In response to the numerous comments you sent us (for which we thank you), you will find below answers to the questions most frequently asked about the end of the exclusivity agreement between the OIQ and the Réseau des ingénieurs.
We look forward to hearing your opinions on this issue.
Réseau des ingénieurs
- What is the reason for the Réseau des ingénieurs and how has its mission evolved?
The mission of the Réseau des ingénieurs is to serve the common interests of engineers
with respect to commercial services, career and training services
and representations to the public
A bit of history:
In 2002, wishing to refocus on its primary mandate of protecting the public, the OIQ endowed the Corporation de services des ingénieurs du Québec (also known as SERVIQ) with service offerings in exchange for royalties. Its mission at that time read as follows: “Offer engineers a range of advantageous services, promoting their socio-economic interests” (2002-2003 SERVIQ Report).
- What is the origin of the agreement between the Réseau des ingénieurs and the OIQ?
The Réseau des ingénieurs is the Service Corporation of Québec Engineers, a not-for-profit organization. In this capacity, it is independent of the OIQ and does not collect any dues.
- How does the Réseau des ingénieurs finance itself?
Financially independent of the OIQ, the Réseau des ingénieurs does not ask engineers to pay to become members and benefit from its services.
The Réseau des ingénieurs is able to offer services to engineers thanks to the royalties paid by its partners from the purchase of services and from advertising and training revenues. The Réseau des ingénieurs has no other source of funds or compulsory dues.
The OIQ has never financed the Réseau des ingénieurs. In fact, the opposite is true: the Réseau des ingénieurs has paid the OIQ for the privilege of offering its services to engineers. Thus, the end of the agreement on March 31, 2010 also implies the end of the payment of substantial sums to the OIQ.
- What is the motivation for the OIQ to go back to offering services; is it part of its mission?
We understand that this decision by the OIQ has created confusion among engineers, but let us reassure you: we will continue to carry on our mission to work in the interest of engineers.
The mission of every professional order is to protect the public, supervise professional practices and ensure respect for the code of ethics. However, the OIQ seems to have decided to expand its activities. Accordingly, the question of why is one that should be addressed directly to the OIQ and we invite you to do so.
Those who think that they should have been consulted before such an important decision was made or that this choice weakens its focus on its primary mission should ask the OIQ directly.
For any information about the distinct mission of the OIQ, you can refer to the OIQ site: http://www.oiq.qc.ca/inshort/charter-mission.html
- Why are our two major organizations fighting over services instead of collaborating?
We do not see ourselves as adversaries. We prefer to admit on the facts and act in full transparency. We do however share the opinions of engineers who, in the comments they have sent us, say they are disappointed or surprised.
Some have said that they are “dismayed” and that this is "not a serious way to proceed.” We have heard you. The decision of the OIQ to offer new services and set the Réseau des ingénieurs aside was a surprise for us as well, giving us the feeling, as we have often said, that this situation sets engineers back ten years, in addition to giving the unpleasant impression that the OIQ is challenging the justification for the Réseau des ingénieurs.
It is true that the two of us will be competing to offer certain services. To deny that would be foolish. Unless there is a change of direction by the OIQ, we nevertheless prefer to see it as healthy future competition. That may well mean that there will be even more competitive offers for engineers in the short term, but in the medium and long term, it undoubtedly weakens the strength of the group.
This decision by the OIQ will have no consequence for the services and activities offered by the Réseau des ingénieurs, except to make us work even harder to make them even more competitive on the market.
- Does the OIQ offer services because those of the Réseau des ingénieurs were not attractive enough?
Some engineers have told us their opinion about certain services we offer. We have received various comments about some of our rates and services, and we are currently in the process of verifying the details with our partners. As with services everywhere, there are some users who are more satisfied than others.
We know that there is still a way to go if we are to offer engineers services that meet all their requirements, in terms of both benefits and regional accessibility. We are very much aware of the needs of members and favour continuous improvement. Your opinion is very valuable to us because above all, we are seeking your satisfaction.
- Are there other organizations to which the Réseau des ingénieurs offers services?
In the fall of 2009, well after the decision by the OIQ to proceed with an RFP for services, the Réseau des ingénieurs was proud to expand its offerings to forest engineers. Following the lead of Gestion Férique, which had already opened its services to this group, we considered offering certain commercial services to forest engineers to be a pilot project for testing our ability to offer services to another organization and thereby increase our revenues. As you know, forest engineers are not members of the Réseau des ingénieurs. They are considered associates and can therefore not vote or be elected to the Réseau des ingénieurs Board of Directors.