of a risk for many employers. The tight market seems to affect their end of the spectrum disproportionately, too. I don’t have the data to support this, but I do hear often from recent graduates who say they’re struggling to find jobs.
It’s indisputable that the Alberta economy is showing signs of recovery. But this time, the upswing is gradual, perhaps even fragile. The tenuous future of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion makes that abundantly clear. And as we all know, statistics never tell the whole story. I’m not an expert in job market analysis, but I do have some related experience. During my time at the University of Calgary, I helped more than 3,500 engineering students with their career choices. Most recently, I led the resettlement in Canada of 1,000 Tibetan refugees. I’ve also been hearing directly from members about their career challenges. So here’s my take on the situation. Being creative about career choices is particularly important for all of us in this economic climate. Regard- less of whether you are—or were—employed in oil and gas, you should look around at what else is going on, in everything from artificial intelligence to renewable en- ergy. We should use this opportunity to think carefully about what our work means to us. Is it merely a source of income? Or is it something more? Is there something you’re passionate about that, career-wise, you’ve been ignoring or putting on hold while life happened? I encourage you to think big and broad. Our skills as engineering and geoscience professionals go far beyond our specializations. And of course, I also encourage you—implore you, in fact—to continue to exhibit the professionalism that serving the public interest demands of you. More on that later. OUR SALARY SURVEY Alberta’s gradual recovery is clearly reflected in the summary version of the Value of Professional Services,
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Google “the gig economy” and you’ll confirm is that it’s a buzzy term and that it’s not narrowly defined. The gig economy can encompass a variety of project-based, full- and part-time positions—everything from Uber driver to manager of a multi-million-dollar build. Some reports say the gig economy is on the upswing and taking up a growing portion of the traditional economy, given the ubiquity of mobile apps and other information technology to make such arrangements simpler. Others say it’s just a new label on something that’s always been ebbing and flowing in the economy. BMO Wealth Management is unequivocal. “The gig economy in Canada is growing at a phenomenal rate that shows no signs of slowing down,” the division of the banking giant states in the July 2018 Canadian edition of Insight . BMO backs up this assertion with a document from a fellow giant, the employment agency Randstad, called Workforce 2025: The Future World of Work. Meanwhile, over at The Economist , a recent Bartleby column states: “It is now nearly axiomatic that people will work for a range of employers in a variety of roles over their lifetimes, with a much more flexible schedule than in the past. Opinion is still divided over whether this change is a cause for concern or a chance for workers to be liberated from the rut of office life.” As an APEGA member, a gig economy could serve you well. “The best placed are skilled professionals and artisans whose work is in demand from a wide range of customers,” The Economist opinion piece says. With the right advice and approach, the gig economy is not something to fear. But if you’re going to embrace it, it’s up to you to find your own “wide range of customers” that the maga- zine speaks of. EMERGING AND MATURING INDUSTRIES While the world will continue to depend on oil for the foreseeable future, tectonic shifts (metaphorically speaking) are forecast in the transport sector. With the
THE GIG ECONOMY In all of our age demographics, what will the future employment landscape of Alberta look like for profes- sional engineers and geoscientists? How will we all continue to practise ethically, no matter what type of employment we secure?
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PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBLITIES These are fascinating times, really. And they continue to demand strong self-regulation. If you get absorbed in some new career, perhaps by becoming your own boss and capitalizing on the gig economy, always put the public first. Broaden your scope as you need to, of course, but do so in a professional and ethical way. If you need training in new areas, get it. Regardless, maintain your mandatory Continuing Professional Development program and report your hours. And remain licensed with APEGA. To practise legally, you must have a licence. Also, remember you have a professional obliga- tion to report what you believe to be illegal practice, by members and non-members. Professional engineers and geoscientists are insured for some of the costs incurred from whistleblowing, under the mandatory Secondary Professional Liability Insurance program. I’m not going to pretend that whistleblowing is an easy step to take, particularly in a tight job market. But being a professional is not about choosing an easy path. With effort, the support of your professional community, and the services and products offered by APEGA, you can make this new Alberta economy right for you—while continuing to serve the public interest. I’M LISTENING As your President, I am passionate about the development of our engineering and geoscience community. Part of that process is hearing from you about your challenges, successes, hopes, dreams, opinions—whatever you want to share. I’m making the rounds across Alberta, during President’s Visits to communities in each branch. Come out and meet me at the venue we’ve booked. Hear me speak. Ask me questions. Chat with me. Watch your inbox for your branch newsletter for more details on the President’s Visits or check the APEGA website under Events.
