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Bulletin N°101 - avril 2013

Editorial version anglaise

Professionalism course: a step toward restoring the public trust

The OIQ’s Board of Directors set May 15 as the deadline for completing the professionalism course offered on line since last September. Since we are just a few days from that date, I would like to use this editorial to remind you why the OIQ has decided that this new requirement should apply to all of its members.

As you may know, the prime objective of the OIQ’s 2010-2015 strategic plan is to restore the bond of trust between the public and the profession. In order to give better focus to the activities resulting from this plan, the OIQ conducted studies to improve its understanding of the difficulties experienced by engineers in the area of ethics and professional conduct. These studies revealed three main findings to us.

The first concerns the ethics and professional conduct violations involved in certain business practices of the construction and public works sector. The other two findings apply to all engineers, regardless of their sector. First, engineers are often pressured to accept projects that do not provide enough time or the budget required to complete them according to best practices. Second, many engineers unfortunately do not know their Code of Ethics very well.

Together, these three situations mean that engineers are often underprepared to face the ethical and professional conduct challenges that arise in their daily practice.

The OIQ decided to make its professionalism course a requirement for all of its members in order to correct this situation.

Just like I did in the letter I sent you in the fall, I invite you again to take this course in the next few days, if you have not already done so. As my letter emphasized, it is important that you fulfill this obligation. Otherwise, the OIQ will be forced to use mechanisms at its disposal that can lead to the deletion of your name from the membership roll.

I myself took the course in the fall and I guarantee you that the two and half hours I spent taking the course were well worth it. The fact of the matter is that whatever our field of practice we all have to deal with ethical dilemmas at one point or another.

Some will say, and rightly so, that a 2.5-hour course is not enough! This course is only one of a series of initiatives that are all aimed at improving our mastery of ethical and professional conduct issues (1 877 ÉTHIQUE hotline, case studies, professional practice guide, etc.). Furthermore, other courses may eventually be developed to cover more specific and complex aspects.

Like it or not, the entire profession is unfortunately being tarnished by the reprehensible actions of just a few. Therefore, I invite all members to put their shoulders to the wheel. Through all of our collective and individual efforts, we will succeed in giving back to the profession the enviable reputation it once had and still deserves!

Daniel Lebel, Eng., PMP
President

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