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Permit to Practice – Registration

Improved Public Interest

To protect the public, it is important that an applicant for registration as a Permit Holder meet appropriate criteria before a Permit to Practice is issued by ensuring a minimum standard is met.

Background

  • Under the current Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act (EGP Act) and General Regulation, the authority to approve the registration of a Permit Holder rests with Council.
  • The criteria to obtain a Permit to Practice are described in the EGP Act and General Regulation. This includes a requirement that a Responsible Member certify that the Permit Holder has in place and will follow a Professional Practice Management Plan (PPMP) that is appropriate to its professional practice.

Why is this important?

  • To protect the public, it is important that APEGA has a system to evaluate applications for registering Permit Holders, and that the decision-making authority rests at the appropriate level.
  • A key part of the requirements is to ensure that a Permit to Practice applicant has an appropriate PPMP and that it can and will be properly implemented. The length and complexity of the PPMP will vary depending on the areas of professional practice of the Permit Holder.
  • To protect the public, an appropriate PPMP must be able to be properly implemented before a Permit to Practice is issued. The assessment of whether a PPMP can and will be implemented may necessitate that a risk-based, baseline audit be done before a Permit to Practice is issued. The criteria surrounding audits will be based on criteria approved by Council.
  • The evaluation and decision of whether an applicant’s PPMP is appropriate and can and will be properly implemented should be done by the same body that assesses whether existing Permit Holders are complying with ongoing PPMP requirements—namely practice reviewers and practice review panels.
  • The authority to approve registration of Permit Holders based on criteria set by Council should rest with practice review panels, rather than with Council.
  • To improve regulatory effectiveness and efficiency, the Registrar’s office should be able to review applications for registration as a Permit Holder as appropriate and make recommendations to practice review panels, in accordance with criteria approved by Council. It should always be open to the Registrar’s office to refer an application to a practice reviewer if unsure.

Proposed legislative change

  • It is recommended 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.
  • It is recommended that the legislation be amended to explicitly 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.
  • It is recommended that the legislation be amended to explicitly 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
  • It is recommended that the EGP Act be amended to explicitly grant an applicant the right to appeal a decision to the Appeal Committee.
  • It is recommended that the legislation be amended to explicitly 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.
  • It is recommended that the EGP Act be amended to explicitly 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.

Effects of the proposed change

  • It will improve public protection by requiring an applicant to have an appropriate PPMP developed and that it can and will be properly implemented before a Permit to Practice licence is issued.
  • PPMP templates and an updated PPMP practice standard is needed to assist permit applicants in preparing and implementing appropriate PPMPs.
  • It will authorize the appropriate statutory entity to approve the registration of a Permit Holder.
  • High-level criteria an applicant must meet to become licensed as a Permit Holder will be established in the legislation and approved by Council, whereas practice review panels will determine whether applicants meet the required criteria.
  • The assessment of whether a PPMP can and will be properly implemented will vary depending on the areas of professional practice and may necessitate that a risk-based, baseline audit be done before a Permit to Practice is issued, in accordance with criteria approved by Council.
  • To improve regulatory effectiveness and efficiency, the Registrar’s office will be able to review the appropriateness and implementation of PPMPs as appropriate and make recommendations to practice review panels, in accordance with criteria approved by Council.