Council approves terms of reference for governance working group

517TH MEETING, MARCH 23, 2018

Council has approved the terms of reference for the new Phase 1 Governance Working Group. The creation of the group and a $40,000 budget was approved at Council’s November 2017 meeting and was the result of a member submission that was passed at PEO’s 2017 Annual General Meeting (see Engineering Dimensions, January/February 2018). Its purpose is to examine opportunities for PEO Council and committees to be more efficient, to save volunteer and staff time and resources, and to ensure PEO remains relevant as the regulator of engineering in Ontario. Phase one of the group is to evaluate if there are any risks or problems with PEO’s current governance model and if it is necessary for PEO to engage an external governance expert. The group is expected to provide a progress report to Council prior to PEO’s 2019 Annual General Meeting.

At its March meeting, Council approved the creation of an Online Licensing Portal Task Force along with a $15,000 budget to co-operate in conjunction with PEO’s online licensing portal project execution to address and improve upon customer service issues experienced by current applicants, so that the online application for licensure is conducive to a fair, timely, professional and customer-centric process.

PEO’s Regional Councillors Committee (RCC) put forward this motion after issues regarding PEO’s licensing process were raised by chapter delegates at various regional congresses last year and because these issues were thought to have not been adequately addressed by Council. While the online licensing portal project will likely address most of the issues experienced by current engineering interns (EITs) seeking licensure, and even covered by the improvement suggestions to the overall licensing process, the RCC felt the perceived poor customer service aspect of the licensing process required improvement and, unless addressed, could undermine the potential for success of the online licensing portal project. Next steps for the task force include drafting terms of reference and a work plan, which will be reviewed and approved by the RCC on behalf of Council.

Council has approved two of three governance improvement issues that will be part of the agenda of Engineers Canada’s annual meeting of members and voted on by member-regulators on May 26, including a purpose statement of Engineers Canada that will define and constrain all activities undertaken by Engineers Canada and help align its strategic plan. The 10 purposes are as follows.

The purpose of Engineers Canada is to serve the collective interests of the regulators, to promote and maintain the interests, honour and integrity of the Canadian engineering profession, and to do all such lawful things as are incidental to or conducive to the attainment of the foregoing, including:

Serve the regulators and strengthen the profession by:

  1. Accrediting undergraduate engineering programs;
  2. Facilitating and fostering working relationships between and amongst the regulators;
  3. Providing services and tools that enable the assessment of engineering qualifications, foster excellence in engineering practice and regulation, and facilitate mobility of practitioners within Canada;
  4. Offering national programs;
  5. Advocating to the federal government;
  6. Actively monitoring, researching and advising on changes and advances that impact the Canadian regulatory environment and the engineering profession;
  7. Managing risks and opportunities associated with mobility of work and practitioners internationally;
  8. Fostering recognition of the value and contribution of the profession to society and sparking interest in the next generation of professionals;
  9. Promoting diversity and inclusivity in the profession that reflects Canadian society; and
  10. Protecting and word(s), mark, design, slogan or logo, or any literary or other work, as the case may be, pertaining to the engineering profession or to its objects.

Council also approved modifying Engineers Canada’s bylaw to provide for term limits for Engineers Canada directors to two, three-year terms, unless the director is elected president-elect, in which case an additional three-year term is possible. This decision will be voted on by member-regulators at Engineers Canada’s annual meeting of members.

At its meeting, Engineers Canada will also propose a change in its board size but PEO only supports that the status quo be maintained. PEO President David Brown, P.Eng., BDS, C.E.T., will be representing PEO.

At its March meeting, Council appointed Christian Bellini, P.Eng., FEC, as a PEO director on the Engineers Canada board for a three-year term, effective May 26 at the Engineers Canada annual meeting of members. Bellini replaces Chris Roney, P.Eng., BDS, FEC, who has represented PEO on the board since 2009.