ASTT e-News

ASTT e-News, May 2012

Dear Member,

ASTT e-News is broadcast to ASTTBC members and registrants, Honourary Members and our many partners and colleagues. ASTT e-NEWS contains the latest information about ASTTBC’s role as a self-governing professional association of technology professionals and the many services provided by the association. Each issue is posted to the ASTTBC web site.

Table Of Contents

ASTTBC AGM 2012 a Great Success
ASTTBC Attends Premiers Mission to Philippines
Premier Connects with ASTTBC in Manila
Limitation Act is Proclaimed
Grant Lachmuth Appointed to TAC Interim Board
Chilliwack City Managers Earn RTMgr Credential
IECBC Report on Recruiting Immigrant Talent
Electrical Work Practitioner Program - Revised Policies
ASTTBC Comments on Building Regulatory System
ASTTBC Speaks for Members in Building Design
ASTTBC Supports Mining Week
Registrars Office Update
ASTTBC Practice Review Board Investigates Complaint
ASTTBC Code of Ethics: Principle 6
Island Women in Technology Networking
BCWiT Attends CCWESTT Conference in Halifax
ASTTBC Consulting Opportunities
Scholarships Available for Tech Students
TechPRO: James Martens, AScT, CPWI 3
Post Your Career Story
Message From: Mike Larock, RPF, Hon Member
CPD is a Requirement
Professional Development Opportunities
Update Your Contact Info


ASTTBC AGM 2012 a Great Success

The ASTTBC AGM and Professional Development Day held on May 25 in Burnaby was a big success. It was great to see more than 200 in attendance, and even more members participating through the webinar. Congratulations to the ASTTBC Top in Technology Award recipients, and a warm thank you to AGM 2012 Event Partner FortisBC and all our Sponsors for helping to make this year's event so enjoyable.

One attendee, Ron Columbine, CSO, had this to say: "I really enjoyed the AGM meeting and lunch, as well as the presentations. It is an honour for me to belong to an organization like ASTTBC. Keep up the good work." And from Top in Technology Award recipient Sarah Campden, CTech: "I wanted to say thank you to all the ASTTBC staff and council members for the hard work that you do over the year in preparation for the annual AGM. It was a wonderful day and I was once again humbled by the experience that the Top in Technology awards recipients were able to share with us. And I cannot believe that I am in that group!"

ASTTBC Attends Premiers Mission to Philippines

ASTTBC Executive Director John Leech, AScT, CAE, and member Ron Alvaro, AScT, attended the Premier's mission in SE Asia, participating in sessions in Manila. John and Ron, together with the Executive Director of the Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table, Oksana Exell, met with educators and professional regulators to consider linkages and assessment of education, training and professional regulation. "We achieved a great deal during our visit," said Leech. "The Premier's team opened doors, pulled together key individuals, and helped set the stage for ASTTBC's project to engage with the Philippines in a mutual relationship that will include a clear understanding as to the status of education and professional credentials."

Ron Alvaro noted that he hoped his participation as a graduate engineer from the Philippines helped ASTTBC understand local culture and education foundations. Ron is Manager and Director of Valley Testing based in Abbotsford. Ron's participation was organized by Harry Watson, CTech, President of Metro Testing, a prominent materials testing firm in BC and partner with Ron in Valley Testing. "I appreciated the opportunity to be part of the ASTTBC team in the Philippines," said Alvaro, who is taking an active role in ASTTBC's Internationally Trained Professionals (ITP) Program.

Oksana Exell was a key participant in all discussions, including a meeting with the Chair and other representatives of the Professional Regulation Commission. Oksana, Ron and John also visited engineering programs at two universities and were part of a Business to Business session. The Skills Table was instrumental in ASTTBC securing a BC Government grant for the purpose of completing an assessment of Philippine education and establishing a working relationship between BC and the Philippines.

Premier Connects with ASTTBC in Manila

Premier Christy Clark spoke with ASTTBC Executive Director John Leech and member Ron Alvaro, AScT, during the Premier's mission to the Philippines. "We spoke with the Premier about ASTTBC's purpose in being part of the mission and plans to build a working relationship with the Philippines," said John Leech. "The Premier expressed appreciation that ASTTBC was reaching out globally and notably with the Philippines and encouraged continued efforts to build bridges between BC and SE Asian countries. BC has a Filipino population of 150,000 -200,000 in BC, with many ASTTBC members originating from the Philippines. 

Limitation Act is Proclaimed

The BC Government has now proclaimed the Limitation Act. This legislation is key for a number of reasons, notably that the 'ultimate limitation period' has been reduced from 30 years to 15 years. "We applaud Minister Bond for taking the initiative and MLA Ralph Sultan PEng for his role in advocating for this statute," said ASTTBC Executive Director John Leech. View the Act.

