In episode 6 of OSPE’s podcast Engineering the Future, host Jerome James, P.Eng., sat down with Daniel Lawrysyn, P.Eng., Manager of Continuing Professional Development at the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), to discuss the details around Alberta’s mandatory CPD program for practising and non-practising engineers, which has been in place since the 1990s.
What are your top recommendations for the engineering profession in Ontario as we head towards implementing mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?
- The key challenge is making sure your system links the Continuing Professional Development to the continued competency of the licensed professional, not just something separate. It has to have that linkage to that competency.
- Build a system that is not overly complicated for licensed professionals. This will reduce frustration during reporting periods. It was also reduce those that give up and fall into the non-conformance category.
- Don’t forget the public’s perception in the development, and ensure there is transparency. Because, a lot of people forget that we have that social licence to be self regulated. Losing that is detrimental to the profession as a whole across Canada, not just in Ontario or just in Alberta.
- We’re currently upgrading our systems for reporting. So, building a solid online system to report for your engineers and have the ability to enter their activities through their cell phones is something that’s important. You don’t want them being tied to a computer, especially the new generations of engineers that are up and coming.
As a professional engineer, why do you believe mandatory CPD is important for our profession?
“Before becoming a staff member for APEGA, I was a rail safety engineer for a transit agency. As public safety is a key element of my former practice, I am a firm believer in a proactive approach. A mandatory CPD program is a key component to being proactive in preventing incidents from happening as a whole. Professionals don’t want to trigger events and cause a reactive approach such as an investigation of an incident or things that result in disciplinary action. Preventing is always a better alternative.
There’s an importance to being a self regulated profession. We have a social licence from the public, and the CPD program is a component of that overall system that helps maintain that social licence. When the program is mandatory and transparent, it reassures the public that we are maintaining our skills.”
To listen to the full podcast episode featuring Dan Lawrysyn, P.Eng., watch the video below, visit OSPE’s website or search for ‘Engineering the Future’ wherever you listen to podcasts.