Annual Report 2019

201 9 ANNUA L RE POR T 2019 ANN RE POR T

B U I L D T R U S T

K E E P P E O P L E S A F E

E X C E L F O R W A R D

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SE E I NG I T T HROUGH

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T R U S T W O R T H Y

S A F E T Y

E X C E L L E N C E

Seeing it through

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I N T E G R I T Y

What We Value

A C C O U N T A B I L I T Y

I N N O V A T I O N

S E R V I C E

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Engineering and geoscience are core to our society. Wherever you look, you will see something these professions have touched—whether it’s the car you drive, the water you drink, or the smartphone you use. Professional engineers and professional geoscientists played a part. Such critical and life-altering professions must be regulated. That’s where APEGA comes in. We license the people and the companies performing engineering and geoscience in Alberta. We ensure they are competent, ethical, and professional. When necessary, we investigate and discipline them—part of our commitment to protect the public.

APEGA regulates more than 72,000 members and 4,600 permit-holding companies—making us the largest organization of self-regulated professionals in Western Canada. And all of this is done through member and permit dues—not tax dollars. It’s a huge responsibility—one we’re proud the Government of Alberta has mandated to us through the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act . APEGA has served and protected the public for 99 years. Our core values of integrity , service , accountability , and innovation guide us and ensure we will continue to place the public first for years to come.

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CONTENTS

Introduction

OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

5

Message from the President

Member Benefits

31

6

Message from the RCEO

Membership Experience Program

31

8

APEGA Council

Voice of Our Stakeholders

32

10

Outreach

34

REGULATORY HIGHLIGHTS

Legislative Review

Career Services

37

12

Fair Registration Practices Act

Our Volunteers

38

13

Council Election

Summit Awards

40

13

Becoming Licensed

People & Culture

42

14

Competency-Based Assessment

Employee Engagement Survey

42

16

Our Membership

Finance

43

18

Investigations

Information Technology

43

20

Enforcement

Public Member Reports

46

22

Appeal Board

Financial Statements

54

24

Joint Boards

26

Examinations

27

Professional Practice

28

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Building a Safe and Resilient Alberta

As with any progressive organization, best practice requires reviewing and updating the strategic plan every few years. For APEGA, that year was 2019 with the release of our new plan: Building a Safe and Resilient Alberta . Council and APEGA senior staff collaboratively and comprehensively analyzed APEGA’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This laid the foundation for a plan that would reinforce and clarify how to achieve our mandate, vision, and mission.

With three pillars to guide our work, Regulatory Excellence , Trust and Relevance , and Performance Culture , this plan provides clear direction with well-balanced priorities so we can better protect the public, be more relevant to our membership, and have greater accountability to government and other stakeholders.

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

The President MESSAGE FROM

APEGA is a regulatory agency of the Government of Alberta with a clear mandate, under the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act , to protect the public interest and welfare. Only qualified and competent individuals

can become professional engineers and geoscientists. We have the privilege of self-regulation—it takes a lot of APEGA professionals to ensure anyone practising engineering or geoscience in Alberta is licensed.

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“First and foremost, APEGA is a regulatory agency of the Government of Alberta. We— all 72,000 members, 4,600 permit-holding companies, and APEGA staff—have a duty to protect the public.”

APEGA’s new strategic plan released in 2019, Building a Safe and Resilient Alberta , is truly one of the best such documents I’ve ever seen. It establishes two major strategic priorities for APEGA: a strong commitment to Regulatory Excellence and maintaining the Trust and Relevance of our stakeholders. Underpinning all of this is a third pillar, Performance Culture , with a focus on collaboration among membership and staff. Of course, a strategic plan must be operationalized to be effective. That’s why staff continuously improves APEGA’s business plan, identifying what constitutes success by setting specific objectives for each piece of the operation. Council rose to the occasion, too. Today’s APEGA Council better understands the governance function of oversight and direction. To all those who served as

Councillors over the past several years, thank you for helping make self-regulation work well for Albertans. Most Albertans still don’t know who we are, what we do, or why we do it! As part of our upcoming 2020 centennial, we will share with Albertans how we’ve served the public welfare for one hundred years—a century well built. We will also show them how engineering and geoscience touch every aspect of their lives. We—APEGA Council, staff, and our more than 2,200 volunteers— will continue to protect the public for the next century by building a safe and resilient Alberta. George Eynon, P.Geo., FGC, FEC (Hon.)

President

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Jay Nagendran, P.Eng., FCAE, ICD.D, FEC, FGC (Hon.) Registrar & CEO

The Registrar & CEO MESSAGE FROM

The stories and achievements that shaped our 2019 were tied directly to APEGA’s mandate of safeguarding the public welfare. We take our privilege

of self-regulation very seriously. It’s a proven model that’s been protecting Albertans for nearly a century, but we can’t take it for granted.