use of electric cars and autonomous vehicles spread- ing, most experts predict that we will reach peak de- mand for oil within the next 10 to 20 years. New opportunities continue to arise, however. For example, a grower of medical cannabis in Edmonton recently said that Alberta is a great place to locate. The reason? The economy has freed up skilled oilpatch workers who know how to build high-end facilities. (But you might want to consider potential problems travelling to the U.S., if you enter this industry!) All kinds of technological revolutions are underway, from the way we monitor the safety of our pipelines and plants to the way we interact with corporations, friends, family—and smart but inanimate things. Keep your eyes on research at our universities and pilot projects in the private sector. Renewable energy offers good, meaningful jobs. The think tank Clean Energy Canada recently reported that $25 billion has been invested in the sector in Canada in the past five years. Employment is up 37 per cent in renewable energy over the same period. I hear often about the roadblocks renewable energy faces. The big one, of course, is the lack of battery storage for intermittent production. That’s the deal breaker, according to the naysayers. My reply? Humans overcome obstacles. That’s what we do. Our private and public investment in renewable energy will pay off, and to think that it won’t do so is short-sighted and defeatist. In any case, we have no choice. Carbon resources won’t last forever, and the human race’s effect on climate must be addressed aggressively.
LINKS The Economist: The Insecurity of Freelance Work Randstad Workforce 2025 BMO Wealth Insight: The Gig Economy Rethink: The Transportation Disruption Keeping Up with CPD APEGA Career Resources Secondary Professional Liability Insurance President’s Visits
Questions or comments? email@example.com
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Registrar & CEO's Message
Jumpstart Your Autumn Calendar With a Commitment to Success BY JAY NAGENDRAN, P.ENG., QEP, BCEE, FEC APEGA Registrar and Chief Executive Officer
Leaves are changing colour and will soon carpet the ground. Ominously, furnaces are kicking in, and in no time the mornings will legitimately qualify as bone chilling. But autumn isn’t entirely about dreading what’s to come. It can also be looked at as the beginning of a new year, and not just for fulltime students. Many future engineers and geoscientists view this season as bursting with hope and promise. Perhaps you can adopt some of that school’s-in enthusiasm (if you haven’t already) and dedicate it to our shared enterprise: the successful self-regulation of engineering and geoscience in Alberta. We are in this together. You regulate your own practices of engineering and geoscience. We regulate you in the overriding sense. My staff and I are charged with turning into action the strategic direction we receive from Council. A Council elected by you, I should add. Using our complementary roles as a lens, let’s look at how APEGA is successfully regulating the professions—and what you can do to support us and your own practices. Two side notes. More in-depth material on the items mentioned here can be found on our website. To find out more, check out the link box that appears with this col- umn. Also, you’ll no doubt notice that some items aren’t regulatory in the strictest sense of the word. No mistake there. I believe a strong supporting suite of membership services is essential to successful regulation. SUCCESS THROUGH PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT What We’re Doing: APEGA offers pertinent professional development sessions, skillfully delivered
by qualified presenters. We’re taking registrations now for a great fall lineup. Most of our offerings centre on value-added sessions that are designed to appeal to a large cross-section of the membership. We also avoid competing with sessions already offered capably and affordably by technical societies and others. Our fall sessions, underway now, cover project management, financial performance, ethical decision- making, leadership, communication for success, and more. Because of its broad importance and relevance to many industries, one technical session is on tap, called Isolation Techniques in Piping Systems to Prevent Major Loss Incidents. We don’t just believe in lifelong learning. We—and the legislation that guides us—insist upon it. Right now, we’re working hard to make our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program more effective. Last year, in a 2017 pilot project to optimize the administration of mandatory CPD, we reviewed and studied the detailed submissions of 100 members. What we learned is that reporting needs to improve. A number of causes are behind this, one of them being that members don’t always understand how or what to record. We’re committed to making the whole process clearer to members. We don’t have the details worked out yet, but part of that will be a modernization of our CPD reporting tools. What You Can Do: Take charge of your personal professional development program. Identify gaps in your skills, whether technical or non-technical, and find good courses and sessions to fill them. Have you been ignoring the reporting requirement under our CPD program? Face up to it now. Learn how to properly categorize and report your CPD hours. It
