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APEGA's professional dues, fees and fines set to skyrocket

APEGA's professional dues, fees and fines set to skyrocket

The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) is currently undertaking an exhaustive legislative review in an effort to modernize the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act. Citing the recent disasters at Mount Polley and Elliot Lake, APEGA wants to be better prepared for any potential disasters that might occur in the future. Over the next 4 years, the organization plans to reposition themselves as a "more capable regulator", improving upon business practices, revamping the Professional Development program and enhancing the enforcement of current management systems.

“We don't pretend to know the specifics of Alberta in 2045, but we are certain that the act created in the 1980s is not what we need.”
- Connie Parenteau, APEGA President

Translation? APEGA is going to need more resources, a lot more. The organization needs to boost funding by over 50% by 2020 in order to achieve their goals. And those higher costs are going to be transferred onto its 73,000+ members. By their own estimates, yearly dues could increase by up to $300 by 2020, effectively double the current rates. 

Alberta's professional dues are currently on par with other Canadian provinces. However, in the Winter 2015 issue of PEG Magazine, CEO Mark Flint points out that engineering dues are much lower than other professions, such as dentistry, medicine and law, where membership fees can be well in excess of $1000 a year.

“The year 2016 arrives during a dramatic economic shift, which has resulted in some significant economic impacts here in Alberta. [As we] prepare to launch APEGA's new strategy in 2017, how will APEGA position itself to become a more capable regulator? ... In short, professional regulation will take more money than it traditionally has.”
- Mark Flint, APEGA CEO

APEGA's membership fees have been climbing steadily over the past few years. Earlier this year, the organization significantly increased most of its fees, including application fees, rising from $350 to $500 and out of province transfer fees now $250, up from $175. APEGA also added a $250 reinstatement fee for those engineers who have placed their memberships on hold and recently even added a $350 translation fee for foreign-language documents. 

APEGA will begin reviewing its revenue model this year, aimed at adopting a more appropriate funding model. Last year, APEGA received over 9,000 applications, almost 50% of them foreign-trained. With the recent downturn in oil prices, engineering houses have been hit very hard in the province. It remains to be seen if APEGA's growth rate and revenues will be affected. However, the organization did not cite funding shortfalls as a reason for the sharp increase in fees and dues.

As part of its oversight restructuring, APEGA also wants to increase fines for unlicensed individuals to a maximum of $100,000 and up to $500,000 for companies in violation of APEGA's code of conduct.

APEGA celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2020.

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