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New title created for professional geoscientists

Alberta has updated its professional geoscience legislation to better align with other provinces and ensure labour mobility within Canada.

With the proclamation of Bill 3, the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Amendment Act, the practices of geology and geophysics have been consolidated to create the practice of ‘geoscience.’

The designations Professional Geologist (P.Geol.), and Professional Geophysicist (P.Geoph.), have been replaced by Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo.). Individuals holding the previous titles may continue to use them, but all newly licensed professionals will receive the new designation.

The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA), which administers the renamed Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act, has been renamed The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).

“Alberta has modernized its professional legislation with the passage of Bill 3, which now aligns with current trends in licensure of geoscientists in other parts of Canada,” said Dave Hancock, Minister of Human Services. “Harmonizing our professional legislation is in keeping with our commitments under the Agreement on Internal Trade and the New West Partnership Trade Agreement.”

The definition of practice for geoscientists in Alberta will now include references to ‘earth sciences’ and ‘the environment,’ thereby providing for acceptance of responsibility for these important public concerns by licensed professionals who must meet strict educational and experience standards.

“APEGGA members voted in favour of these changes and we’re pleased to see them become a reality. Geoscientists in Alberta now have the most encompassing professional legislation in the country, including protection of the environment, which enhances our commitment to public safety,” said Jim Smith, P.Eng., President of APEGA.

Bill 3 received Royal Assent in March 2011. A series of changes to accompanying regulations come into force along with the Bill’s proclamation.

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Backgrounder: Engineering and geoscience professions in Alberta

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Jay Fisher
Alberta Human Services Communications
780-415-0586
Jay.Fisher@gov.ab.ca

Philip Mulder. APR
Director Communications
APEGA
780-426-3990 or 780-499-3873
pmulder@apegga.org

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

Backgrounder

Engineering and geoscience professions in Alberta

  • The Alberta government has delegated regulation of the engineering profession, and subsequently the geology and geophysics professions, to APEGA and its predecessor organizations since 1920.
  • In Canada, the licensing of engineering and geoscience professionals is a provincial responsibility.
  • When the association began in 1920, membership included geologists within the category of mining engineering.
  • The designations of Professional Geologist (P.Geol.) and Professional Geophysicist (P.Geoph.) were added in 1955 and 1960 respectively.
  • Since then, all other Canadian jurisdictions have moved to the practice of licensing geoscientists as Professional Geoscientists (P.Geo.).
  • Many geologists and geophysicists who work in areas of interpretation of geoscience data have, by definition, though not by intent, been practicing the other discipline without a license.
  • APEGA’s current total membership of 63,000 includes 12 per cent who are geoscientists.
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Media inquiries may be directed to:

Jay Fisher
Alberta Human Services Communications
780-415-0586

Jay.Fisher@gov.ab.ca

Philip Mulder. APR
Director Communications
APEGA
780-426-3990 or 780-499-3873

pmulder@apegga.org

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.