ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2018 - 6

Progressive Professions
in a Progressive Province
Barry Cavanaugh, CEO
Great things are often achieved through
dialogue, in honesty, and in a spirit of
seeking a consensus which works, in a way
which takes nothing away from anyone and
which adds to the common good. To that end,
ASET proposes a path through which both
ASET and our colleagues at APEGA may find
the common ground where both can stand
comfortably, in the knowledge that we serve
the public interest above all.
Alberta is a place of innovation and forward motion, and
through the years, it has been eminently clear to ASET that
APEGA has led the nation in its approach to the profession
of engineering technology, and has taken a progressive and
supportive stance respecting the role of the technologist. To
that end, ASET offers a modest proposal...
In the ongoing discussions between ASET and APEGA
over whether ASET members certified and regulated under
the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act should be
described in law as to their role, function and capability, there
has been a good deal of back and forth about whether the
profession of "engineering technologist" should be permitted
to practice "independently". To this discourse, the realist must
add that not only are there a great many such technologists
who are presently doing just that-there are many others
acting in that capacity who are completely unlicensed
and unregulated... something that all parties agree should
be remedied. Engineering work should be regulated, and
performed by people who are qualified and regulated.
To be clear, and to restate the matter yet again, ASET seeks
to define what the practice of engineering technology is
and to both permit those who are ASET-certified to do it
and regulate how they conduct that work. Our position on
precisely what should be enacted in the Engineering and
Geoscience Professions Act is printed on the page following.
Readers should note that it distinctly does not establish an
exclusive scope of practice, but simply describes the field
in which certified technologists can and may work, and
then provides an exemption from the exclusive scope of

6 | WINTER 2018 | TECHNOLOGY ALBERTA

the professional engineer, in the same manner as current
exemptions in the scope description of engineering: (1) for
members of the armed forces while employed and on duty;
(2) for someone engaged in teaching engineering; (3) and
for a person engaged in work with mines, minerals, pipelines,
boilers, pressure vessels, building codes or safety codes for
buildings as authorized by an Act or Regulation pertaining
to those (often referred to as the "qualified person"). In the
absence of any evidence to the contrary, is it at all contrary
to the public interest to enact such a technologist-related
exemption? Especially given the exhaustive, nationally
accredited engineering technology programs at Alberta
polytechnic institutions and colleges which graduate those
professionals, and the rigorous certification program
instituted by ASET to ensure that only the fully competent,
and those who submit to mandatory continuing professional
development and a fulsome code of ethics are admitted to
the profession?
Given that the competencies-based assessment program
developed by ASET, with the certification examinations
developed in parallel, have been recognized by the
Government of Alberta and by international certification
and accreditation bodies as "state of the art" and "industryleading", and given the Government of Alberta approved
syllabi in effect at the nationally accredited polytechnics and
colleges in Alberta - evidence which has gone completely
unchallenged (and for good reason) - one is given to wonder
how our proposal has not been embraced, much less
adopted, by all concerned.
Does the resistance to our proposal involve a wider
motivation, based on the assumption that only a licensed
professional engineer is actually capable of any of the work
described in their broad scope of practice? If so, then one
must wonder at the recognition, in the Act's exemptions
from that exclusive scope, of an apparently fairly wide range
of exceptions, presumably based on the explicit recognition
that some others with a lesser "scope" than the professional
engineer, can actually do some of the engineering or other
work that a professional engineer does... even teaching
engineering at a university. That is clearly the case in the Act.
So the assumption that only a professional engineer can do
any of the work in their scope of practice is refuted in the Act
itself. Res ipsa loquitor... the thing speaks for itself.
In competition law, policymakers and legislators have long
sought to ensure that no profession exerts sole control over



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2018

ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2018 - Cover1
ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2018 - Cover2
ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2018 - A1
ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2018 - 4
ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2018 - 5
ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2018 - 6
ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2018 - 7
ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2018 - 8
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ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2018 - 21
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ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2018 - Cover3
ASET Technology Alberta Winter 2018 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2019
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2019
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_dec2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/aset55anniversary
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_winter_2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_fall_2015
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_summer_2015
http://www.nxtbook.com/dawson/aset/ta_spring_2015
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com