INNOVATION January-February 2014

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APEGBC Introduces Deterrents against Examination Misconduct When it comes to ethics, not all issues are black and white. Cheating on association examinations, however, is a zero tolerance issue for APEGBC’s Council. In response to the recent detection of instances of unprofessional and inappropriate conduct by examination candidates during the Professional Practice (Law and Ethics) examination, APEGBC’s Council has recently approved an Examination Misconduct Policy, whereby each candidate must confirm in writing that they have read and will be bound by the policy. APEGBC Examination Misconduct Policy The policy, approved by Council last September, confirms APEGBC’s commitment to the prevention, detection, and investigation of potential examination misconduct by applicants, members, and licensees. It allows for investigation into suspected cases of examination misconduct and sets out an escalating range of consequences for inappropriate behaviour related to APEGBC examinations, including reassignment of a candidate’s seat in the examination, denial of registration or licensure, cancellation of the assessment or examination administration for a particular session, and the exercise of all legal remedies by APEGBC and/or the test provider (including cost recovery for the investigation and creation of new questions, general and special damages, and injunctive relief). To read the policy in its entirety, visit Cases of Cheating Detected by APEGBC Through a long-standing agreement, APEGBC participates in the National Professional Practice Examination, provided by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA). For quality assurance purposes, APEGA conducts a range of statistical and psychometric tests to ensure the reliability, validity, and overall integrity of the examination. After each examination session, APEGA provides results for individual candidates and overall statistics related to group performance by jurisdiction. When the case arises, APEGA also identifies statistically anomalous results for pairs of candidates whose pattern of right and wrong answers shows a degree of correlation so high that the chance of random agreement would be close to statistically impossible; therefore indicating a strong likelihood that one candidate has copied from the other or that there was collusion. For APEGBC’s April 2013 session of the Professional Practice Examination, three such pairs of anomalous results were identified. Further investigation by APEGBC showed that each pair of candidates had sat the examination at the same location and were seated close or next to each other, such that at least one member of each pair could view the answers of the other. After being interviewed, two of the candidates admitted copying answers from the other person in the identified pair; the third admitted guilt after an extended period of time. The results of the other three candidates were validated and the three candidates who admitted to cheating were invited to make submissions to Council to explain their actions and to respond to recommendations for consequences drafted by the Registration Committee with respect to each. In all three cases, the April 2013 examination results were invalidated. All three candidates were prohibited from reattempting the examination before a specified future date and then only under stringent proctoring conditions. Finally, the conduct of the candidates during the examination was considered to be a potential breach of the Code of Ethics. Each potential candidate is required to address the Code of Ethics through the submission of evidence satisfactory to Council that they are of good character and good repute at the time of their application for professional registration. These three candidates will need to meet a high bar in order to convince the Council that each applicant understands their professional and ethical duty as a member of APEGBC and warrants the trust of Council, the public, and their colleagues. All future Professional Practice examinations will also have multiple versions at each session to further deter the temptation of some candidates to copy from their colleagues. For more information on APEGBC’s examination program, members are invited to contact Gillian Pichler, P.Eng., Director, Registration, at

Call for Nominations APEGBC Mentor of the Year Award APEGBC’s Mentor of the Year Award recognizes excellence amongst mentors in the engineering and geoscience community in British Columbia. Mentorship plays a key role in supporting a successful career in engineering and geoscience and APEGBC wishes to acknowledge the importance of these mentoring relationships amongst association members. Nominations for the award are now being accepted until May 16, 2014. Nominees must be a mentor in the APEGBC mentoring program. Full details on the nomination process and awards criteria can be found online at Mentor-of-the-Year-Award- Nomination-Procedures. The award will be presented at APEGBC’s 2014 Annual Conference, to be held October 23 – 26 in Vancouver, BC. Call for 2014 APEGBC Annual Conference Presenters APEGBC is currently seeking presenters for technical, business, managerial, and personal development topics for its 2014 Annual Conference in Vancouver, BC. The professional development sessions will be scheduled on Thursday, October 23, and Friday, October 24, 2014. The theme for the 2014 conference is Global Innovation Begins at Home and will focus on how professionals in BC create solutions for global challenges. For more information visit presenters.

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