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We appreciate the continued trust the public and the Government of Alberta have placed in us, and we know we must always remain deserving of that trust. Because when you build trust, you can build anything. Our efforts in 2019 focused on providing more value to the public and to our members. Over the past year, we made significant strides forward with: • updated practice standards • expanded practice reviews with permit-holding companies • increased continuing professional development assessments with licensed professionals • integrated competency-based assessments for engineering applicants These projects and others ensured rigorous oversight of the engineering and geoscience professions. None of this would have been possible without the support of our members— especially those who gave their time as APEGA volunteers. I am grateful for the dedication of those who served on Council, those who mentored young

people in our outreach programs, and those who sustained APEGA branches across the province. I am also proud of our staff, who enthusiastically embraced opportunities to improve communication and collaboration with members and who increased operational efficiencies. We set the bar high, and our staff delivered. From the start, APEGA and its membership have been committed to regulatory excellence, to adapting, to learning, and to building strength through diversity. With our centennial in 2o2o, there will be no better time for us to connect with Albertans, to share our rich history, and to build a better understanding of the engineering and geoscience professions. I am excited to celebrate our past with Albertans as we forge a stronger future together. Jay Nagendran, P.Eng., FCAE, ICD.D, FEC, FGC (Hon.) Registrar & Chief Executive Officer

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APEGA Council

APEGA Council comprises 16 elected licensed professionals and two public members appointed by the Government of Alberta. This group provides governance and guidance to APEGA’s members and staff, and it’s a fundamental component of self-regulation.

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Council sets the direction for APEGA, providing oversight throughout the year. Its many responsibilities include:

Setting APEGA’s strategic direction

Ensuring the responsible use of resources to effectively execute APEGA’s strategic plan

Providing guidance on APEGA’s function and activities

Providing organizational oversight

Making decisions that affect the professions and the membership

Council is a critical element in maintaining and enhancing self-regulation—forging the path forward as we continue to serve the public.

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Regulatory Highlights

A key aspect of being the largest self- regulatory body in Western Canada is always looking ahead and scanning the horizon. APEGA must maintain the trust, relevance, and confidence Albertans have placed in us.

We must anticipate change, seek solutions, and find ways to improve our regulatory approaches. We’re pleased to share a few of those achievements with you.

The Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act is the joint legislation for APEGA and the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET). The Act has not been significantly updated for nearly 40 years. In that time, the practice of the professions has significantly changed, as has business, industry, and society. In 2014, APEGA began a multi-year review of the legislation, which included consultations with registrants, permit- holding companies, the Government of Alberta, ASET, and other stakeholders. In March 2019, after conversations with ASET, both parties agreed to 163 of 172 recommendations, which we sent as a joint submission to the Government of Alberta. LEGISLATIVE REVIEW

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In June 2019, the Government of Alberta introduced the Fair Registration Practices Act , which requires regulators to provide applicants with an interim decision on their application status within six months of submission. The decision can include advice on extra training or additional experience required. APEGA’s existing registration practices already meet industry best practices, including being aligned with the Government of Alberta’s foreign-qualification recognition framework. We treat all APEGA applicants in a balanced and fair manner based on their qualifications, not their country of origin. In addition, APEGA continuously strives to enhance and expedite its application process without compromising public safety. Enhancements for 2019 included: FAIR REGISTRATION PRACTICES ACT

adopting risk-based processing to accelerate academic and experience reviews

hiring additional staff members to support the application process

Maintaining a sustainable Council and self-regulatory system requires a healthy nomination and election process. That’s why we seek each year to improve the voting experience and increase engagement in this important activity. In 2019, we switched to a third-party provider, which enabled licensed professionals to securely and seamlessly connect to the voting module through our Member Self-Service Centre. This eliminated the need for a personal identification number and a separate login. COUNCIL ELECTION

Another enhancement was our Coffee & Conversation events in Edmonton and Calgary. These casual sessions gave attendees an opportunity to speak with candidates about their platforms, their backgrounds, and their reasons for running for Council. With a four per cent increase in participation in 2019 compared to 2018, we believe voters found these enhancements valuable. We also had more licensed professionals step forward to run for Council—showing a desire to volunteer their time and give back to the professions while guiding APEGA into the next century of public safety and well-being.

