Canadian Consulting Engineer

ACEC Board confirms priorities

Over the next three years, ACEC will maintain its five priorities and will focus its efforts on three strategic issues: outsourcing, qualifications-based selection and the strategic role of the indust...

July 1, 2003  Canadian Consulting Engineer

Over the next three years, ACEC will maintain its five priorities and will focus its efforts on three strategic issues: outsourcing, qualifications-based selection and the strategic role of the industry in the planning, design and implementation of projects. These were the decisions made by the ACEC Board of Directors when it met this spring in Montral to conduct a review of its strategic directions.The five ACEC priorities, which were first identified in Kananaskis in 2000, are:

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Lobbying

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As a starting point in its planning exercise, the Board reviewed past industry surveys and information. The Board then identified the critical issues that today affect the consulting engineering industry in Canada as well as the Association. Participants felt very strongly that, as a national association, ACEC must continue to inform and educate clients about the value of consulting engineering services. Specifically, the Board warned that the concept of outsourcing cannot be taken for granted by the industry and that ACEC and its member firms must continue to demonstrate the overwhelming benefits and advantages of private sector engineering services.

With respect to qualifications-based selection, it was agreed that the incremental progress that the consulting engineering industry has made in this area over recent years will be pursued in a pro-active fashion. With the global trend towards cost reduction, both public and private sector clients need to understand that engineering services are not an expense, but an investment that can result in substantial savings in a project’s overall cost.

The Board also felt that the experience and expertise of consulting engineers is underused. Consulting engineers should not be seen as a commodity to address tactical issues and problems. Rather, the industry must build on its knowledge and competence and display the strategic role it can play in the overall planning, design and implementation of projects.

As for its international activities, the Board will put the emphasis on its relationships with FIDIC, the industry’s international federation, and with the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC, US) with the goal of identifying emerging trends. ACEC will also lobby the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for the return of major investments in infrastructure projects in developing countries. The leaders in these countries certainly recognize the vital need for reliable infrastructure. ACEC needs to continue to join its voice to theirs.

“The ACEC Board has set a clear direction for future action,” said ACEC President Claude Paul Boivin. “The Association will now implement a number of strategies to attain these goals.”

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