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BCSLA and the Professional Governance Act - Updated October 21, 2021

Thursday, October 21, 2021

What is the Professional Governance Act?

Bill 49: Professional Governance Act (PGA) received Royal Assent in November 2018 (passed in the Legislature). In June 2019 select parts of the PGA were brought into force to begin transition to the PGA.  These include the provisions establishing the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance (OSPG) and some administrative powers of the Superintendent.  The Professional Governance Act was developed in response to two key recommendations of government’s 2018 professional reliance review, which evaluated the current legislation governing qualified professionals in the natural resource sector, and the role of professional regulators in upholding the public interest. The legislation sets consistent standards for ethical principles, duties and responsibilities, and governance structures, and it introduces new regulatory tools, processes, and requirements. The original five groups were brought under the PGA on February 5, 2021.

Which professions are currently being brought under the PGA?

  1. Engineers and Geoscientists of BC
  2. Association of BC Forest Professionals
  3. BC Institute of Agrologists
  4. College of Applied Biology
  5. Applied Scientist Technologists and Technicians of BC

On July 14, 2020, the Architectural Institute of BC (AIBC) received a letter stating the government will be moving them from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to the Ministry of the Attorney General, with an eventual transition from the Architects Act to the PGA.  

What are the implications and changes for these professions?
  • The PGA will update the Codes of Ethics to align the with a set of mandatory ethical principles
  • The PGA will provide authority for regulatory bodies to regulate firms
  • Mandatory continuing education will be required
  • Registrants will need to verify their area of practice annually and keep their contact information up-to-date
  • The PGA also introduces broad changes to governance structure, including nomination and election processes and the composition of Council (the equivalent of our Board)
  • Some professions (biologists, agrologists, and science technologists and technicians) may gain practice rights once the PGA is fully implemented.

    See Factsheet: Professional Governance Act Overview
How does this affect Landscape Architects in BC?

BCSLA formally expressed interest in joining the PGA on May 28, 2020. The draft application was submitted on July 8, 2021.  On August 20, 2021 the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance confirmed that it will undertake an investigation in response to the BCSLA’s application for designation under the PGA. Notice of this proceeding was published in the British Columbia Gazette. This investigation is expected to last for approximately eight months.  Please contact Tara Culham at the BCSLA office for more information or if you have any questions.
Who is representing the BCSLA?
The Regulatory Review Task Force (RRTF): Jacqueline Lowe and Adrienne Brown, Co-Chairs, Frank Basciano, Catherine Berris, Larry Diamond, Cynthia Girling, Meredith Mitchell, Erik Mustonen, Al Neufeld and Donna Rodman.
Why did the BCSLA decide to make this application?
  1. To demonstrate to the OSPG that the BCSLA is committed to regulating landscape architecture with a current understanding of practice and responsibility to the public interest, professional responsibilities, and overlaps with other professions
  2. To build on existing relationships and work collaboratively with the OSPG and the six allied professional groups
  3. To improve and update the BCSLA’s governing legislation: The Architects (Landscape) Act.
Mandatory Member Event: BCSLA Application to the Professional Governance Act (PGA)
From May to July 2021 the BCSLA delivered a series of on online presentations to Members and Associates along with live question and answer sessions with the BCSLA Regulatory Review Task Force (RRTF) Co-Chairs, Jacqueline Lowe and Adrienne Brown. Thank you to everyone for attending and for your fantastic questions. View the Slide Deck and the Frequently Asked Questions.  Please contact Tara Culham at the BCSLA office with any questions or comments.  We appreciate your feedback!  
Where do I claim my 10 CE Credits?

The BCSLA notified all Members and Associates regarding a *10-Credit* Mandatory Continuing Education (CE) Event. If you participated in the live event be sure to log 10 CE Credits under the “Category 6 - Special Projects” using the online platform.   
If you missed the sessions view and download the recording and the Frequently Asked Questions.   You may claim 5 CE Credits under the “Category 6 - Special Projects” using the online platform.   

OSPG Information Bulletin - Click here - Modernized professional governance act takes effect   

Legislation that increases transparency and accountability for regulatory bodies, ensuring professionals act in the public interest, came into force on Feb. 5, 2021. The current legislation governing the respective professions will be officially repealed when the legislation comes fully into force. The designated regulatory bodies will begin operating entirely under the Professional Governance Act (PGA). Government passed the PGA in 2018 and began bringing it into force in stages in June 2019.

Important Links
OSPG Policy and Direction
Please contact the BCSLA office with any questions or comments.
Click to view background photo & credits
Project: Hanley Residence
Landscape Architect / Firm: LeFrank & Associates Ltd.
Location: Brentwood Bay, British Columbia
Photo Credit: David Hollebone