On October 3, the provincial government announced it would be undertaking a review of the Province’s professional reliance model to ensure that the highest professional, technical and ethical standards are being applied to resource management in BC.
The review will assess the current legislation governing qualified professionals (QPs) in the natural resource sector upon whose professional recommendations the government relies, as well as the role their professional associations play in upholding the public interest. It will also look to identify best practices with respect to QPs doing work under the professional reliance model, and make recommendations regarding resource decisions made by government, conditions governing the involvement of QPs in those decisions and the appropriate level of government oversight to assure the public their interests are protected.
Following the announcement, Engineers and Geoscientists BC issued a statement providing its full support of the review. “As a regulatory body, we take our duty to protect the public very seriously,” said Ann English, P.Eng., CEO and Registrar. “We welcome any opportunities to strengthen or add to the regulatory tools we already have in place.”
The review began with an audit of five professional associations, including Engineers and Geoscientists BC and the associations governing agrology, applied science technology, applied biology, and professional forestry. The aim of the audit was to assess the enabling legislation and performance of professional associations that govern QPs. Engineers and Geoscientists BC participated in the audit on November 20, and provided a significant amount of information on the ways in which it utilizes proactive and reactive regulatory programs to ensure engineering and geoscience is conducted safely and to high standards.
In the next two months, the provincial government has indicated that it will also offer a webinar to members of each professional association, as well as an opportunity to participate in a survey on the professional reliance model. We will provide the details on each of these consultation opportunities to members when they have been made available. Public feedback is also being sought on this issue through the provincial government’s EngageBC website.
As the review continues, Engineers and Geoscientists BC looks forward to working with government to contribute to a stronger professional reliance system. Members are encouraged to participate in consultation opportunities as they arise.
A final report is expected to be completed by spring 2018. More information is available throught the EngageBC website.