ASTT e-News

ASTTBC e-News, March 2013

Dear Member,

ASTTBC 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, Vancouver School Board and BCIT Sign Agreement
ASTTBC AGM and Professional Development Day May 24, 2013
ASTTBC Calls for One Professional Association to Regulate House Inspectors
ASTTBC Member Meeting in Surrey
ASTTBC Members Gather in Victoria
BC Elections
Safe Digging Month: Contractor Breakfast
National Engineering and Geoscience Month
ASTTBC Title Sponsor of Spaghetti Bridge Contest
ASTTBC and BC Government Engage Internationally Trained Professionals
ASTTBC Mentoring Program Update
ASTTBC Code of Ethics: Principle 5
ASTTBC Practice Review Board Investigates Complaints: Title Enforcement
ASTTBC Offers Online Job Listings Service
Member Compensation Survey Coming Soon
ASTTBC 2013 Annual Dues Notice
In the Media and On the Move
TechPRO: Dean Zimmer, AScT, RTMgr
Post Your Career Story
Insurance Matters: Even When You Are Retired
ASTTBC Foundation Bursaries Available
ASTTBC Foundation Thanks Donors
Hire a Co-op Student
ASTTBC Sponsors Upcoming Events
Message From: Mike Larock, RPF (Hon. Member)
CPD is a Requirement
Professional Development Opportunities
Update Your Contact Info
ASTTBC on Twitter and Facebook
Everyday Science Music Video

ASTTBC, Vancouver School Board and BCIT Sign Agreement

The Vancouver School Board, BCIT and ASTTBC signed an agreement on March 11, 2013 to work collaboratively:

The three organizations also intend to collaborate with other educational institutions, industry, other interested stakeholders and government to assure sustainable careers in engineering and applied science technology, and support the development of teaching methodologies that make mathematics and science relevant to technology programs.

"This partnership is a direct reflection of our newly released Strategic Direction for Technology Education and Skills in BC, and it will clearly help to excite young minds in science and technology," said ASTTBC Executive Director John Leech, AScT, CAE. "We're confident that in the long run it will help reveal an amazing range of careers in technology for young students. Today's toy robot maker or popsicle stick bridge builder could be tomorrow's technology professional."

The signing event garnered wide media attention, including Global TV and CBC news coverage.

ASTTBC AGM and Professional Development Day: May 24, 2013

Enjoy a full day of networking and professional development (CPD), plus the ASTTBC Awards Luncheon. Our theme this year is FOCUS 2015, which is all about enhanced practice and professional accountability. Please make plans to attend.

Friday, May 24, 2013
7:30 am - 3:30 pm
Hilton Hotel Metrotown
6083 McKay Ave, Burnaby

Guest Speaker Cheryl Cran will present on Leadership and Accountability Everyone Is a Leader! How to Leverage Level Four Awareness.

The full day from 7:30am - 3:30pm costs $125.00 (GST included). The AGM Business Session is no charge and part of the day will be available by Webinar.

ASTTBC Calls for One Professional Association to Regulate House Inspectors

BC homebuyers need improved protection from unqualified, unaccountable house inspectors, says ASTTBC, one of four agencies currently authorized to license BC house and property inspectors.

"Having four differing standards for the certification of house inspectors fails to ensure British Columbians of best practices in professional regulation," says ASTTBC Executive Director John Leech, AScT, CAE, who recommends that just one professional association be authorized to regulate house inspectors.

"ASTTBC urges Consumer Protection BC and the BC Government to now adopt a single standard for certification and professional regulation, including holding registrants accountable," declares the Executive Director. "ASTTBC's high standards for professional certification and registration of house and property inspectors include college certificate training, rigorous field training and mentoring of license candidates."

Operating under Provincial legislation, the ASTT Act of 1985, ASTTBC claims BC's most advanced standards of professional house and property inspection delivered by nearly 200 Certified Property Inspectors (CPI) and Certified House Inspectors (CHI).

"ASTTBC brings a high degree of care and attention to complaints and professional accountability," says John Leech. "We want British Columbians to enjoy the highest standards from those offering services as House Inspectors. Adoption of ASTTBC qualifications and professional accountability requirements would give British Columbians the highest level of competency and protection."

ASTTBC Member Meeting in Surrey - First Time in Metro

ASTTBC regularly hosts meetings across the province, with Executive Director John Leech, AScT, CAE, providing an update on new developments in the Association. For the first time other than the AGM, ASTTBC hosted a member update meeting in Metro. One hundred members gathered and, based on feedback, enjoyed networking time, a hearty breakfast and time learning of recent developments within the world of ASTTBC. A great group photo by Richard Mayer, AScT, with all members wearing ASTTBC caps captured the moment.