Grant Lachmuth Appointed to Technology Accreditations Canada Interim Board

ASTTBC is pleased to advise that Grant Lachmuth, AScT, RTMgr, has been appointed by the Technology Professionals Canada (TPC) Leadership Council to serve on the Interim Board of Technology Accreditations Canada (TAC). TAC is a new enterprise whose purpose is to launch a model accreditation program for technology education in Canada. The TPC is moving ahead based on a report prepared by the Canadian Standards Association. CSA looked at the current accreditation system and reviewed accreditation programs in other countries and fields. The TAC will be up and running in 18 months.

Chilliwack City Managers Earn RTMgr Credential

ASTTBC presented Chilliwacks Director of Public Works and three public works managers with the advanced credential of Registered Technology Manager (RTMgr) at a City Hall ceremony in April, witnessed by Mayor Sh aron Gaetz.

Glen Macpherson, AScT, RTMgr, graduated Sheffield University in England as a Civil Engineer, spending 16 years in government services there before immigrating to Canada in 1995. Glen became Director of Public Works in Chilliwack in 1999, and now adds RTMgr certification to his long-held credential as an ASTTBC-certified technologist (AScT). He oversees about 100 city staff in water and sewer services, wastewater treatment, street services, flood protection and maintenance of the citys vehicle and equipment fleets.

Utilities Superintendent Brendan Kurtz, AScT, RTMgr, graduated from BCIT in Civil and Structural Engineering Technology, and began his career in the community as a Public Works Technician. He made a quick transition into management in part through taking numerous professional development courses, and constantly strives to augment his skills.

Senior Utilities Technician Clarissa Brennan, AScT, RTMgr, is a BCIT Mechanical Engineering Technology grad who started her career in consulting engineering. Advancing from design work into multi-discipline project and team management, Clarissa actively promotes technology careers for women through ASTTBCs Women in Technology committee, and serves on ASTTBC Council.

William Wedel, AScT, RTMgr, also a Senior Utilities Technician, graduated the Okanagan University College Civil Engineering Technology program. He developed a strong civil construction and road works background with a Calgary engineering firm, before returning to his birthplace of Chilliwack as a Traffic Technician. Wil has grown his management skill set and now oversees multi-million dollar capital projects. His community service includes volunteer activity as President of the Chilliwack Search and Rescue service.

RTMgr is a professional designation we award to managers who meet ASTTBCs advanced criteria of management training, skills and experience, applied in a technology environment, said ASTTBCs Executive Director, John Leech, AScT, CAE.

Few people are aware how much technologists, technicians and technical specialists support us in our daily lives, Leech explained. We ensure the safety of your tap water, the supply of gas, hydro and telecommunications to homes and businesses. We dispose of waste and wastewater, plan and maintain roads, traffic signals, street lights and subdivisions - even inspect firefighting equipment. All these functions demand excellent management, planning, and supervision. Its clear that Chilliwack Council sets high standards for its Public Works staff - and their management team.

IECBC Report on Recruiting Immigrant Talent

Several ASTTBC members recently participated as panel members in a number of focus groups held around the province by Kerry Jothen of Human Capital Strategies on behalf of the Immigrant Employment Council of BC, discussing recruitment and retention of immigrant talent in BC. The focus groups were mainly employers: what are their needs, and what strategies do they intend to implement to remain competitive in the face of the impending scarcity of technical and managerial talent. Mr. Jothen reports there is clear evidence in the global, pan-Canadian and BC contexts of an imperative for employers to step up their recruitment and retention of immigrants.

Electrical Work Practitioner Program - Revised Policies - May 11, 2012

Much work has been done since the September 2011 DRAFT Policies (Draft #2 was an internal document and was not posted on the ASTTBC website). The May 11, 2012 REVISED DRAFT Policies (#3) are now posted for your review on the Electrical Work Practitioners website.

We welcome input from all interested parties. Little change was made to the substance of the Policies, and most revisions are housekeeping, re-ordering, and removing duplication. To view the revised May 12, 2012 Policy:

We invite your further comments to techinfo@asttbc.org

ASTTBC Comments on Building Regulatory System Review

By ASTTBC Executive Director John leech, AScT, CAE

An active proponent for 'Modernization', a program to review and make changes to the building regulatory system, I have now prepared a submission in response to the two white papers issued by the Ministry.

Since Modernization was initiated in the early to mid 2000s, ASTTBC has been supporting and contributing to the initiative, and encouraging Ministry staff to keep the ball rolling. While ASTTBC is encouraged by forward movement, I will also say that we are concerned that a few KEY elements of the overall review have not been addressed with this round' of proposals.