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Becoming Licensed

Registration is a critical component of APEGA’s service to the public interest. With thousands of applicants each year, we protect public safety by licensing only qualified, competent, and ethical individuals to practice engineering or geoscience in Alberta. Albertans trust us to keep them safe. APEGA’s Registration Department works collaboratively with our Board of Examiners to establish admission standards, policies, and processes. We also review applications to ensure fair and objective decisions. We know applicants are pursuing a life-changing transition. It’s a big deal, and we get that. We treat our potential

registrants with respect. We honour their needs and dreams by processing their applications honestly, fairly, and as promptly as possible, while maintaining the necessary standards to build a safe and resilient Alberta. Many of our applicants are from outside Canada, and APEGA is committed to eliminating barriers for these internationally trained applicants. We are the only engineering and geoscience regulator in Canada to have a full-time International Qualifications Officer solely focused on outreach and support for foreign professionals seeking licensure.

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VOLUME OF APPL ICANTS: CANADI AN VS. INT ERNAT IONAL

CANADI AN

INT ERNAT IONAL

3,944

1,408

3,848

1,342

3756 3,402

1,417

0

1,000

2,000

3,000

4,000

5,000

6,000

APPL ICAT ION PROCESSING T IMES: MEDI AN* DAYS

CANADI AN

INT ERNAT IONAL

141

179

181

217

MEDIAN IS USED BECAUSE THE MEAN (AVERAGE) PROCESSING TIMES FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS IS HIGHLY SKEWED. *

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Competency-Based Assessment

“Being able to list the competencies you have…makes finding a fit in a job easier for both employer and employee.” —Janet Lane & Naomi Christensen, Competence is the Best Credential , Canada West Foundation

APEGA uses a competency-based assessment (CBA) tool to enable engineering applicants to measure and explain their work experience. This objective and quantifiable method is particularly suited to recognizing experience gained outside of Canada, and it mitigates traditional barriers faced by internationally trained applicants. CBA assists in recognizing formal and informal adult learning by basing work experience on the tasks, skills, and knowledge necessary to independently practise engineering. After implementing CBA in May 2018, we noticed the median application-processing time increased by 40 days.

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Improvements we made in 2019 to reduce this included:

using a single reviewer for low-risk applications. Originally, we used two examiners to review applications. After gaining experience with using CBA, we confidently reduced this to one reviewer for low-risk applications. allowing deferrals. The number of refused applications increased to 12 per cent from 2 per cent due to deficiencies in the applications. We changed the process to allow deferrals and provided applicants with information on how to address the deficiencies.

In 2020, we will continue to improve the efficiency of our CBA system and include competencies for geoscience applicants.

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Our Membership

In 2019, we licensed 1,735 individuals, granting them the privilege to independently practise their profession. Of those, 982 were educated in Canada, and 753 were internationally educated. The fluctuating economy during the past few years has reduced our number of members. However, permit-holding companies have remained steady, averaging 4,592 over the past five years. In 2019, 4,584 companies had permits to perform engineering or geoscience work in Alberta.

MEMBE RSH I P

T O TAL

44,047

4,023

68,7 50

8,7 15

998

10,967

47,301

4,220

7 5,32 1

10,722

1,104

11,974

49,012

4,242

76,084

10,689

1,244

10,897

48,938

4,113

7 5,086

10,757

1,157

10,121

47,636

3,873

7 2,019

10,445

1,083

8,982

10,000

20,000

30,000

40,000

50,000

0

*

Contains professional members, professional licensees, and licensees for engineering designations. Contains professional members, professional licensees, and licensees for geoscience designations and dual engineering and geoscience designations. Contains life members, provisional licensees, exam candidates, students, university students, and honorary members.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBER (ENGINEERING)*

PROFESSIONAL MEMBER (GEOSCIENCE)**

**

ENGINEER-IN-TRAINING

***

GEOSCIENTIST-IN-TRAINING

OTHER ***

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TOP FIVE COUNTRIES OF INTERNATIONALLY TRAINED REGISTRANTS

REG I S T RAN T S

UN I T E D S TAT ES

4,730

CH I NA

4,167

I NDI A

3,599

I RAN

2,295

E NGL AND

1,572

1,000

2,000

3,000

4,000

5,000

0

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Investigations

Through the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act , APEGA has the authority to investigate unprofessional conduct and unskilled practice for engineering and geoscience in Alberta. When we receive written complaints against registrants or permit-holding companies, the Investigations

Department, together with the Investigative Committee, decides whether a complaint has sufficient grounds to proceed further in the discipline process. This protects the public from unskilled and unprofessional engineering and geoscience practices.

