Engineers and Geoscientists BC has just completed a third phase of consultation on regulating engineering and geoscience firms, hearing from more than 1,000 members across the province about the unique considerations for sole practitioners within a corporate regulatory model.
What We Heard
Members provided their input on key elements of the proposed regulatory framework, including quality assurance processes, compliance, training, and fees. Common themes communicated were:
- Sole practitioners fill a niche: Sole practitioners communicated that they are in a unique position to provide services for simple, straightforward projects that larger organizations typically would not undertake.
- One size doesn’t fit all: Views of how sole practitioners should fit into an overall model for corporate regulation were varied, with survey respondents demonstrating a lower level of support for being included in the same corporate regulatory framework as larger organizations.
- Concerns about administrative burden: Sole practitioners wear many hats—technical professionals, administrators, and managers—and indicated they were concerned about an increased administrative burden on their business (related to training and audits), and increased costs.
- Structure and resources are helpful: Some sole practitioners indicated they would find value in the additional tools, resources, and structure this framework would provide. Those who participate in Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s voluntary Organizational Quality Management (OQM) Program, which the proposed model for corporate regulation is based on, cited positive experiences with the OQM Program, and felt it provided good reinforcement of best practices without being burdensome.
Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Advisory Task Force on Corporate Practice is reviewing the feedback collected from this consultation process, and will be considering this input as they finalize their proposed model for corporate regulation. The model will be presented to Engineers and Geoscientists BC Council for approval in June.
For more information on the association’s work on corporate regulation, visit egbc.ca/About/Initiatives-and-Consultations/Corporate-Practice-in-BC.