ASTTBC has held a number of member meetings throughout the province where Executive Director John Leech, AScT, CAE, updates members on ASTTBC's direction in key areas:

ASTTBC Members Gather in Victoria

ASTTBC Members gathered in Victoria to get caught up on recent developments at ASTTBC and in particular to hear about ASTTBC's work to advance technology education and careers. Executive Director John Leech, AScT, CAE, spoke about ASTTBC's recent Report, A Strategic Direction for Technology Education and Skills in BC, which maps out future directions leading to rewarding and sustainable careers in engineering and applied science technology.

ASTTBC Registrar Charles Joyner, B.Ed., MA, PhD, AScT, spoke of contracts with the BC Government to further enhance ASTTBC's policies, processes and resources with a view to supporting and assisting Internationally Trained Professionals (ITP) as they build new careers in BC. Later that day ASTTBC hosted employers to lunch and a workshop in which ASTTBC sought input from employers on ways ASTTBC could assist in assessing and aiding ITPs in their integration into careers in BC.

John Leech also updated members on the Joint Board with APEGBC and the decision to put aside for the present the introduction of PTech in BC. "PTech is far from dead," said John. "ASTTBC fully expects the PTech will materialize in the near term as a new professional credential in BC along similar lines as in Alberta."

ASTTBC Honourary Member Colin Smith, PEng, FEC, CSSE, and a former APEGBC President, spoke to the 65 ASTTBC members in attendance about linkages between ASTTBC and APEGBC.

Colin is the recipient of a 2013 Victoria Leadership Award (VLA) for community leadership, service and achievement, receiving the Rotary Community Leadership Award recognizing community leaders who meet the Rotary test of the highest levels of ethical behaviour and community leadership benefit. Colin is also being honoured by The Engineering Institute of Canada with the 2013 Canadian Pacific Railway Engineering Medal for years of leadership and service to the Institute at the regional branch and section levels.

BC Elections 2013

On May 14, 2013, British Columbians will go to the polls to elect a new Government and ASTTBC is encouraging all members to get to know the issues, get involved and then to cast their ballots.

As a self-governing professional association incorporated under provincial statute, ASTTBC has the mandate to protect the public interest by regulating technology professionals. In this role ASTTBC regularly engages with and informs Government at all levels, including elected MLAs. ASTTBC does not align with any political party and sees its role as informing Government and other stakeholders on matters affecting ASTTBC's role and that of the 10,000 technology professionals regulated by ASTTBC.

ASTTBC encourages members to become informed on issues of import to ASTTBC, such as those identified in A Strategic Direction for Technology Education and Skills in BC and the joint ASTTBC - APEGBC Report on the recognition of AScTs within a professional reliance model.

ASTTBC encourages members to ask questions of those running for office and advance with them key issues affecting the education, training, recognition and practice of ASTTBC-registered technology professionals.

Safe Digging Month: Contractor Breakfast

BC Common Ground Alliance is once again promoting National Safe Digging Month in April to spread the message to follow the safe digging process to help prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages. Recently, ASTTBC and BCCGA signed an agreement to signal the cooperation between the two organizations in advancing safe construction practices in BC and to advance training and certification.

An all-company Contractor Breakfast will be held on April 5 in Surrey. This is a free event sponsored by owners and operators of buried facilities in the Lower Mainland, the BC Common Ground Alliance and the Regulators. This safety meeting will bring together people from all ground disturbance professions -- from labourers to locators, CEOs to contractors. No matter what level, if you're involved with ground disturbance in any way, you're invited to this event. It's a large venue, so bring your entire team for a free breakfast and essential safety information. Everyone attending must register.

National Engineering and Geoscience Month a Success

March saw another successful National Engineering and Geoscience Month (NEGM), an annual celebration of engineering and geoscience across Canada.

ASTTBC technologists, technicians and technical specialists are a vital part of BC's engineering teams. This month-long event promoted awareness of the engineering and geosciences professions, highlighted career choices in these fields and reminded the public of the many ways in which engineering and geoscience touch everyday life.

ASTTBC published full-page advertorials in Prince George and Kelowna, ran radio ads and sponsored many events in the science and technology community, including:

ASTTBC members volunteered to help at APEGBC's Annual Ultimate Bridge Contest in February in Prince George, including Tanya Lamarche, AScT, Garry Vinje, AScT, Brian Johnson, AScT, and Brian Brown, AScT.

School District 69 held their Science Fair on March 1, 2013 in Parksville where Elementary and Middle schools sent 165 projects to be judged by 35 volunteer judges from the community. Judges representing ASTTBC were Bruce and Nancy Fowler, AScT.

