AIBC Professional Governance Act Transition Update
On February 5, 2021, the Professional Governance Act (PGA), a legislation that standardizes how regulatory bodies govern their registered professionals, came into full effect in British Columbia—a change that is expected to impact British Columbia’s architects starting in early 2022.
The legislation, which includes expectations on codes of ethics, continuing education, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and transparency in their governance, initially governs the following five professional regulators: the Association of BC Forest Professionals, Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC, BC Institute of Agrologists, College of Applied Biology, and Engineers and Geoscientists BC.
The PGA replaces the respective regulators’ previous legislation, and introduces new regulatory processes and requirements. It creates a standardized approach for how regulatory bodies in the natural and built environment govern their registered professionals.
The regulatory bodies involved oversee more than 60,000 professionals working in B.C. across a range of disciplines in the natural resources sector, industry, transportation, construction and real estate industries, among others.
In alignment with the new policy, the Government of British Columbia has announced that the AIBC will also transition its legislation from the Architects Act to the Professional Governance Act (PGA). According to the organization, this transition does not change the AIBC’s core function, mandate, or operations: “The AIBC will continue to exist, and will continue to regulate the profession of architecture in British Columbia in the interest of the public.”
AIBC registrants can expect that by early 2022, the AIBC will join the other five professional regulators and be governed by the Professional Governance Act. A transition workplan and timeline for implementation is currently being developed by the AIBC. A major portion of the workplan is the development of new bylaws to meet the requirements of the PGA. This will also include updates to the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
Registrants will be kept apprised of the AIBC’s progress through the transition workplan and made aware of new requirements and processes on the AIBC website. Several anticipated changes were shared by Paul Craven, Superintendent of Professional Governance at the September 2020 Virtual Town Hall, including:
- Stronger emphasis on professional regulator role, public interest mandate, and transparency;
- Any advocacy activities to be in accordance with the PGA and prescribed rules and limits;
- Leaner council focused on governance, including greater public representation;
- AIBC Council’s authority to pass bylaws, with registrants participating in consultation process.