Permit to Practice The Corporate Licence Ross Plecash, M.Eng., P.EngDirector Corporate Affairs & Investigations
APEGA Professionalism The Permit The COO The Responsible Member The Professional Practice Management Plan Professional Documents Run time is approximately 35 minutes AGENDA
APEGA Mission Statement We serve the public interest • by regulating the practices of engineering and geoscience in Alberta, • by providing leadership for our professions, and, • by upholding our members in their professional practices.
APEGA (2) • The fundamental purpose of professional legislation is to regulate professions in the public interest. Principles and Policies Governing Professional Legislation in Alberta - 1990 • In many firms, APEGA members are the only obligated professionals who must act as the company’s conscience in matters that affect the public interest
Self-Governance • Self-governance is a privilege delegated to a profession only when the public interest is served by doing so, and when the advantages clearly outweigh the disadvantages. Principles and Policies Governing Professional Legislation in Alberta – 1990 • Elected Council • Regulatory Committees staffed by volunteer Professional Members • Government-appointed Public Members
Professionalism Definition of a Profession: A calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive preparation including instruction in skills and methods as well as in the scientific, historical, or scholarly principles underlying such skills and methods, maintaining by force or organization or concerned opinion high standards of achievement and conduct, and committing its members to continued study and to a kind of work which has for its prime purpose the rendering of a public service. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Mirriam-Webster, Inc., 1993.
Professionalism (2) Characteristics of a Profession • advanced / specialized knowledge • intensive study and preparation • continued professional development • good judgement • high standards • leadership • ethical conduct • duty to protect the public interest
Professionalism (4) Public Interest How do you know what is in the public interest? This is not always clear-cut: • identify the stakeholders • seek a variety of views and work to genuinely understand them
Professionalism (5) Public Interest – many facets • Risk to safety (immediate, direct consequences) • Health effects (longer term or cumulative effects) • Environmental impacts and resource conservation (sustainable development) • Socio-economic impacts • Public acceptability • Technical feasibility and operating reliability • Impact of related projects (e.g. pipelines or electricity generation plants) • Future project opportunities enabled or blocked • Corporate profitability (shareholders)
Professionalism (6) Aids to Ethical Decision Making • Internal Moral Compass – taught by family, school, church • Ethics Theories – the philosophies • Code of Ethics – peer developed code • Case Studies – APEGA Learning Module • Decision Making Methodology • Peers • APEGA
Professionalism (7) • Links the right to practice with the responsibility for practice. • Maintains an ethical and professional approach to practice. • Continually upgrades practice standards to protect the public. • Continuously improves to cope with increasingly complex demands.
The Permit to Practice Definitions • Permit to Practice (the licence) • Issued to all partnerships, incorporated companies or joint ventures practicing the professions in Alberta, including Individually Incorporated Practitioners (IIPs) • Not issued to Sole Proprietors • Permit holder (the company) • Chief Operating Officer (overall responsibility) • Responsible Member (responsibility for professional practice)
The Permit to Practice (2) The Rationale • Corporations are separate legal entities from the professionals working within them • Regulates group practice • Provides a single point of contact for both regulatory and non-regulatory issues
The Permit to Practice (3) History • 1968 - consultants only • 1981 - expanded to included operating companies • early 1990s - explore how to add value by focusing on quality management and addressing concerns of Individually Incorporated Practitioners (IIPs)
The Permit to Practice (4) Recent Changes • Mandatory Permit stamp no longer required • Change in fees structure • increased to 150% of Professional Member dues • first year’s dues included in registration fees • reduction for IIPs • Pro-active Practice Reviews • Professional Practice Guideline • Professional Practice Management Plan (PPMP) • Mandatory seminars
The Chief Operating Officer Assumes overall responsibility and must: • sign permit application • jointly with RMs, maintain organization in which the practice of the professions can be conducted in accordance with the Act & Regulations • ensure all practicing Engineers, Geologists & Geophysicists are licensed • ensure titles are assigned appropriately • ensure company standards at least meet the professions’ standards • ensure permit number and member stamps are on all professional documents
The Chief Operating Officer (2) And must: • surrender stamp and certificate if there are no qualified RMs • pay dues & submit Annual Report • submit changes to COO and RMs when available or annually as per Annual Report • assure at least one RM for each profession • ensure the company has a PPMP and that it is being followed • ensure a RM or COO attends Permit to Practice Seminar at least once every 5 years
The Chief Operating Officer (3) And should foster professionalism by: • establishing policies that align organizational needs with professional responsibilities; • eliminating policies that bring professional responsibilities into conflict with organizational needs; • encouraging professionals to volunteer with APEGA or other professional groups; • supporting Continuing Professional Development; • displaying, jointly with RMs, a positive attitude to regulation and to the role that APEGA plays; • providing support for RMs’ professional recommendations (see RMs).
