What is Competency Based Assessment (CBA)?
Competency Based Assessment is a process which determines an applicant’s suitability for licensure by verifying and reviewing their ability to perform fundamental engineering tasks. For example, under CBA an applicant would have to give an example of a time they “applied codes, standards, and regulations.” This example would then be verified by a supervisor, and reviewed by APEGA’s Board of Examiners (BoE).
How is it different from APEGA’s current assessment model?
APEGA currently uses a form called a Work Experience Record (WER) to capture work history from applicants. It relies on the applicant’s ability to sufficiently describe their application of engineering or geoscientific theory in each job role they have held in order to meet the requirement of 48 months of acceptable experience referenced by at least 3 references.
The challenge with this approach is that it does not provide a specific framework for experience requirements. This results in applications which may not clearly state the engineering skills performed, which then requires staff and our volunteer experience examiners to infer whether the provided experience meets APEGA’s requirements. APEGA and the applicant may even incur delays and additional cost as the WER may need to be re-written and submitted for multiple reviews.
Competency Based Assessment (CBA) presents an applicant with twenty-two specific competencies required for licensure as a P.Eng in Alberta. The applicant then describes what job duties they have performed to meet each individual competency. Those claims are then confirmed by a validator who should be a direct supervisor and a Professional Engineer.
This provides the applicant with a more guided process in demonstrating that they have achieved the necessary experience, which results in a more precise way of assessing work experience.
Will I use CBA for my Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo) or Professional Licensee (P.L.) application?
At this time, CBA will only apply to P.Eng applications (Professional Member and Licensee).
When will CBA come into effect?
The full competency system is projected to launch in mid-2017. After that date, all new applications for P.Eng. will be obligated to follow the CBA process.
To facilitate the transition between the WER and CBA, the Competency Self-Assessment Worksheet is now available in the online application system to all applications started after November 9, 2016.
Will my international experience count under CBA?
CBA is not based on the duration of any particular job, but on whether or not you are competent in the necessary skills for licensure. More experienced engineers will find that they can draw on their past experience in present employment to demonstrate their competence, whether that experience is international or domestic.
Within the EGP Act and Regulations, there is a requirement that an applicant demonstrate at least 48 months of adequate professional-level engineering work. Along with meeting all twenty-two competencies, applicants must still demonstrate 48 months of experience using a work history record. The work history record does require references to support all 48 months, as the test of competency rests with the validators
Should I apply now using the WER or wait for CBA?
CBA presents the requirements for licensure in a clear and direct format. If you feel as though you can clearly indicate your application of engineering theory throughout your work history without specific guidelines, feel free to proceed with the current process.
Please note, the WER has been proven to have limitations particularly when the experience involves roles that are not clearly engineering work. In those cases, or where you may be unable to clearly document all your work experience, waiting until the competency system is available may be to your advantage. Also, if you have international work experience for which you are unable to provide direct supervisor references, the competency system may be more beneficial because of its diminished focus on work history.
As stated above, the Competency Self-Assessment Worksheet is now available in the online application system. This allows you to preview all twenty-two competencies, as well as the format that will be used to capture them. If you feel more comfortable using the CBA format, please consider holding your application submission until CBA is live in mid-2017.
Can competency be used to waive academic deficiencies?
No, not at this time.
How do I wait for CBA?
If you have already submitted and paid for your application, it will be most convenient for you to proceed with the existing system, as APEGA does not refund fees for submitted and processing applications. If you have serious concerns about the WER and your application, you should contact APEGA to discuss your case.
If you have started your application but have not paid or submitted, your incomplete application will be automatically deleted from our system in 90 days, after which you can start a new application with CBA. If you need your application deleted sooner, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.