The Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance (OSPG) has confirmed that the Professional Governance Act (PGA) will come into force by mid-February. This new legislation establishes a consolidated framework for professional regulators in the natural and built environment, including Engineers and Geoscientists BC and the regulators for forestry, agrology, biology, and applied science.
The PGA will replace the Engineers and Geoscientists Act and introduce new regulatory tools, processes, and requirements for Engineers and Geoscientists BC and its registrants
- An updated Code of Ethics will be introduced, aligned with mandatory ethical principles contained in the PGA.
- Engineering and geoscience firms will become regulated, bringing BC in line with the rest of Canada.
- Continuing education reporting will be mandatory, requiring registrants to complete 60 hours within a 3-year rolling window.
- Registrants will need to verify their area of practice annually and keep their contact information up-to-date.
These new requirements will be brought into force through Bylaws, which will bring our current policies and procedures into alignment with the requirements of the PGA. Over the past year, all of Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s current Bylaws were reviewed, and many new Bylaws were drafted, to ensure compliance with the PGA.
The Bylaws must be approved by the OSPG; this process is anticipated to be complete by mid-February. Once approved, they will be posted on Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s website, and registrants will be advised by email that they are available.
While the implementation of the PGA is a significant milestone, work is still underway on a few key policy items, including the consideration of practice rights for three groups under the PGA: engineering technologists, biologists, and agrologists. The OSPG has confirmed that, at this time, the current structure will remain in place. Engineers, geoscientists, and foresters will retain practice rights, while agrologists, biologists, and technologists will maintain title rights.
The OSPG intends to begin a process with Engineers and Geoscientists BC and the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with, and potential approaches to, reserved practice within the engineering discipline for technologists and technicians. Engineers and Geoscientists BC supports the principle of providing opportunities for qualified technologists to practice independently—that is, the goal of our Professional Licensee designation, which currently provides practice rights for technologists within a defined scope. However, any expansion of practice rights and/or changes to the way in which those practice rights are regulated carries potential risk and, as an organization, we are committed to participating fully in a process that provides opportunities to qualified engineering technologists while keeping public protection paramount. As this process is carried out, we will keep registrants up-to-date on key decisions.
To learn more about what’s changing under the PGA, access resources, and sign up for our upcoming webinars on key requirements, visit egbc.ca/pga.
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