On behalf of ASTTBC members I express disappointment that ASTTBC and the thousands of ASTTBC-registered technology professionals directly involved with the built environment were ignored in the white paper while engineers and architects were given consideration. I heard from members who expressed frustration that their professional qualifications were not being appropriately considered. Some indicated ASTTBC was 'asleep at the switch' and had 'lost' again! In a recent meeting with Ministry staff and Minister Rich Coleman (Minister Responsible for Housing) it was made clear that ASTTBC WILL be included insofar as members involved in management activities relating to the work of building officials. ASTTBC is also seeking appropriate consideration and recognition of ASTTBC members practicing as building officials. ASTTBC does not believe our registered professionals should ALSO have to get registered as a Registered Building Official. The ASTTBC credentials should suffice.

Review the submission and send your feedback.

ASTTBC Speaks for Members in Building Design

"ASTTBC has been tracking the AIBC decision made a few years ago to register residential and building designers as 'Associates' within AIBC," observes ASTTBC Executive Director, John Leech, who stresses that this action was taken without the agreement of ASTTBC. "ASTTBC has been working for decades to achieve enhanced professional practice rights for BC's architectural / building technology graduates and we are now about to 'ramp up' our effort once again."

There are many architects within AIBC who are not pleased with the decision to embrace residential and building designers within AIBC. Decisions by the AIBC Council regarding titles have been disputed and subsequently changed by Council. It is unclear today as to whether proposed new titles have been implemented.

This issue consumed a great deal of time at the AIBC 2011 AGM. "I attended and observed firsthand the concerns of some members, including a few on the AIBC Council. While I am not sure where this is all headed, ASTTBC remains resolute in its role in providing professional certification, registration and recognition of ASTTBC members practicing in residential and building design," concluded John Leech.

The AIBC Council called a special meeting for May 12 in response to a petition of members who want the issue of 'Associates' addressed. Information on the purpose of the meeting and background documents were posted to the AIBC website.

ASTTBC will continue to press the BC Government for appropriate recognition of the competencies of ASTTBC-registered designers and for rights to practice commensurate with these competencies. ASTTBC has long held that the Architects Act is out of date and out of touch with reality insofar as practice restrictions are concerned. The BC Architects Act is one of the most restrictive of the Architects statutes in Canada and must be changed if we are to realize the full potential of BC college and university grads in architectural / building technology, said John Leech.

ASTTBC Supports Mining Week

ASTTBC participated in the Kamloops This Week - Mining Week special issue on May 8. ASTTBC Council member Toni-Lynn Card, AScT, was featured in an article explaining the impact of technology professionals on mining in the region and the community. Ive been getting a lot of comments at work, even by people that dont really know me, so by that, I am assuming that it was very well read, said Toni-Lynn. Thank you for the opportunity! I hope that I can help develop the mining/chemical and mineral processing fields out here in Kamloops through projects such as these.

Mining Week feature 1
Mining Week feature 2

ASTTBC Registrars Office Update

The monthly ebb and flow of the membership is as steady as the ocean tides. April 2012 was much like other months with 17 applications for membership as AScT or CTech and 22 applications for technical specializations. The new registrations help offset the loss of members resulting from resignation, relocation, retirement or death. The registrations component of the Registrars office is responsible for processing new applications and for changes in classification or membership status.

Ensuring that ASTTBC members comply with the code of ethics and the standards of practice for each specialization is the function of the Practice and Compliance component of the Registrars office. In April 2012, we received 7 complaints, which is about average. Processing each complaint requires considerable effort and communication with all concerned. The Senior Coordinator, Practice and Compliance informs the appropriate manager and requests their input. Based on their specialized knowledge and expertise, the Manger investigates each complaint and reports to the Practice Review Board (PRB). The PRB meets 5 times a year. At the April 2012 meeting, the PRB processed 29 cases of which 16 were Fire Protection 8 were for Registered Onsite Wastewater. Five cases were for other disciplines or improper use of the designation title. The number of outstanding cases currently under review is 30. Every effort is being made to expedite processing of complaints in a timely manner.

The majority of complaints result from non-compliance to the ASTTBC Code of Ethics. The most frequent violations involve Principle 1: ASTTBC Members shall hold paramount the safety, health and welfare of the public, the protection of the environment and the promotion of health and safety within the workplace. The second most common infringement is Principle 2: Undertake and accept responsibility for professional assignments only when qualified by training or experience. Periodically reviewing the 10 principles in the Code of Ethics is a good way to ensure you are practicing to an acceptable standard and to help avoid being the subject of a complaint.

