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Professional Reliance/Professional Governance Act Update -- February 2019

The College has reviewed the Intentions Paper that is currently out for broad consultation. Key considerations on the three areas that the province is seeking input on include:

Practice Rights:

Right to practice authority for CAB, BCIA, and ASTTBC has been enabled in the Act (EGBC and ABCFP will maintain their practice rights) which will allow regulatory bodies to hold practitioners in their fields of practice who are currently not registered, accountable to professional standards.

We are pleased that that applied biology is now recognized as a full partner in resource management.

Key considerations are:

  • Support for overlapping practice with exclusions where necessary,
  • Maintain high standards for entry into profession and develop achievable pathways for non-regulated practitioners to meet credentialing requirements,
  • Recognition that environmental impacts are now established as needing to be part of any sound resource management regime and that regulated applied biology professionals are critical, and
  • There needs to be a well thought out transition to Right to Practice with adequate time and resourcing from both government and the College. This includes time for applicants to meet CAB’s standards.

Regulation of Firms:

There is agreement in principle for firms to have to abide by ethical standards along with professionals, and that it is unacceptable that some “professional shop” to get the answer that they are looking for. However, this is new territory for the College and we want to proceed carefully.

Things to consider:

  • Avoid regulatory overlap – many different professions working for one company,
  • Proper enforcement provisions and resourcing, and
  • Avoid becoming overly bureaucratic – ensure that the public is truly being protected and not just regulation for regulation’s sake.

Mandatory Declarations of Competency and Conflict of Interest:

The College concurs that practioners should only be working within their Scope of Practice and in every situation practioners should evaluate any real or perceived conflict of interest before taking on work. However, requiring declarations needs to be reasonable. Many College registrants have multiple clients and it would not be feasible nor in the public interest to require a professional to  fill out redundant forms  at the expense of doing a proper job.

If the problem that is being solved is about practioners operating outside their scope it would be a better use of the regulators’ and government’s time to audit field work. These audits were a big part of the promise of going to the professional reliance (or results based) model and it was never fulfilled.  This cannot be a ‘back door’ way of not dealing directly with recommendations 3 to 121 stated in the Haddock Report.

The College’s full response is being developed and will be submitted to government prior to the March 4, 2019 deadline as well as made available to College registrants and the public.