Authenticating Professional Work Products

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Authenticating Professional Work Products

CONTENTS

1.1 PURPOSE ..................................................................................................................................... 1.2 SCOPE .......................................................................................................................................... 1.3 DEFINITIONS ................................................................................................................................ 1.0 OVERVIEW .................................................................................................................... 2.0 PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES .............................................................................. 2.1 AUTHENTICATION OBLIGATIONS FOR LICENSED PROFESSIONALS ................................................ 2.1.1 Ethical Obligations ............................................................................................................................ 2.1.2 Authentication Obligations for Licensed Professionals ..................................................................... 2.1.3 Obligation to Safeguard Stamps ....................................................................................................... 2.1.4 Obligation to Safeguard Digital Certificates........................................................................................ 2.2 RESPONSIBLE MEMBER VALIDATION OF PROFESSIONAL WORK PRODUCTS ................................ 2.3 ABSENCE OF, OR IMPROPER AUTHENTICATION ........................................................................... 2.4 AUTHENTICATION AND VALIDATION: LIABILITY IN CIVIL PROCEEDINGS ....................................... 3.5 AUTHENTICATION NOT REQUIRED .............................................................................................. 3.4.1 Professional Work Products for Commercially Engineered Goods (or Commercial Off-the-Shelf Engineered Goods) .................................................................................................................................... 3.4.2 Customized Engineered Goods ........................................................................................................ 3.1 AUTHENTICATION TEST ............................................................................................................... 3.2 PROFESSIONAL WORK PRODUCTS IMPORTED INTO ALBERTA ..................................................... 3.3 PROFESSIONAL WORK PRODUCTS EXPORTED FROM ALBERTA .................................................... 3.4 AUTHENTICATING PROFESSIONAL WORK PRODUCTS FOR ENGINEERED GOODS ........................ 3.0 WHAT TO AUTHENTICATE ............................................................................................ 4.1 AUTHENTICATION REQUIREMENTS ............................................................................................. 4.2 ACCEPTABLE METHODS OF AUTHENTICATION AND VALIDATION ................................................ 4.3 UNACCEPTABLE METHODS OF AUTHENTICATION AND VALIDATION ........................................... 4.4 AUTHENTICATION & VALIDATION PROCEDURES .......................................................................... 4.4.1 Authentication ................................................................................................................................. 4.4.2 Validation ......................................................................................................................................... 4.0 AUTHENTICATION & VALIDATION PROCESSES ........................................................... 4.5 AUTHENTICATION AND VALIDATION PLACEMENT ....................................................................... 4.6 SINGLE-DISCIPLINE PROFESSIONAL WORK PRODUCTS ................................................................ 4.7 MULTI-DISCIPLINE PROFESSIONAL WORK PRODUCTS ................................................................. 4.8 WORK PRODUCTS FROM NON-APEGA PROFESSIONALS .............................................................. 4.9 MULTI PERMIT HOLDERS ............................................................................................................. 4.10 AUTHENTICATING PHYSICAL PROFESSIONAL WORK PRODUCTS .................................................. 4.11 AUTHENTICATING ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL PROFESSIONAL WORK PRODUCTS ...........................

4 5 5 4

10 10 11 11 11 12 12 12 10 12 14 14 14 14 14 15 15 15 15 16 16 17 17 17 18 18 18 18 18 12 15

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19 19 19 20 20 21 21 21 21 21 4.15.1 Period of Retention ....................................................................................................................... 4.15.2 True Originals ................................................................................................................................ 4.15.3 Storage of Authenticated Professional Work Products .................................................................. 4.15.4 Providing Copies to Employee and Contract Licensed Professionals ............................................. 22 APPENDIX 1 - EXAMPLES OF PERMISSIBLE STAMPS .......................................................... APPENDIX 2 - EXAMPLES OF PERMISSIBLE AUTHENTICATION METHODS FOR A PROFESSIONAL WORK PRODUCT BY AN APEGA LICENSED PROFESSIONAL ..................... APPENDIX 3 - EXAMPLES OF PERMISSIBLE VALIDATION METHODS FOR A PROFESSIONAL WORK PRODUCT BY A RESPONSIBLE MEMBER ....................................... 4.12 REVISIONS OF PROFESSIONAL WORK PRODUCTS ...................................................................... 4.13 AUTHENTICATION FOR CONTINUOUS OPERATIONS AND FIELD REVISIONS OF PROFESSIONAL WORK PRODUCTS .................................................................................................................... 4.14 PROVIDING COPIES OF AUTHENTICATED PROFESSIONAL WORK PRODUCTS ............................ 4.15 RETAINING AUTHENTICATED PROFESSIONAL WORK PRODUCTS .............................................. 4.11.1 Electronic Professional Work Products ........................................................................................... 4.11.2 Digital Professional Work Products (e.g., Code, Software, and Modelling and Simulation) ............ 24 25

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APPENDIX 4 - APEGA REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ACCEPTABLE CERTIFICATE AUTHORITY ..

