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Engineers Canada Board convenes successful strategic workshop

2020.08.27

As part of the development of Engineers Canada’s 2022-2024 strategic plan, the Engineers Canada Board held a strategic workshop on Thursday, August 13 and Friday, August 14. Jointly held remotely and in Banff, AB, the purpose of this workshop was to confirm the vision statement for Engineers Canada and select strategic priorities for the draft strategic plan. The strategic priorities for consideration had been developed based on input received at the February foresight workshop. 

“The Board discussed a range of substantial potential priorities, from rebuilding the accreditation system, to accelerating 30 by 30, to re-assessing the financial framework for Engineers Canada,” said Jean Boudreau, President of Engineers Canada. “Together we worked through this information and selected a targeted list of priorities. But the job’s not done. Now we need to ensure these priorities align with the expectations of the regulators.”

On October 1, regulator presidents and CEOs, as well as CEAB and CEQB representatives, will have the opportunity to preview the draft strategic plan during an information session. This will familiarize stakeholders with the draft strategic plan before consultations with the regulators begin later in the fall. A report of the strategic planning workshop will also be distributed in advance of the October 2 meeting of the Board.

Consultation feedback will then be consolidated and reviewed by the Board’s Strategic Plan Task Force and a final strategic plan will be submitted for Board approval in February 2021 and for regulator approval at their Annual Meeting of Members in May 2021.

The strategic planning process has unfolded differently than originally expected when the work began in 2019. Typically, the Board holds its strategic workshop in June, shortly after the spring meetings in May. The implications of the COVID-19 pandemic forced a rethink of how the Board would successfully assess the complex task of setting the future direction of the organization.

It also meant the potential strategic priorities identified at the February foresight workshop needed to be filtered through the impact COVID-19 is having across the world. This includes impacts such as remote learning in engineering education, the uneven impact for working women and men, and the potential for changes in the number of license holders. All were discussed during the workshop.

Indeed, the format of the workshop itself was dramatically different from past years. Delivered in a hybrid structure, approximately half of the attendees attended a physically distanced meeting in Banff, and the others attended via remote connection over Zoom.

“The logistics presented a challenge to our planning team to both successfully create an environment where Board members could talk intensely on very important issues impacting the engineering profession, while also ensuring meaningful participation from across the country,” said Gerard McDonald, Chief Executive Officer of Engineers Canada. “When I look at the outcome of this meeting, I’m pleased to see how successful we were able in achieving these objectives.”