I NVES T IGAT IONS AT YE AR- E ND

62

71

55

59

52

63

57

49

74

0

20

40

60

80

NE WLY OPE NE D YE AR-T O-DAT E

CL OSE D YE AR-T O-DAT E

I N PROGRESS YE AR-T O -DAT E

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CL OSE D CASES

11

0

12

37

11

5

2

11

22

12

11

0

10

25

3

0

10

20

30

40

DI SC I PL I NE HE AR I NG

T E RMI NAT E D

ME DI AT E D

W I T HDRAWN

RECOMME NDE D DI SC I PL I NE ORDE R

For 2019, the median number of days to close a case was 369.

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Enforcement

DISCIPLINE DEPARTMENT

We ensure registrants and permit-holding companies follow the Code of Ethics as outlined in the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act and do not behave in a way detrimental to the best interests of the public. APEGA holds accountable registrants and permit-holding companies found guilty of unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct. Those under investigation with charges brought forward can proceed with either a recommended discipline order (RDO) or a hearing. An RDO is an agreed-to order between APEGA and the registrant or company under investigation. If an investigated registrant or company agrees to the findings and disciplinary actions in the RDO, a formal hearing is unnecessary.

2019

2018

8

RDOs completed

9

RDOs completed

5 1–3 Months 3

11 2–3 Months 5

Average completion time for RDOs

Average completion time for RDOs

Hearings scheduled

Hearings scheduled

Hearings adjourned

Hearings adjourned

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We detect, investigate, and act to limit those who illegally claim to be professional engineers and professional geoscientists or who are illegally practising engineering or geoscience. This ensures only properly qualified and licensed professionals serve the public. COMPLIANCE DEPARTMENT

3 of 3 Cases* successful in the courts

425 Cases closed

394 Outstanding cases

13 Cases with legal counsel, pending possible court action 78  Active cases

*These cases included the financial services and software services industries.

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Appeal Board

The APEGA Appeal Board provides the public and disciplined registrants with independent review of decisions. In accordance with the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act , the Appeal Board reviews the decisions and actions of the Discipline Committee, the Practice Review Board, the Investigative Committee, and the Board of Examiners. The Appeal Board handles appeals regarding registration refusals, investigative dismissals, and discipline decisions. In 2020, we will provide additional regulatory training to assist our statutory board volunteers in processing appeals.

2018

10

Cases opened

2017

9

11

Cases closed

Cases opened

158 Days

11

Average time to render decision

Cases closed

163 Days

Average time to render decision

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2019 17

12

In-progress cases**

Cases opened

DECISION OUTCOMES

11

6 3 1 1

Cases closed*

Decisions upheld

Appeals withdrawn

256 Days

Average time to render decision

Decision modified

Decision overturned

* 1 from 2017, 5 from 2018, and 5 from 2019 ** All opened in 2019

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Joint Boards

APEGA protects the public by jointly regulating professional technologists with the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET). Together, we manage:

Registration practices

A professional discipline system

Continuing professional development

Practice reviews of practising professional technologists

Each joint board has equal representation from APEGA and ASET. These members are licensed professionals who volunteer to sit on the boards.

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Examinations

APEGA is a national leader in the development and continuous improvement of the National Professional Practice Examination (NPPE), which is used by most of the engineering and geoscience regulators in Canada. APEGA delivers about 7,000 exams per year. These psychometrically defensible exams* ensure applicants for licensure are adequately knowledgeable about professional practice, regulations, law, and ethics. Passing the exam is a requirement for professional licensure in Canada. Several enhancements to the NPPE program occurred in 2019.

We held multiple online and face-to- face collaboration and training opportunities for the licensed

We negotiated a new contract, effective in 2020, with our NPPE administration vendor to enhance service and expand testing locations. Preferential pricing terms were also secured, which enabled APEGA to significantly reduce fees for international applicants taking the NPPE outside of Canada.

professionals who volunteer to write

After discussions with the other Canadian engineering and geoscience regulators, another jurisdiction will likely join the program in 2020. This will significantly grow the national scope of the NPPE program.

the questions. These events help ensure the NPPE program is valid, reliable, and fair for all applicants.

Psychometrics is the science of designing, planning, and implementing defensible exams. If an exam program follows psychometric best practices, the program will be fair, valid, and reliable. *

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Professional Practice

APEGA’s Professional Practice Department educates and reviews licensed professionals and permit-holding companies on their professional, technical, and ethical obligations. In 2019, we connected with more than 38,000 registrants to assist them in improving their practices and protection of the public. We also performed continuing professional development audits and practice reviews to verify the obligations of registrants were being met.

PRACTICE REVIEWS

A professional practice review is a thorough review of how a permit-holding company practises engineering or geoscience. This review covers many areas, including the company’s Professional Practice Management Plan; its processes for authenticating professional work products, outsourcing, and quality control; its management of professional and technical resources; and its management of professional documents.

