Professional Governance Act


 

The regulatory landscape in British Columbia is changing. On February 5, 2021, the Professional Governance Act (PGA) came into force and replaced the Engineers and Geoscientists Act.

The Professional Governance Act was developed in response to two key recommendations of government’s 2017 professional reliance review, which evaluated the current legislation governing qualified professionals in the natural resource sector, and the role of professional regulators in upholding the public interest.

The PGA establishes a new, consolidated framework for professional regulators in the natural and built environment, including Engineers and Geoscientists BC and the regulators for forestry, agrology, biology, and applied science. It also establishes a new oversight body for this legislation—the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance (OSPG)—which reports into the Ministry of the Attorney General.

The legislation sets consistent standards for ethical principles, duties, and responsibilities, and governance structures, and it introduces new regulatory tools, processes, and requirements for Engineers and Geoscientists BC and its registrants.

The regulatory tools under the PGA will improve public safety and confidence in the engineering and geoscience professions, ultimately resulting in stronger regulation and a safer British Columbia.

What's Changing

Registrants have new obligations they need to be aware of, and new requirements they will need to follow.

Updated Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics has been updated to align with mandatory ethical principles contained in the PGA. The changes are modest and generally consistent with our previous Code of Ethics but new principles have been introduced that registrants should be aware of.

Continuing Education is now Mandatory

Continuing education requirements took effect on July 1, 2021. Practising registrants are required to complete 60 hours of continuing education within a 3-year rolling window.

Requirement to Keep Your Contact Information Updated

Registrants will need to verify their area of practice annually and keep their contact information up to date.

  • All registrants must update certain practice-related and contact information each year by June 30.
  • If your contact information changes, you now need to update it in your Engineers and Geoscientists BC account within 30 days of a change.

Firms are now Regulated

Engineering and geoscience firms are now regulated by Engineers and Geoscientists BC, bringing BC in line with the rest of Canada. All firms that engage in the practice of professional engineering or geoscience are required to hold a Permit to Practice.

Learn more about the some of the new requirements by visiting the following pages:

 

Next Steps

While the implementation of the PGA is a significant milestone, work is still underway on a few key policy items, including the consideration of practice rights for engineering technologists under the PGA.

The OSPG intends to begin a process with Engineers and Geoscientists BC and ASTTBC to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with, and potential approaches to, reserved practice within the engineering discipline for technologists and technicians. Engineers and Geoscientists BC supports the principle of providing opportunities for qualified technologists to practice independently – that is the goal of our professional licensee designation, which currently provides practice rights for technologists within a defined scope. Any expansion of practice rights and/or changes to the way in which those practice rights are regulated carries potential risk and as an organization we are is committed to participating fully in a process that provides opportunities to qualified engineering technologists while keeping public protection paramount. As this process is carried out, we will keep registrants up-to-date on key decisions.

Information and Resources

Download our special pull-out PGA reference guide from the Nov/Dec 2020 edition of Innovation.

View the full text of the legislation and updated Engineers and Geoscientists BC Bylaws.

Learn more about the Professional Reliance Review, which initiated these changes.

Webinar Series

We hosted a webinar series on key obligations and requirements under the Professional Governance Act. Topics included the New Code Ethics, Continuing Education Requirements, and Regulation of Firms.

Past Webinars

Professional Governance Act Overview
March 8, 2021

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Understanding Regulation of Firms
February 17, 2021

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Continuing Education Requirements
February 10, 2021

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Understanding the New Code of Ethics
January 27, 2021

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Professional Governance Act 2020 Update: What You Need to Know​
August 6, 2020

View Recording

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information on the Professional Governance Act, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Contact Us

Have a question about the PGA? Contact [email protected].