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PRACTICE  REVIEW GUIDELINE

 

A discussion of what we need and why.

A practice review assumes that there is some justification for checking into the way that a P.Eng. or a company employing a P.Eng. carries out it’s Professional Engineering business properly.

We are assuming here that PEO, as part of its protection of the Public mandate, should have the right to determine if a particular practice needed to be the subject of a review. There could be the possibility that others, such as a Court who may be involved through a legal issue, could also require some sort of review or confirmation of ability. We can list several instances where PEO may feel that a review could be required but perhaps we should be open to various other parties requesting some sort of review. We should in no way be looking at a practice review as a regular event for all members. This could be a requirement of "due diligence" for PEO. We do nothing proactive to ensure that companies do everything necessary to protect the public other than to rely on complaints e.g. use the latest version of codes, have Engineers actually doing the engineering content, etc.

With the expectation of a reasonably amount of openness it may be necessary to codify what constitutes a review so that one reviewer is no harsher or more lenient than the next one. As uniformity of reviewers is a practical impossibility we may need to have a group oversee the reviewers to equalize the standards.

In setting up a review process we should be mindful of PEO’s limitations. There will be parts of a practitioner’s work that may be outside the scope of Professional Engineering. For some purposes we might ideally be looking into things that are probably not in our baliewick (bailiwick - engineers could never spell - maybe this should be part of a review?!!). Perhaps we should set out limits in advance if we can reasonably see a conflict. I think we will need some form of contract to ensure the confidentiality and misuse of the process.

PEO is a self-regulating profession where there is an expectation of answering to one’s peers in, for instance, a Discipline case. It is important that this is a peer process. I do not want to rely on staff or, even worse, use lawyers!! Does this expectation extend to a practice review? Does a sole practitioner expect to be reviewed by a sole practitioner facing similar problems to himself? Is a manager of a large engineering group appropriate to check out a sole practitioner’s facilities and judge whether the sole practitioner is operating competently or is a PEO staff person, albeit a P.Eng., adequately able to review an engineering practice despite having no recent experience in that, or perhaps any practical engineering, field.

Based on the fact that we already do subject engineers to a practice review it is fully necessary that we develop a single standard for these reviews or perhaps a dedicated guideline for each type of review.

The initial topics to consider in developing guideline(s) may be:

Authorization of Reviews.

Under what conditions may a review be requested, (is requested even the correct word?) by:
   :     The public should be number 1
          Council
          Executive committee
          Discipline Committee
          Complaints Committee
          Enforcement Committee
          CEDC
          Any group dealing with C of A matters
          Any group dealing with a member’s competence
          Any group dealing with a member’s professional development
          The Registrar or Deputy Registrar
          The Courts
          Any other external body

Types of review.
          Specific reviews to assess one factor
          General reviews for specific reasons
          General reviews for quality assurance.
          General reviews to aid in dispute resolution
          Other types of review.

Eligible Reviewers.
          Single or multiple reviewers.
          Dedicated reviewers or “peers”
          External reviewers on contract.

Hard facility review.
          Office environment
          Office facilities including project production facilities
          Privacy issues.

Soft Facilities
          Currency of reference material
          Scope of reference material
          Job manuals
          Procedures manuals.
          Drawings have been the main problem in Discipline hearings.

Member competency

Member Professional Development

Member health, mental health and external factors.
We should include any factor covered by the Code of Ethics.

It may be that some of the topics raised here will be thought to be outside the scope of a practice review and might well be listed as an exclusion.

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