Alternate Funding - The Recommended Model

The Alternate Funding Ad Hoc Committee has recommended to Council that the digital permit stamp be adopted for the purpose of partially funding the ALSA.  Council accepted the recommendation and the next step is to bring the recommendation to the members at the 2019 AGM.  

However, before that happens the committee would like to inform the members why the digital permit stamp was chosen as the best alternative for the funding model. 

The committee meticulously reviewed and exhaustively researched all possible options and believes the digital permit stamp is the best fit for the ALSA at this time.  In the future, there may be better options; For now, the digital permit stamp is recommended.

Several factors support the selection of the digital permit stamp.  Firstly, it is the easiest model to implement at this time. Moreover, the use of digital stamps is familiar to the members.  

A digital permit stamp (i.e., a digital image) will be issued by the ALSA to each land surveyor’s corporation or sole practitioner. When the stamp is ordered for attachment to a final plan, a unique code is generated through the existing ALSA database, “digitally stamping” the product.

When a land surveyor’s corporation affixes its permit stamp to a product, the land surveyor’s corporation pays a fee.

Issuing, tracking and billing by the ALSA would be affordable and easily implemented. 

Excluding design and set-up efforts (which are expected to be reasonable) delivery and maintenance of the system would be entirely controlled internally by the ALSA.  There would be no outside influence from government or other organizations. The ALSA and its members would essentially own it.  

This model gives the ALSA the opportunity to improve its obligations to regulate the profession and protect the public. The ALSA could monitor who is authoring the products and the quality of those products through competency review.  The exact details have not been worked out yet but it is feasible.

As an added benefit, digitally stamping a product by an ALS could lead to clients and authorities recognizing the stamp as a trademark for quality professional survey products and services in Alberta.  Quite possibly, it could lead to clients requesting that only a professionally stamped products be accepted - even products and services that are not currently done under the exclusive authority of an ALS.

The preliminary fee collection structure is designed to offer an equitable distribution of fees from products authored by members. A tier system of fees is suggested that would be based on the revenue generated by each product.  In essence, the fee for a larger revenue generating product would be charged significantly more than smaller projects.

The recommended fee collection structure could be scaled for budgeting purposes.  The amount of fee per product in each tier could easily be adjusted. However, it will take several years to obtain enough hard data on volume and types of products to accurately predict revenues.

A report will be issued prior to the regional meetings and the AGM to explain the recommended alternate funding model of the digital permit stamp.  Keep in mind that it is not a finished product, but rather, an outline of a program to be developed over the next year.  The intent is to develop a model that, generates revenue, is fair to all practitioners, and easy to use. 

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The Alberta Land Surveyors' Association (ALSA) is a self-governing professional association legislated under the Land Surveyors Act. The Association regulates the practice of land surveying for the protection of the public and administration of the profession.