ENDORSED RECOMMENDATIONS

Summary of Legislative Review Discussions with Council – January 2015 to June 2017

Recommendation

Council’s Position

Professional Licensee (P.L.)

  • Eliminate the existing P.L. designation.

Endorsed by Council

  • Create a new Limited License (L.L.) designation for those with an engineering or geoscience degree.

Council Amendment to the Recommendation: to include the word “Professional” in the new designation

Student Category

  • Eliminate the special student member category.  Focus efforts on assessing licensure qualifications for applicants with engineering, geoscience or related full degrees.

Endorsed by Council – Moved forward to the 2016 AGM

Members-in-Training

  • M.I.T.s be given the same privileges as Professional Members regarding APEGA governance matters
  • Allow for the length of time an individual can remain as an M.I.T. to be extended to provide flexibility to other unique circumstances.

Endorsed by Council

Council Amendment to the Recommendation: Place a limit on the number of Members-in-Training (M.I.T.s) (to be determined by the Nominating Committee) that could run for Council and a limit on the number of M.I.T. positions on Council

Licensee

 

  • Eliminate the (Foreign) Licensee designation.  All qualified individuals to be registered as Professional Engineers or Professional Geoscientists

Endorsed by Council

Council Amendment to the Recommendation: A Professional Member must be a Canadian citizen or have permanent residence status to run for Council

Authority to Delegate

  • To amend the EGP Act to expressly authorize Council, the CEO, the Registrar, and statutory entities the authority to delegate as appropriate.

Endorsed by Council

Building Code Exemptions

  • Repeal the Building Code exemptions in the EGP Act to avoid duplication in demand side legislation

Endorsed by Council

Inform the Public

Criteria will be developed in Council Policy to define when and how the authority will be used

Expressly authorize the Registrar to:

  • Inform the public that APEGA is conducting an investigation, inquiry, or practice review into a Member’s or Permit Holder’s practice.
  • Make public discipline decisions including the names of Members and Permit Holders
  • Inform the public of action against unlicensed use-of-title and scope-of-practice violators
  • List in the Register all discipline decisions and interim suspensions

Endorsed by Council

Mobility of Discipline Decisions

  • Require Members and Permit Holders to advise APEGA if they have had discipline orders made against them in other jurisdictions.
  • Authorize APEGA to share discipline decisions with other professional associations and regulators.
  • Authorize the Registrar to use another provincial or territorial engineering or geoscience association’s discipline record of proceedings, decisions, and orders to make equivalent orders without conducting a full investigation and disciplinary hearing.

Endorsed by Council

Capacity to Practice

Criteria will be developed by a Council Regulation to define when and how the authority will be used

Authorize the Registrar to:

  • Require a Member or applicant to undergo independent, third-party mental or physical examinations to assess the person’s fitness to practise
  • Restrict or suspend a Member’s licence pending receipt of the results of any required medical assessments on the person’s fitness to practise.
  • Maintain the restriction or suspension until the incapacity has been treated and addressed.

Endorsed by Council

Authority of the Registrar

Criteria will be developed by a Council Regulation and Policy to define when and how the authority will be used

Give the Registrar the express authority to:

  • Initiate an investigation or complaint
  • Suspend or impose conditions on an interim basis in emergent situations

Endorsed by Council

Changes Regarding Orders, Fines, and Costs

Criteria will be developed by a Council Regulation and Policy to define when and how these recommendations will be used

  • Increase to discipline related fines
  • Recovery of discipline related fines and costs through a court order rather than litigation
  • Increase fines for Use-of-Title and Scope of Practice Violations

Endorsed by Council

Modernizing the Investigative Process

 

Criteria will be developed by a Council Regulation and Policy to define when and how these recommendations will be used

  • Compelling Witnesses, Producing Documents and Entering Premises
  • The role of investigative panel will become the decision-making authority
  • Using various mechanisms of alternative settlement and dispute resolution

Endorsed by Council

Complaints Against Former Members

Criteria will be developed by a Council Regulation and Policy to define when and how these recommendations will be used

  • The timeframe within which a complaint against a former Member or Permit Holder may be commenced be increased to 10 years from two years following the date of cancellation of membership.