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and responsibilities of our licensed professionals and permit holders. Right now, one of the three revamped standards I alluded to, the Practice Standard for Authenticating Professional Documents, is in the member consultation stage. Information sessions about a draft of the standard are happening now in several Alberta centres and online. Authentication can be challenging, especially in the online, digital space. We are well aware that this stan- dard is important to many of our members and needs this update. What You Can Do: Register now for an information session about the authentication practice standard. Read the draft and check out other online materials. Take our online survey on the standard. Also, make sure you consult and understand what- ever standards and guidelines apply to your area of practice. If you don’t understand something, reach out to our Professional Practice Department. The numbers and types of questions we receive help us determine what needs to be addressed in our review process. SUCCESS THROUGH LEGISLATION What We’re Doing: For now, what we’re doing is taking some deep breaths. APEGA’s institutional understanding of the EGP Act has, I strongly suspect, never been as deep and detailed as it is now. That’s one of the positive consequences of having just completed an exhaustive review that began in 2014. We have presented the Government of Alberta (GOA) with volumes of supporting material. The ultimate goal is to have the GOA approve a new EGP Act, instituting its first major revamp since 1981. We can’t speak to when that approval will happen, because the EGP Act belongs to the province. Nor can we speak to which of our 80 proposed legislative changes will be accepted or to how the province might revise them. But no matter what the outcome, this process has been thoroughly rewarding. It connected us to members in an unprecedented way. More than 6,000 stakeholders shared their input in six rounds of consultations. A champions collaborative, made up of volunteers, worked at the branch level to gather the input from the grassroots of
will likely be far less daunting than you imagine. In fact, there are probably things you are already doing, like reading technical articles in magazines, that legitimately qualify. SUCCESS THROUGH STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES What We’re Doing: We’re continually evaluating APEGA’s collection of practice standards and guidelines. Currently, three standards are in line for major updates. This process involves developing, revising, and improving these important documents. It includes member consultation, and it draws on the wisdom of subject-matter expert panels. Standards and guidelines are important. They expand upon the provincial legislation that enables us to operate, the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act (EGP Act) , by detailing the expectations, obligations,
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Registrar & CEO's Message
SUCCESS THROUGH VOLUNTEERING What We’re Doing: Volunteering is a key component of self-regulation. APEGA leverages the expertise and enthusiasm of members just like you to guide us and support us in our regulatory and non-regulatory work. Much of this work goes on around the boardroom table, but we also need help with events designed to nurture the public’s understanding and imagination, when it comes to engineering, geoscience, and other facets of science and math. What You Can Do: Check out the volunteer opportuni- ties we’re currently offering. We can’t guarantee place- ment in the volunteer position you apply for, but we may be able to find another placement that interests you just as much. SUCCESS THROUGH BRANCH AND COUNCIL SERVICE What We’re Doing: We’re supporting our 10 branches in numerous ways, as they connect with their members through luncheons, professional development events, and other activities. Also, in support of the Nominating Committee and as directed by our legislation, APEGA’s staff seek nom- inations yearly for the annual Council election. Deadline for nominations for the 2019 election is September 27. What You Can Do : Consider serving on a branch executive. Branches are great stepping stones for further APEGA involvement, including service on Council. And if you are ready for the challenge, consider seeking a Council nomination. This column is only a partial description of how you can ramp up your engagement with APEGA. I didn’t even mention, for example, the cover story of this edition, the publication of the summary version of the Value of Professional Services. So there you have it. In case you thought fall was just about the leaves!
the organization, in and beyond our major geographic centres. And we learned how we can work within the legislation we have to better serve the public interest. What You Can Do: If you took part in the legislative review, please pat yourself heartily on the back! Continue to champion the work we’ve done—with your colleagues and teams, your peers, your neighbours. If you haven’t taken part in the process, review the materials on our legislative review website. You’ll come away with a great education on the detail and scope of our review, the methodology we used, and the content of the recommendations approved by your Council. SUCCESS THROUGH CELEBRATING GREATNESS What We’re Doing: Every year, we present our Summit Awards to some of the shining examples of engineering, geoscience, and overall good works within our professional community. What You Can Do: Nominate a deserving member or project now. Nominations close very soon, on September 21, for the 2019 awards. Act fast!
