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September 2007

2007 Stakeholders Survey Offers Positive Views of our Profession

Market Quest Research Group Inc. of St. John's recently conducted a Stakeholder Survey on behalf of the Council of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador (PEGNL). The purpose of this study was to assess stakeholders' perceptions of the professions of engineering and geoscience.

The specific objectives of the study included: 

  • gauging stakeholders' attitudes towards engineers and geoscientists in relation to other professions; 
  • assessing stakeholders' opinions of the roles and responsibilities of engineers and geoscientists; 
  • determining the importance of professional licensure to stakeholders; 
  • assessing stakeholders' perceptions of PEGNL's roles; and 
  • assessing stakeholders' experiences with hiring new or recent engineering and earth sciences graduates.

For more details regarding survey results, please see www.pegnl.ca/publications.

STUDY METHODOLOGY 

For this research, 'stakeholders' were defined as individuals with organizations that employ or deal with professional engineers and/or professional geoscientists.

PEGNL identified five key stakeholder groups for inclusion in this research: Newfoundland Ocean Industries Association members; Newfoundland and Labrador Construction Association members; and managers of municipal governments, the provincial government and the federal government.

The final sampling group consisted of 1,473 stakeholders, of which 306 completed the survey. Data collection was conducted via telephone from June 14-July 6, 2007.

STUDY HIGHLIGHTS

Demographics 

A few stakeholder respondents were members of PEGNL; 85% were not members.

The most common job titles of respondents were: President/CEO/Owner (17%); Mayor (16%); Manager/General Manager (12%); or Town Clerk/Manager (11%).

Three-quarters of stakeholders (76%) hire Engineering consultants on a contract basis and 43% employ Professional Engineers.

Stakeholders' Perceptions of Various Professions 

Survey respondents indicated that professional engineers and professional geoscientists were held in high regard.

The majority of stakeholders felt that Engineers (47%) and Social Workers (26%) are the most valuable professions to the community. 

Furthermore, almost all stakeholders (95%) associate the work of Engineers with public safety, while 27% associate the work of Geologists with public safety. 

The survey asked for a) their general impressions, and their perceptions of b) honesty/ethical conduct and c) competency for six professions: Accountants, Architects, Engineers, Geologists, Lawyers, Social Workers. 

The responses relating to engineers and geoscientists overall were very positive: 

  1. General impression:  engineers 92%, geologists 67% 
  2. Honesy/ethical conduct: engineers 76%, geologists 59% 
  3. Competency: engineers 78%, geologists 59%

In all three areas, engineers rank highest overall of all six professions.

Employment of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists 

  • Nearly one-quarter of stakeholders (22%) hire Geoscience consultants on a contract basis and a minority (8%) employ Professional Geoscientists. 
  • Just over one-half of stakeholders (56%) work with Professional Engineers other than contracted consultants and employees. Two in ten (20%) work with Professional Geoscientists other than contracted consultants and employees.

Perceptions of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists 

Of those who employ or contract Engineers: 

  • 69% feel licensed Professional Engineers provide a greater level of competency than non-licensed Engineers. 
  • 60% feel licensed Professional Engineers provide a higher level of ethical conduct than non-licensed Engineers. 

Of those who employ or contract Geoscientists: 

  • 66% feel licensed Professional Geoscientists provide a greater level of competency than non-licensed Geoscientists. 
  • 61% feel licensed Professional Geoscientists provide a higher level of ethical conduct than non-licensed Geoscientists.

Satisfaction with Engineers 

In dealing with Engineers over the past 2 years, most stakeholders have been very or somewhat satisfied with their conduct (92%) and work (89%).

Over one-half (51%) of stakeholders would contact the Engineer's employer if they were not satisfied with their work.

Professional Licensure 

93% felt that professional licensure was very or somewhat important for their organization. When asked why, 33% said because of requirement/liability/safety issues and 51% because it ensures competency.

The information provided by the survey will assist Council in monitoring its success in fulfilling its policy objectives.

If you have a question/comment regarding this survey, please contact Steve McLean at 753-7714 or smclean@pegnl.ca.

Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador

 

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