63 PRACTICE REVIEWS 27 COMPLETED 36 IN PROGRESS

In addition to on-site practice reviews, we provided guidance to licensed professionals and permit-holding companies. In 2019, we had an increase in the number of companies seeking our advice on their engineering or geoscience practices to ensure they were meeting their regulatory

obligations. We also heard from some companies that they’re now requiring their contract agencies to have Professional Practice Management Plans in place. These actions indicate we are driving positive change as we strive to better protect the public and educate our membership.

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PRACTICE STANDARDS

Practice standards give licensed professionals clarity and direction while increasing the quality of the work they do. This provides tangible value to licensed professionals and the public. In 2018, we modernized our

Authenticating Professional Work Products practice standard by adding sections on outsourcing and digital signatures. In 2019, we developed online training videos so licensed professionals would understand this mandatory aspect of their practice.

2,630 registrants completed the training with another 2,607 in progress

CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Our mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program is the keystone in demonstrating APEGA’s commitment to maintaining the competency of our licensed professionals. The Professional Practice Department educates licensed professionals and reinforces the importance of doing and recording ongoing learning as a critical component of self-regulation and professional due diligence.

Licensed professionals must report professional development hours in three of six CPD categories each year and complete 240 hours over three years. In 2019, APEGA contacted 9,974 members—about 17 per cent of the professional membership—regarding compliance. Of those, we reviewed 112 submissions in detail, and we cancelled 75 licences for failure to comply with the CPD Program.

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Operational Highlights

APEGA believes good regulation includes providing members, permit- holding companies, and staff with trusted programs, services, and tools to create and maintain a successful career and balanced life.

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MEMBER BENEFITS

APEGA provides a variety of member benefits and service discounts to enrich the member experience. In 2019, more than 15,000 members used at least one of our member benefits, such as personal and professional insurance and travel discounts.

Our Membership Experience Program is transforming the way we interact with our members and permit-holding companies. Making it simpler and easier for them to understand and comply with their obligations will raise satisfaction and drive increased regulatory excellence, in turn making Alberta safer and more resilient. Progress from 2018 continued in 2019 with the development of a plan to combine the functions of the member and company self-service centres within a single portal—myAPEGA—which is scheduled to be implemented in 2020. This modern and scalable solution will include: MEMBERSHIP EXPERIENCE PROGRAM

an online annual declaration, acknowledging regulatory obligations, customized by membership type and practising status—ensuring member data are current and accurate

a continuing professional development tool to track and report activities proactively throughout the year

online invoices, dues payments, receipts, and digital member cards

customized dashboards and notifications for applicants, members, and companies

self-serve options for managing personal and company information and to change designations

automated workflow for chief operating officers and Responsible Members of permit- holding companies

online purchasing of stamps and certificates

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Voice of Our Stakeholders

Overall, members are proud of their profession (85%) and are satisfied with APEGA (63%). However, knowledge about APEGA and our processes, as well as members’ regulatory obligations, are lower than we would like. From the members’ perspective, the top two areas they would like APEGA to improve on are “helping

Brand awareness is important to all organizations—APEGA is no different. It’s important our stakeholders understand who we are, what we do, and why we do it. This need emerged as a top priority during our strategic planning cycle.

“APEGA balances all different aspects of the organization very well, from regulation to enforcement, membership entry to CPD and member benefits for the group.” — Member survey respondent

members more” (63%) and “doing public relations” about the professions (51%).

These will be areas of focus for 2020.

Feedback from the public and municipalities showed they trust our members as much as they trust other regulated professionals. Yet, they generally don’t think about engineers and geoscientists, because they have no cause to do so. We have been keeping the public safe.

We knew we needed to expand our efforts. However, we first needed to know the perceptions and needs of our stakeholders prior to launching a public awareness campaign. Given we had not conducted market research in more than five years, in 2019, we surveyed members, municipalities, and the public to understand each group’s needs, levels of awareness, and understanding of the value APEGA provides. Using representative samples, more than 15,000 (26%) members and more than 1,300 public participants responded, giving us statistically relevant results.

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KEY RESULTS FROM MEMBERS

1/9 volunteered in 2019.

7/10 members who have volunteered generally enjoyed it, found it fulfilling, and plan to do so again.

51% of members believe APEGA should focus more on its capacity as a member-supporting organization

35% who believe we should focus more on our capacity as a regulator.

vs.

Geoscience members lagged slightly behind engineering members in many areas, including pride of profession, pride of APEGA membership, and level of engagement.

Members support a member-in-training development program more than any of the other possible new services.

About 1/12 members rate themselves as being engaged with APEGA.