Council Amendment to the Recommendation: Endorse the amended recommendation to clarify that a complaint against a current or former Member or Permit Holder may be commenced within the limitation periods provided under the Alberta Limitations Act.

Admissions

Note:  Criteria will be developed through Council Regulation and Board of Examiners Policy to define when and how these recommendations will be used

  • Board of Examiners be authorized to place conditions as appropriate on approved and on  deferred registrations
  • Provide the ability for an applicant  to request a review of a decision of the Board of Examiners by an Appeal Panel
  • Board of Examiners to become the authority to approve reinstatement and resumption of practice applications and to expressly allow them to delegate to the Registrar
  • Board of Examiners may delegate to the Registrar to register applicants defined by criteria in Board of Examiners policy
  • Authorize the Registrar to cancel a registration gained by false or fraudulent means
  • Authorize the Registrar to issue annual renewals and suspend/cancel registrations as appropriate through established Council Policy

Endorsed by Council

Dismissing Complaints and Terminating Investigations

 

Criteria will be developed through Council Regulation and Policy to define when and how these recommendations will be used

  • To give the Registrar the same authority as the Investigative Committee to dismiss complaints and the complainant has the right to appeal if the Registrar dismisses a complaint.
  • To change the wording used to dismiss a complaint on the basis that the conduct is too minor to warrant a sanction or there are not sufficient grounds to proceed rather than on the basis of the current “frivolous or vexatious” and “insufficient evidence” wording.

Endorsed by Council

Governance Committee - Appointment of Registrar

Adopted Amendment by Council

  • To provide an amendment to the EGP Act and bylaws that Council will appoint a Registrar with specific roles and responsibilities and to make bylaws to create a management structure that describes position and accountabilities to implement the above responsibilities

Improving Professional Practice

Criteria will be developed through Council Regulation and Policy to define when and how these recommendations will be used

To clarify the role and responsibility of the Practice Review Committee to focus on the competency of the professions by:

  • Establishing practice standards and bulletins approved by Council that Members and Permit Holders must comply with
  • Clarifying the role and authority of the practice reviewers and that they can make recommendations based on the outcome of a review
  • Practice reviewers can refer matters to a practice review panel, the Investigative Committee or the Registrar
  • Clarifying the authority of practice review panels  and the types of orders they can make

Council Amendment to the Recommendation: Council endorsed all recommendations with one exception:  the decision of the practice review panel will be open to appeal

Joint Boards of Practice

 

  • To remove all references to a Joint Board of Practice and joint firms except to say that joint firms must comply with the requirements of both the EGP Act and the Architects Act

Endorsed by Council

Governance Committee –  EGP Act  Section 19

Adopted Amendment by Council

Council endorses that Section 19(5) of the EGP Act be amended by striking the words “the text of” to read:

19(5)The Council may change a regulation that was approved in principle under subsection (4) if the change

a)      is consistent with the approval in principle

b)      is made before the regulation is submitted to the Lieutenant Governor in Council for approval

Governance Committee – EGP Act

Adopted Amendment by Council

Council approve the following proposed changes to the EGP Act:

A. The word “board” be removed from all bodies listed below Council in the Act.
B. EGP Act Section 1.1(1) be amended by striking ”The Executive Committees of” to read:
1.1(1)There is established a Joint Councils Committee composed of an equal number of members from
Council and ASET Council appointed respectively by the Council and ASET Council.
C. EGP Act Section 12(2) be amended by striking “manage and conduct the business and affairs of”

and replacing it with “govern”, to read:
12(2)The Council shall govern the Association and exercise the powers of the Association in the name
of and behalf of the Association
D. EGP Act Section 14(1) be amended to strike the complete section and replace with the requirement

for a President whose roles and responsibilities will be in accordance with the bylaws. It will read:
14(1) Council shall include a President and establish the role and duties in accordance with the Bylaws.
E. EGP Act Section 14(2) be amended by striking 14 (2)(a)(i),(ii) and (b) to read:

14(2) The Council shall consist of at least 12 but not more than 20 members, made up of 2 or 3 public
members appointed by the Minister, and elected professional members in accordance with the Bylaws.

