Frequently Asked Questions

The following Frequently Asked Questions apply to the Professional Governance Act.

    General

    • 1. When does the Professional Governance Act (PGA) come into force?

      The PGA was anticipated to come into force in November, but the provincial election will slightly delay the planned implementation. The PGA will now come into force on February 5, 2021.

    • 2. Is the Engineers and Geoscientists Act still valid?

      Currently, yes. However, when the Professional Governance Act comes into force, the Engineers and Geoscientists Act will be repealed, and we will be governed exclusively under the PGA.

    • 3. Are we still self-regulated?

      Yes. Engineers and Geoscientists BC and the professions of engineering and geoscience are still fully self-regulating. We still have a council election each year, where the majority of councillors are elected by registrants. Additionally, registrant volunteers sit on our statutory committees and advisory groups that work to deliver on our mandate.

    • 4. What’s changing under the Professional Governance Act?

      The PGA sets consistent standards for ethical principles, duties and responsibilities, and governance structures for the regulatory bodies under its purview, including Engineers and Geoscientists BC and the regulators for forestry, agrology, biology, and applied science.

      The legislation also introduces new regulatory tools, processes, and requirements for Engineers and Geoscientists BC and its registrants.

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

      • An updated Code of Ethics will be introduced, aligned with mandatory ethical principles contained in the PGA.
      • Engineering and geoscience firms will become regulated, bringing BC in line with the rest of Canada.
      • Continuing education will be mandatory, requiring registrants to complete 60 hours within a three-year rolling period.
      • Registrants will need to verify their area of practice annually, and keep their contact information up-to-date.
    • 5. How can I learn more about the new regulatory requirements?

      We want to ensure registrants are kept updated and informed throughout our transition to the PGA. Watch for regular updates on egbc.ca/pga and articles in eNews and Innovation, as well as an upcoming webinar series, and a special information reference guide in the Nov/Dec edition of Innovation.

      Engineers and Geoscientists BC is currently developing a number of guides and resource tools to help registrants better understand their new requirements under the PGA. These will focus on the Code of Ethics, the Continuing Education Program, and Regulation of Firms. These documents are expected to be available in early 2021.

      For any questions related to the PGA, email [email protected].


    Advocacy

      • 1. Under the Professional Governance Act, will Engineers and Geoscientists BC be able to undertake advocacy activities?

        The Professional Governance Act will introduce restrictions on certain advocacy activities. The path to understand the implications of these restrictions has taken considerable time.

        Staff have worked hard on educating the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance (OSPG) on the unique challenges and needs of our organization. In particular, we have stressed with the OSPG the vital role that our volunteers play and the need to ensure that we maintain and continue to cultivate the spirit of volunteerism that is fundamental to our work.

        The OSPG has given us a framework to use in analyzing our programs and determining which ones are consistent with the PGA.

        Council has recently completed our review of programs using the framework. That review has confirmed that there will be a negligible impact from the PGA. Key programs like branches, the affinity program, and national engineering and geoscience month can continue.
         
        We still need to update the OSPG on our review and solicit their feedback before the process is final. We will keep registrants informed on this topic once the process reaches completion.


    Continuing Education

    • 1. Is continuing education reporting becoming mandatory?

      Yes. The PGA requires Engineers and Geoscientists BC to develop and implement a mandatory Continuing Education (CE) Program. The core elements of this program were reviewed and approved by Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Council in November 2019 and May 2020, following consultation with registrants.

    • 2. What are the core requirements of the new Continuing Education Program?
      Under the mandatory Continuing Education Program, registrants will be required to:
      • Complete 60 hours of continuing education on a three-year rolling period (20 hours a year on average);
      • Complete at least one hour of ethical learning and one hour of regulatory learning per year; and
      • Complete and submit a Continuing Education Plan on an annual basis.

      Our continuing education model lets you undertake a blend of technical, non-technical, professional and ethical training, and reflects feedback from registrants on how our program can better enable you to maintain competency in your area of practice.

      To learn more about the program visit our Continuing Education Program page.

    • 3. When will the new Continuing Education Program start?

      Beginning July 1, 2021, mandatory continuing education requirements will take effect. Registrants will be required to report their CEP hours to Engineers and Geoscientists BC each June. The first reporting date will be June 30, 2022.

    • 4. Who does the Continuing Education Program apply to? Are all registrants required to complete all activities?

      The full program requirements apply to any registrant with practice rights.

      EITs and GITs are exempt.

      Registrants with non-practising status still have to complete minimum requirements. They are required to complete a minimum of one CE hour each of ethical and regulatory learning every three-year rolling period.

    • 5. When are registrants required to report their CE hours under the new program?

      In the new program, the “reporting year” when registrants complete education activities runs from July 1 to June 30. Reporting of these activities must be completed by June 30.

      This is a change from the current CPD program, which has registrants reporting from January 1 to December 31, with January 31 as the reporting deadline.
       

    Regulation of Firms

    • 1. Which organizations will this regulation apply to?

      Regulation will apply to any firm that provides products and/or services requiring the application of professional engineering or professional geoscience, including the creation or processing of products. Firms will be required to apply for a Permit to Practice beginning July 2, 2021.

      This will include:

      • Companies;
      • Partnerships;
      • Corporations;
      • Consulting Firms;
      • Provincial government bodies (e.g., BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, BC Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Technical Safety BC, WorkSafeBC, BC Hydro);
      • Local and Municipal governments; and
      • Sole Practitioners including Sole Proprietors (incorporated/unincorporated).
    • 2. How does a firm apply for a Permit to Practice?

      The firm will need to complete an online application through the Engineers and Geoscientists BC website. Applications will be accepted online beginning July 2, 2021. The firm must apply by September 30, 2021.

    • 3. What information will be required to register for a Permit to Practice?

      During the application process, the firm will be required to provide the following information:

      • Business Name (including ‘Doing Business As’)
      • Identification of Responsible Registrant (RR)/Responsible Officer (RO)
        • The Responsible Registrant will be accountable for ensuring the firm’s required policies and procedures are in place on behalf of the company, and ensuring the policies and procedures are followed by the firm. They must also complete required training provided by Engineers and Geoscientists BC. For multi-professional firms, the RR is typically the Chief Engineer (or similar position)
        • The Responsible Officer will be accountable for ensuring the firm meets its obligations under the PGA and the Bylaws including reviewing and approving the firm’s Professional Practice Management Plan (PPMP)
        • For sole practitioners, the RR/RO may be the same person
      • Organization’s areas of practice
      • Location(s) of office(s)
      • Roster (list of all Registrants) (P.Eng., P.Geo., EIT, GIT, Licensees)
    • 4. What are the fees for a Permit to Practice?
      • Fees for multi-professional firms were developed in consultation with industry and will be ($500 x √𝑛), where n is the number of individual registrants on the firm’s Roster (list of all Registrants)
      • Fees for sole practitioners will be $250/year
        • Sole practitioners with EIT(s) or GIT(s) on staff will still qualify and not be charged additional fees for those positions
      • The application fee is $350, which includes one free seat for training. Additional seats for training may be purchased
    • 5. Will registration be required for firms that are based in another province/country but provide professional services in BC?

      Yes. All firms and sole practitioners that provide engineering or geoscience products or services in BC. will be required to have a BC. Permit to Practice and to abide by regulatory requirements established by Engineers and Geoscientists BC. 

    • 6. Who can I contact for more information or to check if this requirement is applicable to my firm?

      If you think you might need to register but aren’t sure, please contact our Practice Advisors at [email protected].