KEY RESULTS FROM THE PUBLIC & MUNICIPALITIES Although many Albertans know what APEGA is, fewer understand what APEGA does or APEGA’s role in protecting public safety.

47% 3% Engineers are more top-of-mind with Albertans than geoscientists: vs.

Municipal employees have a strong awareness of the work professional engineers and geoscientists do, but a lesser awareness of what APEGA does.

About 1/3 of Albertans knows the correct designation for professional engineers, and 1/10 for professional geoscientists.

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Outreach

APEGA actively participates in the sustainability of the engineering and geoscience professions by engaging with children and young adults to spark and nurture their curiosity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with a specific focus on the engineering and geoscience fields. These will be the next generation of professional engineers and geoscientists who will be critical to Alberta’s economy.

KINDERGARTEN TO GRADE 12

Encouraging children to consider engineering or geoscience as a profession means talking to them early and often. Our Outreach Department holds hands- on, engaging events showing how exciting and inspiring a STEM career can be.

We’re especially proud of our APEGA Science Olympics, which are held across the province. These engage more than 1,800 students, and many have almost 50 per cent female participation.

Year

Events

Students

2017 2018 2019

31

2,934 3,481 3,653

36 35

“I forgot howmuch I enjoyed science and why I got into engineering in the first place. Teaching the kids and seeing their enthusiasm to teach

their friends was inspiring.” — Jill H., P.Eng., Science Olympics volunteer

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“I think it was a great allocation of funding since it brought my son perspectives on the careers he could pursue while tying it all back to the textbook.” — Professional engineer and parent

INNOVATION IN EDUCATION AWARDS

APEGA supports and advances the work of exceptional teachers and their STEM initiatives through our Innovation in Education Awards. Each year, we award up to 10 grants of $5,000 for hands- on, student-led projects that use engineering or geoscience to benefit the community.

In 2019, we selected the following projects: • Students will create a device that supports the independence of the residents of a local nursing home. • Students will build a robot that can semi-autonomously identify and dispose of hazardous waste (e.g., needles) without putting the operator at risk. • Working with a local environmental-assessment company, students will assess water and soil quality and natural habitat conditions. They will present their research to their city council. • Students will prototype hydroponic-growing systems to meet the needs of different community organizations (two projects). • As part of a water-usage and water-conservation project, students will prototype rain-collection systems.

UNIVERSITIES

At the university level, our focus shifts to showing engineering and geoscience students the ethical and regulatory requirements to becoming licensed professionals in Alberta.

We also host events providing practical advice on entering the workforce, such as résumé reviews, mock interviews, and industry mixers.

Year

Events

Students

2017 2018 2019

19

852 889 840

22

20

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Diversity & Inclusion

APEGA encourages a business culture of belonging, inclusion, and diversity for equity within the engineering and geoscience professions. As part of that, we aim to increase the representation of women in the engineering and geoscience professions to 30 per cent by 2030. In 2018, the Department of Women and Gender Equality awarded APEGAwith a three- year, $350,000 grant to build partnerships

to address systemic barriers facing female engineering and geoscience professionals. Our 2019 work on this project involved consulting with APEGA members of all genders regarding their perceptions, knowledge, and experiences regarding such barriers. This consultation included a survey on workplace culture, which received 2,765 responses, 900 of which were submitted within the first 24 hours!

RESPONDENTS:

1,226 females (44%) 1,509 males (55%) 30 self-described (1%)

Our next steps include working with five permit-holding companies to pilot our recommendations for one year, then publishing a workplace-culture guideline as a resource for all companies interested in removing these barriers.

“It felt so good to get some things off our chests, to know that we weren't alone, to feel like we were being heard. It's so exciting to know that something is being done about this.” — Anonymous survey respondent

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Career Services

APEGA provides members with professional development, mentoring, and career resources to support them in becoming well-rounded professionals and understanding their regulatory obligations.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Our professional development (PD) opportunities focus on our members- in-training, professional members, and unemployed members. As new members to the professions, engaging members-in-training (M.I.T.s) early and often is key to supporting them in developing successful careers. In October, we held our first M.I.T. bootcamp, which focused on regulatory, career, and business topics for emerging professionals. Based on the positive feedback, we will expand

this to an Emerging Professionals Conference in 2020 that will include university students. We also enhanced our offerings to provide members with a broader selection of regulatory PD sessions. With the economic downturn still affecting many of our members, we developed sessions focused on helping members find employment, and we offered discounts to unemployed members for all of our PD sessions.

MENTORING

Recognizing that many do not have the time to commit to a formal, one-year mentoring program, we expanded the program to offer shorter and informal mentoring opportunities, such as networking events, rapid resumé reviews, and mock interviews. These have been met with positive feedback, encouraging us to expand them in 2020.