LINKS Events & Professional Development Calendar Learn More About Mandatory CPD Our Complete Library of Practice Standards and Guidelines Register Now for Authentication Standard Info Sessions Legislative Review Detailed Information Prepare a Summit Awards Nomination Help Regulate and Build Your Professions Through Volunteering Run for Council
Questions or comments? Registrar_CEO@apega.ca
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Run for APEGA Council in Four Steps
STEP 3 Nominating Committee reviews your nomination • Nominating Committee reviews the information you submitted • You attend an interview • Nominating Committee decides whether to recommend you
You decide to run • Familiarize yourself with the nomination process • Read Councillor Terms & Duties • Self-assess your skills and experience against the 10 top-ranked Council needs
STEP 2 You complete the nomination section in the Member Self-Service Centre Your nomination must include: • support from at least 25 professional members in good standing • a current resume or curriculum vitae • an explanation of why you want to run for Council • a self-rating of your skills and experience
Congratulations! Your name is on the ballot • Names of candidates who successfully fulfill the nomination
requirements will appear on the ballot. • Those who received a recommendation from the Nominating Committee will have an asterisk beside their names.
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COUNCIL NOMINATIONS Nominations for your 2019 Council close on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.
• Council nominations are accepted electronically through the Member Self-Service Centre. • Based on the 10 top-ranked skills and experience needed for the upcoming Council, the Nominating Committee will review and assess candidates to recommend. • The names of all candidates who successfully fulfill the nomination requirements will appear on the ballot. It will also indicate which candidates received a recommendation from the Nominating Committee. • Information about candidates will be distributed to members in December. • The 2019 APEGA election will run from February 11 to March 14, 2019.
MORE INFORMATION Member Self-Service Centre Running for Council webpage
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Authentication Standard Information Sessions Underway Now—Online and Across Province
An intensive series of information sessions is underway to receive feedback and share details about a draft of APEGA’s Practice Standard for Authenticating Professional Documents —a standard that addresses one of the most talked-about challenges members face in their careers, particularly in the digital space. The draft is the result of a thorough review by a group of professional members brought together for the job, the Authentication Standard Subject-Matter Expert Panel. The sessions, which continue until November 1, are a critical stage in the review process. Members are en- couraged to register, review our online materials (includ- ing the draft), and participate in our survey. Changes addressed so far in the draft involve, among other things: • defining professional work products and allowing professional members to better determine what should be authenticated
• defining a new term—the Responsible Member’s validation of professional work product • standardizing authentication and validation formats to allow professional members, permit holders, and the public to easily identify the authenticator and date of authentication, and the validator and the date of validation • discussing the uses of electronic and digital technology to authenticate professional work products • setting the requirements for authentication of professional work products imported into or exported from Alberta • providing considerations for the retention and storage of authenticated
LINKS Review Materials on Draft Standard Register Now for an Information Session
Help Unlock Someone’s Full Potential!
Discover the rewards of mentoring. Support another Member’s professional growth while earning CPD hours. With APEGA’s online matching software, you can connect with a mentee in a few clicks. Become a mentor with APEGA’s Mentoring Program and share your expertise. Sign up at www.apega.ca/mentoring .
