“Having spent many hours with immigrant professionals at ESL classes and Skills Connect training sessions over the past five years, I came to realize that neither they nor the general public have any clear understanding of the hierarchy within the engineering sector. Everyone understands the structures in the military, in the legal and health systems, and in business, but very few outside the engineering sector itself know who fits where. That’s largely because many of the other sector structures are routinely seen in movies and on television, so it’s to be expected that students in high school do not understand the different fascinating career options open to them within the broad ambit of engineering and technology. And very often, internationally trained professionals are not clear on Canadian designations because many other countries define ‘engineer’ differently. So we thought it really important to produce a brochure that outlines the whole spectrum from trades to engineering. We were pleased APEGBC and ITA agreed and came on board with this project, and we thank the BC Government for having funded the publication and printing costs.
Geoff Sale, AScT
Manager, Internationally Educated
As someone who is new to Canada and who has been educated and trained in one or more of the Engineering &/or Applied Science disciplines, you are very likely eligible to apply for registration as a Professional Engineer or as an Applied Science Technologist or Certified Technician. The following pages are extracted from a brochure published by ASTTBC, ‘The Engineering Team in Canada, and should help you with your self-evaluation and with the selection of the professional credential you seek.
Why should you consider membership in any professional association?
Here’s what ASTTBC believes… In Canada, many jobs are restricted to individuals who have proven education and experience at a level defined by government (federal, provincial or municipal) or by a self-regulated professional association recognized by government, such as:
- Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC ASTTBC
- Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of BC APEGBCor the
- Association of BC Forestry Professionals ABCFP.
Membership in a self-governing professional association provides many benefits, which include:
- the right to practice one’s profession under licence
- the right to title, to include a recognized professional credential after one’s name
- the availability of professional liability insurance and other types of insurance at group rates
- extensive networking and support opportunities
And, perhaps most importantly, employers very often prefer to hire registered professionals into their Engineering Teams even when they are not required by law to do so.
Having registered professionals on staff, allows employers demonstrate to clients and to the public that their team brings a professional expertise and attitude to their work.
By obtaining your professional credential (the letters after one’s name) you signify to employers that you have met or exceeded Canadian national educational and experiential standards. This saves the employer valuable time and effort in that they no longer need to verify an applicant’s educational and experiential credentials; it has been done by the professional association, an independent process that employers trust.
Becoming a certified registrant carries certain responsibilities. Every registered member of a professional association must formally agree to abide by a Code of Ethics, a set of rules which regulates how the member will act in work-related situations, and that s/he understands that s/he will be held legally liable for improper or inadequate workplace conduct which results in injury or loss to a client or to a member of the public. Professional associations are mandated to review the ‘practice’ (workplace conduct and/or work-related performance) of their members and to impose disciplinary action if members are found, after a thorough investigation, to have been negligent, or to have practiced beyond the scope defined by their education and experience in such a way as to have caused loss or injury to a client or to a member of the public.