As many of our applicants are newcomers to Canada, we partnered with the Bredin Centre for Learning to connect with these future members. In November, we hosted a panel of internationally trained APEGA professionals to share their experiences and provide advice on adjusting to the professional landscape in Alberta.

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Our Volunteers

Volunteers are behind almost everything APEGA does. They perform functions essential to our role as a regulator. Every examination taken, application reviewed, and practice review conducted includes the work of volunteers. Their dedication to give back to their profession is the definition of self-regulation. They also sustain the professions by engaging future professionals through our K-12 and university outreach programs. Ensuring the sustainability of our volunteer base is critical. We laid

the groundwork by creating a new recruitment flow for the statutory boards and committees. This streamlined the process and successfully delivered quality candidates for APEGA’s boards and committees, including the Appeal Board, Discipline Committee, and Investigative Committee. We also outlined the business requirements of a volunteer management system to further enhance the volunteer experience and our ability to expand the volunteer program.

“I’ve always been drawn to APEGA, and I really believe in what it does and what it stands for.” — Jason K., P.Geo., Enforcement Review Committee volunteer

“I got to see the excitement children have for rocks and fossils when I told them what they are and where they might have come from.” — Tyler H., P.Geol., Rock & Fossil Clinic volunteer

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201 9 ANNUA L RE POR T

2019 volunteer opportunities: 2,275

Total hours: 56,556

Board of Examiners volunteers averaged 215 hours each to review licensure applications

73% of the volunteer hours were for statutory functions

If all APEGA volunteers were paid $20 per hour, it would cost APEGA $1.3 million.

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Summit Awards

Nader Mahinpey, P.Eng., PhD, receiving the Research Excellence Award

Nader Mahinpey, P.E g., PhD, receiving the Research Excellence Award

The APEGA Summit Awards Gala honours high achievers among our membership and recognizes their contributions to the public and the engineering and geoscience professions. The gala is held each April in conjunction with our annual general meeting.

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201 9 ANNUA L RE POR T

President Nima Dorjee, P.Eng., presenting the Women in Engineering and Geoscience Champion Award to the Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology 2018 Conference Steering Committee

Centennial Leadership Award Nigel Shrive , P.Eng., PhD, for decades of leadership and innovation in the masonry and biomedical engineering fields Community Service Award Russell Wlad , P.Eng., for his exceptional fundraising efforts in central Alberta Early Accomplishment Award Jordan Johnsen , P.Eng., for his quick advancement in the engineering community, becoming the youngest executive of Canada’s largest condensate producer Environment and Sustainability Award Jeff Rent , P.Eng., for his commitment to eco-friendly and sustainable building design

Excellence in Education Award Clayton Deutsch , P.Eng., PhD, for his commendable student ratings and steadfast dedication to educating the professionals of tomorrow Frank Spragins Technical Award Ian Gates , P.Eng., PhD, for his creation of self-sealing pellets of bitumen—a potential game- changer for the energy industry Outstanding Mentor Award Ayodeji Jeje , P.Eng., PhD, for the compassion he extends to all students, including the support of one student through a personal tragedy

Project Achievement Award North Red Deer Regional Wastewater System for its sustainable, state-of-the-art design and innovative approach to water treatment Research Excellence Award Nader Mahinpey , P.Eng., PhD, for his innovative research in reducing Alberta’s greenhouse gas emissions Women in Engineering and Geoscience Champion Award Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology 2018 Conference Steering Committee for empowering and supporting women in science, engineering, trades, and technology

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We completed our People & Culture initiative, which included performing a marketplace evaluation, updating all job descriptions, and creating job families and salary bands across PEOPLE & CULTURE

the organization to build consistency and equity. We also introduced competencies, which describe the technical and behavioural skills necessary for each role.

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT SURVEY

At APEGA, we believe in a positive workplace environment and welcoming culture for all staff. To gauge this, we conduct an employee engagement survey every two years using a third-party provider. In 2019, 96 per cent of staff completed the survey with an overall engagement score

of 71 per cent—an 11 per cent increase from 2017. We are pleased our efforts over the past two years have made a significant difference, and we will continue to make meaningful workplace improvements towards greater engagement. Because with an engaged workforce, we can accomplish anything.

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FINANCE

Our finance and business planning teams integrated our efforts in 2019 to develop clear alignment between our business plans and our operating budgets. This resulted in a stronger focus on goals supporting APEGA’s strategic plan. To ensure the financial viability of this planning, we developed rolling, three- year financial statements.

