Bylaw Amendments in Detail
Council is proposing amendments to four bylaws that govern Life Membership, service recognition, and the use of the Non-Practising title. The changes aim to provide more accurate information to the public, and to enhance the way we deliver on our regulatory responsibilities by clarifying the professional obligations of those without practice rights, introducing more stringent guidelines for granting practice rights within honorary membership categories, and providing clearer guidelines for service recognition.
Currently, members may elect to move to “non-practising status,” if they are no longer practising engineering or geoscience, but wish to remain members of the association. Members who select this grade of membership do not retain practice rights, but may continue to use the unrestricted designations of P.Eng., P.Geo., Eng.L., and Geo.L. They retain all other membership privileges, including the ability to vote and run for office, and must meet registration requirements for returning to practice.
Council has recommended changes to this bylaw to better meet public expectations by clearly indicating if a member does not have practice rights. Utilizing a restricted title, such as P.Eng. (Non-Practising), provides clear recognition for the public as to whether a member is licensed to practice engineering or geoscience. This aligns with the practices of several other professions that utilize restricted titles for those who are no longer practising the profession—often accompanied by a reduced membership fee.
Amendments to this bylaw will:
- Introduce a requirement to use a restricted title, and to abide by return-to-practice provisions;
- 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 limited licensees as well as professional members.
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 The qualification language in the current Life Member Bylaw must be repealed as it contravenes the BC Human Rights Code.
The amendments introduce clauses to vest the status and rights of members who received Life Membership prior to June 16, 2017, and maintains the vested rights of those who received Life Membership under a previous version of this bylaw (prior to 1998).
However, the amendments would also introduce new requirements for members who received Life Membership under the current bylaw (between January 1, 1998, and June 16, 2017). Since current Life Members must be retired from all gainful employment, and are therefore non-practising, amendments have been proposed that align with the proposed changes to Bylaw 10(c): Non-Practising Member. These include a requirement to use a restricted 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 requirements for Life Membership or Licensure;
- Introduce a requirement to use a restricted 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; and
- Add vesting (grandfathering) for members who obtained this status between January 1, 1998 and June 16, 2017.
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 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, practice rights). Engineers and Geoscientists BC currently has 7 honorary members.
As both bylaws refer to “outstanding contributions,” it is proposed that the process for recognizing these contributions be streamlined through one bylaw, rather than two. In addition, it would be beneficial to separate special recognition from the granting of practice rights so that these two membership elements can be managed independently, as well as to provide Council with the authority to revoke Honorary Membership if required.
Amendments to these bylaws will:
- Repeal Bylaw 10 (c.2) and integrate with Bylaw 10 (d) to enable Council to award this grade of membership to a variety of members and non-members;
- Separate the awarding of Honorary Membership and the granting of practice rights; and
- Introduce revocation of Honorary Membership by Council where warranted.