Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1. Does my firm require a Permit to Practice?

    All firms, including sole practitioners, in the private and public sector that engage in the practice of professional engineering or geoscience as part of their operations require a Permit to Practice. This includes advice or services provided internally by an Engineers and Geoscientists BC professional registrant to another employee or individual acting on the firm’s behalf as per the OSPG Information Bulletin.

    Firms that are regulated include (but are not limited to):

    • Consulting firms;
    • Natural resources, high tech, and other firms engaged in engineering or geoscience work;
    • Local government (including municipalities and similar entities);
    • Manufacturers (includes fabricators, processing plants, mills, maintenance facilities, or any other firm utilizing engineers and/or geoscientists in any part of their operations);
    • Ministries, Crown Corporations, and agencies named in the regulation; and
    • Sole practitioners (an individual who practices on their own and is either incorporated or unincorporated).
     

    Sole practitioners working on their own, either incorporated or unincorporated, are required to have a Permit to Practice. Engineers and Geoscientists BC recognizes the duality of being considered both an individual registrant and a firm registrant and accordingly, sole practitioners are provided a discounted annual fee, simplified engineering and geoscience templates for their Professional Practice Management Plan and are not eligible for individual audits, rather, just a firm audit. In these ways Engineers and Geoscientists BC has reduced the requirements for sole practitioners which is proportionate to the size of their company.

    A Permit to Practice is required for any and all engineering or geoscience work in BC regardless of if the work is minimal (e.g., if an individual registrant is semi-retired and only working on a few projects) or for a specific client.

    If you are unsure whether your firm requires a Permit to Practice, please complete the Permit to Practice Applicability Review Form, and submit the form to [email protected].

  • 2. How does a firm apply for a Permit to Practice?

    A Professional Registrant for the firm will need to complete the online application.

  • 3. What are the fees for a Permit to Practice?

    Fees for multi-professional firms are ($500 x √𝑛), where n is the number of individual registrants on the firm’s Roster (list of all registrants).

    Fees for sole practitioners are $250/year.

    Sole practitioners with two or less EIT(s) or GIT(s) on staff will still qualify for the discount and will not be charged additional fees for those registrants.

    The application fee is $350. A $100 credit is applied, to offset the cost of the Regulation of Firms Permit to Practice Training. Additional seats for training may be purchased.

  • 4. Why am I being charged retroactive Permit to Practice annual fees for past years?

    This is based on s 6.4(4) of the Bylaws of Engineers and Geoscientists BC. If a firm was not registered when the Permit to Practice requirements were implemented but was engaged in engineering or geoscience during this time, fees are applied up to a maximum of 3 years.

    If the firm is located outside of BC and has recently began engaging in the practice of professional engineering or geoscience work within the province, the date that the work began should be indicated as an incorporation date on the online application.

  • 5. After I’ve submitted the online application, how long will it take to obtain the Permit to Practice for my firm?

    Once the application and all the required Declarations are completed by the Responsible Registrant(s) and Responsible Officer, the Permit to Practice will be issued within 7 business days or if required, you will be contacted to provide additional information.

  • 6. What is a Responsible Registrant and Responsible Officer?

    Responsible Registrant

    Firms are required to have at least one Responsible Registrant who acknowledges responsibility for the firm and will complete the application. The Responsible Registrant must be an engineering or geoscience professional who will be responsible for ensuring that the firm’s practice meets ethical, quality management, and continuing education requirements. They will also serve as a point of contact for practice reviews, audits, and investigations. Firms can identify more than one Responsible Registrant if needed (e.g., a large firm with multiple lines of business might designate a different Responsible Registrant for each area of practice). Responsible Registrants are required to take the Regulation of Firms Permit to Practice training to better understand their obligations.

    If a Responsible Registrant ceases to fulfil its role for the Registrant Firm (i.e., no longer employed, terminates contract with firm, etc.) the Registrant Firm should immediately identify a replacement to avoid a condition prohibiting practice. If a replacement is not immediately available, please contact [email protected].

    Responsible Officer

    Firms are required to have one Responsible Officer (may be the same individual as the Responsible Registrant). The Responsible Officer is the executive lead for their firm. This person does not need to be a registered engineering or geoscience professional but must have the authority to make binding decisions on behalf of the firm.