ASTTBC Title Sponsor of Spaghetti Bridge Contest

ASTTBC was Title Sponsor of the 30th Annual Okanagan College Spaghetti Bridge Building Contest on March 1, 2013 at Okanagan College in Kelowna.

"ASTTBC applauds the initiative of Okanagan College in hosting the Spaghetti Bridge Contest," said ASTTBC Executive Director John Leech, AScT, CAE. "When students at all levels are having fun building bridges, they get some insight into science and how technicians and technologists help run their world."

The winners of the competition turned to Rome and its famous bucatini pasta to build the winning heavyweight structure. "Bucatini has four times the strength of regular spaghetti," said second-year Civil Engineering Technology student Shawn Bliss, from Armstrong, who headed up design on the five-member Okanagan College team along with Aaron Watson, Cody Pointner, Erik Fountain, and Glenn Watson. The team took the top prize when their 996.24-gram bridge withstood a load of 195.99 kg (432 pounds) before it shattered in front of a packed house of elementary, secondary and post-secondary students.

ASTTBC Regional Manager Bruce Stevens, AScT, and Manager, Member and Program Development, Jason Jung, AScT, were on hand to watch the competition and wave the ASTTBC flag. "It was unbelievable," said Jason. "What the winner did was use the same material, but configured it in a different way to handle the stress. That's pretty impressive, and the fact that the team is Okanagan College civil engineering technology students is something to be proud of."

News coverage of the 2013 Spaghetti Bridge Contest.

ASTTBC and BC Government Engage Internationally Trained Professionals (ITP)

Late in 2012, ASTTBC signed three contracts with the BC Government to examine ways ASTTBC can more effectively enable Internationally Trained Professionals (ITP) as they embrace a new life in BC.

ASTTBC will put in place programming to assist ITPs to better understand the BC environment for technology careers before making the decision to immigrate to Canada; and then, once landed, assist ITPs to secure employment in the technology field. The three projects include:

ASTTBC has created a website solely for ITPs: Later this year, the website will post 'Working in BC' content, which will include videos about ITPs who are successful as Technologists and Technicians in their workplaces, and webinars that will examine in more detail workplace-related topics introduced by the video.

ASTTBC Mentoring Program Update

The ASTTBC Mentoring Program, in partnership with IEC-BC and a variety of service providers, is moving toward a wrap-up the first group of Mentor-Mentee pairs. Coaches report that all the relationships have produced excellent results so far. ASTTBC looks forward to being able to expand the program, and that more ASTTBC members will offer their services as Mentors for the next round, probably in May or June. View the video on's Mentoring page and see if Mentoring is something you would want to do. Many new ITPs, members and non-members, could benefit from your help.

ASTTBC Code of Ethics: Principle 5

Members of ASTTBC shall uphold the principle of appropriate compensation for the performance of their work.


  1. Members should ensure that compensation is fair and appropriate for the services rendered, but are expected to put service above financial gain, quality above quantity and acknowledge a code of honour within a competitive spirit.
  2. Members should not undertake a contract for anything other than a firm price, and be cautious of contracts containing contingency fee clauses.
  3. Members should not submit any proposal to secure an engagement or assignment with a firm price or estimated cost lower than the realistic expected full estimated cost of the proposed engagement.


Members' fees shall be determined by the scope of work and level of service required. Cutting fees to the extent that would result in the rendering of an incompetent or dangerous service is unethical.

Contingency fee arrangements may cloud the judgment of the member dependent on the size of the fee, for example, zero in the case of an unsatisfactory conclusion or disproportionately high in other situations.

Offering services at less than cost as a 'loss leader' in order to secure future work is not recommended, particularly where the services might have an effect on the feasibility of future work. Potential clients should be made aware if a 'loss leader' type of service is offered, together with the future work expectation.

Complete Code of Ethics

ASTTBC Practice Review Board Investigates Complaint: Title Enforcement

Statement of Complaint: A former struck Registrant was performing fire protection system inspections using his previously cancelled Registered Fire Protection Technician (RFPT) stamp and number on reports and tags. In addition, the complainant also identified competency issues related to the former Registrant's inspections.

Background: The former Registrant was certified by ASTTBC as a RFPT in two disciplines - Fire Extinguishers and Special Fire Suppression Systems. However, his registration was cancelled due to non-payment of membership annual fees.

