Professional Governance Act Update

Thursday, February 21, 2019

In late 2018 the Government of British Columbia passed the Professional Governance Act, which consolidates oversight of five professional regulators under the new Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance.  Over the next few years the Government will release regulations to support implementation of the new Act.

The Government is seeking input from the public as they prepare to write regulations related to: Practice Rights of Professionals, Regulation of Firms, and Competency Declarations and Conflict of Interest Declarations. The public has the opportunity to provide feedback on these three topics through Engage BC (engage.gov.bc.ca) until March 4, 2019.

ACEC-BC is preparing a comprehensive response on behalf of our members. A copy of the complete submission will be provided to members in the coming days; members are encouraged to support this process by providing their own feedback as well through the Engage BC website.

In our formal response, ACEC-BC will provide the following feedback:

Practice Rights: We support extension of practice rights to all regulated professionals, with scope of practice and right to practice determined by regulators. We seek clarity and efficiency in regulation, and encourage the Government to identify a single regulator for engineering and geoscience practice. Additionally, we support the current process of managing shared scope through joint development of practice guidelines.

Regulation of Firms: ACEC-BC’s participation in the Engineers and Geoscientists BC Advisory Task Force on Corporate Regulation provides us with the confidence to fully endorse the program defined in the Task Force reports. We affirm our position that there be no exemptions from regulation, and that practices commonly used in other jurisdictions (i.e. APEGA) be used in BCs program.   Further, we support continuity of professional ethics, and encourage Government to hold owners (clients) to the same ethical standard as practitioners and firms.

Competency and Conflict of Interest Declarations: Our members deeply understand professional and ethical conduct, and believe that the Code of Ethics for engineers and geoscientists provides assurance to the public that work is completed only by competent practitioners and is free from conflict of interest; professional declarations are signified by the “Use of Seal”. We encourage Government to make use of existing practice to reinforce this principle: consolidate declarations with regulation of firms (annual declaration), and make use of existing Assurance Statements for declarations related to natural resources projects.

Look for more information in the coming days by email!

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