The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET) has announced the organization is now waiving fees for refugees to become members and attain their designations.
These fees include application, prior learning assessment and recognition, professional practice exam and certification exam. Via a release, ASET specified the collection of fees could have previously costed a refugee roughly $1,000 over time.
Barry Cavanaugh, CEO of ASET, said the decision was made to ensure their applicant assessment program was as objective as possible.
“A few years ago, we decided that we needed to make sure that our ways of assessing applicants for our designations were absolutely objective, and that it was a level playing field for everybody,” said Cavanaugh.
“It did occur to us at that time … that was, to some extent, to the advantage of internationally trained professionals.”
ASET launched a program in 2016 designed to offer foreign-trained professionals and other engineering technology professionals a route to establishing careers in Canada without being required to return to school.
The idea behind ASET’s program is that for foreign-trained professionals who have passed an English language proficiency test and are seeking designation to work in their field in Canada, they may undergo a competency assessment.
This assessment looks at relevant credentials, like what an average Canadian would submit to an employer when applying for a job, and will then require the applicant to complete a practice exam testing knowledge on Alberta-specific legislation and professional ethics, as well as technical competency.
ASET currently has 35 members residing in Strathmore, and is encouraging refugees with an engineering background coming from Ukraine to consider their certification.
“As refugees, once you have refugee status, we thought we should be doing something to assist with that, to expedite the process,” said Cavanaugh. “We realized that there was a considerable weight to application fees and examination fees, and if we could avoid imposing them on people, it would help a lot.”
For any refugees settling in Strathmore, Cavanaugh wants to make anyone eligible for certification to be aware that the option through ASET is available, and that becoming eligible for employment in Alberta does not have to be a complicated process.
More information about the program is available through the ASET website.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times