INNOVATION July-August 2015

The proposed Act change would see any assessment of fitness to practice be limited to an individual’s current condition, be related to professional practice, and conducted by expert medical professionals. It is anticipated that this provision would be similar to that seen in many other self-regulatory professional acts. Early Alternate Dispute Resolution This proposed amendment would allow the use of alternate dispute resolution at the investigation stage, in addition to the disciplinary stage. Support for this amendment was strong, with 79.8% of respondents in favour (8.3% did not support, 3.8% would support with changes; 8.1% were indifferent). Feedback from consultation was that that the alternate dispute resolu- tion might be a cost-effective and time-saving approach. Furthermore, there are examples of files proceeding to discipline that had the potential to be resolved by a Consent Order offered earlier in the process. Recognition of Licensees as Members Under the Act This proposed amendment would alter definitions related to membership under the Act to better support the role of engineering and geoscience licensees and recognize their practice rights within their scope of practice and area of expertise. Most respondents supported this amendment at 56.6% (25.7% did not support, 2.2% would support with changes; 15.6% were indifferent). Consultation indicated there may be other legislative avenues to achieve the outcome of supporting recognition of licensees. Council will continue to pursue an amendment to legislation so that limited licensees are recognized within their full scope as approved by APEGBC. Removal of Council Members for Misconduct This proposed amendment would require all Council members to take an oath of office in which they agree to abide by a code of conduct, and would allow removal of a Council member by a two-thirds majority vote of the other members of Council if they are found to be in breach of that oath.

There was strong member support for this proposed change at 86% in favour (4.9% did not support, 4.7% would support with changes; 4.4% were indifferent). Provisions for CPD Bylaw Compliance If a formal CPD program were adopted, this proposed amendment would allow the handling of non-compliance with the CPD bylaw through administrative means, rather than through the investigation and discipline process. When surveyed, 45.2% of members did not support this amendment (35.4% supported; 10.9% would support with changes; 8.4% were indifferent). Member concerns included opposition to the proposed CPD bylaw or a lack of support for automatic cancellation, as many expressed the need for a review process and more information about notice provided to those not in compliance and the timeframe for achieving compliance. New information provided alongside the updated proposed CPD bylaw now articulates a non-compliance process including multiple notifications and a deadline for compliance. Based on the experience of other regulators, directing non-compliance cases through the investigation and disciplinary process would overwhelm the association’s present resources in this area and prove to be costly. For this reason, other regulators have adopted administrative models for compliance. This amendment will seek to enable Council to suspend and then cancel the registration of a member who fails to comply with the CPD bylaw should it pass, after appropriate notice and time to achieve compliance has been provided. It is anticipated that this provision would be similar to provisions seen in most other professional acts. Next Steps APEGBC will be submitting a formal request to the Ministry of Advanced Education for changes to the Act this summer. If approved, draft legislation could be brought forward for the approval of the BC legislature as soon as the spring of 2016. If ap- proved, the amended legislation would be brought into effect once royal assent was received from the BC Lieutenant Governor. v

McElhanney adds to transportation expertise

McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. is pleased to announce the appointment of Bernard Abelson as Transportation Planning Lead. Bernard Abelson, PEng, MEng, TOPS, is based out of our Surrey branch. He is responsible for consolidating and growing McElhanney’s extensive transportation planning expertise and resources within Western Canada. Bernard has 26 years of experience in transportation engineering, business development, and operations in both Canada and South Africa. He has led several corridor and network studies and designs, transit exchange designs, and active transportation infrastructure plans and designs. To contact Bernard, call 604-424-4935 or email

Engineering | Surveying | Mapping | Community Planning | Environmental


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