Qualimet collects two types of client information: business information and personal information.
Business information (business address and phone number) is not personal information and is not protected by privacy legislation. As far as is consistent with our legal obligations, as set out below, Qualimet has a policy of respecting the privacy of its business clients. We are committed to collecting, using, and disclosing client information responsibly.
Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Qualimet treats personal information according to the guidelines of the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
COLLECTING BUSINESS & PERSONAL INFORMATION
The day-to-day operation of our firm requires the collection, use, and disclosure of business and personal information. Reasons that Qualimet might collect, use, and disclose this information include:
- to provide engineering consulting services, opinions, and advice. This includes, but is not limited to, gathering and reviewing information that is relevant to an engineering issue affecting our clients so that we may express a sound engineering opinion on the issue and represent our clients effectively in engineering matters.
- to advise clients and others of new developments in our industry (for example, code and technology updates) and/or to inform them of news and changes related to Qualimet
- to send marketing or other materials intended to further the business relationship with the client, or to develop a business relationship with members of the general public who have supplied us with personal information
- to contact clients and staff, including contract staff
- to invoice clients, process credit card payments, and collect unpaid accounts
- to ensure high quality services, for example by assessing and recording the performance of our staff and principals
- to assist external advisors with audits or other quality assurance reviews
- to meet the record-keeping obligations set out by our governing association and by Federal and Provincial Regulations
INFORMATION COLLECTION/TRANSMISSION VIA OUR WEBSITE AND THE INTERNET
- on our website, cookies are used only to help you navigate the Site and are not used to monitor you
- no identifiable personal information about you is collected unless you volunteer it
- if you subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, your request will be sent to us via e-mail. Newsletters will be sent to you via e-mail, to an e-mail address that you specify.
The professional engineer/client relationship is based on trust and confidence. As a professional engineering consulting firm, we place the highest value on the security of the information we collect. We are bound by the rules of our profession, as dictated by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).
Here are the highlights of our information storage policies:
- paper information is either under supervision or secured in restricted areas
- electronic hardware is either under supervision or secured in restricted areas. Passwords are used on computers.
- when information is delivered outside of our offices, whether by fax, phone, e-mail, courier or otherwise, we endeavour to use only reputable companies and agencies
- client information is retained as required by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) , which is the local governing body for Engineering Practitioners, and as required by Federal & Provincial regulations
- archives are maintained. Because Qualimet is a full service engineering firm, we frequently provide clients with services in several different areas of engineering and/or provide ongoing services over a period of months or years. To ensure continuity of service and service quality, we retain and use previous client records to further our abilities to provide that client with new services.
INFORMATION DISCLOSURE AND USE
We do not sell, rent, or otherwise provide business and/or personal information or address lists to third party marketing companies. Personal and/or business information we have collected may be disclosed to outside parties, or may become accessible by them, under the following circumstances:
- clients or other individuals have questions about the services we have provided to them
- APEGA may choose to inspect our records and interview our staff as a part of its regulatory activities in the public interest
- we must disclose information in order to report to the proper authorities any suspected illegal behaviour and/or misconduct, incapacity, or incompetence on the part of other practitioners in our field. It is our policy to report these events as/when we become aware of them. Such reports could include information about clients or individuals, as needed to support the concern. We do try to keep such disclosures to a minimum and are always cognizant of engineer and client privilege.
- the information is requested by a government agency that has the authority to review our files and interview our staff as part of their mandates. In these circumstances, we may consult with professionals (lawyers and accountants, for instance).
- we retain an outside consultant or agency to help us provide engineering services or otherwise operate our business. These consultants may include other engineering firms, testing laboratories, computer consultants, office security and maintenance firms, bookkeepers, accountants, file storage companies, temporary workers, credit card companies, website managers, and cleaners. In the course of their duties, these consultants may have limited access to the information we hold. All external consultants and agencies must enter into privacy agreements with us and agree to abide by our Privacy Policies before they are allowed access to our information. Authorized access is limited to the information directly required by that consultant or agency to fulfill its obligations to us. Qualimet also makes reasonable efforts to limit unauthorized access.
- if Qualimet or its assets were offered for sale, the prospective purchaser would be allowed to conduct a “due diligence” review of the firm’s records, including some review of our accounting and service files. Only reputable purchasers who have agreed to buy the organisation’s business or its assets, and who have signed a confidentiality agreement, will be given such access to our files. The prospective purchaser will not be able to remove or record business or personal information.
REMOVAL/DESTRUCTION OF BUSINESS AND PERSONAL INFORMATION
We will, on request, remove from our distribution lists the personal information you have supplied.
It is our practice to destroy any unnecessary paper documents by shredding them. We destroy unnecessary electronic information by deleting it. Alternatively, we may send all or some of a client file to the client once a matter is completed.
Access to Your Personal Information
If you’re concerned about any aspect of the personal information that Qualimet may hold about you, please ask. Subject to overriding considerations of professional engineer/client privilege, we can help you identify what information we have about you, help you understand why the information was collected, and explain your options related to that information.
Before providing you with this access, we will need to confirm your identity if we do not know you. In accordance with the current Privacy legislation, we reserve the right to charge a nominal fee for accommodating such requests.
For further details on making a request for information, please e-mail our Information Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or send correspondence by mail or fax to:
8055 Coronet Road
Fax: (780) 465-5829
For more general inquiries, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees the administration of the Act in the private sector. The Commissioner also acts as an ombudsman for privacy disputes.
Last update: 2017 January 27