Special Student Category

Passed at 2016 Annual General Meeting

The EGP General Regulation Section 6, Subsection (b) (i) be amended by striking the word “or”, and Subsection (ii), (A) and (B) be amended by striking.

EGP General Regulation Section 7, Subsection (a) be amended by adding the word “or”, Section 7 Subsection (b) be amended by striking the word “or”, and Subsection (c) be amended by striking.

EGP General Regulation Section 13, Subsection (1)(e)(ii) be amended by striking, Subsection (iii) be renumbered (ii), and Subsection (iv) be renumbered (iii) and amended by replacing “(i), (ii) or (iii)” with “(i) or (ii)”.

 

Bylaw – Mail and Electronic Voting

Motion defeated at 2016 Annual General Meeting

APEGA Bylaw 37 Subsection (3) be approved to read:

“A vote by mail on a matter shall be declared valid if at least 60 Professional Members respond and the matter shall be carried or defeated on the basis of a simple majority of the votes returned.”

Updating Authentication Practices

 

  • stamp: an instrument issued by APEGA to a Professional Member or Permit Holder in any form or medium, as set out by the Registrar.
  • authentication: the application of a Professional Member’s stamp, signature, and date together with a Permit Holder’s stamp to a professional document.
  • professional document: an engineering or geoscience file in any form or medium and further clarified through a practice standard:
    • contains technical information resulting from the practice of engineering or geoscience
    • is complete for an intended purpose and
    • will be relied upon by others.

Endorsed by Counsel

  • remove references to embossing seals as part of the authentication process
  • explicitly clarify that all professional documents must be authenticated by licensed Members and Permit Holders regardless of whether the engineering or geoscience services related to those documents were performed inside or outside of Alberta
  • make it an offence for any person to knowingly employ or retain an unlicensed individual or other entity to provide engineering or geoscience services unless the person hiring the unlicensed individual or other entity reviews, authenticates, and takes responsibility for that work
    • indicate that the court may order fines payable for such violations up to $100,000 maximum for individuals and $500,000 maximum for other entities (these dollar amounts are consistent with other proposed fines).

Endorsed by Council

Improving the Practice - Permit to Practice

  • add a definition for Responsible Member to indicate that the Responsible Member must be a Professional Member and must have a sufficiently close relationship with the Permit Holder to undertake the roles and responsibilities associated with acting as a Responsible Member.
  • clarify that, in addition to the existing requirements for Responsible Members, their responsibilities are expanded to explicitly include:
    • being professionally responsible for the Professional Practice Management Plan (PPMP) and for ensuring it is being followed
    • stamping, signing, and dating the PPMP document within their area of responsibility
  • clarify that a deficiency in a PPMP (or evidence that a PPMP is not being followed) may result in a practice review order or a finding of unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct against the Responsible Member, collectively or individually, and against the Permit Holder.
  • change the requirement from needing only one Responsible Member to needing one or more Responsible Members, as appropriate to the practice
  • move the requirement for a Responsible Member to attend a seminar every five years from the General Regulation to part of the mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program requirements for Responsible Members. The details will be described in the CPD program.
  • require Permit Holders and Responsible Members to advise APEGA if an existing Responsible Member ceases to be the person accepting responsibility for the practice of the Permit Holder or can no longer provide the necessary certification regarding the PPMP
  • require a sole practitioner to obtain a Permit to Practice.

Endorsed by Council

Primary Professional Liability Insurance

The legislation be amended to authorize Council to make policy respecting the requirements for Members and Permit Holders to carry Professional Liability Insurance.