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DOCUMENT HISTORY

Date

Version

Revision Description

January 2013

Initial issue for membership use. Original title was Practice Standard for Authenticating Professional Documents

3.1

Updating current practices. Draft published for member feedback.

May 2018

7.1

Issued for membership use

July 2019

8.3

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PREFACE

An APEGA professional practice standard describes the level of performance expected of licensed professionals . Although practice standards are not specifically legislated, Part 8 (General) of the General Regulation under Sections 58 and 59 allows APEGA to publish guides that define the expectations and professional obligations of APEGA permit holders and licensed professionals . Licensed professionals must follow practice standards, which establish acceptable practice. The differences between a professional practice standard, a practice guideline, and a practice bulletin are as follows. A professional practice standard sets the minimum standard of practice permit holders and licensed professionals must comply with in their professional practice. APEGA’s statutory boards will assess a permit holder’s or licensed professional’s practice and conduct against practice standards. A professional practice guideline advises permit holders and licensed professionals in their professional practice and recommends best practices. APEGA statutory boards may assess a permit holder’s or licensed professional’s practice and conduct against practice guidelines. A professional practice bulletin addresses a subject related to professional practice and remains in force until a practice standard or a practice guideline on the subject is developed or until the practice bulletin is rescinded by APEGA. • • •

CONTRIBUTORS

APEGA thanks the following members for their time and commitment in revising this practice standard:

Predrag (Peter) Bozic, P.Eng. Wan (Randy) Chan, P.Eng.

Erick Liebl, P.Eng. Pal Mann, P.Eng.

Haisheng Fan, P.Eng. Hartley Harris, P.Eng. John Hogg, P.Geo. Warren Korol, P.Eng.

Keith Millis, P.Geoph. Dale Ozdoba, P.Eng. Kenneth Rafa, P.Eng. Tom Sneddon, P.Geol.

Questions or suggestions concerning this document can be addressed to the:

Director of Professional Practice APEGA 1500 Scotia One, 10060 Jasper Avenue Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4A2

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1.0

OVERVIEW

This practice standard replaces the Practice Standard for Authenticating Professional Documents version 3.1 from January 2013. It provides detailed direction for licensed professionals and permit holders on how to authenticate professional work products (PWPs) as directed in the following sections of the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act (the Act):

• • •

Section 3(2): Exclusive use of name engineer Section 6(2): Exclusive use of name geoscientist Section 78(1): Use of stamps , seals, permit numbers

Authentication serves the public interest by providing a clear and unique indicator that an APEGA licensed professional has completed or reviewed the work.

This version includes several new considerations and practices including:

PURPOSE This professional practice standard helps APEGA licensed professionals and permit holders comply with the statutory requirements of authenticating PWPs . It also helps the public understand the obligations of APEGA licensed professionals in authentication and the use of the APEGA stamp . Given the diversity and complexity of the practices of engineering and geoscience in Alberta, it is impossible for this standard to address all authentication questions that may arise. Licensed professionals must use due diligence and professional judgement to ensure their professional practice conforms with the intent of this standard. Permit holders and their Responsible Members are expected to adequately document their authentication processes and protocols in their Professional Practice Management Plans . They must clearly define the permit holder’s expectations regarding which outputs of engineering and geoscience require authentication and validation , and they must describe the internal controls for the authentication and validation processes. For clarity and conciseness, several topics from the previous version of this standard related to best practices versus minimum standards have been removed. These will be considered for a future update. defining professional work products (PWPs) and clarifying how licensed professionals can assess which products need authentication defining Responsible Members’ validation of PWPs standardizing the authentication and validation formats to enable licensed professionals , permit holders , and the public to easily identify the authenticator, the date of authentication , the validator, and the date of validation addressing the use of digital technology to authenticate and validate PWPs setting the requirements for authenticating PWPs imported into, or exported from, Alberta • • • • •

1.1

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1.2

SCOPE

This practice standard details the requirements for authenticating PWPs. The procedures outlined apply to:

all PWPs used in Alberta, regardless of where they were produced

all PWPs produced by, or for, permit holders , even if for internal use only. The Act does not differentiate between PWPs prepared by an engineering or geoscience consultant for an external client or those prepared by licensed professionals for their employer’s internal use

all PWPs produced by licensed sole proprietors or any entities practising engineering or geoscience but are not mandated by legislation to have an APEGA Permit to Practice

1.3

DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this standard, the below terms and definitions apply. These terms are italicized throughout the text.