ASTTBC Practice Review Board Investigates Complaint: Land Titles and Onsite System Planning

Statement of complaint: That a ROWP planned and installed an onsite sewage system outside of the area identified by the restrictive covenant within the Land Title, as where the system must be located.

Background: A ROWP was hired by a property owner to plan and install a new onsite system for their home. The ROWP collected the appropriate information and planned a new system based on this information. Once the Filing document had been registered by the Health Authority, the ROWP installed the system as per the plan. An Environmental Health Officer with the Health Authority reviewed the Filing during the course of regular work, found problems, and filed a complaint with ASTTBC.

Investigation: The EHO identified that the sewerage system as shown in the Filing appeared to be outside the restrictive covenant area, and thus contrary to the terms of the restrictive covenant. The Ministry of Health is named as the grantee of the restrictive covenant and should be contacted if the owner wishes to request release or amendment of the covenant.

The ASTTBC Investigator reviewed the paperwork and confirmed the concern. The ROWP was then asked for an explanation. The ROWP did not seem to grasp the seriousness of ignoring the covenant and explained that the location outside the covenant was a good choice. It should be noted that the ROWP did tick the box on the Record of Sewerage System Form that identifies that there are restrictive covenants/easements, which will affect the design or location of the sewerage system.

Discussion: There is no dispute by the ROWP that the onsite system is located outside of the area identified within the restrictive covenant. The ROWP knew that the covenant existed as proven by the tick in the yes box on the RSS form that identifies that a covenant exists which will affect the system. The ROWP was unable to adequately explain why effort was not made to learn more about the covenant.

Through the Planner training and experience accumulated to date (quite recent), The ROWP should have understood the significance of restrictive covenants and had an obligation to educate himself regarding the covenant specifics or seek guidance or clarification from others if in doubt. If the client wished to have the system located elsewhere, or if there was a more appropriate location on the property, The ROWP also had an obligation to wait until the covenant could be removed or changed before moving forward. This is a professional reliance program and the responsibility for the work done rests entirely on the ROWP, not on the complainant or other Health Authority staff.

ASTTBC Code of Ethics: Principle 6

Members of ASTTBC shall keep informed to maintain proficiency and competence, to advance the body of knowledge within their discipline and further opportunities for the professional development of their associates.

Amplification:

  1. Members must ensure that both their proficiency and competence are maintained throughout their careers by remaining abreast of developments and knowledge in their area of expertise. This requires a personal commitment to ongoing professional development and continuing education.
    • CPD is mandatory for all ASTTBC registrants. The ASTT Act and Code of Ethics imposes on registrants a duty to consistently pursue such self-directed CPD as may be required to ensure their continuing competence. While on-the-job learning can often be a useful way of enhancing existing skills, new areas of practice will generally require additional and quite specific knowledge, that which will allow the individual to make sound technical decisions, ones upon which full professional reliance can be placed by other members of the engineering team.
    • In the protection of the public interest ongoing CPD is a requirement of all Registrants.
  1. In addition to maintaining both their own proficiency and competence, members shall endeavor to contribute to the advancement of the body of knowledge within their areas of expertise.
  2. Members have a special obligation to demonstrate understanding, professionalism and technical expertise to members under their supervision.
  3. Within the framework of the practice of their profession, members are expected to participate in providing opportunities to further the professional development of their subordinates and colleagues.

Commentary:

Should there be a technologically driven or individually motivated shift in the area of technical activity, it is a members duty to attain and maintain competence in all areas of involvement.

Members are free to tackle new challenges and learn new skills through their work as long as successful completion of the assignment is not jeopardized, and honesty is maintained with the client or employer.

Where members render services based on computer programs, they shall do so only after taking steps to thoroughly understand the program, its underlying assumptions and its limitations.

Members should actively participate in technical and professional development seminars, continuing education programs and the presentation of papers at professional meetings. They should contribute to the dialogue fostered by their professional journals and support instructional activities in their area of involvement.

Duties assigned to non-certified members should make use of their training and experience and give them maximum exposure to the knowledge of experienced members, which would include informal discussions with senior members on ethical dilemmas, individual employment interests and professional growth to maintain an up-to-date and competitive capability to serve employers, clients and the public.

Non-certified members should be assisted in their advancement through teaching and thoughtful supervision and encouraged to become registered when they demonstrate adequate qualifications.

Complete Code of Ethics

Island Women in Technology Networking

BCWiT Chair Sarah Campden, CTech, attended the Island Women in Technology (iWiT) Breakfast Networking Session on May 16 in Victoria. Sarah introduced BCWiT and ASTTBC to the more than 50 women in attendance. There was significant interest in mentoring and the recognition of women in the tech sector. A presentation by Sage Baker, CEO and Founder of Q5 Innovations Inc. and a tech industry veteran, was well received by the group.

