Canadian Consulting Engineer

National association votes to drop term “consultant” from its name

July 23, 2007
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

The Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada (ACEC) has voted to change its name to the "Association of Canad...

The Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada (ACEC) has voted to change its name to the “Association of Canadian Engineering Companies.” The vote was held at the ACEC Summit in Yellowknife held June 23.
According to the July 2007 issue of Consulting Engineers of Ontario’s E-update newsletter, “The ACEC Board felt that the new name more accurately conveyed the association’s mandate to promote the business and commercial interests of engineering firms. It appeared that many stakeholders were confusing ACEC with other engineering organizations that represented individual engineers rather [than} engineering firms.”
The newsletter report also noted that the term consultant “has unfortunately come into disrepute because of the proliferation of dubious enterprises that have branded themselves as ‘consultants.'”
Following the name change at the national level, the provincial associations of consulting engineers are faced with making a similar decision. Consulting Engineers of Ontario have invited comments from its members and said it will be consulting with them over the next year.
The name change also carries implications for Canadian Consulting Engineer magazine, which has been published under this title for over 45 years.
We therefore welcome your comments on whether the term “consulting engineer” still carries value among the public generally, and more particularly in the construction industry.
In the U.S., the sister organization of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada changed its name to the American Council of Engineering Companies several years ago. Conveniently, or inconveniently as the case may be, the same acronym serves for the Canadian and U.S. organizations, whether they keep or drop the “consultant” term.


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