Endorsed by Council

Updating Tools for Proceedings by APEGA's Statutory Entities

  • determine whether their proceedings will proceed by way of written or oral submissions, or both. Each statutory entity will manage the use of this authority through policy guidelines developed by the respective statutory entity.
  • create panels with decision-making authority, including investigative, discipline, appeal, registration, and practice review panels.
    • Panels may be made of one or more members chosen from the rosters of the relevant statutory entity. Discipline and appeal panels of three or more members should include public members, selected from a roster. Each statutory entity will manage the use of this authority through policy guidelines developed by the respective entity.
    • Although it would not be the usual practice, panels may hold proceedings and make decisions in the absence of a complainant, appellant, applicant, Member under review, or investigated person after appropriate notice of the proceeding being given to the individual.
  • state that any person who has a right to appeal a statutory entity’s decision to an appeal panel may commence the appeal by filing a written notice of appeal that must state the grounds for the appeal, including what is being appealed, why the appeal is being made, and what results are being sought from the appeal. The criteria for which the grounds of the appeal must meet will be established in the regulation and further developed through policy.

Endorsed by Council

Introducing Creative Sanctions

The legislation be amended to expand the sanctions that can be imposed:

  • in discipline matters to include creative sanction provisions
  • by the court against unlicensed title and practice violators to include creative sanction provisions
  • These amendments should adopt provisions similar to what is contained in section 234 of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and section 41.1 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • Non-compliance with a creative sanction order may result in the suspension of a licence or permit until the order is fulfilled.

Endorsed by Council

Refining the Continuing Professional Development Program

  • as previously addressed in the winter 2016 consultations, the Practice Review Committee (PRC) will have the responsibility to develop, and Council will have the authority to approve, the requirements for the CPD program and supporting practice standards
  • the obligation for keeping CPD records and how Members meet the requirements of the program will be described in CPD policies
  • the Registrar will be able to strike a Member from the register for non-compliance with the CPD program
  • the assessment of whether a Member meets the CPD requirements will be conducted by the PRC through practice reviewers and practice review panels as described in the winter 2016 consultations related to the PRC
  • Council may impose an administrative assessment fee if a Member does not comply with the CPD program within specified timelines
  • the requirement for Responsible Members to attend a Permit to Practice seminar every five years will be moved out of the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act General Regulation and into the requirements of the CPD program and supporting practice standard

Endorsed by Council

Membership Category - Provisional Licensee

The legislation be amended to remove the Provisional Licensee category and all references to Provisional Licensees from the legislation.

Endorsed by Council

Changes to the Definition of the Practice of Geoscience

“practice of geoscience” means:

(i) acquiring, investigating, analyzing, processing, interpreting, evaluating, consulting, applying, modelling, assessing, managing, or reporting related to any activity:

(A) that relates to the Earth sciences or the environment, and  

(B) that is aimed at the understanding of Earth materials, geobodies, natural resources, energy fields, geohazard risks, or processes, and

(C) that requires in that acquiring investigating, analyzing, processing, interpreting, evaluating, consulting, applying, managing, or reporting the professional application of the principles of geology, geophysics, physics, chemistry, mathematics, or biology,

or

(ii) teaching geoscience at a university

Endorsed by Council

Changes to Description of Geoscience Work Products

The Engineers and Geoscience Professions Act be amended to update the description of the types of geoscience documents and work products that need to be authenticated to read:

“…professional documents…”

This change be supplemented by updated practice standards that will provide greater detail and will clarify that geoscience “professional documents” include:

“…maps, geoscientific cross-sections, specifications, reports, or other geoscientific work products in any form or medium, or reproductions of any of them…”

Endorsed by Council

Geoscience - Changes to Exemptions

  • remove the exemption relating to prospecting
  • amend the existing exemption related to geoscientific survey and reports to read:

“a person conducting routine geoscientific surveys or preparing routine geoscience reports where the specifications and standards and any subsequent changes to the field parameters for the survey or report have been prepared or approved by a professional geoscientist or licensee

  • amend the existing exemption related to data reduction and plotting to include routine data management to read:

“a person engaged in routine data management, reduction, or plotting of geoscientific data under the supervision and control of a professional geoscientist”

Endorsed by Council

Investigator Authority

  • consolidate the sections describing the authority of investigators in conducting investigations
  • explicitly enable APEGA to apply to the court, on reasonable grounds, for an order authorizing investigators, accompanied by police as necessary, to enter and search buildings, dwellings, or places for documents, media, or other records as part of an investigation
  • require APEGA’s statutory entities to report suspected criminal activity if found in the course of an investigation or review. Statutory entities would advise the Registrar, who would inform the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General or police of the concern. Statutory entities would not be required to complete their investigation before reporting an activity, if it were in the public interest to do so.