APEGA or Regulator The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta

APEGA Licensed Professional (Licensed Professional) A professional engineer, professional geoscientist, professional geologist, professional geophysicist, professional licensee (engineering), professional licensee (geoscience), professional licensee (geological), professional licensee (geophysical), or licensee entitled by the Act to practise engineering or geoscience in Alberta. Authentication (Physical and Digital) Authenticating a PWP means an APEGA licensed professional has completed or reviewed the work and accepts professional responsibility for the engineering or geoscience involved. Authentication can be physical (for original, physical PWPs ) or digital (for electronic or digital PWPs ). Following the requirements of Section 54(3) of the General Regulation, authentication has three distinct pieces, adapted to include technological advances:

a physical ink impression or electronic image of the licensed professional’s stamp

the licensed professional’s handwritten signature (for physical authentication ) or an electronic image of the handwritten signature accompanied by the digital signature (for digital authentication )

the authentication date , handwritten or inserted electronically and digitally

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Certificate Authority A trusted, third-party organization that provides digital certificates used to create a digital signature. The certificate authority (CA) must have a relationship with the regulator to access member identities and continued professional status. See Appendix 4 for APEGA’s CA requirements. Date The date format must be unambiguous with no confusion between the recorded month, day, or year. Digital Certificate An encrypted, digital attachment that allows a sender to send, or a recipient to read, a digital signature for digital authentication . A digital certificate must be provided by a certificate authority (see Certificate Authority).

Digital Signature (see Signature) Direct Supervision and Control

The high degree of guidance a licensed professional provides to one or more subordinates. The licensed professional accepts professional responsibility for engineering or geoscience tasks performed by the licensed professional’s subordinates.

Direct supervision and control include:

assessing subordinates’ experience levels, qualifications, and competencies when delegating engineering or geoscience tasks

overseeing subordinates’ engineering or geoscience tasks

providing basic and general guidance on engineering or geoscience tasks

taking responsibility for engineering or geoscience decisions involving subordinates’ work

reviewing subordinates’ professional services outputs (see Professional Services Output)

Discipline A specific field of practice within a profession (e.g., electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, geophysics, geochemistry). Due Diligence The level of judgement, care, forethought, and determination a person reasonably uses to avoid harming oneself, other people, property, or the environment.

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1. Commercially engineered goods or commercial off-the-shelf engineered goods These are commercial goods for which there is public confidence of them being designed by competent and qualified persons and manufactured in compliance with recognized Canadian or international regulations, codes, or specifications. They are certified by a recognized technical, regulatory, or legal body (e.g., CSA Group standards). Commercially engineered goods are usually packaged with a complete user manual, specifications, and assembly and safety instructions. If a commercially engineered good is used in a way that deviates from the published specifications, it becomes a customized engineered good . Customized engineered goods These are goods, designed by licensed engineers, for which no applicable Canadian or international regulations, codes, or specifications govern the entire design or manufacture of the product. The designer usually provides a user manual with specifications, and safety and assembly instructions. Integrity (of a Professional Work Product) The ability to verify that a PWP’s information has not changed since authentication and that the way it is stored provides the stability and longevity to protect, keep, and retrieve the PWP and its authentication information. Issued The initial provision of an original, authenticated professional work product (PWP) to the intended user by a licensed professional or permit holder . For the purposes of this practice standard, providing a copy of an authenticated PWP is different than issuing the original PWP . Permit Holder A partnership, association, or corporation that holds a permit under the Act. The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) permit holders, as defined in Section 86(4) of the Act, are not included. Permit Holder Name (Name of Permit Holder) The permit holder’s legal company name as registered with the Alberta Corporate Registry, or with the appropriate authority where the company is registered as a legal entity. Permit to Practice An APEGA licence given to permit holders to practise engineering or geoscience in Alberta. Permit to Practice Number (or Permit Number) The unique registration number provided to a permit holder licensed by APEGA to practise engineering, geoscience, or both. Professional Practice Management Plan (PPMP) A permit holder’s written corporate policies, procedures, and systems describing the quality control and assurance measures in place to ensure appropriate standards of professional practice are maintained. Maintaining an up-to-date PPMP is a legal obligation of holding a Permit to Practice as described in Section 48(1)(d) of the General Regulation. Engineered Goods Any goods designed, used, or produced using engineering services, falling into one of two categories: 2.

