In October 2017, the City of Richmond became the first municipality to join the Accredited Employer Member-in-Training (MIT) pilot program offered by Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia. The program has a number of benefits for employers and engineers-in-training (EITs).
How the Program Works
Employers develop a training program that ensures EITs acquire the necessary skills and experience for professional licensure. Then the organization applies to Engineers and Geoscientists BC for accreditation. This accreditation is free, lasts 3 years, and is renewable.
Employers identify potential candidates and, upon approval, the EITs register themselves in the program. During their training period, EITs are able to collaborate with mentors and supervisors who are more familiar with the competency requirements for professional engineers, which gives them increased confidence during the application process. Once they complete their 4-year work experience period, their licensing applications are fast-tracked. (A similar program is being planned for geoscientists-in-training.)
How It Benefits the City of Richmond
“The Accredited Employer MIT Program closely aligns with the core values we have here at the City of Richmond,” says the General Manager of Engineering and Public Works, Robert Gonzalez, P.Eng. “We strongly support the growth of our staff, which results in a diverse and well-trained team that does quality work. Participation in the program encourages the EITs here at the City to become more well-rounded, versatile, and effective in various areas of priority.”
To enhance training, the program also provides resources and information that aren’t publically available, as well as a dedicated Engineers and Geoscientists BC staff member who can be consulted. The City is allowed to publicize the fact that they’re an accredited employer with the association, which can help them recruit and retain strong EIT and P.Eng. employees.
Two months after receiving accreditation, the City of Richmond began to see results. One of its EITs had their work experience reviewed and their application for professional licensure processed in only 5 weeks.
A Trainee Leads the Way
EIT, Christopher Chan, first heard about the Accredited Employer MIT Program at a seminar hosted by the association’s Richmond/Delta Branch. He mentioned it to the City’s Director of Engineering, John Irving, P.Eng., who encouraged him to find out more.
With the assistance of his colleagues and Engineers and Geoscientists BC, Chan managed the City’s application process. This included preparing the EIT program documentation and arranging the post-accreditation training sessions the association offers to mentors, supervisors, and project managers.
Should Your Organization Get Accredited?
Chan has some advice for EITs who are interested in establishing an Accredited Employer MIT Program at their workplace: “Start by doing your research and make sure your firm qualifies for the program. Are there enough professional engineers to support the program? Does your training plan align with professional competencies from Engineers and Geoscientists BC? If it looks like your firm is eligible, present the details to your leaders to secure their interest. Take the time to explain the program to EITs, P.Eng. mentors, and other interested parties, as their support and understanding of the benefits are critical.”
“It is important for the City of Richmond to participate in these programs, as we provide unique insight and training opportunities,” says Gonzalez. “It’s great to be able to give back to the engineering profession and help out new grads.”
Participation in the Accredited Employer Member-in-Training Program is free. For more information, contact Leila Lagroix at [email protected] or visit egbc.ca/Accredited-Employer-MIT-Program.
Current Employer Participants