Engineers and Geoscientists BC

ASTTBC Reserved Practice FAQs

  • 1. What does it mean for ASTTBC registrants to be granted a reserved practice?

    Establishing a reserved practice for applied science technology in BC will mean that persons undertaking work that falls within the new reserved practice of applied science technology must be registered with ASTTBC. Currently, registration with ASTTBC is optional, with protection being limited to use of title only and not the practice of applied science technology work.

  • 2. What is the difference between reserved practice and regulated practice?

    Reserved practice is work that may only be carried out by or under the supervision of an individual registered with the specific regulatory body that oversees that work.  

    Regulated practice is work that is not reserved to registrants of one specific regulatory body. Regulated practice may overlap among regulatory bodies, or may be carried out by non-registrants.

  • 3. Why is reserved practice for ASTTBC registrants needed?

    All regulatory bodies listed on schedule 3 of the Professional Governance Act (PGA), including ASTTBC, are eligible to be granted reserved practice by government. 

    Currently, technicians and technologists have a choice whether to register with ASTTBC. This means that there is no mechanism to ensure that applied science technology work is carried out by qualified individuals who are accountable for adhering to the professional and ethical standards of the PGA.  

  • 4. Why is this happening now?

    Individuals who choose not to register or renew their registration with ASTTBC are not accountable in the way that government contemplated when ASTTBC was brought under the PGA, which is contrary to the public interest. The Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills views this issue as a priority and is committed to advancing reserved practice for ASTTBC registrants. 

  • 5. What is Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s position on this issue?

    Engineers and Geoscientists BC fully supports the creation of a reserved practice for ASTTBC registrants. Ensuring applied science technology work is undertaken by qualified, accountable professionals strengthens the delivery of safe and reliable services at all levels. As this work proceeds, we are committed to undertaking a thorough and consultative process for the establishment of reserved practice for applied science technology.  

  • 6. What scope of work will be in the reserved practice of applied science technology?

    The precise scope of work is being defined, guided by four policy statements agreed to by Engineers and Geoscientists BC, ASTTBC, and the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills. As per policy statement #2, the scope of reserved practice for ASTTBC registrants will not include work that falls within the reserved practice of professional engineering; rather, it will come from work that is currently in the public domain (e.g., work that can currently be done by a non-registrant of ASTTBC).

    Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s goal is to work with ASTTBC and the Ministry to ensure that any proposed scope of work is specific enough to clearly delineate the boundaries between each profession and can be easily understood by the public and industry, including Authorities Having Jurisdiction and registrants of each regulatory body.

  • 7. Will the reserved practice of engineering change?

    No. Engineers and Geoscientists BC, ASTTBC, and the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills have jointly committed to four policy statements that will guide the development of reserved practice for ASTTBC registrants. The policy statements confirm that the reserved practice of professional engineering remains the same and is not to be impacted and that EGBC registrants can continue to practice in the new reserved practice of ASTTBC.

  • 8. What impacts will this have on engineering practice?

    Overall, reserved practice for ASTTBC registrants will not have an impact on professional engineers’ scope of practice. However, it will have an impact on the professional reliance landscape in BC and how engineers, geoscientists and engineering technologists and technicians work together.

    Currently, ASTTBC registrants carrying out activities within the reserved practice of engineering must work under the supervision of a professional engineer (or professional licensee engineering) and this requirement will remain in place. However, once a reserved practice is in place for applied science technology, ASTTBC registrants will be able to work independently and take responsibility for work within the scope of their reserved practice, without a requirement for supervision.

    We anticipate that the most significant impact of this change will be to the two regulatory bodies, Engineers and Geoscientists BC and ASTTBC, who will need to manage practice boundaries as well as licensing, standards and enforcement issues that will impact the work of both organizations.

  • 9. Won’t this cause confusion for the public and industry?
    We have expressed our commitment to ensuring that, as this work proceeds, the framework is specific enough to delineate the boundaries between each profession and can be easily understood by the public and others. It will be critical for each scope to be well-defined and for information about what each professional can do to be clearly communicated.
  • 10. What role is Engineers and Geoscientists BC playing? How will you be involved in defining reserved practice for applied science technologists?
    Engineers and Geoscientists BC has been collaborating with ASTTBC and the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance on this issue for the past three years. We intend to continue working actively with both organizations as well as the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills to ensure that our perspective is heard, and that areas of potential risk or confusion can be addressed.
  • 11. Will registrants be consulted?
    To ensure that development of a reserved practice is informed by feedback from registrants and others who may be impacted by this change, the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills has committed to sharing the draft regulation with a broader audience for consultation once it is complete. As the development of the regulatory framework proceeds, we are committed to engaging with registrants and firms if there are opportunities to seek input to better inform the development of this regulation.
  • 12. When will these changes come into effect?
    The Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills intends to bring the proposal forward for decision in the near future, depending on proposal readiness and availability of government decision makers.
  • 13. Will Engineers and Geoscientists BC and ASTTBC be merging/amalgamating?
    No. The Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills intends to introduce reserved practice for applied science technology while maintaining two separate regulators: Engineers and Geoscientists BC and ASTTBC. Both organizations are committed to refining the regulatory framework so that boundaries between the professions are clearly understood by the public and industry.
  • 14. How can I provide input or feedback?
    You can share your thoughts on this issue at [email protected]. While we cannot respond to all comments, we will summarize and share all feedback with our Board and the working group as this work progresses.