Bylaw Amendments in Detail
Council is proposing amendments to four bylaws that govern Life Membership, honorary memberships, and the use of the Non-Practising and Retired titles. The changes aim to:
- provide more accurate information to the public;
- provide members with flexibility to manage their license during career transitions;
- modernize the governance structure of the professions;
- enhance the way we deliver on our regulatory responsibilities by clarifying the professional obligations of those without practice rights.
This bylaw outlines the rights and responsibilities of members and limited licensees who elect to move to “non-practising” status if they are no longer practising engineering or geoscience, but wish to maintain their status as a member or limited licensee of the association.
Council has recommended changes to this bylaw to better meet public expectations: the qualifiers of (Non-Practising) or (Retired) provide clarity as to whether a member or limited licensee is permitted to practice engineering or geoscience. The change aligns with the practices of several other professions that utilize qualified titles for those who are no longer practising the profession. As with other professions, the proposal includes a reduced membership fee for those who elect non-practising status.
Amendments to this bylaw will:
- Introduce a requirement for non-practising members or licensees to use one of two qualifiers [e.g., (Non-Practising) or (Retired)], and to abide by return-to-practice provisions. The non-practising fee will be reduced to 50% of membership dues should the bylaw be ratified;
- Introduce an annual commitment to Council not to engage in the practice of professional engineering or professional geoscience until released from the commitment by Council in writing; and
- Apply to professional engineers, professional geoscientists, and limited licensees.
The draft Guideline and FAQ for Non-Practising Status
provides detailed information about what it means to have non-practising status.
Bylaw 10 (c.1) entitles members to apply for Life Membership if they are 70 years of age, have been practising for 35 years or more, have been a member in good standing for 20 years or more, and are retired from all gainful employment. The qualification criteria in the current Life Member Bylaw must be repealed as the criteria likely contravene the BC Human Rights Code.
The amendments maintain the status and rights of members who received Life Membership prior to June 16, 2017, and maintains the practice rights of those who received Life Membership under a previous version of this bylaw (prior to 1998).
The amendments also align with the proposed changes to Bylaw 10 (c): Non-Practising Member to include a requirement to use a qualified title, and to make an annual commitment to Council not to engage in the practice of professional engineering or professional geoscience.
Amendments to this bylaw will:
- Repeal the qualification criteria for Life Membership or Licensure, therefore closing the category of Life Membership;
- Introduce a requirement to use a qualified title and abide by return-to-practice conditions;
- Introduce an annual commitment to Council for non-practising Life Members (1998+) not to engage in the practice of professional engineering or professional geoscience until released from the commitment by Council in writing;
- Maintain the status for members who obtained this status between January 1, 1998 and June 16, 2017; and
- Maintain the practice rights of those who received Life Membership under a previous version of this bylaw (prior to 1998).
Bylaws 10 (c.2) and 10 (d) govern the recognition of members who have served as President of the association or who have made “outstanding contributions” to the professions.
Honorary life membership under Bylaw 10 (c.2) is granted to a member or limited licensee who has served as President of the association or who has made outstanding contributions to the professions, and awards all other member privileges without payment of annual fees. It is traditionally awarded to the outgoing President upon the completion of his or her term, as well as outgoing CEOs. Although it allows for the recognition of other members who have made outstanding contributions, it has only been awarded once to an individual other than an outgoing President or CEO since its introduction in 1998. It also grants practice rights for life.
Honorary membership under Bylaw 10 (d) is granted to non-members who have made outstanding contributions to the professions, and grants honorary membership in perpetuity without any other membership rights or privileges (e.g., voting rights, practice rights). Engineers and Geoscientists BC currently has seven honorary members.
Member feedback indicated general support for eliminating both Bylaw 10 (c.2) and Bylaw 10 (d), suggesting that other means (such as awards) would be appropriate for recognizing outstanding contributions to the professions.
Amendments to these bylaws will:
- Repeal Bylaw 10 (c.2) and 10 (d);
- Maintain the current status for members who currently hold Honorary Life Membership or Honorary Membership; and
- Provide Council the power to revoke Honorary Membership if warranted.
Learn More about the Proposed Bylaw Amendments