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Professional Services For APEGA’s purposes, professional services are provided by licensed professionals and permit holders to clients, or by employees to an employer. The products of professional services are called outputs. In this practice standard, there are two types of professional services:

1.

engineering services provided by a licensed engineering professional (as defined in Section 1(q) of the Act) geoscience services provided by a licensed geoscience professional (as defined in Section 1(r) of the Act)

2.

Professional Services Output ( or Output) A professional services output is any product created by a licensed professional or anyone under the licensed professional’s direct supervision and control. For the purpose for this practice standard, outputs can be physical, electronic, or digital and can be delivered through traditional methods, such as by mail, or electronically through computers, tablets, personal digital assistants, cell phones, voicemails, emails, teleconferencing, videoconferencing, or SMS (text). Not all outputs require authentication and validation . Professional Work Product A professional work product (PWP) is an output that requires authentication and validation . Defined in the General Regulation as “…plans, specifications, reports, or documents of a professional nature,” a professional work product (PWP) is any output of professional services with t echnical information relied upon by others, internally or externally, to make a decision or to take action. A PWP can be physical (e.g., paper, plastic film), electronic (e.g., electronic document, image), or digital (e.g., software, modelling, simulation, or any other computer application that cannot be reproduced in a physical or electronic format). See the authentication test in Section 3.1 when assessing whether an output is a PWP. Responsible Member As specified in Part 7, Section 48(1)(c) of the General Regulation, a Responsible Member is an APEGA licensed professional who is responsible for direct personal supervision of the practice of engineering or geoscience by the permit holder. A Responsible Member must be qualified by education and experience in the field of engineering or geoscience in which the partnership corporation or other entity intends to engage, must be designated in writing by the permit holder , and must be registered with APEGA as a Responsible Member. The Responsible Member must have a sufficiently close relationship with the permit holder to undertake the roles and responsibilities associated with acting as a Responsible Member. A Responsible Member can be: a full-time, permanent employee of the permit holder; a member of the permit holder; a sole practitioner; or an individual providing professional services to the Permit Holder through a contractual arrangement or as a part time employee. • • • • The permit holder’s Responsible Members direct, supervise, and control all or part of a permit holder’s professional practice in accordance with the permit holder’s Professional Practice Management Plan and all relevant legislation, regulations, and codes.

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Signature Signatures are traceable and individualized permanent marks attached to stable information. All manuscript signatures, or electronic images of handwritten or manuscript signatures, must be in full. Initials are not acceptable.

This standard refers to two types of signatures.

Physical Signature: An ink or “wet” signature, also referred to as a handwritten or manuscript signature.

1.

Sole Proprietor Within Alberta, a sole proprietorship exists when an individual is the sole owner of a business and makes no legal distinction between the individual and the business (i.e., the business does not exist as a separate entity). A sole proprietorship may have multiple employees. A licensed professional practising as a sole proprietor does not need a Permit to Practice since the sole proprietor is not practising engineering or geoscience through a corporation, partnership, or association. Stamp ( or Professional Stamp or Permit to Practice Stamp) Unique, personalized, rubber blocks or electronic image files (e.g., jpeg or tiff) that APEGA provides upon request to licensed professionals for imprinting the recognizable APEGA licensed professional insignia as part of the authentication process. Many APEGA permit holders have kept the legacy Permit to Practice stamp, which is used by a permit holder’s Responsible Member . The Permit to Practice stamp is an acceptable way for a Responsible Member to validate a professional work product . Digital Signature: A valid digital signature contains information specifying the signed product was created by a known sender ( authentication ), the sender cannot deny having sent the message (non-repudiation), and the message was not altered in transit ( integrity ). A digital signature can only be used by the holder of a digital certificate . It cannot be reproduced by anyone who does not have access to the protected digital certificate. 2.

See Appendices 1–3 for examples of permissible stamps.

Technical Information Technical information differentiates a professional work product from an output. Technical information is an all-encompassing term for any content or data derived from the practice of engineering or geoscience as defined by the Act. Technical information includes advice, analyses, assessments, calculations, designs, evaluations, inputs (e.g., to planning or to modelling and simulation), interpretations, notes, opinions, recommendations, and process descriptions.

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Validation (Physical and Digital) Professional work product (PWP) validation means a permit holder’s Responsible Member has reviewed the PWP to ensure it meets the quality control and assurance measures described in the permit holder’s Professional Practice Management Plan . Validation includes physical validation (for original, physical PWPs ) and digital validation (for electronic or digital PWPs ). Validation consists of:

1.

the permit holder’s name and Permit to Practice number

the Responsible Member’s handwritten signature (for physical validation) or an electronic image of the Responsible Member’s handwritten signature with the Responsible Member’s digital signature (for digital validation)

2.

the date the Responsible Member validated the PWP , either handwritten or inserted electronically or digitally

3.

PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITES 2.0

2.1

Authentication Obligations for Licensed Professionals

Section 54 of the General Regulation requires licensed professionals to authenticate professional work products (PWPs) they have prepared or reviewed, showing their professional responsibility for that PWP. The legislative obligation to authenticate overrules any contractual agreements between a permit holder or licensed professional and a client or employer.

2.1.1

Ethical Obligations

By authenticating a PWP , the licensed professional accepts professional responsibility for it. Authentication also implies the PWP was completed according to APEGA’s Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct.

APEGA’s Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct are in the General Regulation and identify the key principles for professional conduct:

• • •

protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public displaying a regard for the environment displaying competence and knowledge demonstrating integrity, honesty, fairness, and objectivity complying with statutes, regulations, and bylaws upholding the honour, dignity, and reputation of the professions

• •

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Authentication Obligations for Licensed Professionals

2.1.2

Licensed professionals are responsible to:

authenticate a PWP only if they are in good standing with APEGA authenticate only PWPs that they have prepared directly, that were prepared under their direct supervision and control , or that were prepared by others, but they have thoroughly reviewed authenticate all PWPs for which they are legally obligated to accept professional responsibility as required by the Act and the General Regulation forward authenticated PWPs to their Responsible Member for validation if working for a permit holder

Obligation to Safeguard Stamps

2.1.3

Licensed professionals can order a physical or electronic stamp on the APEGA website and must:

get the physical or electronic stamp from APEGA only and not modify it in any way without APEGA’s express written approval

secure and store the physical or electronic stamp to prevent loss or use by anyone other than the professional named on the stamp

return the physical stamp to APEGA or confirm the electronic stamp’s permanent deletion upon removal from the register, suspension, or registration cancellation. The stamp is the property of APEGA and not of the individual

Obligation to Safeguard Digital Certificates

2.1.4

Licensed professionals must:

get a digital certificate from a provider that meets APEGA’s requirements for an acceptable digital certificate authority (see Appendix 4)

secure the sign-in credentials for a digital certificate to prevent theft or use by anyone other than the individual to whom the digital certificate was provided

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2.2

Responsible Member Validation of Professional Work Products

The permit holder’s Professional Practice Management Plan (PPMP) describes the policies and processes licensed professionals and Responsible Members follow to ensure the quality of the permit holder’s professional practice of engineering and geoscience, including internal controls on authentication. The Responsible Member’s validation does not mean the Responsible Member has taken professional responsibility for the technical details in an authenticated PWP . The validation only means the Responsible Member has reviewed the authenticated PWP , and in the Responsible Member’s professional judgement:

the authenticated PWP is within the authenticator’s scope of practice

the quality control and assurance procedures outlined in the permit holder’s PPMP were followed to review the technical content of the PWP before authentication

the PWP was developed according to APEGA’s Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct

2.3

Absence of, or Improper Authentication

Authentication is mandatory. A licensed professional’s failure to authenticate a PWP is a violation of the Act and may be investigated by the regulator . Not authenticating a PWP will be treated as unprofessional conduct or unskilled practice.

2.4

Authentication and Validation: Liability in Civil Proceedings

Although authentication and validation are identifiable signs that the practice of engineering or geoscience has occurred, they are not the only indicators. A court can find a licensed professional, a permit holder , or both to be legally liable for an issued PWP even if it is not authenticated or validated.

WHAT TO AUTHENTICATE 3.0

3.1

Authentication Test

The Act requires APEGA licensed professionals to accept professional responsibility by authenticating professional work products (PWPs) they have prepared or reviewed.

Answer the three questions in Figure 1 to determine whether an output is a PWP that requires authentication . If there is still doubt after applying the authentication test, APEGA’s Director of Professional Practice can answer any questions.

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Professional services output

Is there another legal requirement (e.g., a building code) that demands authentication?

Does the output contain technical information?

Authentication required

Is the technical

Authentication not required

information complete for the final intended purpose of the output?

Will others rely on the technical information related to the output’s

Authentication not required

intended purpose?

Authentication required

Figure 1: Authentication test

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3.2

Professional Work Products Imported into Alberta

With the increase in interprovincial, national, and international trade, PWP development is often contracted to individuals or companies outside Alberta that may not employ APEGA licensed professionals or have APEGA Permits to Practice . Regardless of their place of origin, all PWPs imported for use in Alberta must be authenticated by an APEGA licensed professional.

3.3

Professional Work Products Exported from Alberta

Authenticating Professional Work Products for Engineered Goods For the purposes of this standard, engineered goods fall into two categories: commercially engineered goods and customized engineered goods . Professionals licensed in Alberta often prepare PWPs for use outside Alberta. These products must follow APEGA’s authentication and validation rules unless they are going to a client in a jurisdiction with its own rules and the APEGA licensed professional or permit holder is licensed to practise engineering or geoscience by the regulatory body in that jurisdiction. Professional Work Products for Commercially Engineered Goods (or Commercial Off-the-Shelf Engineered Goods) An APEGA licensed professional does not need to authenticate a PWP for a commercially engineered good unless: the commercially engineered good is part of a larger engineered system (e.g., a turbine in a mechanical system, a pump in a fire-suppression system, a prefabricated beam or truss in a structure, or a commercial software application for a building control system). The licensed professional responsible for the design of the larger system must authenticate the PWP , confirming the commercially engineered good is integrated adequately into the overall engineered system and can achieve the intended purpose. the user of a commercially engineered good plans to use the good in a way that deviates from the designer’s or manufacturer’s published specifications. In such cases, the engineered good is considered a customized engineered good, and a licensed professional must assess if the intended use is safe, and if so, must provide an authenticated PWP that documents this. • •

3.4

3.4.1

Customized Engineered Goods

3.4.2

All PWPs related to customized engineered goods designed, constructed, manufactured, erected in, or imported into Alberta must be authenticated by an APEGA licensed professional.

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3.5

Authentication Not Required

The following items do not require authentication :

outputs of professional services provided for review or comment only (e.g., drafts). Such outputs are considered incomplete, and they should be clearly marked as such.

outputs that do not contain technical information (e.g., contracts, checklists, cost estimates, construction schedules, progress claims, payment verifications, correspondence, and brochures) except if required by legislation (e.g., schedules required by safety codes officers under the Alberta Building Code ).

The licensed professional’s stamp and authentication are only valid for engineering or geoscience PWPs .

AUTHENTICATION & VALIDATION PROCESSES 4.0

4.1

Authentication Requirements

Professional work products (PWPs) must be authenticated by a licensed professional . If the PWP is produced by an APEGA permit holder , it must also be validated by a Responsible Member .

4.2

Acceptable Methods of Authentication and Validation

There are two types of authentication and validation :

1. physical 2. digital

These methods are not normally combined. If a permit holder combines these methods of authentication in a single PWP , the permit holder’s PPMP must define the procedure that protects the integrity of the authentication .

4.3

Unacceptable Methods of Authentication and Validation The following authentication and validation methods are unacceptable:

stick-on (e.g., labels) or photocopied authentications , scanned images of a stamp applied on original PWPs or blank pieces of paper, or any other methods not described in Section 4.2

PWPs signed by another person on behalf of the licensed professional identified on the stamp

faxed stamps or electronic images without digital signatures

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4.4

Authentication & Validation Procedures

Authentication 4.4.1 Authentication includes the following criteria depending on the authentication method.

Physical authentication :

an ink impression or electronic image of the licensed professional’s stamp ,

o

o

the licensed professional’s full handwritten signature , and

o

the authentication date .

Digital authentication:

a digital signature supplied by a provider independently verified by a third party as meeting APEGA best practices

o

an electronic image of the licensed professional’s stamp ,

o

the licensed professional’s digital signature and an electronic image of the licensed professional’s handwritten signature , and

o

the authentication date included with the digital signature and inserted as an electronic image.

o

The licensed professional must not combine methods in an individual authentication (i.e., picking and choosing which elements of the authentication will be physical and which will be digital).

When appropriate, each authentication must include a note near the authentication describing any boundaries or limitations of the authentication .

For physical authentication , licensed professionals must apply their stamp , handwrite their signature , and insert the date . They may allow a person under their direct supervision and control —and who is authorized in writing to do so—to apply the stamp and insert the date , but licensed professionals must always personally sign it. For digital authentication , which is a one-step process, licensed professionals must apply the digital signature themselves. The digital signature cannot be delegated, even to those under the licensed professional’s direct supervision and control.

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Validation 4.4.2 Validation is performed by a permit holder’s Responsible Member. Validation occurs after the PWP has been authenticated by a licensed professional and consists of:

the permit holder’s name and Permit to Practice number ;

the Responsible Member’s full signature —initials only are not acceptable; and

the date the Responsible Member signed the PWP , which may be different than the date it was authenticated.

