Professional Governance Act FAQ

  • What impact will these changes have on me?

    The Professional Governance Act introduces some changes for Engineers and Geoscientists BC, and the regulation of the professions—but there are no immediate impacts anticipated for individual professionals.

    The legislation only addresses 2 of the 121 recommendations from the Professional Reliance Report, and these are specific to governance and oversight of professional regulators. The remaining 119 recommendations addressing provincial resourcing and specific statutes—which are more likely to have an impact on individual practitioners—will presumably be dealt with separately.

  • Is the Engineers and Geoscientists Act still valid? Has it been replaced?

    The Engineers and Geoscientists Act is still valid, and will remain in place at this time.

    The Professional Governance Act will eventually replace it, as well as the legislation governing the other regulators subject to this new model—however, regulations will need to be developed over time to support its implementation. We have been advised that this would be a long-term process, with each regulation expected to involve its own consultation process. It will likely take three to five years for the Professional Governance Act to be fully implemented.

  • What triggered this? Is there any evidence the current system is flawed?

    Professional reliance is a practice that’s formalized through many different government regulations that specify the use of qualified professionals, and it’s our view that this model has served the public well.

    It came under scrutiny after some high-profile issues in the media (such as the tailings pond failure at Mount Polley, and a proposal for a contaminated soil facility near Shawnigan Lake), and became a topic of conversation during the last provincial election.

    The review was initiated not long after the election of the NDP minority government last year, and was included in the NDP’s Confidence and Supply Agreement with the Green Caucus.

    This has meant that there has been a limited ability to influence the overall outcome, and we have therefore focused on ensuring, to the best of our ability, that any changes to the current model enhance, rather than weaken, protection of the public interest.

  • Why isn't Engineers and Geoscientists BC fighting this?

    We’ve dedicated significant effort and resources to this issue. For the past 6 months, we have been actively working to ensure any changes enhance, rather than weaken, protection of the public interest.

    We have made some positive progress by working constructively with government to address this challenge.

    As we move forward, it is important to remember that the Professional Governance Act sets the framework for the new model, but the regulations still to be developed will be the most important component because they will specify how the framework will be implemented.

    This is a process that is expected to take several years and we feel we have the best opportunity to positively influence the outcome of this process by contributing constructively to the discussions with government and ensuring they understand the complexities, risks, and unintended consequences of any proposed policy change.

  • Is government taking away self-governance?

    No. Engineering and geoscience will continue to be self-governing professions, and Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s mandate remains unchanged.

    Throughout this process, we have worked diligently to ensure the legacy of effective self-regulation will not be lost, and have been successful in protecting critical elements of self-regulation, such as the ability for members to elect Council (as opposed to Council being appointed by government).

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