Now Offered Province-wide
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Extend Your Reach APEGA Professional Development
Project Everest: Reaching New Heights in Project Management
Climbing Mount Everest is considered one of humankind's greatest feats of endurance. The two-month expedition to the top of the world's highest peak is a project filled with unparalleled physical and mental challenges, through some of the most extreme conditions imaginable. Alan Mallory took on Everest and set a world record when he, along with three members of his immediate family, reached the summit. This dynamic session focuses on developing project managers and
strengthening project teams. Calgary, December 14, 2018
Advanced Ethical Decision- Making Edmonton, November 7, 2018 Calgary, October 2, 2018
Managing Financial Performance Edmonton, November 13, 2018 Calgary, October 20, 2018 Assertiveness: A Powerful Communication Skills For Career Success Edmonton, December 17, 2018 Calgary, October 26, 2018
Isolation Techniques in Piping Systems to Prevent Major Loss Incidents Edmonton, September 14, 2018 Calgary, September 21, 2018
Construction Contract Administration for Projects
Edmonton, October 5, 2018 Calgary, October 18, 2018
Fundamentals of Project Management Edmonton, December 11, 2018 Calgary, December 13, 2018
Visit apega.ca/members/ events.ca Register Now
Leadership Training Edmonton, November 16, 2018 Calgary, November 2, 2018
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Buyer Beware Applies to the Professional Development Marketplace BY TIMM STEIN, P.ENG., AND AARON GEREIN (P.ENG.-SK)
Continuing professional development (CPD) is critical to the success and self-regulation of APEGA professional members. It enhances our knowledge and expertise in a variety of fields, and it provides us the opportunity to deepen our understanding in areas we feel are our weakest. When members buy the services of CPD providers not affiliated with APEGA, are we getting what we seek? Or are we spending our hard-earned dollars on courses and seminars that add little to our knowledge and understanding, and therefore undermine not only our needs but also our service to the public interest? From professional practice to structured courses, from presentations to self-study—there are numerous ways for members to accumulate CPD hours. APEGA has excellent materials available that explain what your options are and how to run your personalized CPD program. APEGA and its sister associations across Canada are responsible for licensing and regulating professional engineering and geoscience practices in their respective provinces and territories. For most of them, this includes mandatory CPD for professional members. APEGA was, in fact, the first engineering and geoscience regulator in the country to require mandatory CPD, which it launched in 1997. Mandatory CPD is included in the General Regulation , under APEGA’s enabling legislation, the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act. Annual reporting plays a key role in the accumulation of CPD hours. In most cases in Canada, annual reporting is mandatory but based on the honour system. This means that the professional association does not monitor or validate the hours that a professional member claims, unless the member’s program is chosen for specific review.
Moreover, professional associations do not monitor or verify the accuracy or the quality of courses offered by providers they’re not affiliated with. It’s up to association members to do their own research on whether third-party providers are offering quality content—or subpar content. Third-party providers can have high-quality offerings, but there are some providers that offer subpar courses and content. Subpar content not only negatively affects members, their CPD, and their future professional practice, but it also affects the professional associations they belong to. Associations such as APEGA use a vetting process to select third-parties for their own professional development offerings. See related story . However, there is no designated entity to regulate, endorse, or preapprove the quality of CPD courses outside of APEGA’s offerings. CPD courses not affiliated with APEGA are often taught by fellow professional engineers and geoscientists. They are experts in their respective fields, so this is a great way to promote CPD, mentor other professionals, and to promote the practices of engineering and geoscience. However, the potential for issues from these CPD courses is apparent as there is no one verifying them for accuracy, consistency, or quality. For instance, third-party providers may promote a technical course in a way that makes it come across as attractive and valuable, but then conduct the course in a way that is simply not as advertised. Even more problematic, professional members can report the CPD hours from a subpar CPD course, and the professional association in charge of regulating the members is, in
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Looking for Quality Professional Development? Hint Number One: Look to APEGA
If you’re looking for proven and appropriate profession- al development opportunities, APEGA is an excellent provider to include in your search. We base our selec- tion of sessions on: • the appropriateness of session content • the expertise and presentation skills of providers • the quality of delivery and materials We evaluate content and providers before, during, and after their sessions. We start by reviewing materials and contacting multiple sources for references. Then we improve sessions and coach providers, drawing upon our own expertise and session monitoring. Afterwards, we analyze the results of participant surveys. It’s a cycle of continuous improvement. We use what we learn to develop and sharpen the focus of sessions, and, when necessary, drop providers entirely. APEGA PD sessions are affordable and designed to support your own program of self-improvement, while you meet the requirements of APEGA’s mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program. We base content on six categories of competence: • Technical • Communication • Project and Financial Management • Team Effectiveness • Professionalism • Social, Economic, Environmental and Sustainability To these six, we’ve added a seventh PD category: Career Development. For the most part, our PD is offered in three terms: fall, winter, and spring (which includes the conference portion of the APEGA Annual General Meeting & Conference). We are also open, however, to holding sessions in the summer, if there’s enough demand. Our fall schedule kicked off earlier this month. A full listing appears on Page 13 of this PEG and online at
apega.ca., covering everything from project manage- ment to assertiveness in communication.