Investigation: Upon receipt of the complaint, the former Registrant contacted ASTTBC to apply for reinstatement. In consultation with the Registrar, the former Registrant was allowed to apply for reinstatement, provided he,

  1. submit a letter to the Practice Review Board, accepting responsibility for his actions and providing assurance that the incident would not be repeated in the future,
  2. write a Professional Practice exam, and,
  3. prove his current competency by writing ASTTBC's challenge exam for Special Fire Suppression Systems.

It was also understood that the above conditions also needed to be ratified by the Practice Review Board.

Discussion: The former Registrant sent a written response and completed his Professional Practice exam. However, he did not pass the challenge exam. As per the Fire Protection Certification Policy, an individual who fails the exam is not allowed to re-write it. Instead he or she is required to take additional upgrading courses at an Institute acceptable to the Certification Board.

The Practice Review Board determined that, since the former Registrant had submitted a letter and completed his Professional Practice exam, but failed the challenge exam,

ASTTBC Offers Online Job Listings Service

ASTTBC has begun posting career opportunities on its website. The page is already populated with a number of job positions open to technologists, technicians and technical specialists. "Employers have been asking if we were able to help their recruitment efforts reach ASTT's diverse membership. We're excited about getting started and offering a service to assist our members with career and employment opportunities." say Jason Jung, AScT, Manager, Member & Program Development. Employers can post for the small fee of $275 + HST for 60 days. For more information and to search job listings, visit

Member Compensation Survey Coming Soon

Work on the 2013 ASTTBC Member Compensation Survey (MCS) is underway with plans to send the survey to members at the beginning of April. The survey, which takes place every second year, will be deployed electronically. A draw for those completing the survey will offer a chance to win a number of great prizes. Watch for further information. Review the 2011 MCS.

ASTTBC 2013 Annual Dues Notice

Please note important information about 2013 Annual Dues. We encourage all Technologists, Technicians, Graduate Technologists and Associates to take note of the immediate changes.

If you have not yet received your 2013 Dues notice and you have changed your mailing or email address, then please contact Lumi Guias at or 604-585-2788 Ext. 237.

In the Media and on the Move

Nigel Bennett, AScT, is owner and founder of a BC technology company called Aqua-Guard Spill Response Inc. ( that is gaining international recognition. Aqua-Guard made it to the final four for innovation awards at the 2013 Offshore Support Journal Awards in London. Nigel was interviewed by CTV's Business News Network.

ASTTBC Honourary Member Harry Diemer, Board Chair of the Alzheimer Society of B.C., invites you to take up the challenge of hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, which stands at 19,340 feet above sea level. Harry believes that fighting Alzheimer's disease requires a societal team effort and so he hiked to the summit with the 2008 Ascent for Alzheimer's Team helping to raise awareness and funds for support programs and services. Currently in its 16th year, there are more than 180 Ascent alumni who have collectively raised more than $2 million. This is a team experience, from training to the on-the-mountain trek, and is symbolic of the commitment to ensure that no one on the dementia journey is alone. The dates for this year's Ascent are September 27 - October 3, 2013. Read more about Harry's story and learn about how you can join the team at or call 604-681-6530 or toll-free at 1-800-667-3742.

ASTTBC congratulates Pam Chilton, AScT, CRD, on winning the Western Red Cedar Award at the 2013 Wood Design Awards by Wood WORKS! BC. ASTTBC is a Gold Sponsor of this annual industry event.

Frank D'Angio, AScT, received an ASTTBC Professional Achievement Award at Powell River Council. This award honours members who have distinguished themselves in their field of technology, and have made a substantial contribution to the well-being of the community.

TechPRO: Dean Zimmer, AScT, RTMgr

Dean Zimmer is a credit to his hometown, Fort St. John, and to his professional association, expanding his skills and responsibilities through regular study and upgrading. Throughout his career Dean has never wandered far from his forestry roots, or from central and northern BC.

Dean grew up in a forest industry household - his father was a small-business logging operator. Launching his own forestry career, Dean worked for a small forestry consulting company before attending the College of New Caledonia Forest Resource Technology Program from 1989 - 1991. During those college years he worked as a summer student for both Babine Forest Products and Canfor.

Dean joined the Ministry of Forests as a Resource Technologist in 1991. He worked in Prince George and MacKenzie in the Ministry's Silviculture, Timber, Engineering, Recreation and Small Business (BCTS) programs for 14 years.

Dean shifted gears in 2004, joining Precision Drilling as a floor hand. He carried his new skill set to the BC Oil and Gas Commission from 2005, now serving as Director of Compliance and Enforcement. Dean supervises a team that oversees the review of Oil and Gas applications. Still living in Fort St John, Dean remains a member of the Association of British Columbia Forest Professionals. Based on his praiseworthy professionalism, ASTTBC presented Dean with a Top in Technology Award in February 2013.

