Market Quest Research Group Inc. of St. John's recently conducted a Member Survey on behalf of the Council of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador (PEGNL). The purpose of this study was to gauge the attitudes of members toward PEGNL, its mandate, activities and initiatives. The information provided by the survey will assist Council in monitoring its success in fulfilling its policy objectives.
This research was conducted in July via a telephone survey of current PEGNL members residing in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. To allow for analysis by designation (Engineer or Geoscientist), disproportionate stratified sampling was employed. Due to the use of disproportionate sampling, weights were developed to ensure that the sample was a proportionate representation of the population at the overall membership level. In total, 429 members completed the survey - 346 Engineers and 83 Geoscientists.
The full survey report can be viewed by at www.pegnl.ca/publications.
Consistent with 2002, satisfaction with PEGNL membership is relatively high. A large majority of members (81%) reported being somewhat (56%) or very satisfied (25%). Engineer members (26% very satisfied) continue to report stronger satisfaction than Geoscientist members (15% very satisfied); however, satisfaction has increased among Geoscientists since 2002, therefore narrowing the gap between these two groups.
Also similar to 2002, Engineers (4.3) are more likely than Geoscientists (3.7) to view the professional designation as important. However, this gap has decreased as Geoscientists are more likely to view the professional designation as important today (63%) than they were in 2002 (49%).
Motivations for membership have remained fairly consistent since 2002, with the majority of Engineers and Geoscientists reporting they are members because it is a requirement of their job or employer (51%).
Slightly more than one-half of members (52%) reported that they do not participate in local Chapter events. Furthermore, lack of participation is more common among Geoscientists (68%) than Engineers (50%).
Employer support for PEGNL membership is fairly common, with the majority of members agreeing (either somewhat or strongly) that their employer provides financial (64%) and non-financial (50%) support for their membership. However, non-financial support appears to be less common than it was in 2002 (69%).
Many members did not have any suggestions for how PEGNL could better serve its members. The responses that were given varied widely: more training/education (9%) and re-evaluating the professional development program (9%) were most commonly mentioned.
Responsibilities, Roles and Activities of PEGNL
Consistent with 2002, most members perceive PEGNL as primarily responsible to the citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador (59%), followed by the Engineer and Geoscientist members themselves (35%).
When members were asked to consider the importance of various roles of PEGNL, they placed the greatest importance on protecting public safety (4.7) and licensing qualified persons to be professional Engineers and Geoscientists (4.6). These roles were also rated highest in importance in 2002.
The activities and initiatives of PEGNL that are predominately "top-of-mind" for members are networking and social events (29%), protecting the professional title (22%) and providing group benefits (21%). Awareness of PEGNL's listed activities and initiatives is relatively high, ranging from 71% to 98%. Awareness was lowest for providing secondary liability insurance (72%) and attempting to influence government (71%). Members were also least aware of these in 2002, and since then, awareness of each has decreased.
Among PEGNL's ten main activities and initiatives, protection of the Engineer/Geoscientist professional title (4.4) was rated highest in importance by members again this year. Several activities/initiatives have increased in importance since 2002, with the largest increases occurring for maintaining a website; providing secondary professional liability insurance; and providing group benefits. Organizing networking/social events (3.0) and providing groups benefits (3.0) were rated the least important of PEGNL's activities.
Consistent with 2002, approximately three-quarters of members (77%) are supportive of two categories of PEGNL membership, one for those not actively practicing the profession and another for those meeting the requirements of active practice. With regards to the public being able to distinguish between these two categories, more members perceive this to be important now than in 2002 (64% and 52% respectively).
Members' responses to communications-related questions indicated that 75% reported that they read Dialogue, a decline from 95% in 2002. Of those who did not read Dialogue, 32% said they were not interested and 24% indicated that they were too busy.
Of those who did read Dialogue more often now, approximately 25% indicated that they did so because it was delivered electronically. The overall content of Dialogue was rated favourably by 34% of respondents. General interest (27%) and Members in the News (24%) were the articles read most often.
Almost all respondents (97%) have visited the PEGNL website, with visitation having increased 12% since 2002. Of those who had visited in the past year, 25% indicated they visit one or more times a month, and 71% one or more times a year. The most common reasons for visiting the website were: professional development (43%); membership renewal (20%); and information on member services (19%).
A majority of members (91%) report reading email sent from PEGNL, with the percentage having increased from 86% in 2002.
Approximately 61% indicated that they had read or referred to the 2006 Salary Survey and 72% agreed [strongly or somewhat] that PEGNL should continue to conduct these surveys in the future.
Most members believe the delay in the start of the Hebron Development has had a negative impact on the Engineering and Geoscience professions (61%) and on the province in general (68%). Members were more likely to perceive the delay as impacting the province than they were to perceive it as affecting their professions.
Support for PEGNL lobbying the provincial government and Chevron to resume Hebron negotiations was relatively high, with 41% reporting strong support and 32% reporting somewhat support.
© Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador