The Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists

OACETT modifies operations amid pandemic

In March, the Ontario government ordered the mandatory closure of all non-essential businesses across the province to combat COVID-19. With OACETT not considered an essential business, our head office closed. Though the office remains closed, we are still here for you.

Over the past few months our management team has come up with solutions to deliver on-demand member services, meet your certification needs and handle membership transactions until things return to normal. We know this has not been easy, and want to ensure we make this period less stressful for you.

Here is an update from each of OACETT’s departments on the changes they have made to support you through the pandemic.

Institute of Engineering Technology of Ontario Update

We know that membership and certification with OACETT can make a difference in times of economic hardship and differentiate you from others who may not have our designations, so we are working diligently to keep processing applications and certifications as efficiently as possible.

Our online new member, student and upgrade applications allow individuals to become new members of the association and progress to certification. Email exchanges allow required supporting documentation to arrive in the hands of our certification coordinators and then onto the OACETT Admissions Committee to review documents and provide assessments remotely.

Professional Practice Exam

For those who need to write a Professional Practice Exam, the ability to purchase an exam and its corresponding study guide are available. Writing the Professional Practice Exam was delayed for approximately one month due to our online proctoring service suspending its operations while they dealt with pandemic-related challenges, but service was restored before the end of April and exams resumed as before.

Technology Report Proposals and Technology Report

Typically, technology report proposals and technology reports are mailed or couriered to the OACETT office. Now, you can email them to us.  Requests for Letters of Good Standing, employer letters and member verifications continue with no issues.  Colleges not able to send official transcripts through the mail submitted transcripts via email and will provide official ones once colleges reopen. For difficulty obtaining other documents, contact Carol Warner, C.Tech., manager of admissions and certification to discuss options.

For certification inquiries, contact the following staff members:  
  • For new applications, outstanding documents, and CPD, contact Elizabeth at ekim@oacett.org.
  • For upgrading from associate to certified status, road construction designations, and student applications, contact Hala at hmaski@oacett.org.
  • For the results of your file review, transfers, and reinstatements, contact April at aparnell@oacett.org.
  • For technology report proposals, technology reports, employer and other letters, and any Office of the Registrar matters, including misuse of title, contact Audrey at adsouza@oacett.org.
  • For CPD audit matters, contact Geoffrey at gchappell@oacett.org.
  • For all other applications and certification matters, contact Carol Warner, C.Tech., manager of admissions and certification at cwarner@oacett.org.
Professional Affairs and Services Update

The Professional Affairs and Services (PAS) department traditionally includes communications, marketing, outreach, events, conferences, chapter meetings, and government relations – each of these impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
While individuals endure personal and financial hardship during this evolving situation, OACETT is committed to, providing services that support our members. Our priorities will shift over the next few months as we work on meeting the changing needs of our members. The following is a snapshot of these changes:
 
2020 AGM and Conference 

The AGM and Conference is OACETT’s premier event held every spring. However, due to the provincial government’s Declaration of Emergency and the justified hesitancy of the public to travel and meet in large groups, the Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held virtually on May 30.  The conference portion of this annual event is postponed and scheduled to take place from October 28 – 30.  This date will be re-evaluated in the months to come with guidance from both the municipal and provincial governments.
 
For further information about OACETT’s conference, contact Julia at jfarner@oacett.org.
 
Chapter meetings and events 

All chapters have the option to conduct their Annual Chapter Meeting (ACM) virtually or postpone the meeting date with a deadline of August 31, pending the pandemic’s decline in Ontario.  OACETT will monitor the Ontario government’s directives and guidelines relating to the epidemic to determine if the remaining ACMs will be held remotely. 
 
We have also cancelled all in-person chapter events until further notice. During the government’s stay-at-home order, OACETT will provide chapters with the technology required to hold virtual monthly meetings and encourage all chapters to think outside the box and create virtual events to engage members.
 
For further information about your chapter meetings and events, contact Julie at jbeckstead@oacett.org.
 
Professional development 

OACETT is now offering complimentary and reduced cost online learning options and informative webinars that fulfill your continuing professional development (CPD) requirements and help you stay employable now and into the future.  We understand many of you are facing stressful situations during this crisis and want you to continue your path towards certification and career success despite these unprecedented times.
 
For further information on this new CPD initiative, send an email to services@oacett.org.
 
College and corporate outreach 

Since all 24 Ontario colleges are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our outreach team has transformed their traditional in-person college and event presentations to an online model.  This online approach to build awareness about OACETT will include live webinars, social media promotion and website updates with more information on the benefits of joining OACETT.  We have delayed the launch of our new corporate strategic partnership program until the government lifts social distancing measures. Once the pandemic has subsided, and life gets back to normal, look out for our exciting new program, which will see us partner with great companies that believe in our certification.
 
For more information on college outreach, contact Trishia at ttedoldi@oacett.org. For more details on corporate outreach, contact Alex at amiller@oacett.org.
 
Finance and Administration Update

Before the COVID-19 crisis, OACETT was prepared with an existing pandemic policy in place. This policy was updated in early March and revised to meet today’s business needs. Our business continuity plans were also reviewed and updated by each department to ensure operations continue to run smoothly.

Operations

With the office closed, we have modified the way we do business for the health and safety of staff and members. So far, we’ve been successful in ensuring our operations remain intact and are working hard to support and meet the needs of our members.
Thanks to our IT department, OACETT staff is working remotely from home on a remote platform that delivers a seamless experience for employees. Staff have access to their voicemails and receive facsimiles through email. 
When the office closed, mail services were temporarily suspended but were resumed shortly after through staff coordination and the help of a mail delivery vendor.  Our membership card vendor has had intermittent closures (due to the pandemic), which has caused delays with the delivery of membership cards to members.

If you need proof that your membership is in good standing, contact Audrey at 416-621-9621 ext. 232 or adsouza@oacett.org. For OACETT members with a road construction designation who require proof of renewal, contact Hala at 416-621-9621 ext. 237 or hmaski@oacett.org.

Payments and dues

The financial position of the organization remains stable and is continually being assessed to ensure OACETT maintains its operations in supporting our membership during the pandemic. All government relief measures are being considered and reviewed for eligibility.

With so many business shutdowns and employers forced to lay off workers, we understand some OACETT members may be financially impacted by this economic downfall and may find it challenging to make their annual dues payment.  We are striving to adapt and respond to members in this predicament and want to ensure our current members remain members.
Members with late payment fees on their current outstanding annual dues invoice will have those fees waived. Members can contact the finance department if they would like to have this fee waived. For upcoming dues invoices, there will be no late payment fee charged during the pandemic.

OACETT Council has introduced renewal options and support measures to assist members. For assistance with these financial matters, contact Christine at 416-621-9621 ext. 226 or cmurakami@oacett.org, or Beena at 416-621-9621 ext. 241 or bkhan@oacett.org.

 
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t: (416) 621-9621 / f: (416) 621-8694 / info@oacett.org
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