A Conversation with Barry Cavanaugh, CEO of ASET

“Learning about HR is particularly valuable to technology professionals.” 

28, Aug, 2017

The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) regulates Alberta’s engineering technicians and technologists. As is the case with many such bodies, ASET requires that its registered professionals engage in continuing professional development (CPD) if they wish to maintain their designations. When you work with a Certified Technician (C.Tech.), Certified Engineering Technologist (C.E.T.), or Professional Technologist (P.Tech.), you are dealing with a practitioner whose training and educational pursuits didn’t stop with the successful completion of his or her diploma. 

“Because we demand professional development of our registered technicians and technologists,” explains Barry Cavanaugh, ASET’s CEO and General Counsel, “ASET is always on the lookout for opportunities to connect with third parties who offer interesting, relevant learning opportunities.” He pauses before adding, “Nicole Jelley’s energy and commitment are impressive, to say the least. This is not our first collaboration with the Talent Pool and I suspect it won’t be our last. The HR in a Box series fits well with the kind of professional development that is particularly useful for our members. ASET actively supports the concept and will promote it as a valuable CPD choice.”

The Talent Pool relies on organizations and associations such as ASET to help spread the work about HR in a Box and encourage participation. Since ASET members work all over Alberta, they can register at several locations. In 2017-2018, HR in a Box will be offered in Lethbridge, Calgary, Edmonton, Jasper/Edson/Hinton, Grand Prairie and Fort McMurray.

“In the current economic climate, the more skills technical professionals can amass, the more valuable they are to their employers,” adds Barry. “Knowing how to identify and manage important workplace issues adds to their already impressive range of competencies.”

ASET’s CEO concludes by noting the regulator will promote HR in a Box to its 18,000 members across the province. These professionals represent 21 disciplines across numerous sectors, including oil and gas, forestry, agriculture, construction, environmental sustainability, and renewable energy. Adding human resources to their portfolio of skills is not just good for them as professionals—it also provides real benefit to the province as a whole.

ASET was founded in the early 1960s as a professional association registered under the Societies Act. In 2009, following years of planning and discussion with the Government of Alberta and other stakeholders, ASET’s mandate changed and it began regulating Alberta’s engineering technology professionals, with authority derived from the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act, the same legislation that governs the conduct and professional responsibilities of APEGA, which regulates the province’s professional engineers.

The structure identified above – one act, two regulators – is unique to Alberta. It allows a certain amount of coordination of professionals that, though distinct, tend to see their practitioners collaborate closely and report to one another. What this means is that the province’s engineering projects are more likely to be designed, developed, and supervised by safe, responsible, accountable professionals. From Alberta’s highly respected tradespeople, through ASET’s technicians and technologists, to engineers, the individuals who create and maintain our municipal infrastructure, keep the lights on, and ensure much of the province’s prosperity, are certified professionals. To find out more about ASET, visit their website.

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