AIBC Transitions Ministries

Chamber of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. Photo by Scazon via Flickr

As of November 26, 2020, the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) is officially part of the Ministry of Attorney General. The change was announced on December 1 in a letter from the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance (OSPG).

Previously, the AIBC was under the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. The transition of ministries is consistent with a July 14 letter from the Government of British Columbia to the AIBC.

“Over the past three years, Government has shared your concerns about deficiencies identified in the legislation that governs the profession of architecture,” says the July 14 letter. “Specifically, the Architects Act does not provide the legislative tools the AIBC requires, including the lack of a Duties & Responsibilities section, restricted disciplinary options, and static qualification requirements.”

“At the same time, Government has invested significant resources and effort to create modern professional governance framework including legislation and oversight to provide greater tools and support to other regulators currently under the Professional Governance Act (PGA) within the natural and built environment. Recognizing Government’s investment in the Professional Governance Act (PGA) as the oversight legislation, and the supporting Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance (OSPG) as the oversight body, and, more importantly, recognizing that the PGA contains all the items that were being considered as amendments to the Architects Act, Government will be moving the AIBC from my Ministry to the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG) and then transition to the PGA, and the oversight of the OSPG.”

“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,” explains the AIBC on a webpage dedicated to the transition.

The AIBC’s website explains that The Architects Act is outdated and in need of modernization. The newest professional regulation legislation in British Columbia is the 2018 Professional Governance Act,  which was designed to ensure that the highest professional, technical and ethical standards are being applied to resource development in British Columbia. The legislation sets consistent governance standards across the professions it governs.

Once fully in place, the Professional Governance Act and its associated regulations will replace the Architects Act. Until then, the Architects Act is still in effect.