    If a Responsible Officer ceases to fulfil its role, the Registrant Firm must immediately identify a replacement to avoid a condition prohibiting practice being placed on the firm. If a replacement is not immediately available, please contact [email protected].

  • 7. Will a Permit to Practice be required for firms that are based in another province/country but provide professional services in BC?

    Yes. All firms and sole practitioners that provide engineering or geoscience products or services in BC will be required to have a Permit to Practice and abide by regulatory requirements established by Engineers and Geoscientists BC.

  • 8. Will a Permit to Practice be required for firms that are based in BC but provide professional services exclusively outside of BC?

    Yes, if such a firm has more than one professional registrant, it will be required to register for a Permit to Practice.

    Sole practitioners who reside in BC but whose practice exclusively involves professional activities that are constructed or implemented outside of BC—these individuals must be registered with Engineers and Geoscientists BC as individual registrants but are not required to obtain a BC Permit to Practice at this time. Engineers and Geoscientists BC is reviewing the matter and may determine that a Permit to Practice is required in the future.

    If you are unsure whether your firm requires a Permit to Practice, please complete the Permit to Practice Applicability Review Form, and submit the form to [email protected].

  • 9. How long will the Permit to Practice requirements take to complete and which yearly deadlines should I be aware of?

    Depending on the size of the firm, the estimated time to complete the Permit to Practice requirements are as follows:

    • Application process: 15 minutes–2 hours
    • Online training: approximately 8 hours
    • Professional Practice Management Plan: 4+ hours
    • To maintain a firm’s Permit to Practice: 1–2 hours annually
     

    A Registrant Firm is required to renew its Permit to Practice annually. Permits to Practice are valid from July 1 to June 30. However, the renewal period opens as early as April 1 and has the following timeline:

    Date Action
    June 1 Late Reporting fee $100 plus
    A 15% late fee will be applied to the annual fee
    July 1 Firm will be prohibited from practice
    September 1 Permit to Practice is cancelled
  • 10. Who can I contact for more information or to check if the Permit to Practice requirement is applicable to my firm?

    If you are unsure whether your firm requires a Permit to Practice, please complete the Permit to Practice Applicability Review Form, and submit the form to [email protected].

    If you have any other questions, please contact [email protected].

  • 11. How and when does a firm apply the Permit to Practice number?

    Engineers and Geoscientists BC does not supply nor sell any stamps associated with Permit to Practice numbers. Firms must apply their Permit to Practice number in a clear and legible way, handwritten or typed to all authenticated documents. Authenticated documents lacking a Permit to Practice number are in contravention of Bylaw 7.3.7(14) and may be rejected by the receiving party. Firms may also add their Permit to Practice number to other documents including in a title block if it is being applied in the manner below.

    The Permit to Practice number may only be applied to a document by:

    • A Responsible Registrant of the firm; or
    • An individual employed by or under contract with the firm who is authorized to apply the Permit to Practice number in accordance with the firm’s Professional Practice Management Plan. These authorizations must be contained in documented policies and procedures.
     

    Please also review Regulation of Firms Bulletin: Permit to Practice Number Usage as well as Practice Advisory: Permit to Practice Requirements for Letters of Assurance.

  • 12. What is the firm’s responsibility as it relates to Continuing Education compliance for registrants employed by the firm?
    • Communicate the expectation that registrants employed by the firm must meet Continuing Education (CE) requirements as a proof of competency in their areas of practice. This must be documented in the firm’s Professional Practice and Management Plan. The firm could facilitate this by providing:
      • Time off, paid and/or unpaid to attend learning activities;
      • Financial support for learning activities; and
      • Firm-organized learning opportunities (e.g., conferences, seminars, lunch and learns, mentoring programs).
    • Set up clear policies to provide employees the opportunity to complete CE hours which are integrated into the firm’s professional development plans and annual evaluation process of its employees.
    • Help employees on leave complete the CE exemption application form and remind them to update their contact information through egbc.ca/Account so they can be reached at home with important updates.
    • Add egbca.ca as a safe sender in your firm’s email server to ensure emails aren’t lost to spam filters.

    Further details are available in section 5.0 of the Guide to the Continuing Education Program, and section 2.4.2.3 of the Regulation of Firms Permit to Practice Manual. See also PPMP Templates which all include a section on Continuing Education.

  • 13. How do I cancel my Permit to Practice?

    Please see the Cancelling a Permit to Practice page for eligibility and instructions.