Engineers and Geoscientists BC
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Independent Advocacy Body Initiated for the Professions

Posted on June 27, 2023
Independent Advocacy Body Initiated for the Professions

Today, Engineers and Geoscientists BC announced it is initiating the creation of an independent advocacy body for engineering and geoscience in British Columbia. The advocacy body is expected to be operational by July 2025.

The decision came following significant review and evaluation of Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s programs and activities as it worked to integrate the requirements of the Professional Governance Act (PGA) into its operations, including adopting a more focused mandate that significantly restricts advocacy.

“Engineers and Geoscientists BC has undergone a significant evolution over the past three years,” noted Heidi Yang, P.Eng., CEO. “With most PGA requirements now in place, we felt the time was right to make this change. We need to refocus our efforts to best deliver our regulatory mandate and advance our Strategic Plan, but in doing so we also wanted to find a way to retain valuable programs that have contributed to a strong and connected community of engineering and geoscience professionals. Divesting advocacy activities to an independent organization creates clarity for both of our roles and allows both regulation and advocacy for the professions to flourish.”

Key Changes

Over the next two years, several programs and activities will be changing, with the goal of maintaining some programs to support an eventual transition to the advocacy body.

Activities focused on community-building and registrant benefits programs are targeted to transition to the advocacy body. This includes:

  • Our Branch program, which provides a way for professionals across the province to connect and network. We will be working closely with the many volunteers who have made this program successful to determine next steps.
  • Our Affinity Program, which offers discounts on personal services for registrants, and our Career Advertising program, which enables employers to recruit registrants for engineering and geoscience positions. These programs will remain in place at Engineers and Geoscientists BC until an appropriate timeline for transition can be determined.

Other programs that no longer fit within the organization’s mandate as a regulator will come to a stop within the next two years:

  • Our Awards program, which honours professionals who are nominated by their peers for career achievements. The program will be discontinued as of January 2024.
  • Sponsorships, which provide financial support for external programs and events. This program will be discontinued later this year.
  • Our outreach program, which connects K-12 educators with engineers and geoscientists to promote interest in these professions. This program will be discontinued next year.
  • Our technical Divisions, which serve as special-interest groups for specific areas of practice. Transition plans are underway to transfer division activities to current or new advisory groups.

Making these transitions will enable us to apply renewed focus to our core mandate of public protection and strengthen our regulatory processes. The organization will also be targeting some specific areas defined under the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance’s Standards of Good Regulation. This includes:

  • Enhancing our engagement with post-secondary students and institutions to reinforce licensure requirements.
  • Investing more resources in equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives, including advancing our journey of truth and reconciliation.

Next Steps for the Advocacy Body

The advocacy body will be established through a steering committee that will select the group’s inaugural Board of Directors. We anticipate the steering committee will be in place by August 2023.

Engineers and Geoscientists BC will be providing $250,000 in initial seed money to support the establishment of the advocacy body and expects to see a Board in place this fall. We anticipate the advocacy body will be operational by July 2025.

We have also retained an experienced consultant, who recently supported two professions in Alberta through similar transitions, to guide the steering committee and support this process.

Once established, the advocacy body’s Board of Directors will determine its programs, services, and membership costs.

More Information

As this work progresses, we will keep registrants up to date through our website, eNews, and Innovation. Registrants who are interested in participating in this process can learn more at egbc.ca/advocacybody.

Have questions about this change? See our Frequently Asked Questions.