The 88th Annual Meeting and Professional Development Conference of APEGS took place May 4 and 5, 2018 in Saskatoon.
Over 200 voting members registered for the business session, an all-time record attendance. I believe more members attended this year as a result of the important bylaw changes, discussed below.
Continuing Professional Development
PEGS has had a Continuing Professional Development program for around 20 years. While we do believe that our members are competent practitioners, we needed to demonstrate to the public and the government, in a transparent way, that our competence and ethics are of the utmost importance in our role to protect the public. The Professional Development Committee and APEGS staff put in many hours to create a revised program with required reporting and ethics training, and to promote these changes to our membership. At the Annual Meeting, our members unanimously passed a motion to enact these changes. This vote demonstrates our members’ understanding of the importance that demonstrated competence has in maintaining our privilege of self-regulation.
Another exciting development, again in process for many years, is competency-based assessments for our Engineers-In-Training. This change means that our newest engineering members will be evaluated based on the competencies that they have developed over four years as an intern. The evaluation will be web-based, allowing for easy access and transfer of data between intern, verifier and evaluator. We will be giving our newest members the best chance to be successful in their careers. Again, there was a lot of staff and volunteer time put into creating this new program.
This meeting was also personally important to me, not just as an incoming President, but also because of the family connections. My family is immersed in engineering: husband, brother, sister-in-law, and father are all members of APEGS with me. My mom worked in the industry as well. The meeting was especially personally important as I had the privilege of giving my dad his Life Member pin. Dad has always been a champion of mine and made sure that I had no idea that there could be limits in my accomplishments. Though he also left no room for thoughts of another profession! Thank you to my family and friends, many of whom are members, for the support over the years.
I am looking forward to a few different areas of resolution, or at least progress towards resolution, for the coming year. The completed work of the Sponsorship Task Group is anticipated later in 2018. They are looking at how APEGS provides and receives sponsorship. Guidance will flow down to all committees to make sure that we are working off the same information towards the same end. Somewhat related to this work is discovering more of what advocacy means in a regulatory environment. There are many questions coming up lately on how or what APEGS does or should be doing in the advocacy realm. Now that we have competency for members well in hand, APEGS will start to tackle the area of Certificate of Authorization. Just as our members need to be competent, we should be able to demonstrate that the companies associated with our organization are operating in an ethical and competent manner. Board and committee structure will also be a part of the discussions at the Council, board, and committee levels to make sure that we are using our valuable volunteer time as effectively as possible.
I will be participating on behalf of APEGS members as Engineers Canada moves towards a 100 per cent plan (meaning a combined strategic and operating plan). Many hours have gone into creating a renewed purpose by engaging with us and the other provincial associations. The new purpose will be voted on during the Engineers Canada spring meeting at the Meeting of Members this May in Saskatoon.
I look forward to serving our members over the next year!
Stormy Holmes, P.Eng., FEC