YOUR OWN VETTING PROCESS Your personalized program of professional develop- ment will, of course, require that you go beyond APEGA to meet some of your needs. Following are a few hints to help you find appropriate providers. 1. Whenever possible, attend sessions offered by established learning-oriented, professional, or technical organizations. They know their business, and they care about their reputations and the quality of their programs. 2. If you don’t know a lot about a provider or an organization offering PD, find out. Search the web. Speak to past participants. Ask a provider for references and contact them. 3. Identify the takeaways you need and want. 4. Check with the provider to find out whether the content meets your needs, as you’ve already listed them. Ask for a presentation outline. 5. Ask specific questions of a provider so you know even more about what to expect. Does the presentation include activities and participation? If so, please expand. Are there takeaways, such as copies of the slide deck? Is there proprietary information that the provider will not share? SUGGESTIONS? You can trust APEGA to deliver quality, professional content. Are we meeting your needs? Is there some- thing you would like us to present that you haven’t seen in our calendar? Are you a presenter seeking more information on possible inclusion in our PD offerings? Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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• Participants challenged the instructor on the above issues, but their claims were sloughed off and their questions left unanswered, with the instructor making excuses for any wrongdoing. When confronted by participants, neither the instructor nor the provider acknowledged any wrongdoing. Several emails and phone calls ensued, with participants demanding the opportunity to file an official complaint and requesting compensation for being misled by false advertising. Their demands and requests were ignored. All of this emphasizes the need for professional members to do their homework—however, this isn’t just a case of caveat emptor. This case study highlights a need among members for assistance in monitoring the quality and accuracy of CPD courses. It appears that providers can hide behind a corporate veil, provide subpar CPD courses to professional members, charge the same amount that other higher-quality course providers charge, and get away with it. This is not to say that all such providers are illegitimate. For those that are, however, there is little to stop them from reaping financial rewards from mandatory CPD reporting while providing nothing of value. This poses problems for associations and their members. On one hand, professional associations are required to regulate continuing professional development. On the other hand, professional members are required to uphold their Code of Ethics , which includes incorporating CPD and ongoing training in their careers, as required by legislation. But if no one regulates third-party providers, and professional associations are not reviewing all CPD programs, what is stopping professional members from simply purchasing CPD hours without receiving any actual benefit? Doesn’t this undermine our professional practice and our service to the public interest? Timm Stein, P.Eng., is Civil/Structural Manager and a principal with T2M Engineering Ltd. in Calgary. Aaron Gerein (P.Eng.-SK), Planning and Design Engineer, works for the Government of Saskatchewan in Regina.
most cases, none the wiser. This is fantastic for those who want to open a business and reap financial reward from mandatory CPD—while forgoing morals and the ethics APEGA and its sister associations promote and uphold. The following example demonstrates this issue. Several professional engineers registered for a course offered by the third-party provider. The course description was very detailed and claimed to provide extensive background with examples, and it was taught by an experienced, Canadian-licensed professional engineer with more than 10 years of expertise in the relevant field. The course appeared legitimate and valuable, based on its offerings. However, the opposite turned out to be true. Following is a short summary of what the course turned out to be. • The quality of the material was subpar at best. • The instructor merely flipped through a slide presentation without going into necessary detail. • Several topics promised in the course syllabus were not delivered. • Detailed practical examples were plagued with half- solutions. • References to proprietary software were made throughout the course—none of it explained in detail. • The final answer to example questions was given, but calculations supporting the answer remained invisible. • Recordings to supplement lecture notes were not provided—meaning that participants wanting supplementary material were limited by how quickly they could take notes. • The total length of the course was a fraction of what was advertised. • The instructor littered the course with advertisements, touting solutions and other consulting services from their own consulting firm.
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APEGA Receives $350K for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion
APEGA is stepping up its efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace, thanks to a three-year, $350,000 grant from the Status of Women Canada. The association is one of three Alberta organizations awarded funding for projects that address root causes of economic insecurity for women in Canada. Status of Women Canada is a government organization that promotes economic, social, and democratic equality for women. We’ll use the grant to examine workplace barriers facing female engineering and geoscience professionals—related to pay equity, hiring practices, advancement opportunities, and more. “Data collected during the study will help us develop Canada-wide workplace culture guidelines to help all companies, in any industry, create more inclusive workplaces that fully engage women,” says APEGA Registrar & CEO Jay Nagendran, P.Eng., FEC. The project supports Engineers Canada and APEGA’s 30-by-30 goal to increase the proportion of women in the engineering and geoscience professions to 30 per cent by 2030. Currently, about 13 per cent of professional engineers and 19 per cent of professional geoscientists in Alberta are female.
