In July 2023, Engineers and Geoscientists BC will introduce the new Compliance Audit Program for Individual Registrants, or Individual Audit Program, to randomly assess regulatory compliance of individual registrants.
Goals of the Program
- Educating registrants on their regulatory requirements; it is intended to be a constructive process for those who undergo an audit.
- Acting as a proactive quality assurance check on engineering and geoscience practice in BC.
- Improving Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s regulatory operations by identifying professional practice trends among registrants. This allows Engineers and Geoscientists BC to develop new programs and modify existing programs to address those trends which may impact the safety, health, and welfare of the public and the protection of the environment.
What Can Registrants Expect
Every year, the Board will determine the percentage of individual registrants who will undergo an audit; the first-year target is to audit 1% of individual registrants.
Regulatory requirements assessed will include continuing education, quality management, code of ethics, and declared practice areas. The compliance audit process for individual registrants will align with current best practices and includes a documentation review, an interview, and a review of audit findings which may require the completion of one or more Corrective Action Plans (CAPs). Once the audit is complete, a final report will be provided for the registrant to review.
An audit can have one of three results:
- In Compliance – file is closed
- Minor Non-Conformance(s) – Registrant must submit CAP(s) to correct any minor non-conformance(s)
- Major Non-Conformance(s) – File is referred to the Audit and Practice Review Committee, who decides to either close the file, initiate a practice review, assign an additional compliance audit, or refer the file to the Investigations Committee.
Who Can Be Audited
Most registrants may be subject to a compliance audit, including registrants with a professional designation (P.Eng., P.Geo. P.L.Eng., P.L.Geo.) as well as those with declared Non-practising and Retired designations.
Exemptions to the program will include:
- Sole practitioners;
- Registrants on parental, medical, or compassionate leave; and
- Individual registrants that work for a regulated firm that has undergone a firm audit in the previous 12 months with an in-compliance result.
Registrants selected for a compliance audit who qualify for an exemption can submit an exemption request online.
Complying with the Audit Process
Registrants need to cooperate with the process by:
- Providing all requested information, files, or records in the registrant’s possession or control.
- Undergoing an interview with an Assessor, if necessary.
- Responding to the Assessor regarding the compliance audit report within the required time.
- Submitting any CAP(s) and completing corrective actions requested by the Assessor and/or the Audit and Practice Review Committee in the allotted time.
- Complying with any decisions made by the Audit and Practice Review Committee.
The compliance audit process is confidential, except in narrow circumstances where the Assessor or the Audit and Practice Review Committee is required by superseding legal and ethical duties to report dangerous or illegal practice to another body, including the Engineers and Geoscientists BC Investigation Committee.
Except where obligated to do so in accordance with legal or ethical duties, Engineers and Geoscientists BC will not release any information related to a registrant’s compliance audit to a third party.
What is the difference between an individual audit and a practice review?
- An audit takes a proactive quality assurance approach to ensure registrants understand and are complying with regulatory requirements, such as continuing education requirements and declaring appropriate areas of practice. Registrants are randomly selected to undergo an audit.
- A practice review is a reactive process that is only performed when professional or ethical issues or risks have been identified either during an audit, through another practice review, or through the complaint and investigation process. Practice reviews tend to be more technical in nature and may focus on specific processes, areas of practice, or projects.
Questions regarding this program can be directed to [email protected].