ASET Technology Alberta Spring 2016 - 27

ASET News ASET achieves Canadian first by enabling foreign-trained professionals to work without academic upgrading Competency-based approach provides professional pathway for immigrants Starting this fall, Alberta technology professionals who are foreign-trained or senior practitioners will be the first in Canada to be able to work in their profession without academic upgrading. Unlike the case with professions such as medicine and engineering, technicians and technologists who arrive in Alberta from other countries won't have to transition into other kinds of employment with lower remuneration. This new development is part of the competency-based assessment approach which was adopted by the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) in 2013. "Despite cyclical economic challenges, Alberta has always been a pioneer in the professional arena, and the engineering technology and applied science technology profession is no exception. As a nation we open our doors to new Canadians from around the globe. But it's also important to create a pathway for foreigntrained professionals to enter the job market within the profession for which they trained and worked," said ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh. In accordance with this approach, ASET has revised its certification model to protect the public interest by ensuring applicant qualifications meet the requisite professional standards while also removing artificial barriers which prevent qualified applicants from achieving certification and entering the workforce.   "As an organization that supports the successful and integrative settlement of new Canadians in the Edmonton area, we are delighted that ASET is stepping up and working to remove employment barriers for foreign-trained technology professionals," said Laurie Hauer, manager of employment, bridging & training programs for the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers. TAC steps into spring with some fresh developments With spring comes change and fresh developments and Technology Accreditation Canada (TAC) is no exception to the rule. TAC executive director Sam DiGiandomenico is retiring in early June, leaving open the opportunity for someone new to fill the exciting role. Since his arrival at TAC in January 2015, the former OACETT registrar has made a significant positive impact on the accrediting body's advancement. His notable accomplishments include completing the TAC pilot project and awarding the first accreditation, launching full operations, overseeing the debut of TAC TALK, accrediting additional programs, conducting outreach to educational institutions and the National Council of Deans of Technology (NCDoT), initiating the Ontario colleges project, and transitioning TAC to the use - and also review and improvement - of CTAC standards. TAC board president Peter Portlock said that DiGiandomenico will be greatly missed and it won't be easy to replace him. Meanwhile, it's business as usual for TAC as it is wrapping up work on several site visits that took place in March and May. As well, 19 additional accreditations are in the process of being scheduled with a few more accreditation requests pending. And finally, a revised Canadian Technology Accreditation Criteria (CTAC) standard which has been six months in the making is currently open for review. To date, 82 individuals have accessed the draft and 23 comments have been received, but there is still time for additional input as the review window is open until June 4. The revised CTAC standard is expected to be published this summer. The CTAC standard is specifically called the technologist program general learning outcomes criteria - also known as PGLOY - and is the result of the efforts of the CTAC standards development committee - PGLOY which was tasked with reviewing and improving it. The PGLOY CTAC standard provides the common set of minimum requirements that must be met by all TAC-accredited engineering technology and applied science programs at postsecondary educational institutions.  ASET's former certification model required academic upgrading for applicants from non-accredited education programs and, therefore, qualified international applicants and senior practitioners could not achieve certification without completing a full-time academic retraining program. Within the new process, senior practitioners who never completed a post-secondary training program can also obtain certification, provided they can demonstrate through work experience that they meet the academic and competency standards.  TECHNOLOGY ALBERTA | SPRING 2016 | 27

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASET Technology Alberta Spring 2016

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