Sage lead a short discussion on the economy and its effect on technology and entrepreneurship: We all realize that it is an interesting time in our global economy as we all work to maintain a long term focus in a time of increasing short term change. That said, it is important to remember that there are a few essential pieces of this global economic puzzle that can have huge lasting impact É and can be influenced by each of us in iWIT. These include entrepreneurship, technology, innovation and last but certainly not least, the female influence in each of these.

BCWiT will continue to be a presence at these iWiT bi-monthly networking events.

BCWiT Attends CCWESTT Conference in Halifax

Sarah Campden, CTech, represented BCWiT and ASTTBC at the biennial Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering Science, Trades and Technology (CCWestt) event held in Halifax in May.

There were over 30 informative and inspirational workshops involving over 50 inspirational presenters from across Canada. This wide-range of relevant topics assisted attendees in creating a Sea Change (defined as a profound transformation) together, for the benefit of all stakeholders involved in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology (SETT).

Some of the sessions included:

ASTTBC Consulting Opportunities - Is This for You?

ASTTBC is regularly engaged in projects ideally suited to someone who works on contract and is interested in short term assignments. Typically, ASTTBC's initiatives involve policy development or programs associated with ASTTBC's mandate as a professional regulatory body. ASTTBC also engages in projects related to professional and career awareness. Research and plenty of writing is normal.

While membership in ASTTBC or an engineering/technology background may be necessary for some work, it is not a requirement in all areas of the work we do. Consultants usually work from their home/business office and not at the ASTTBC office. Hourly rates are modest but the rewards are exceptional. Working with the professional association will provide satisfaction in giving back to the profession and undoubtedly open doors to other opportunities. 

If you wish to pursue, please send an email in confidence to Karen Taylor, Manager, Operations at ktaylor@asttbc.org. Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to hearing from you.

Scholarships Available for Technology Students

The Foundation for Education and Advancement in Technology (FEAT) offers awards to qualifying first or second year students in accredited technology programs in British Columbia. Selection is based on a written statement about career goals, community involvement and financial need. The application deadline is July 31, 2012. Visit the website for criteria and details.

TechPRO: James Martens, AScT, CPWI 3

James Martens started in residential construction as an independent contractor. After a decade, he chose to advance his career through further education, graduating the BCIT Civil and Structural Technology program with honors in 1988. James joined Binnie Consulting as a municipal inspector and designer, and two years later became an Applied Science Technologist.

James gained several years experience designing roads and municipal utilities before moving into project management for the past 20 years. He was promoted to his current position of Division Manager in 2001 and remains Deputy Manager of the Binnie Engineering Group.

Becoming an owner in Binnie Consulting in 1995, James declares his career at Binnie long and rewarding and intends to continue with the company until retirement. His professional designations include AScT, MMCD Certified Contract Administrator, and CPWI 3.

James is President of the Municipal Services Association, Vice President of the Public Works Inspectors Society, a Certification Board Member for the Public Works Inspector Society, and a Program Advisory Committee member of BCITs Civil and Structural Technology programs.

Post Your Career Story

ASTTBC encourages you to join James in posting your career story. www.techprofile.ca Connect with former colleagues get your name in front of 9,500 ASTTBC members and to the many visitors to the ASTTBC website.

Post your profile and if your name is mentioned in the e-News, it will be linked to your TechPROfile page.

See the guide for posting your information at the TechPRO website.

Message From:

Mike Larock, RPF, Hon Member, wrote to ASTTBC:

"I received my Honorary Membership confirmation in ASTTBC for 2012. I truly appreciate this recognition and often reflect on this honour. I consider myself fortunate to have had opportunities to contribute to the development of technology professionals in BC."

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a Requirement

ASTTBC registrants are encouraged to review ASTTB's policy on Continuing Professional Development and use the web site designed to help members record CPD activities.

Professional Development Opportunities

In addition to the CPD sessions offered at our upcoming AGM and Professional Development Day, there are links to many worthwhile professional development opportunities, seminars and coming events on the ASTTBC website.

Following is just a sample if you follow the links above:

Living Building Challenge: Victoria Conference Centre, May 31

Combustible Dust Hazards Awareness Workshops: June 11, 12, 14, 18 and 19 at various locations

BC Safety Authority Annual Public Meeting Luncheon: Langley, June 1

Update Your Contact Info

To update your ASTTBC contact information, please use our online form. Follow ASTTBC on Twitter @asttbc