ASET Spring 2020 - 8


A word about
Leadership and Service
Barry Cavanaugh

Leadership is a much misunderstood concept, a much
misused word; however, I hope you'll get past the heading, and read about the leadership of ASET Council, during this past year and all the time. Service is a word which
often doesn't seem very fashionable, but it's alive and well
among the volunteers of ASET.
In recent years, we have undergone a complete modernization of our registration system, our database, our website,
the means by which we assess candidates for our designations (our nation-leading competencies-based assessment system, and our certification exams) and our delivery
of services. We have undertaken a comprehensive and exhaustive review of the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act, resulting in submissions to government which
reflect the maturity of this profession as a self-regulating
profession, and looking for recognition of the education,
competencies and responsibility of our regulated members in an independent scope of practice for engineering
technologists, which is now finally before government for
its consideration - after a long and thorough negotiation
and ultimately, mediation, with APEGA to seek agreement
on that and other modernizations of the Act and Regulations, and which, in any event and no matter the outcome,
is the most thorough case for our position ever developed,
with both reason for optimism and reason for pride in the
The reason I describe all these major achievements is that
they are truly remarkable and unique... and they're only a
part of the whole list we could discuss. ASET members
can take a genuine pride in the work of their association
on their behalf and in the public interest. And while that
work reflects the genius and commitment of an incredible staff at ASET, it also reflects the vision, grit and energy of ASET's Council. It takes courage, sometimes, to
do the right thing, to build the right thing, and the insight
to know what is necessary and right. When we launched
upon most of this work, all was well with the economy of
our province, and it appeared that the expense of some
of these projects was easily manageable. Then the downturn came, and many of our members were impacted...


resulting in a lessening of member dues to support the
projects in which we were already engaged. Your Council,
however, had built solid reserves to see us through such
a time, and with the aid of a relatively small dues increase
and a reorganization of the staff and their functions, doing
more with less, we were able to follow through on these important works for the future of the profession and the good
of the public, works which might well have been lost but
for that vision and commitment, along with everything that
had already been invested. We are a modern, vital, stateof-the-art regulatory body, which provides a level playing
field for applicants from whatever field or background, and
as the song says, "nobody does it better". That is due to
leadership, to vision, to the courage of conviction.
That leadership extends to the call for meaningful recognition of the knowledge and skills of our members in legislation. For far too long, the credentials of technologists have
been minimalized and marginalized - despite the incredible quality of their education at Alberta's world-leading
polytechnics and colleges and the high standards for entry
set by ASET. To call for recognition of that with the establishment of an independent right to practice within codes
and standards and following established engineering principles is only to call for the obvious. This is not an incursion
on professional engineering in any manner. Those codes
and standards, and principles, are established through the
work of such engineers, and ASET does not propose to exceed them without supervision where appropriate. Simply,
exercising their judgment of their competence within the
limits of that scope of practice, in alignment with our code
of ethics, we propose that our members be recognized
for the capability they have long since proven, and for the
level of independent work which many are doing in fact at
present; so, in keeping with the leadership of our founding
members more than 50 years ago, our Council has eloquently and effectively put forward our case. In the face
of opposition, in the face of daunting hours of workload,
in the face of frequent misunderstanding, our message is
clear... and no more could have been done to put this case.
That's leadership.


ASET Spring 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASET Spring 2020

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