If using physical validation , Responsible Members must insert all required information manually or use an ink impression of the APEGA Permit to Practice stamp. If using digital validation , Responsible Members must apply their digital signature , including the validation date , and insert electronic images of their handwritten signature.

4.5

Authentication and Validation Placement

Given the wide variety of PWPs , exact placement of the authentication or the validation is at the licensed professional’s or Responsible Member’s discretion.

The stamp impression, signature , and date must be clear, legible, and placed in a prominent, easily visible location on each PWP . For example, original reports and letters can be authenticated next to the authenticator’s name on the signature block. Attachments that can be distributed separately must be authenticated separately. Each original drawing must be authenticated (e.g., in a designated stamp box on the drawing). Validation must include the Permit to Practice number and the permit holder’s name as part of the letterhead or title block of a PWP . The validation must be close to the authentication for increased visibility.

4.6

Single-Discipline Professional Work Products

If a PWP is completed within one licensed professional’s discipline , only that licensed professional’s authentication is needed.

If multiple licensed professionals in the same discipline work together on a PWP , it is acceptable for only one authentication to be applied. The authentication must be provided by the licensed professional taking responsibility for the entire PWP in that discipline . If multiple licensed professionals within the same single discipline share responsibility for and authenticate their portions of the PWP individually, the boundaries and limitations of each authentication must clearly show which licensed professional is taking responsibility for which part of the PWP .

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Multi-Discipline Professional Work Products 4.7 Multi-discipline PWPs must be authenticated by the licensed professionals taking responsibility for each discipline using one of the methods described in Section 4.4.1. The Responsible Member must validate that all multi-discipline PWPs have been reviewed, authenticated, and coordinated, in accordance with the permit holder’s quality control and assurance procedures using one of the methods described in Section 4.4.2.

A PWP that involves engineering and geoscience must be validated by a Responsible Member licensed to practise engineering and a Responsible Member licensed to practise geoscience.

Work Products from Non-APEGA Professionals

4.8

On occasion, APEGA licensed professionals rely on work produced by non-engineering or non-geoscience professionals who are certified with other professional associations (e.g., agrologists, biologists, and chemists). In such cases, an APEGA licensed professional must request that these professionals certify their work according to their regulatory standards.

Multiple Permit Holders

4.9

If licensed professionals working under different Permits to Practice collaboratively produce a PWP , a Responsible Member from each contributing permit holder must use one of the methods described in Section 4.4.2 to validate the authenticated the PWPs , clearly defining which licensed professionals worked under which the Responsible Member’s permit number . The contract between the multiple permit holders must define which permit holder is the coordinator to ensure there are no gaps in the professional responsibilities.

Authenticating Physical Professional Work Products

4.10

Physical PWPs include hard-copy documents and reproducible physical media (e.g., paper, plastic film). Physical authentication and validation must be applied to all original, physical PWPs .

4.11

Authenticating Electronic or Digital Professional Work Products Licensed professionals and permit holders are responsible for ensuring their use of any technology to improve their practice of engineering or geoscience conforms to the Act and the General Regulation.

Licensed professionals and permit holders must develop appropriate strategies to ensure proper authentication and validation when using existing and emerging technologies.

Electronic and digital PWPs must be authenticated and validated, and the permit holder must describe the policies and procedures for doing so in its Professional Practice Management Plan (PPMP).

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Authenticating Professional Work Products

Electronic Professional Work Products 4.11.1

Electronic PWPs must be digitally authenticated, regardless of their intended medium, so the licensed professional’s stamp, signature , and date appear when the PWP is viewed or printed. However, it is the digital signature that confirms the integrity , security, and authenticity of the electronic PWP , not the electronic image of the stamp with the signature and date .

4.11.2

Digital Professional Work Products (e.g., Code, Software, and Modelling and Simulation) The licensed professional and permit holder are responsible for authenticating and validating any digital PWPs resulting from the practices of engineering or geoscience. The permit holder’s PPMP must describe how the permit holder will determine whether any code, software, or modelling and simulation is a digital PWP. If classified as digital PWPs , the original or modified versions of the program or code (whether physical, electronic, or digital) and any control philosophy, trip or logic diagrams, logic functional descriptions, cause-and-effect diagrams, Scientific Apparatus Makers Association diagrams, control narratives, commissioning plans, and commissioning results must be authenticated as described in the permit holder’s PPMP . The licensed professional and the Responsible Member must ensure authentication and validation occur when the PWP is complete. Revisions of Professional Work Products 4.12 A revised, authenticated PWP must clearly indicate the revising licensed professional’s acceptance of responsibility for the revisions and the effects of those revisions. The revisions must clearly identify the boundary of professional responsibility between the original and revised PWP if the revisions are made by a different licensed professional. Licensed professionals making and authenticating revisions to an original PWP must distinguish them from the original authenticated PWP and must identify who is assuming professional responsibility. Unless all revisions are captured on a new, authenticated PWP at project completion, all revised and authenticated PWPs must be kept.

