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APEGBC to Examine Support of Corporate Practice

Posted on November 5, 2015
APEGBC to Examine Support of Corporate Practice
When the Mount Polley dam breached in August 2014, an issue discussed by APEGBC councils many times in recent decades resurfaced: the regulation of engineering and geoscience corporate practice in BC. Council has begun examining this complex issue again to determine whether the association should pursue regulatory authority for corporate practice.

APEGBC is responsible for maintaining standards of entry and practice for individual professionals. The Engineers and Geoscientists Act contains provisions for the association to issue certificates of authorization—licences issued to allow individuals and businesses to provide professional engineering or geoscience services. However, nothing in the Act prevents companies from operating without such certificates.

The association’s primary mandate—public protection—remains central to its consideration of the issue. Also key is ensuring individual members’ and industry’s perspectives are heard. To meet these requirements, Council has established an Advisory Task Force on Corporate Practice that will guide the process of concept development and member and stakeholder consultation. The Task Force will comprise APEGBC members and licensees and representatives from government, manufacturing, construction, the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies - BC (ACEC-BC), and others. 

Consultation will begin in 2016, with a goal of creating meaningful opportunities that enable members and stakeholders to provide informed input to the Task Force and Council. Consultation opportunities will be communicated to members on an ongoing basis via a dedicated section on the APEGBC website. Summaries that identify key themes, concerns, challenges, and opportunities will be presented to Council regularly.

The Task Force will also examine the history of the issue, associated legislation, and successful aspects of existing regulatory models in Canada and elsewhere. 

After considering all input, the Task Force will deliver a final recommendation to Council.

British Columbia and Quebec are the only jurisdictions in Canada where engineering and geoscience organizations remain unregulated. Other Canadian jurisdictions regulate organizational practice through certificates of authorization or similar permits to practice. Some jurisdictions regulate all companies that provide engineering and geoscience products and services, whereas others are restricted to certain sectors—for example, consulting.