Endorsed by Council

Authority of Practice Reviewers

APEGA practice reviewers to be the authority to conduct practice reviews similar to the authority contained in the ASET Regulation the Professional Technologists Regulation or the Chartered Professional Accountants Act, Alberta.

Endorsed by Council

Enforcement Review Committee

Remove the establishment of the Enforcement Review Committee from the General Regulation

Endorsed by Council

Mediated Settlements

Authorize the Registrar to proceed to an investigation, even if the complaint is settled or is withdrawn, if it is deemed necessary to do so in the public interest.

Endorsed by Council

Consent Orders

  • the term consent order will replace the current recommended order terminology
    • the term consent order more accurately reflects that it is a negotiated agreement between the investigative panel and the Member or Permit Holder under investigation that has admitted to unskilled practice or unprofessional conduct.
  • a consent order will be approved by a discipline panel, rather than the Registrar
    • negotiated agreements may involve disciplinary sanctions and should be approved by the appropriate disciplinary arm that has the authority to impose sanctions.
    • the criteria for approving consent orders will be set by the Discipline Committee, in policy, to ensure consistency.

Endorsed by Council

Obligation to Comply and Cooperate

  • Members and Permit Holders must:
    • comply with the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act, General Regulation, Bylaws, Code of Ethics, practice standards, practice bulletins, and policies established by Council
    • cooperate with requests to provide all documents or other information made by APEGA as part of exercising its regulatory mandate under the legislation
  • There are consequences for failing to comply or cooperate, which could include suspending, cancelling, imposing restrictions, or not issuing or renewing a licence or Permit to Practice.
    • Members and Permit Holders will have the right to appeal such decisions to the Appeal Board.
    • APEGA will have the ability to apply for a court order enjoining a person from violating any part of the Act, General Regulation, or Bylaws, or directing a person to take some action to comply or to rectify any contravention.

Endorsed by Council

Establishing Time Frames for Notices and Discipline Matters

Time Frame to Send Notice of Preliminary Investigation
The Registrar must, within 30 days of receiving a complaint, send a notice to an investigated person (Member or Permit Holder) that a preliminary investigation will be conducted and provide details of the complaint.

Time Frame to Respond
An investigated person must, within 30 days of receiving notice of a preliminary investigation or longer if agreed to by the Registrar and the investigated person, provide a written response to the Registrar.

Time Frame to Review Complaint
An investigative panel must, within 90 days after the conclusion of a preliminary investigation, render a decision on whether to dismiss the complaint, refer the complaint to a discipline hearing, or begin discussions with the investigated person for a consent order.

Time Frame to Reach Consent Order
The time frame to reach a consent order between an investigated person and an investigative panel is 90 days from the date negotiations began or longer if agreed to by both parties.

Time Frame to Schedule a Discipline Hearing
If a matter is referred to a discipline panel for a hearing, the Registrar must, within 90 days after receiving the referral, set a date for the hearing and give all parties notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing.

Time Frame to Respond to Notice of Discipline Hearing
If a date is set for a hearing by a discipline panel, the investigated person and investigative panel must, within 30 days of receiving notice of the hearing date, respond to the Registrar confirming their availability on that date or propose alternative dates.

If the parties and Registrar are not able to agree to a hearing date within an additional 30 days, the Registrar may set a date for the hearing and the hearing shall commence on that date.

Time Frame to Render a Decision Following a Discipline Hearing
A discipline panel must, within 120 days after the conclusion of a hearing, render a written decision.

Time Frame to Schedule an Appeal Hearing
If a discipline decision is appealed, the Registrar must, within 90 days after receiving the notice of appeal, set a date for the appeal hearing and give all parties notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing.

