As if the number of professional titles and qualifications isn’t confusing enough for the general public, there is now another organization for certifying building designers in Ontario.
Engineering technologists and architects have collaborated to set up the Ontario Association for Applied Architectural Sciences, known by the unwieldy acronym of OAAAS (pronounced “O-tripleA-S”).
The program, which was launched in April, recognizes three categories of building designer –Associate OAAAS, Technologist OAAAS, and an OAA Technologist. Individuals in the latter category will obtain their licenses from the Ontario Association of Architects under the authority of the Architects Act and will have the legal right to design “larger restaurants, taller houses and taller low-rise apartment buildings.”
Individuals qualifying for the Associate OAAAS and Technologist OAAAS will acquire their credentials through the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT).
“Together, we have created a program which includes new levels of building design professionals to respond to market demands in Ontario,” said Dr. Felix Degan, C.E.T., the president of OACETT,” in a press release announcing the new organization.
Paul Mitchell, president of the Ontario Association of Architects, said: “Over the past several years we’ve witnessed a convergence of some of the services offered by architects and technologists…. We wanted to acknowledge and structure this shift to realize the greatest benefit for the industry and the public. The program is being launched with the creation of a new association. This initiative will provide consumers with an increased number of options for architectural services, while also protecting their interests.”
In British Columbia professional engineers recently voted in favour of their official licensing association, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C., incorporating engineering technologists. However, despite the collaboration between architects and technologists in Ontario, there is no word that engineers in the province are ready to take the convergence path.