The Responsible Member Assumes responsibility for a specific, assigned area of practice within the company and must: • jointly with the COO, maintain organization in which the practice of the professions can be conducted in accordance with the Act & Regulations • ensure all practicing Engineers and Geoscientists are licensed • ensure titles are assigned appropriately • ensure company standards at least meet the professions’ standards • ensure permit number and member stamps are on all professional documents
The Responsible Member (2) And must: • ensure quality is managed by implementing the company’s Professional Practice Management Plan. He/she will: • provide responsible direction • personal supervision • but need not necessarily: • take personal responsibility for the technical content • advise COO and APEGA when responsibility is relinquished
The Responsible Member (3) The RM should foster professionalism by: • recommending that the company has an evaluation system and development plan for all professionals (including contract employees) • encouraging the employment of MIT’s • Supporting Continuing Professional Development • recommending that the company uses qualifications based selection for awarding professional services contracts • recommending a peer review of the company’s professional practices
The Responsible Member (4) The RM should model professionalism in the workplace by supporting: • Council elections • APEGA surveys & ballots • Employee Professional Development • Summit Award nominations • Volunteering for APEGA • A positive attitude toward regulation and the role that APEGA plays
The Responsible Member (5) If you don’t think you are in a position to carry out these responsibilities, then you should review your role as a Responsible Member.
Professional Organization How many Responsible Members are enough? See the Practice Standard for Authenticating Professional Documents - Appendix A-1
Quality Management Involves: • Providing proper conditions • Maintaining the appropriate level of competence • Assuring effective management of technical quality • Ensuring effective project management • Maintaining appropriate records.
Professional Practice Management Plan • Required by the EGGP Act since April 2002 • Guideline approved by Council in September 2003 • Management, Organization and Responsibilities • Ethical Standards • Professional and Technical Resources • Quality Control • Professional Documents and Records
Professional Practice Management Plan (2) Professional Practice Management Plan Management, Organization and Responsibilities • Statement of policy on Professional Practice Management • Identification of COO and Responsible Members and their authorities • Organizational structure • Lines of Technical Responsibility
Professional Practice Management Plan (3) Professional Practice Management Plan Ethical Standards Acknowledges the Permit Holder’s obligation to provide a working environment that ensures: • Standards of professional conduct • Standards of technical competence • Support of professional employees in discharging their legal and ethical duties under the EGGP Act
Professional Practice Management Plan (4) Professional Practice Management Plan Professional and Technical Resources • Policies on hiring • Inventory of expertise/competencies • Methods of assessing and reviewing employees’ skills • Reference materials • Standard company forms • Information Technology policy • Appropriate computer hardware/software • Necessary lab/testing equipment
Professional Practice Management Plan (5) Professional Practice Management Plan Quality Control - Professional Business Practices • Corporate Strategy • Confidential material • Dispute / conflict resolution • Advertising and promotion • Contract negotiation, including sample contracts • Coordination and teamwork • Loss Control and Risk Management • Formal QA Plans (e.g. ISO 9001)
Professional Practice Management Plan (5) Professional Practice Management Plan Quality Control – Technical Work • Due Diligence requirements • Training • Assumptions • Independent checks
Professional Practice Management Plan (5) Professional Practice Management Plan Quality Control – Project Management • Cost Estimates & Expenditures • Project Management Systems • Changes / Progress Payments / Reviews • Field Reviews
Professional Practice Management Plan (6) Professional Practice Management Plan Professional Documents and Records • Identifying which documents need control • Preparing, reviewing, issuing, using, and revising documents and records • Responsibility for authentication • Managing and maintaining documents and records • Ensuring compliance with applicable codes and standards • Records of communication
Professional Documents What constitutes a Professional Document? • Practice Standard for Authenticating Professional Documents v2.0 • A professional document has two main characteristics: • It contains technicalinformation • It is completefor its intended purpose
Professional Documents (2) Two marks are required for proper authentication APEGA Member’s professional stamp • Attests to the member’s involvement in the creation of the document: • Creation • Supervision • Thorough review APEGA Permit Number • Attests to the fact the work has gone through the QC process specified in the PPMP
Liability and Responsibility • The Court’s role is to determine liability • A properly written PPMP may help demonstrate due diligence in a civil law suit • APEGA’s Role – Professional Responsibility
Recommended Reading For further details please refer to the Guideline for Professional Practice Management Plans and the Practice Standard for Authenticating Professional Documents Available as free downloads from APEGA’s website (www.apega.ca)
Next Steps As a minimum: • Ensure your company is using reserved titles appropriately • Ensure your employees who are qualified are licensed • Ensure your company is following the professional standards developed by APEGA
Next Steps (2) • Ensure your Professional Practice Management Plan: • Is in place • Is being followed • Addresses communications and record keeping • Ensure you are authenticating all of your professional documents
Next Steps (3) • Complete the Permit to Practice Seminar Declaration, available on the website, and submit it to APEGA for credit • While completing this electronic version of the seminar satisfies your statutory requirement for attendance, you are encouraged to attend a live seminar should your schedule permit.
Final Thoughts As a COO and / or a Responsible Member, you are obligated to assist APEGA in ensuring the practices of Engineeringand Geoscience in your firm are conducted in accordance with the Act and Regulations.
Final Thoughts As a COO and / or a Responsible member, APEGA is also asking you to take on a greater role in the promotion of professionalism within your firms.
Final Thoughts Just as the APEGA Council, Boards and Committees are an integral part of how the professions are managed, so too are the COOs and Responsible Members.
Final Thoughts As Partners in the Professions, you play a key role in enabling APEGA to regulate enhance, and provide leadership in the professions.
Questions? Please direct all your questions regarding the Permit to Practice, your Professional Responsibilities, and this seminar to Ross Plecash, M.Eng.,P.Eng. Director of Corporate Affairs and Investigations APEGA (780)426-3990 or 1(800)661-7020 firstname.lastname@example.org Download declaration…Here