Transitional Requirements Under the Professional Governance Act

In 2019, the Professional Governance Act introduced broad changes to the processes governing Council nomination, election, and composition. Last year, the first change came into effect: a new merit-based nomination procedure for nomination to Council, which eliminated write-in nominations by 25 members.

Further changes to Council composition will be introduced when the Professional Governance Act comes into force in the Fall of 2020. This will:
  • reduce the number of Councillors from 17 to 12;
  • increase term lengths from two years to three years for Councillors; and
  • set term limits of six years in one position, and twelve years in total.

Since the Professional Governance Act is expected to come into force after the close of the 2020 Council election, the 2020 Council year will be considered a transition year with the 2021 election being the first to be fully compliant with the new Act. This means that for the 2020/21 Council year, Engineers and Geoscientists BC will continue to have a Council of 17 and for the 2021/22 Council year, the Council size will be reduced to 12.

Maintaining continuity is a fundamental and critical governance principle for a complex organization such as Engineers and Geoscientists BC. To ensure continuity on Council is maintained during the transition from our current legislation to new requirements in the Professional Governance Act, Council has proposed a transition plan that accounts for a balance of new and returning Councillors.

In order to avoid the possibility of a complete turnover of Council in a single election, it will be necessary in 2020 to adjust term lengths for the five incoming Councillors. By doing so, appropriate staggering will be introduced, allowing 1/3 of the Council positions to be elected each year thereafter.

Important: Under the proposed plan, term lengths for those elected to Council in 2020 are expected to be confirmed following the election in order to support an appropriate staggering of Council terms during the transition from the current Council composition to new requirements in the Professional Governance Act.

  • Two Councillors will serve a three-year term,
  • Two Councillors will serve a two-year term,
  • One Councillor will serve a one-year term.

Term lengths would be determined based on the number of votes received.

In addition, beginning in 2021, the method for selecting the Vice President will change; Council will appoint one of its elected members to serve as Vice President each year. This will enable Council to select a Vice President who can best meet the needs of the Council in any given year, and will be an important part of maintaining continuity during our transition to the Professional Governance Act. This model will also increase the number of Councillor positions available each year by one seat.

This approach is considered governance best practice, and is well-established in similar organizations, including the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, College of Dental Surgeons of BC, BC College of Nursing Professions, Architectural Institute of British Columbia, Chartered Professional Accountants of BC and the College of Veterinarians of BC.

Summary of Changes

 
What’s changing? When is it changing? What do candidates need to know?

Councillor terms will be increased from two years to three years.

Terms for President and Vice President will remain at one year.

November 2020

Under the proposed plan, term lengths for those elected to Council in 2020 will be confirmed following the election in order to support an appropriate staggering of Council terms during the transition from the current Council composition to new requirements in the Professional Governance Act.

  • Two Councillors will serve a three-year term,
  • Two Councillors will serve a two-year term,
  • One Councillor will serve a one-year term.

Term lengths will be determined based on the number of votes received.

Term limits for Councillors will be set at six years in one position, and twelve years in total.

Terms for President and Vice-President will remain at one year.
November 2020 Councillors may serve in one position for a maximum of six years.

Councillors may sit on Council for a maximum of twelve years.
Council composition will change from 17 members (13 elected, 4 appointed by government) to 12 members (8 elected, 4 appointed by government). October 2021
(comes into effect for the 2021/2022 Council year)
Beginning in 2021, Council will comprise 8 elected members and 4 appointed members.
Appointment of Vice President: the Vice President will be selected by Council, rather than elected. October 2021
(comes into effect for the 2021/2022 Council year)
Beginning in 2021, Vice Presidents will be selected from the current sitting members of Council.

This will increase the number of Councillor positions available each year by one seat.

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