Alberta plans to permit know-how corporations and staff to make use of the title “software program engineer” and not using a licence from APEGA, the provincial regulator for skilled engineers.
Tabled within the legislature Monday, Invoice 7 would make an exception in Alberta’s Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act.
The province’s guidelines at the moment say somebody who is not an expert engineer or allow holder cannot use the time period “engineer” together with every other title or title.
Tech corporations have advocated to alter that, saying it is hurting the expansion of Alberta’s trade.
However the Affiliation of Skilled Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) issued an announcement final yr warning that, “any exception to using the title engineer will set a harmful precedent and put the lives of Albertans in danger.”
After the proposed laws was unveiled Monday, APEGA registrar and CEO Jay Nagendran stated the change is “not one thing we had requested for, however it’s what it’s.”
Superior Training Minister Rajan Sawhney stated the brand new laws shall be “the primary of its form within the nation” to permit broader use of the software program engineer title or associated variations.
If the invoice turns into legislation, corporations would have the ability to promote software program engineer positions, and staff would have the ability to publicly use the title.
Totally different guidelines for Alberta
Final summer time, the leaders of all provincial and territorial engineering regulators signed an open letter to “voice the alignment” of restrictions throughout the nation on using software program engineer or associated titles and not using a licence.
The letter issued by the nationwide physique Engineers Canada notes individuals who “improperly maintain themselves out as engineers” have confronted enforcement.
That included an injunction authorised in an Alberta court docket in opposition to an individual utilizing the title “software program engineer” in on-line profiles, regardless of not being registered with the Affiliation of Skilled Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.
Nagendran famous Alberta’s proposed change will set the province other than the rules throughout the remainder of the nation.
Sawhney stated the work software program engineers do normally does not fall throughout the follow of an expert engineer with a P.Eng designation, and any software program engineers “making use of engineering ideas” of their place will nonetheless be regulated by APEGA.
However she did not give specifics about how precisely that can work, saying the federal government continues to work with employers and the regulator.
“Our tech sector is booming and we’re listening to our stakeholders, and that is what they want to have the ability to recruit expertise and retain expertise on this province,” Sawhney stated.
Tech sector push
APEGA’s place has been that software program engineering ought to proceed to be regulated amid the growing use of synthetic intelligence.
Know-how and Innovation Minister Nate Glubish stated Monday that the province is engaged on a man-made intelligence framework.
Benjamin Bergen is president of the Council of Canadian Innovators. (Submitted by Benjamin Bergen)
“On the finish of the day, accountable use of AI just isn’t APEGA’s jurisdiction. That is the federal government of Alberta’s jurisdiction.”
Final yr, representatives from tech corporations wrote an open letter to Premier Danielle Smith, asking that the provincial authorities intervene within the concern. The letter now has greater than 100 signatories.
The tech staff stated APEGA was hampering the expansion of Alberta’s tech sector with what they referred to as an “aggressive” place that software program engineers should be regulated and topic to certification necessities.
“This can be a traditional case of regulator overreach — tech corporations should not want the blessing of a regulatory physique to construct an app,” the letter says.
The group argued that software program engineer is a “globally accepted normal job title” that is widespread in cities with a powerful tech sector, and being blocked from utilizing it means Alberta cannot compete for workers.
Benjamin Bergen, president of the Council of Canadian Innovators, instructed CBC Information that Alberta particularly wants a software program engineer exception on the books as a result of APEGA has been extra energetic with enforcement.
“Regulators have not gone after companies to the identical degree or diploma as they’ve in Alberta,” he stated.
APEGA not too long ago took Edmonton-based tech firm Jobber to court docket over the agency’s use of the title software program engineer in job adverts.
Nagendran stated a choose has heard arguments within the case, however he is undecided how the brand new provincial laws would possibly have an effect on the result.