We want to ensure that women currently working in the professions, and those entering the professions in the future, don’t face unintentional systemic barriers. We want all members to be valued, welcomed, and included in the workforce. PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS We are collaborating with other organizations that champion diversity and promote science and engineering to girls and women. By engaging with these groups, we can use their expertise and avoid duplication of previous work. Partners we’ve begun consulting with are: • Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary • Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology • Alberta Women’s Science Network • Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion
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School Projects Earn $50,000 in APEGA Awards
KEY OUTCOME: WORKPLACE CULTURE GUIDELINES By the end of the three years, we’ll release a compre- hensive document, with case studies, which can be used by APEGA permit holders and other businesses interested in changing their workplace culture. Topics will include: • inclusion • hiring practices • wellness strategies • pay equity • training and advancement opportunities • employee resource groups It’s been proven that diverse workforces are more successful and innovative. APEGA wants to support our Eleven hands-on, student-led initiatives have received new APEGA grants, giving their teachers that extra boost to energize their lessons with inspiring experiences. The STEM-focused projects are the inaugural winners of APEGA’s Innovation in Education Awards, sharing $50,000 in all. Among the adventures in learning represented are: • creating a turbine to charge cell phones • developing multimedia displays in a community observatory • programming sensors to optimize plant care in Martian soil • participating in a new robotics program • prototyping technologies that can withstand natural disasters • installing interpretive trail signs to showcase geological, ecological, and Indigenous learnings “APEGA wants to help expose students to the real- life applications of science, technology, engineering, and math, and the positive impacts that the associated CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17 ››
permit holders to design positive cultures, so they can be leaders and innovators in their fields. NEXT STEPS Over the next three years, we’ll continually seek the support of members and permit holders to ensure the project’s success. We will soon launch a survey to gather qualitative and quantitative information from current and past APEGA members to help us understand their employment experiences and challenges. We’ll also work closely with engineering and geoscience employers, which will help us test and modify our guidelines to ensure they’re feasible and achievable. To take part in our survey or to volunteer your organization to test the new guidelines, please contact email@example.com. geoscience topics and associated careers. Each chosen initiative contains activities that focus on engineering or geoscience and relate to realistic applications that could have a positive impact on the students’ communities. APEGA members are volunteering to mentor students and act as subject-matter experts. fields have on the world,” says APEGA Registrar & CEO Jay Nagendran, P.Eng., FEC. “We look forward to seeing the results of these projects and hearing how the students engaged in them.” About 850 students in grades 2 to 12, attending 12 different schools represented by seven school boards, will complete their projects in the 2018/2019 school year, kicking off a program that replaces the APEGA Teacher Awards. Through the APEGA Innovation in Education Awards, we continue to celebrate exceptional teachers—while helping them implement larger STEM initiatives. Innovation in Education is part of APEGA’s K-12 Outreach Program, which strives to increase awareness and excitement for engineering and
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Movers & Shakers
FACES OF SCIENCE INVESTMENT I Lina Kattan, P.Eng., PhD, (right) melds with traffic at a University of Alberta lab.
RESEARCH FUNDING FINDS A HOME AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY Three Schulich School of Engineering professors have more weight in their research wallets after the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) named them as recipients of two of its grant programs: the Collaborative Research Training Experi- ence (CREATE) program and the Strategic Partnership Grant (SPG). Lina Kattan, P.Eng., PhD , Urban Alliance Professor in Transportation Systems Optimization, received $1.65 million through CREATE to support researching the effect heavy use of electric cars will have on electrical grids, parking, air quality, and traffic. Her program, called Integrated Infrastructure for Sustainable Cities, focuses on preparing the next generation of engineers
for the future innovation, integration, and sustainability necessary in building resilient urban communities. The training covers more than transportation. Water, waste, and energy systems are also included. And Dr. Kattan’s work also involves researchers from the University of Calgary, the University of Waterloo, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Victoria. It’s supported by the City of Calgary , the Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium, Stantec , and Alberta Transportation. Edward Roberts, P.Eng., PhD , a professor and the Associate Head of Research in the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Department, received $554,300 from the NSERC SPG for his work developing an electrochemical technology to remove multiple contaminants at one time from produced water in oil and gas processes. The treatment will also reduce
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Movers & Shakers
FACES OF SCIENCE INVESTMENT II AND III Edward Roberts, P.Eng., PhD, (photo left) and students look for better ways to remove contaminants from water; and Henry Leung, P.Eng., PhD, who wants to bring human-like decision processes to data analysis, chooses a classic pose.