Time Frame to Respond to Notice of Appeal Hearing
If a date is set for a hearing by an appeal panel, the investigated person and investigative panel must, within 30 days of receiving notice of the hearing date, respond to the Registrar confirming their availability on that date or propose alternative dates.

If the parties and Registrar are not able to agree to a hearing date within an additional 30 days, the Registrar may set a date for the hearing and the hearing shall commence on that date.

Time Frame to Render a Decision Following an Appeal Hearing
An appeal panel must, within 120 days after the conclusion of a hearing, render a written decision.

Time Frame Extensions
If an investigative, discipline, or appeal panel has not rendered a written decision within the required time frame, it must at the end of that period inform the parties, in writing, that the decision has not been completed and continue to report to them on the progress of the decision every 30 days.

As is currently the case under the existing Act, the Registrar shall, immediately upon receiving a decision, serve the decision. The time frame in which a person may appeal a decision will remain 30 days from receipt of notice.

Council also endorses the proposed recommendation that the legislation be amended to consolidate related information on time frames for discipline matters into one division.

Endorsed by Council

Membership Category - Restricted Practitioners

Remove the restricted practitioner category from the legislation.

Endorsed by Council

Membership Category - University Students

Remove the university student category from the legislation.

Endorsed by Council

Permit to Practice – Registration

Council endorses the proposed recommendations that the legislation be amended to explicitly:

  • authorize practice review panels, rather than Council, to be the decision maker and consider applications for registration of Permit Holders in accordance with the legislation and criteria approved by Council.
  • authorize practice reviewers to evaluate the appropriateness of an applicant’s PPMP and whether it can and will be properly implemented and to make recommendations to practice review panels.
  • authorize practice review panels to perform the following actions (in accordance with criteria approved by Council): approve the application with or without conditions and restrictions; or refuse the application
  • grant an applicant the right to appeal a decision to the Appeal Committee.
  • indicate that in addition to the other requirements, an applicant must satisfy the practice review panel that it has a PPMP that is appropriate to its professional practice and that it can and will be properly implemented, in accordance with criteria approved by Council.
  • authorize the Practice Review Committee to delegate to the Registrar’s office the ability to review applications for registration as a Permit Holder and make recommendations to practice review panels, in accordance with criteria approved by Council.

Endorsed by Council

Permit to Practice – Reinstatement

Council endorses, the proposed recommendation that the EGP Act and General Regulation be amended to remove all references to reinstatement and to require that a Permit Holder whose registration has been cancelled, for any reason, initiate re-registration the same as any other applicant in accordance with criteria approved by Council.

Endorsed by Council

Investigative Panels – Interim Suspensions and Restrictions

Council endorses the proposed recommendation that the EGP Act and General Regulation be amended to explicitly indicate the authority to impose interim suspensions and interim restrictions on Members and Permit Holders will rest with investigative panels (rather than with the Registrar or Investigative Committee).

It is recommended that the General Regulation be amended to add a section describing the circumstances under which investigative panels can impose interim suspensions and restrictions on Members and Permit Holders pending the outcome of preliminary investigations or discipline proceedings. These circumstances would include:

  • when there are reasonable grounds to believe that a serious and imminent risk exists to life, personal safety, or health of the public or environment, in accordance with criteria approved by Council
  • when a delay in holding proceedings under this part would be prejudicial to the public interest, in accordance with criteria approved by Council
  • when a Member is convicted of an offence that would render a Member unsuitable to practise engineering or geoscience or adversely affect the reputation of the professions, in accordance with criteria approved by Council.

Endorsed by Council

Practice Prohibitions

Council endorses the proposed recommendation that the EGP Act and General Regulation be amended to clarify that the existing practice prohibition sections only apply to Members and Permit Holders whose licences or permits have been suspended or cancelled because of disciplinary or practice review proceedings.

Endorsed by Council

Examination Candidate

Council endorses the proposed recommendation that the EGP Act and General Regulation be amended to remove the examination candidate category.

Endorsed by Council

Code of Ethics

The Policies and Standards Task Force will take accountability to develop the wording for the amendment to the Code of Ethics and bring the proposed wording back to the November 30, 2017, Council meeting.

New motion at table - adopted