Life Membership, Non-Practising, and Honorary Membership Bylaws

Council is proposing amendments to four bylaws that govern Life Membership, honorary membership, and the use of the Non-Practising title. 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; and
  • enhance the way we deliver on our regulatory responsibilities by clarifying the professional obligations of those without practice rights.

The changes arose out of a legal challenge that Bylaw 10 (c.1): Life Membership or Licensure is discriminatory based on age. The current bylaw entitles members to apply for life membership if they are 70 years of age, have been practising for 35 years or more, and have been a member in good standing for 20 years or more. Under Section 14 of BC's Human Rights Code, membership associations such as Engineers and Geoscientists BC are prohibited from discriminating against individuals on the basis of age.

Council decided to cease exercising its discretion to offer Life Membership effective June 16, 2017, and directed a review of this bylaw, as well as related bylaws that govern honorary memberships and the use of the Non-Practising title.

The bylaw amendments will be presented to members for ratification in the fall, in conjunction with the Council election. Amendments to Engineers and Geoscientists BC's bylaws require at least two-thirds (66.67%) support by voting members in order to pass.

Frequently Asked Questions

what amendments are proposed?

1. Bylaw 10 (c): Non-practising Member

These amendments will better meet public expectations by clarifying whether a member or limited licensee is permitted to practice engineering or geoscience. The proposal includes a reduced membership fee for those who elect non-practising status.

Read More

2. Bylaw 10 (c.1): Life Membership or Licensure

These amendments will remove criteria that contravene the BC Human Rights Code, and align with the proposed changes to Bylaw 10 (c): Non-Practising Member (require the use of a qualified title, and an annual commitment to Council not to practice professional engineering or professional geoscience). The proposal will maintain the status and rights of members who currently hold Life Membership.

Read More

3. Bylaw 10 (c.2): Honorary Life Membership or Licensure and Bylaw 10 (d): Honorary Membership

These amendments will repeal Bylaws 10 (c.2) and 10 (d), and allow Council to revoke Honorary Membership if warranted. The proposal will maintain the status of members who currently hold Honorary Life Membership or Honorary Membership.

Read More

The Bylaw Amendment Process

Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s bylaws guide the association and its members in performing their duties. From time to time, bylaws are amended or introduced to enact policy or procedure enhancements, and to enable the association to perform its regulatory duties more effectively.

Once Council proposes a bylaw for amendment, the process of member and stakeholder consultation begins, and is guided by Council’s Policy on Bylaw Consultation. Council reviews the feedback collected (sometimes making additional changes based on this feedback) and confirms a final version of the bylaw for member ratification. All association bylaws require at least 2/3 (66.67%) support by voting members in order to pass.

If bylaw amendments are ratified by members, the bylaw requires the approval of government prior to becoming law. The Minister of Advanced Education, who is the Minister responsible for the Engineers and Geoscientists Act, has the ability to disallow bylaws if they are not in the public interest.

CURRENT STATUS

The bylaw amendments will be presented to members for ratification in the fall, in conjunction with the Council election. Amendments to Engineers and Geoscientists BC's bylaws require at least two-thirds (66.67%) support by voting members in order to pass.

Consultation on the proposed bylaw amendments ran from December 2017 to March 2018, and sought feedback from members, including key membership groups impacted by these amendments, and member committees. Engagement included focus groups with members who would have previously qualified for life membership, a webcast on the changes, a member survey, discussion with the Standing Awards Committee, and phone and email feedback.
 

MORE INFORMATION