Alberta chemists have long seen the need for establishing legal status and regulation for chemical professionals. A survey of those practicing chemistry in Alberta in the 1980s demonstrated overwhelming support for the formation of a professional association. At that time, both Ontario and Quebec had professional associations for chemists in their provinces, the ACPO and the OCQ, respectively. In Alberta, engineers, biologists, agrologists and several other science-based professions had been accorded legal status as professionals.
The Constitution of Canada gives the legal power to regulate professions exclusively to the provinces, so national scientific organizations (such as the Chemical Institute of Canada) cannot legally enforce any regulation of the chemical profession on a national basis. Each province must establish its own professional organizations. As a first step toward professional registration for Alberta chemists, the ACPA was established in 1992 as an incorporated society under the Societies Act of the Province of Alberta. When this society had gained sufficient membership numbers and resources, it would be possible to move forward to professional registration.
On December 19, 2001, the Professional Chemists Regulation of the Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act (POARA) received royal assent from the Lieutenant-Governor of Alberta. Since then, the ACPA has been legally recognized as an association of self-regulating professionals with exclusive rights to the titles "Professional Chemist" and "Chemist in Training" in Alberta. Other rights and responsibilities have since followed, particularly in environmental work.
The Association of the Chemical Profession of Alberta was established in 1992 by a small group of volunteers, and the ACPA is proud to acknowledge the successful efforts of these founding members: Conrad Ayasse, Frank Bachelor, Arthur Bollo-Kamara, Brent W. Cook, Paul Fee, Terry Field, Harry Gunning, Gerry Tertzakian, and David W. Schwass. Thank you all!