Post Your Career Story

ASTTBC encourages you to join Dean Zimmer in posting your career story at Connect with former colleagues get your name in front of 10,000 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.

Insurance Matters: Even When You Are Retired

ASTTBC in cooperation with Willis Canada provides excellent rates on errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, and on corporate public liability (CPL) insurance. A major reason for lower rates is because the high ethical and practice standards of ASTTBC members has resulted in few claims and therefore we are a preferred group for insurance coverage.

Only ASTTBC members insured through Willis when they decide to retire may now enjoy peace of mind knowing they are covered at no cost for work done before retirement. This is a special, added benefit unique to retired members who remain in good standing with ASTTBC.

If you had E&O / CPL insurance as an ASTTBC member before your retirement you would continue to be covered for a claim that may be submitted after you retire. Willis Insurance provides this extended coverage free of charge to eligible ASTTBC members. Here are two examples of what can happen!

  1. A building design professional designed windows for a multi-dwelling residence and was sued 5 years after retiring for work she had done 4 years before retiring. She was found contributory negligent to building envelope issues and on a joint and several basis with a developer who had liquidated. The court ordered her home sold and the proceeds of the sale distributed to the claimants.
  2. An AScT (mechanical) was sued for a job he had done as a consultant 3 years prior to retirement. The ASTTBC member had E&O / CPL insurance with Willis in the years preceding retirement. Now in his second year of retirement, he is continuing his AScT membership at the retired member rate and fortunately under the Willis / ASTTBC retired member scheme he is legally represented at the insurer's expense.

One caution on the details of this benefit at retirement is the different definitions of 'retired' used by ASTTBC and by Willis Insurance. The ASTTBC retirement policy states: A 'Retired' ASTTBC member or registrant is permitted to volunteer, without remuneration, as a mentor or trainer in the field of engineering and applied science technology or carrying out no more than 100 hours of work per year for compensation. For insurance purposes anyone that does any work, paid or unpaid, is not considered retired and must subscribe to E&O / CPL insurance.

Protecting your financial future through the appropriate level of insurance coverage is an important element in personal and professional risk mitigation.

ASTTBC Foundation Bursaries Available

The ASTTBC Foundation offers bursaries to qualifying first and second year students in ASTTBC-accredited technology programs in BC. Check the ASTTBC website for eligible programs and bursary selection requirements. Deadline to apply is July 31, 2013.

ASTTBC Foundation Thanks Donors

The ASTTBC Foundation appreciates all the donors whose generous support makes our annual student award and bursary program possible in BC. The ASTTBC Foundation 2012 Honour Roll is now posted, along with previous years' Honour Rolls.

"ASTTBC members, partners and friends once again demonstrated their support and helped to provide $23,000 in technology student awards and bursaries in 2012," says Anne Sharp, Manager, Marketing and Communications and ASTTBC Foundation Executive Director. "On behalf of all the students who benefited from your support, we thank you."

ASTTBC Sponsors Upcoming Events

One of the important ways ASTTBC supports the science and technology community across the province is by participating as a sponsor of industry and education events. Here are two upcoming events:

Hire a Co-op Student

Invest in the future and consider where a co-op student can contribute to your business. Camosun College has enthusiastic and energetic Mechanical Engineering Technology Program Co-op students ready to work for you beginning April 2, 2012.

To hire a Camosun Co-op student, contact Nan Judd, Co-op Employment Facilitator for Engineering Technologies: 250-370-4185.

Okanagan College invites you to recruit Engineering Technology Co-op students. Job descriptions are posted from January through September. Co-op students in Civil Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Water Engineering Technology are available to apply their knowledge and skills from May August and September December (4 or 8 month work terms). To begin the recruitment process, e-mail your job description to: or use the Okanagan College ON-LINE job posting form.

Message From:

Mike Larock, RPF (Hon. Member), Director of Professional Practice & Forest Stewardship, ABCFP: "I truly appreciate this Honourary Member recognition by ASTTBC. I am also privileged to contribute to the development of technology professionals in BC through my employer, the Association of BC Forest Professionals."

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a Requirement

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

Professional Development Opportunities

There are links to many worthwhile professional development opportunities, seminars and coming events on the ASTTBC website.

Here's just a sample if you follow the links:

Update Your Contact Info

To update your ASTTBC contact information, please use our online form.

ASTTBC on Twitter and Facebook

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Everyday Science Music Video

ASTTBC commissioned a music video by The Kerplunks to engage children in math and science. Everyday Science "Kudos to ASTTBC for finding a way to put the words centrifugal, propulsion and diffraction into the same song," said Science World.