sludge production and reduce use of additives. Working with teammates Milana Trifkovic, PhD, and Anh Pham, PhD, Dr. Roberts wants the treatment to remove contaminants as they are made, increasing water recycle rates and lessening effects on the environment. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and Ground Effects Environmental Services are collaborators in the project, which could eventually be modified to work in the recycling of industrial wastewater, potable water, and greywater. Henry Leung, P.Eng., PhD , a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, received $505,500 from the NSERC SPG for his research on software that emulates human decision- making when analyzing large chunks of data. Organizations using big data typically receive it from multiple sources and in various formats, leading to irregularities. Detection of those anomalies is hindered by their tendency to change over time. Dr. Leung is working on a system that will learn and change to keep up, enabling the software to monitor and analyze data in real time. The software is being
developed with Defence Research and Development Canada, General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada, Hifi Engineering , and Larus Technologies. CREATE funding recipients get up to $1.65 million over six years to improve training and provide relevant experience for students and postdoctoral fellows by encouraging collaboration, addressing research challenges, and aiding new researchers in becoming productive employees. Through SPG, the Government of Canada is investing in 80 projects across the country, to the tune of more than $78 million. The funding supports researchers working to solve Canadian challenges involving the environment, communications, natural resources and energy, and manufacturing. Says Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport: “We are investing in [the recipients] because we know that when we invest in science and research we are investing in Canadians. The bold ideas your innovative partnerships will generate will have an important impact on our economy, creating good jobs and unique training opportunities for scientists and engineers across the country.”
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SATELLITE MISSION LAUNCHES U OF A GRAD INTO SPACE CAREER Space really is big in our members’ lives, these days, as any regular reader of Movers & Shakers surely knows. Here’s a follow up of sorts to an M&S item we ran in the summer. Tyler Hrynyk , a former university student member of APEGA, is still aiming for the stars. Fresh off sending a satellite into space with the rest of his University of Alberta AlbertaSat team (aforementioned summer item), he has been handpicked to join one of the world’s leading companies in the small satellite market, Innovative Solutions in Space. Mr. Hrynyk joined the AlbertaSat team during his first year of engineering, becoming the student responsible for controlling and communicating with Ex-Alta 1, the cube satellite the team designed, built, and sent into orbit last April. “I joined the AlbertaSat team because I thought it would be a cool, fun distraction,” says Mr. Hrynyk in an interview with the U of A’s folio magazine. “Little did I know I would become one of the project managers and that I’d be flying the spacecraft. It changed the course of my career.” He and the other Ex-Alta 1 team also made some history. Their project was Alberta’s first space deployment. Ex-Alta 1 was one of 50 cube satellites built by students around the world, and it has been making the team proud. Designed to study extreme space weather, in the last year the satellite has captured a massive solar flare from the surface of the sun—one of the
OUT OF THIS WORLD -photo by Jason Franson Recent U of A graduate Tyler Hrynyk—a student member of APEGA when he attended uni- versity—has been invited to join Innovative Solutions in Space, a Netherlands-based startup focused on sending satellites into orbit.
most powerful flares in more than a decade—and overcome a number of technical difficulties that required software updates and reboots to keep it alive. The Netherlands city of Delft is home to Innovative Solutions, which manufactured Ex-Alta 1’s metal frame and liked what they saw in Mr. Hrynyk. The company, founded in 2006, has grown to more than 80 employees, all of whom are skilled in space technology and engineering. The company created the job specifically for Mr. Hrynyk, who says his experience with the AlbertaSat team and its members really paved the way for the current opportunity. “I owe this to everyone else I worked with. Everybody on the team owes something to everybody else,” he says. “This project was very hands-on and getting this job would not have been possible without the students I was working with, who
built the satellite and the ground station. Collin Cupido and Charles Nokes [an APEGA E.I.T.] did the majority of work building Ex-Alta 1 in the clean room. If they had made even one mistake and the satellite didn’t work, I would never have been able to fly the satellite and get this job. It’s very much a community- based thing.” Also a point of pride: AlbertaSat is helping the university get noticed on the space engineering, science, and technology stage. “A few years ago, we set out our vision for AlbertaSat, and one [part] was to make Alberta a leader in spacecraft engineering and science. We have absolutely accomplished that. We get emails every day from teams around the world asking us for advice because they know the success we have had. At the university level, in terms of building here in Alberta—we are becoming the hub in Western Canada.”
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