Another enhancement supported our members’ desire to move more systems online and reduce paper processes. We introduced an online and mobile-app expense management system, which enabled us to reimburse staff and volunteer expenses faster.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

The Information Technology (IT) Department supports all aspects of APEGA business. Work in 2019 augmented the stability, availability, and modernization of key systems, including SharePoint, Teams, automated workflows, and analytics. Investments in enterprise-grade technologies equipped staff to work locally and remotely by seamlessly and securely accessing synchronized information. A focus of IT has been to provide responsive service and business value to members, permit-holding companies, volunteers, and internal business units. Team building through open communication and collaboration, professional development, and certifications—particularly of core technologies—have further aligned IT resources to business applications and delivery of core business.

Continued enhancement of cybersecurity- protection protocols, coupled with internal awareness and sophistication in handling threats (e.g., phishing, malware), positioned APEGA in a proactive stance. In addition, the team developed and tested a security- incident response plan and confirmed disaster recovery and business continuity readiness. Data governance work focused on the integrity, quality, and security of our data, and records management developed a records-retention schedule for physical and electronic information assets. Looking forward, IT intends to leverage data governance and data management work to assess how artificial intelligence and data science may assist regulatory efforts to protect the public.

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Photo credit: Mark Pollon, P.Eng.

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Public Member Reports COUNCIL

The year 2019 was a productive one for APEGA and for Council. A strategic planning session was held in early spring, resulting in a robust strategic plan intended to take APEGA well into the next 100 years. We are pleased to see that the first priority is a commitment to regulatory excellence focused on protection of the public. The right for professionals to have self-regulation is important, but APEGA must demonstrate this is done on behalf of the public—not in the interest of the regulated professional. This requires trust that APEGA’s management of this role is pursued from a public and a membership perspective, which is also a priority of the plan. Organizational performance is another priority, and it focuses on activities that will cause APEGA to be seen as a leader in regulating the professions of engineering and geoscience. This includes being engaged in activities that ensure legislative compliance of our members. We believe APEGA senior leaders are putting detailed processes and qualified individuals in place to actively pursue these obligations. They also recognize the significant challenges from the public and from the government on professional regulation. Positive steps have been taken to reduce lengthy process timeframes to meet various regulatory requirements, and we are confident this will continue to improve over time.

We are also encouraged by the number of volunteers currently engaged in providing support and services to APEGA and its membership, particularly through statutory committees, and we support the effort necessary to make changes to ensure this continues to expand into the future. Positive steps towards necessary legislative change also occurred in 2019. Updating the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act is long overdue. We appreciate the persistent efforts of Council and the leadership team to move this forward. Council and the leadership team recognize there are significant changes and challenges in industries affecting the membership, and they recognize the possible impact these will have as APEGA moves forward. As we approach APEGA’s centennial in 2020 to celebrate the contributions made to the province, the professions, and the membership, we look forward to recognizing past successes and focusing on increased public recognition, confidence, and trust as APEGA embarks on another productive 100 years of a century well built. Respectfully submitted,

Mary Phillips-Rickey, FCA, FCPA Georgeann Wilkin, RN, LL.B Public Members

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BOARD OF EXAMINERS

Public members serve on the Board of Examiners (BOE) to protect the public’s interests by attempting to ensure the process for registration is fair and unbiased, and that assessments are valid and reliable. For the BOE, 2019 stands as a milestone year. It is the first full year the BOE used the competency-based assessment (CBA) model for assessing the work experience of all engineering applicants. To be expected with a change of this magnitude, there have been many challenges. As a result, the BOE and staff have worked to adjust policies and procedures based on early experiences using CBA. Work is proceeding on reviewing and updating related APEGA bulletins and policies. Some of the policies the BOE approved in 2019 included Positions on References and Validators for CBA Applications and Assessment of Work Experience for CBA Applications . While it is still early days for APEGA’s CBA, more is required to assist validators and examiners. Anyone who takes on these key positions understands their vital role and ensures no significant gaps in approach and performance exist. The decision to hold more frequent face-to-face meetings with Registration Executive Committee (REC) members, a BOE subcommittee, is a good move. We

also suggest practical workshops be held for CBA examiners at which they complete CBA assessments on real applications, such that the BOE can produce quantitative data based on examiner agreement. Progress in assessing applicants’ academic requirements is urgently needed. Currently, the assessment of academic requirements is not uniform across all applicants. Based on some initial work started in late 2019, we are hopeful that, in the short term, this will be addressed. As always, registration staff does much of the heavy lifting that allows the BOE meetings to run smoothly and efficiently. Over the past year, they have often been called on to make policy and process changes on what seems almost a monthly basis as the REC operationalizes CBA. Their support and prompt action are recognized. Respectfully submitted,

Leslie Beard Ernest Skakun, PhD Public Members

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