The permit holder’s PPMP must describe how revisions to authenticated PWPs will be carried out and controlled.

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Authenticating Professional Work Products

Authentication for Continuous Operations and Field Revisions of Professional Work Products 4.13

Some permit holders may need to continue production while urgent engineering or geoscience solutions are carried out, preserving continuous operations as best as possible. Any design revisions, change orders, field or operational instructions, or field reviews that meet the requirements of the authentication test (see Section 3.1) and affect a previously authenticated PWP must also be authenticated as revisions. The permit holder must evaluate if the authentication process will cause an impractical delay considering the situation’s urgency or potential risk to people, the environment, infrastructure, or operational reliability. If the Responsible Member decides action must be taken before authentication , the Responsible Member must ensure, at minimum, the following information is documented before acting:

the circumstances surrounding the need for the change or revision,

the details of the required change or revision, and

a summary of the key factors in the professional evaluation or assessment used to determine that an immediate change or revision needed to happen before authentication.

The change or revision must be formalized and authenticated as soon as possible after implementation, and the timeline must be defined, justified, and documented by the licensed professional and permit holder in the context of the professional services provided. The permit holder must be able to justify its actions and prove that its licensed professionals and Responsible Members exercised due diligence . The permit holder’s PPMP must include authentication policies describing how the permit holder controls authentication for continuous operations using design revisions, change orders, field or operational instructions, or field reviews.

Providing Copies of Authenticated Professional Work Products 4.14 Clients are entitled to receive original authentication on original PWPs or on copies.

When setting the requirements for professional services , the licensed professional or permit holder and the client must clearly define the expectations involving original, authenticated PWPs , including whether copies are provided physically, electronically, or digitally, and if any copies are to include authentication .

Copies of PWPs must be clearly marked as such to ensure any physical changes are properly captured in revisions that can be authenticated.

The permit holder’s PPMP must include policies describing how PWP copies will be controlled.

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Authenticating Professional Work Products

Retaining Authenticated Professional Work Products 4.15

Period of Retention 4.15.1

There are no requirements in the Act for keeping PWPs . As a minimum, authenticated originals or their copies must be kept for reference or for defence against legal claims or complaints. Licensed professionals and permit holders are encouraged to consult insurers and legal counsel for other retention requirements. A PWP must be kept at least until the limitation period for claims of wrongdoing expire, as outlined in the Alberta Limitations Act . The period of limitation is just short of 12 years, including possible extensions that may be legally authorized. Depending on the nature of the PWP, the likelihood of litigation might suggest that the retention period be longer than stated in the Limitations Act . Licensed professionals and Responsible Members must comply with the retention obligations of other applicable legislation, such as the Occupational Health and Safety Act , the Oil and Gas Conservation Act , and the Pipeline Act . Licensed professionals and permit holders must consider the life span of a customized engineered good when determining the retention period of a related PWP (e.g., bridges, buildings, and dams). Infrastructure-related PWPs might need to be retained past the limitation period stated in the Limitations Act . The permit holder’s PPMP must include policies describing how long a permit holder keeps PWPs and how they are disposed.

4.15.2

True Originals

A PPMP must include the permit holder’ s internal controls addressing authenticated PWP retention. If authenticated PWPs are stored as electronic documents or images, the internal controls must detail how the permit holder defines which version (electronic or physical) is the true copy. Canadian General Standards Board Standard 72.34-2005, Electronic Records as Documentary Evidence , details mandatory requirements.

4.15.3

Storage of Authenticated Professional Work Products

The permit holder’s PPMP must include policies describing how a permit holder stores authenticated PWPs . PWPs must be stored in a way that maintains their integrity and prevents their unauthorized use. Licensed professional and Permit to Practice stamps and signatures must be similarly maintained. Archived copies must be labelled as such (e.g., “This copy or document is for record purposes and must not be revised.”). Licensed professionals might ask if they can keep copies of PWPs they have prepared or authenticated in the case of a claim or complaint against them. This topic must be discussed between the employer and employee, or client and contractor or consultant, when setting the conditions of employment or contract for professional services . The permit holder’s retention policy and PPMP must include information on whether PWP copies will be provided to employees and contractors. Providing Copies to Employee and Contract Licensed Professionals

4.15.4

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