ACEC-BC Response to Regulations Intentions Paper Consequent to the Professional Governance Act
On February 26 2019, ACEC-BC submitted a response to the BC Government’s call for input to inform regulations associated with the Professional Governance Act. The government is soliciting feedback via the Engage BC website, with a focus on: Practice Rights, Regulation of Firms, and Declarations of Competence and Conflict of Interest. Our response was based on input from members, collaboration with regulators and other stakeholders, and was approved by the Board on behalf of members.
In late 2018 the BC Government enacted the Professional Governance Act, which impacts government oversight of regulated professionals in five associations including Engineers and Geoscientists BC and Applied Science Technologist and Technicians BC. The Act establishes the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance to oversee the regulators on behalf of the Attorney General.
To be implemented, the Act requires regulations to be developed; the Government has provided guidance that regulations will be released over the next 1 – 4 years. The release of regulations will trigger repeal of existing regulations associated with legacy Acts like the Engineers and Geoscientists Act. More information on the details of legislation and regulation may be found on the Engineers and Geoscientists BC website.
ACEC-BC continues to monitor changes to regulation in BC, and to provide a strong voice on behalf of our members through engagement with the regulators, with other stakeholders and directly with government.
News Bulletin issued by Engineers & Geoscientists BC
On October 4, 2018 Engineers & Geoscientists BC issued a news bulletin concerning the provincial government's plans to introduce legislation that would implement recommendations of the Professional Reliance Review Final Report, including establishment of an Office of Professional Regulation and Oversight - New legislation anticipated for Professional Reliance recommendations
Professional Reliance Review - Final Report
On June 28, the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change released its final report on the review of professional reliance in the natural resource sector. The changes proposed in the report would introduce sweeping changes to the governance of regulators like Engineers and Geoscientists BC, and could potentially impact their ability to maintain a strong, responsive regulatory framework.
The proposed changes would impact all members, not just those who work in the natural resource sector. ACEC-BC member companies employ professionals in all of the five professions named in the review's Terms of Reference.
On August 28, 2018 ACEC-BC wrote a letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Hon. George Heyman, expressing our concerns about some of the recommendations in the Ministry's final report.
In particular, ACEC-BC does not support the creation of the Office of Professional Regulation and Oversight. We believe such an office is unnecessary, overly bureaucratic, adds costs and uncertainty and could be prone to undue influence from special interest groups.
We reiterated our position in a Letter to the Editor appearing in The Province newspaper, on Thursday September 20, 2018.
The five professional regulatory bodies, including Engineers and Geoscientists BC, are also united in their opposition to the proposed office.
Professional Reliance Review - Background
The Professional Reliance Review was initiated by government in October 2017 with the goal of examining the current legislation governing qualified professionals in the natural resource sector, and the role their professional associations play in upholding the public interest.
ACEC-BC's initial response is contained in our Submission to the Provincial Government Review of the Professional Reliance Model, dated January 2018.
The five professional regulators named in the review’s Terms of Reference are: