INNOVATION March-April 2018
As the official publication of Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia, Innovation is circulated to almost 34,000 BC-registered professional engineers and geoscientists, other professionals, industry and government representatives, educational institutions and the general public. The magazine is published six times each year on a bi-monthly basis.
C o r p o r a t e P r a c t i c e | C o n s u l t a t i o n o n B y l a w C h a n g e s | N e w L e t t e r s o f A s s u r a n c e
INNOVATION MARCH/APRIL 2018 ENGINEERS AND GEOSCIENTISTS BRITISH COLUMBIA
EXPLORING HOSTILE ENVIRONMENTS
MODULAR HOUSING A NORTHERN EDUCATION
Own a condo? Own a condo? Own a condo?
What You NEED TO KNOW About Strata Deductibles for Condos and Townhouses in British Columbia Many condo owners are unaware of the very high earthquake and water damage deductibles that are becoming very common in Condo/Strata Master Insurance policies. In the event of a claim, this deductible could be shared between all unit owners in the building. Protect yourself: 1) Review your Condo/Strata Master Insurance Policy annually. (This should be provided at your strata corporation’s AGM. If you do not have a copy, contact your property manager.) 2) Contact the experienced insurance advisors at Park Insurance who manage the Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member Insurance Program to ensure that you have adequate coverage. CALL US TODAY 1.800.663.3739 www.park.ca/egbc What You N ED T c bles for Condos and To e ri s ol ia Many cond owners are unaware of the very hig r age deductibles that are becoming very co mon in Condo/Strata Master I s r I vent of a claim, this deductible could be shared betw en all unit owners in the buildi . Pr y lf: 1) Review your Condo/Strata Master Insurance Policy a ll . (This should be provided at your strata corporation’s AGM. If you do not have a copy, contact your property anager.) 2) Contact the experienced insurance advisors at Park Insurance who manage the Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member Insurance Program to ensure that you have adequate coverage. CALL US TODAY 1.800.663.3739 www.park.ca/egbc What Y u NEED TO KNOW About Strata Deductibles for Condos and Townhouses in British Columbia Many condo owners are unaware f the very igh earthquake and wat r damage deductibles that are becoming very common in Condo/Strata Master Insurance policies. In the event of a claim, this deductible could be shared between all unit owners in the building. Protect yourself: 1) Review your Condo/Strata Master Insurance Policy annually. (This should be provided at your strata corporation’s AGM. If you do not have a copy, contact your property manager.) 2) Contact the experienced insurance advisors at Park Insurance who manage the Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member Insurance Program to ensure that you have adequate coverage. CALL US TODAY 1.800.663.3739 www.park.ca/egbc
MARCH/APRIL 2018 | volume 22 number 2
COVER STORY MODULAR HOUSING Outside-the-box solutions for vulnerable British Columbians experiencing homelessness.
NEWS / DEPARTMENTS
ASSOCIATION 14 COUNCIL REPORT 16 REGULATORY 30 DISCIPLINE AND ENFORCEMENT 36 INSIGHT 38 MEMBERSHIP
EXPLORATION IN HOSTILE ENVIRONMENTS From deep under water to the surface of the red planet, exploration in hostile environments brings with it a host of challenges.
LEARN IN THE NORTH. STAY IN THE NORTH. New civil and environmental engineering programs in Prince George could alter the futures of northern students, employers, and communities alike.
34 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 37 DISPLAY ADVERTISERS INDEX 38 CLASSIFIEDS
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MARCH/APRIL 2018 | volume
THE LINK BETWEEN DISCIPLINE AND PUBLIC SAFETY
ENGINEERS AND GEOSCIENTISTS BRITISH COLUMBIA Suite 200 - 4010 Regent Street, Burnaby, BC Canada V5C 6N2
Tel: 604.430.8035 Fax: 604.430.8085 Email: email@example.com Internet: egbc.ca Toll free: 1.888.430.8035
On my way to a meeting recently, I drove past a bus displaying an ad with the words, “We worry about your safety so you don’t have to.” It is a bold statement that paraphrases the first line of Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s Code of Ethics, and it is the statement we selected to be the public message connected to our new brand identity in our public advertising.
COUNCIL 2017/2018 President C.J.A. Andrewes, P.Eng., CPA, CMA Vice-President K. Tarnai-Lokhorst, P.Eng. Immediate Past President R.P. Stewart, P.Eng.
COUNCILLORS D.W. Barry, P.Eng.; S. Cheema, CPA, CA; S. Hayes, P.Eng.; C.J. Hickson, P.Geo., FGC; K. Laloge, CPA, CA, TEP; L. Mah, P.Eng., FEC; R.B. Nanson, P.Eng.; R.N. Rajapakse, P.Eng.; S.R. Rettie, P.Eng., FEC; L. Spence, P.Eng.; J. Turner, P.Ag. (ret); J.D. Vincent, P.Geo.; T.C. Watson, P.Eng.; D. Wells, JD
Caroline Andrewes, P.Eng., CPA, CMA President firstname.lastname@example.org
People generally don’t spend a lot of time thinking about safety. They do not perceive risk when they turn on a tap to fill a glass with water, board a commuter train, or wander along a riverside trail. This is not because the work our members do is not important or respected; it is vital but often invisible. Each of us wholly places our trust in professional engineers and geoscientists every moment of every day, in trusting the safety of the homes we live in and the vehicles we commute in to the infrastructure we rely on. But this trust is so absolute that we rarely consider it. Engineers and geoscientists accept this great responsibility when we seek professional accreditation, and it is why we must value processes that have been put in place to manage member performance. There are many ways the association manages member performance. Standards of entry ensure that those possessing professional credentials are prepared for practice. The Organizational Quality Management Program, professional development courses, practice guidelines, and practice reviews offer opportunities to reinforce good practice and maintain competency. And when things don’t go as planned, we have processes to understand and deal with unacceptable practice. It is probably fair to say that none of us wants to become too familiar with our association’s investigations or discipline processes. Yet, this is an important pillar of professional regulation we should value. Understanding that investigations occur and how they are managed provides us with reassurance that members who fail to uphold our Code of Ethics will receive discipline that is consistent with the degree of failure. These processes underpin public confidence in engineers and geoscientists and are a key element in maintaining the privilege of self-regulation. Just as the messaging in our ad campaign reminds people of engineers’ and geoscientists’ dedication to public safety, as professionals we are reminded that our work doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It is the result of our association’s dedication to making sure we have strong, progressive regulatory mechanisms in place to support and uphold standards of practice. And it is due to our work to better ourselves as individual practitioners, to maintain our competence amid changing technology and industry practices, and to pursue excellence and ethical conduct.
ASSOCIATION STAFF A.J. English, P.Eng. Chief Executive Officer and Registrar T.M.Y. Chong, P.Eng. Chief Regulatory Officer and Deputy Registrar J. Cho, CPA, CGA Chief Financial and Administration Officer M.L. Archibald Director, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement D. Gamble Director, Information Systems P.R. Mitchell, P.Eng. Director, Professional Practice, Standards and Development D. Olychick Director, Member Services G.M. Pichler, P.Eng. Director, Registration E. Swartz, LLB Director, Legislation, Ethics and Compliance V. Lai, CPA, CGA Associate Director, Finance and Administration M.A. Rigolo P.Eng., Associate Director, Engineering Admissions L. Steele, P.Geo., Associate Director, Professional Practice
Melinda Lau, Managing Editor Amanda Growe, Editorial Coordinator
EDITORIAL BOARD M.I.H. Bhuiyan, P.Eng.; J. Bracho, P.Eng.; E.A. Brown, P.Eng.; K.C. Chan, P.Eng., CPA; T. George, P.Eng.; H. Ghalibafian, P.Eng.; G. Grill, P.Eng.; R. Ord, P.Eng.; A.M. Westin, GIT; M.J. Zieleman, EIT
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Innovation is published six times a year by Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia. As the official publication of the association, Innovation is circulated to members of the engineering and geoscience professions, architects, contractors and industry executives. The views expressed in any article contained herein do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the Council or membership of this association. Submission Guidelines: Innovation encourages unsolicited articles and photos. By submitting material to Innovation , you grant Engineers and Geoscientists BC a royalty-free, worldwide licence to publish the material; and you warrant that you have the authority to grant such rights and have obtained waivers of all associated moral rights. Innovation reserves the right to edit material for length, clarity and conformity with our editorial guidelines (egbc.ca/innovation-editorial) and is under no obligation to publish any or all submissions or any portion thereof, including credits. All material is copyright. Please contact the Managing Editor for reprint permission.
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L E T T E R S
Letters to the editor containing your views on topics of interest are encouraged. Opinions expressed in letters are not necessarily endorsed by Engineers and Geoscientists BC. Letters should be 300 words or less and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Find more information at egbc.ca/Submitting-to-Innovation.
SHORT-TERM THINKING? As engineers and geoscientists, we need to voice our concerns about short-term thinking to maintain our respected position in society. Many point-source impacts on the environment have been mitigated. However, this won’t be the case with the new Lions Gate Wastewater Treatment Plant in North Vancouver. The plant will flush secondarily treated effluent into the ocean twice a day, while tertiary treatment is now used by most new plants. Even Victoria, the wastewater villain of the past, is building its new plant with tertiary treatment. Metro Vancouver identified three options for updating the Lions Gate plant. Scenarios
difficulty, there may be reductions to the intended flexibility. Not having details of the specific flexibility made public makes it difficult for concerned parties to ensure it is maintained. New standards are being considered that may make secondary treatment obsolete in Canada; therefore, project flexibility is particularly important. The use of outfalls to dilute wastewater will eventually come to an end, and meanwhile the planning for a new estuary is being delayed. Metro is doubling down on short-term thinking, when we need long-term thinking to address the cumulative effects of human activity on the environment. — Glen Parker, P.Eng. North Vancouver
A and B specified sending secondarily treated effluent to the existing outfall for dilution. Scenario C provided for tertiary- treated wastewater with the potential to be discharged at the foot of Pemberton or Philip avenues, creating needed estuary and associated habitat. Engagement with Metro and local mayors by a group of people including myself was met with the response that there was not enough public support for tertiary treatment to justify the 21 percent premium. The assertion was also made that the chosen process (Scenario B) was flexible enough to address new regulations. A design-build contract has been awarded but if the project budget or schedule are in
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MUNICIPALITY FAST-TRACKS PROFESSIONAL GROWTH In October 2017, the City of Richmond became the first municipality to join the Accredited Employer Member-in-Training (MIT) pilot program offered by Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia. The program has a number of benefits for employers and engineers-in-training (EITs). HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS Employers develop a training program that ensures EITs acquire the necessary skills and experience for professional licensure. Then the organization applies to Engineers and Geoscientists BC for accreditation. This accreditation is free, lasts three years, and is renewable. Employers identify potential candidates and, upon approval, the EITs register themselves in the program. During their training period, EITs are able to collaborate with mentors and supervisors who are more familiar with the competency requirements for professional engineers, which gives them increased confidence during the application process. Once they complete their four-year work experience period, their licensing applications are fast-tracked. (A similar program is being planned for geoscientists-in-training.) HOW IT BENEFITS THE CITY OF RICHMOND “The Accredited Employer MIT Program closely aligns with the core values we have here at the City of Richmond,” says the General Manager of Engineering and Public Works, Robert Gonzalez, P.Eng. “We strongly support the growth of our staff, which results in a diverse and well-trained team that does quality work. Participation in the program encourages the EITs here at the City to become more well-rounded, versatile, and effective in various areas of priority.” To enhance training, the program also provides resources and information that aren’t publically available, as well as a dedicated Engineers and Geoscientists BC staff member who can be consulted. The City is allowed to publicize the fact that it is an accredited employer with the association, which can help it recruit and retain strong EIT and P.Eng. employees. Two months after receiving accreditation, the City of Richmond began to see results. One of its EITs had their work experience reviewed and their application for professional licensure processed in only five weeks. A TRAINEE LEADS THE WAY EIT Christopher Chan first heard about the Accredited Employer MIT Program at a seminar hosted by the association’s Richmond/ Delta branch. He mentioned it to the City’s Director of Engineering, John Irving, P.Eng., who encouraged him to find out more.
With the assistance of his colleagues and Engineers and Geoscientists BC, Chan managed the City’s application process. This included preparing the EIT program documentation and arranging the post-accreditation training sessions the association offers to mentors, supervisors, and project managers. SHOULD YOUR ORGANIZATION GET ACCREDITED? Chan has some advice for EITs who are interested in establishing an Accredited Employer MIT Program at their workplace: “Start by doing your research and make sure your firm qualifies for the program. Are there enough professional engineers to support the program? Does your training plan align with professional competencies from Engineers and Geoscientists BC? If it looks like your firm is eligible, present the details to your leaders to secure their interest. Take the time to explain the program to EITs, P.Eng. mentors, and other interested parties, as their support and understanding of the benefits are critical.” “It is important for the City of Richmond to participate in these programs, as we provide unique insight and training opportunities,” says Gonzalez. “It’s great to be able to give back to the engineering profession and help out new grads.” Participation in the Accredited Employer Member-in- Training Program is free. For more information, contact Leila Lagroix at email@example.com or visit egbc.ca/ Accredited-Employer-MIT-Program . The City of Richmond recently joined the association’s Accredited Employer Member-in-Training Program, which benefits both organizations and trainees.
CURRENT EMPLOYER PARTICIPANTS
AES Engineering Aplin Martin Binnie City of Richmond
Integral Group JRS Engineering Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Omicron
COWI North America Dynamic Structures Fast + Epp Glotman Simpson Consulting Engineers
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MEMBER WINS SCHOLARSHIP FROM ENGINEERS CANADA Engineers and Geoscientists BC member Lauren Hutchinson, P.Eng., was presented with one of three 2017 Engineers Canada–TD Insurance Meloche
Hutchinson is researching how slopes behave in seismically active areas of the world by studying the effects of seismic shaking on rock slopes in central Nepal, where some of the highest rates of co-seismic and post-seismic landsliding occurred following major earthquakes in 2015. Smart. Choice.
Monnex scholarships on February 27 in Ottawa. These scholarships support professional engineers returning to university for further study or research in a field other than engineering, but one that complements their engineering practice.
GEOSCIENTISTS CANADA APPOINTS NEW CEO
Geoscientists Canada has a new CEO as of
March 1. Andrea Waldie, P.Geo., FGC, took over as
chief executive officer following the retirement of Oliver Bonham, P.Geo., FGC, after 12 years in the role. Waldie began serving as incoming CEO on February 1. The office of Geoscientists Canada remains in the Engineers and Geoscientists BC building in Burnaby. Waldie will guide the business affairs of Geoscientists Canada from a satellite office in Ontario, visiting the BC office on a scheduled and as- needed basis. For the past five years, Waldie has been a consultant through her company, Waldie Geo-Governance, on matters of governance and professionalism. She has also acted as business manager of the APGO Education Foundation and has been a consultant to Geoscientists Canada on a variety of projects. Prior to her consulting work, Waldie was the executive director and registrar of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (APGO) for six years. She began her career as an exploration geoscientist, working for several different mining and mineral exploration companies.
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STAFF APPOINTMENT: CHIEF OF STRATEGIC OPERATIONS Engineers and Geoscientists BC is pleased to announce the appointment of its new Chief of Strategic Operations, Max Logan. In the role of CSO, Logan will oversee the association’s strategic corporate planning, member services, government relations, stakeholder engagement, communications, and brand marketing.
Operations, for Transportation Investment Corporation, where he was responsible for toll operations and customer service, as well as the organization’s Information Technology systems. Previously, he was Director of Communications and Marketing for Transportation Investment Corporation and oversaw the public launch of the TReO brand and tolling on the Port Mann Bridge. Logan has also held positions as Director for the Retail Council of Canada, Chief of Staff to the BC Minister of Finance, and Communications Director for several BC Cabinet ministers. Logan is a graduate of UBC and Seneca College. as a new energy standard under the code. It establishes a set of voluntary, incremental energy-performance targets for new buildings (via new Subsections 9.36.6. and 10.2.3. of Division B) that builders can choose to build to, and communities may choose to require within their jurisdiction. The new standard is a tool designed to help both government and industry prepare for a future in which all new construction across the province is “net-zero energy-ready” by 2032, as identified in the BC Climate Leadership Plan. To date, 17 municipalities have notified the Province of BC of their intent to reference the Step Code within their jurisdictions. Additional guidance on professional practice considerations in demonstrating conformance to the Step Code will be provided through the publication of Engineers and Geoscientists BC/Architectural Institute of BC Professional Practice Guidelines: Whole Building Energy Modelling Services , which is expected to be released in the spring of this year. divisions including Council and as president in 1969. He also served as vice-president and president of the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers, now known as Engineers Canada. In 1973, Lambert became Registrar and Managing Director of this association. Since his retirement in 1984, he has continued to be a tireless and dedicated volunteer. He received our professional service award in 1984—an award that in 2009 was renamed the D.C. Lambert Professional Service Award in recognition of his many and varied contributions.
Logan has worked with and for the provincial government in various capacities for more than 15 years and has extensive experience in communications, marketing, and government relations. Most recently Logan was Vice President, Tolling
UPDATED LETTERS OF ASSURANCE FOR THE BC BUILDING CODE On January 30, 2018, changes to the 2012 BC Building Code were approved. These changes introduce updated Letters of Assurance for Schedules B and C-A, which
apply to all projects involving a building permit application. The update relates to the assurance of conformance to Part 10 (Energy) aspects of the code. The changes to Schedules B and C-A are detailed in a member advisory issued by Engineers and Geoscientists BC and the Architectural Institute of British Columbia on January 31. The updated Letters of Assurance should be used for all projects for which a building permit application is submitted on or after January 31, 2018. The updates do not apply retroactively to projects for which a building permit application has already been submitted. In addition, changes have been made throughout the BC Building Code and its Appendix, notably to Article 220.127.116.11. Required Guards, Section 9.32. Ventilation, Section 9.36. Energy Efficiency, and Section 10.2. Energy Efficiency. The BC Energy Step Code was introduced in April 2017
MILESTONE CELEBRATION FOR AN ASSOCIATION STALWART On January 16, guests gathered at the Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia office to celebrate the 100th birthday of long-time volunteer Daniel C. Lambert, P.Eng., FEC. President Caroline Andrewes, along with many past presidents, was in attendance to honour Lambert for his remarkable contribution to the association and to the professions of engineering and geoscience over the last 55-plus years.
Having joined the association in 1961, Lambert has been exceptionally involved throughout his entire professional life as a member of various committees, task forces, and
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MADE-IN-BC TOOL TO BE ADOPTED BY OTHER REGULATORS In 2012, Engineers and Geoscientists BC launched an online competency-based assessment (CBA) system for evaluating its engineering applicants. There are now over 6,000 applicants and come from the new website. Functionally, how applicants and EITs use the system to report their competencies will remain identical. Rebranding will be the first change, but the
engineers-in-training reporting experience through the system, and over 1,600 professional engineers have registered in this way. When it comes online this spring, a new tool will enable other engineering regulators in Canada to use Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s CBA system for the evaluation of engineering experience for registration. This is the result of a multi-year, pan-Canadian CBA project supported by Engineers Canada and a steering committee of interested engineering regulators in several provinces. In the current phase of this project, the online competency assessment system developed by Engineers and Geoscientists BC is being adapted for use by other regulators in Canada. According to Jim Landrigan, P.Eng., Executive Director and Registrar of Engineers PEI, “It’s nice to have a competency-based system that is uniform in more provinces, and it will allow for easier transfers of EITs’ [engineers-in-training] work experience. In addition, the online system replaces an old paper- based system that is not user-friendly to today’s generation of EITs.” CBA for geoscience experience is under development in a separate project, and its implementation is being planned for the future. WHAT WILL CHANGE ABOUT THE BC SYSTEM? For BC users, only the look of the system will be different, according to Don Gamble, the association’s Director of Information Systems. All of the users’ information will move to the new system, and people will use the same user ID and password they’ve always used to access the system. The look will be different because the system will no longer be part of the Engineers and Geoscientists BC main website and will be rebranded. The URL to access the system will change to competencyassessment.ca, the look and feel of colours and menus will change, and emails will
association’s Information Systems department will continue to make incremental enhancements to the system through a series of additional releases. Regulators partnering with the BC association to utilize the system will do so under an Internet Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model and after the final release is implemented will be billed on a per assessment basis. Participating regulators won’t have the costs of installing, maintaining, and enhancing the software, and all participants will benefit from economies of scale associated with a larger user base. They will also benefit from using a single system that will simplify and standardize the business processes of all partnering regulators with respect to assessment of competency. WHAT’S HAPPENING NEXT Competencyassessment.ca is expected to be live this spring for BC users. Engineers PEI and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan are expected to be among the first regulators to adopt the new online tool. Benefits to using a common system to evaluate experience on a pan-Canadian basis include the potential to improve ease of mobility for engineers-in-training between provinces and territories. The online system also allows applicants and EITs to self-assess their readiness for professional engineer registration or licence and to easily report and validate their experience from anywhere in the world. It also enables employers to align their training programs with the required competencies, and it allows regulators to evaluate applicants with more robust and consistent licensure decisions. Most of all, it makes assessment more objective, transparent, and consistent and increases the confidence of all who participate in the process, including applicants, validators, employers, and assessors.
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WHAT WE HEARD FROM YOU: CONSULTATION ON LIFE, HONORARY, AND NON-PRACTISING MEMBERSHIP BYLAWS
BACKGROUND In the September/October 2017 issue of Innovation , we reported on a legal challenge to Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s existing Bylaw 10(c.1), which allows members to apply for life membership or licensure if they are 70 years of age, have been practising for 35 years or more, and have been a member in good standing for 20 years or more. At that time, Council had ceased granting life memberships in response to the legal challenge. The legal challenge triggered a review of a number of related bylaws—those referring to life membership or licensure, non-practising membership, and honorary and honorary life membership. This has resulted in proposed changes to those bylaws to address legal issues and gaps that have an impact on regulation of the professions, and to provide more clarity to members and the public. Engineers and Geoscientists BC has been consulting with members on the proposed changes the Engineers and Geoscientists Act . The association’s bylaws interpret the Act , providing guidance to the association and members. Government controls the Act , but bylaws can be altered if ratified by two- thirds of voting members. A review of the bylaws related to Bylaw 10(c.1) brought to light a number of issues that affect regulation of the professions. Current bylaw wording points to unclear obligations for non-practising members, unrestricted use of title, limited licensees not being included in membership categories, and a need to separate honorary recognition of individuals from the granting of practice rights. The changes to the bylaws that are now being proposed would repeal qualification language based on age, and align bylaw wording to require use of a restricted title for non- practising members and an annual commitment by them not to engage in professional practice. The new wording would to the bylaw, and consultation results to date are summarized below, ahead of Council consideration of this issue at its meeting in April. ABOUT THE AMENDMENTS Engineering and geoscience are governed by a piece of legislation,
also make the bylaws inclusive of all grades of membership, including licensees, which is not presently the case. The bylaws concerning honorary membership and honorary life membership would be combined, and the new bylaw would be separated from the granting of practice rights. A provision to revoke honorary membership if required would also be included. The amendments would also introduce grandfathering clauses to maintain the rights and status of current Life Members. The full text of the proposed bylaw amendments is available at egbc.ca/Life-Member-Bylaw- Consultation . WHAT WE HEARD FROM MEMBERS Engineers and Geoscientists BC has been informing and engaging members on this issue. We started consulting members on the proposed bylaw amendments in December 2017, starting with those who would be immediately affected by the decision to cease granting life membership. discussion with the committee responsible for recommending honorary memberships, and ongoing feedback by phone and email. Common themes from the feedback provided by members are summarized below. BYLAW 10(C): NON-PRACTISING MEMBER Proposed wording changes would require non-practising members to use the restricted title “P.Eng. (Non-practising)” and commit annually to not engage in professional practice. Member feedback identified: • Concern that the restricted title could appear to the public as indicating that a member has had this title imposed on them for disciplinary reasons. • Concerns about the restricted title for those who maintain practice rights in jurisdictions other than BC. • Members wanted more clarification around what constitutes professional practice. To date, engagement has included focus groups with members who would have previously qualified for life membership, a webcast on the topic, a member survey,
MEMBER CONSULTATION December 2017–March 2018 • Focus groups with members most affected • Webcast • Member survey • Committee discussion/feedback • Member feedback via phone and email
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Member feedback focused on: • Whether an honorary membership category was required, and if so, how members or non-members should qualify for it. • How the “outstanding contributions” that would be recognized through honorary membership would be defined and by whom. NEXT STEPS Staff will be presenting the results of the consultation on the proposed bylaw amendments to Council in April. Council will consider the feedback provided by members and determine whether adjustments to the proposed amendments are appropriate based on that feedback. If Council does not make any additional changes in April, the revised bylaws will proceed to member ratification in the fall; however, should Council make further changes, a second round of consultation will occur between April and June 2018. This will give members a chance to review and provide feedback on any new changes to the bylaws. The revised bylaws would then undergo a final review and approval by Council in June and then proceed to member ratification in the fall. MORE INFORMATION Get informed! More detailed information on the proposed bylaw amendments, including background and exact wording, is available at egbc.ca/Life-Member-Bylaw-Consultation .
BYLAW 10(C.1): LIFE MEMBERSHIP OR LICENSURE Proposed wording would repeal age-based qualification language and would align the bylaw wording with changes to the Non- practising Member bylaw.Grandfathering clauses would maintain the rights and status of current Life Members. Member feedback included: • Curiosity about why removing the age requirement in the bylaw does not sufficiently address concerns regarding age discrimination under the BC Human Rights Code . • Concerns the change might impact members’ eligibility for life insurance offered through Engineers Canada. • Alternative suggestions for ways to maintain a category similar to life membership. Based on legal advice the association received, removing the age requirement in the bylaw would not sufficiently address the legal issue, as other aspects of the bylaw may also be non-compliant, such as the requirement for 35 years of practice. These bylaws would be combined to enable this grade of membership to be awarded to a variety of members and non- members. The awarding of honorary recognition would be separated from the granting of practice rights; honorary membership would be applied in addition to any other existing statuses and privileges of a member. Additionally, the change would provide authority to the association to revoke honorary membership if required. BYLAW 10(C.2): HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP OR LICENSURE; AND BYLAW 10(D): HONORARY MEMBERSHIP presentations to children and youth about engineering and geoscience. Through our Career Awareness Program, we send out volunteers to talk to students around the province to promote engineering and geoscience. We’re looking for new volunteers to help with an increase in presentation requests from across the Lower Mainland. Many of these requests are from Girl Guide groups or are for earth science presentations. The Career Awareness Program aims to encourage and empower students to become more engaged in science and math, and to consider science-based careers. As a volunteer with the program, you could give presentations at schools or libraries in your region, judge a science fair competition, or represent the engineering and geoscience professions at career events.
INSPIRE KIDS THROUGH OUR CAREER AWARENESS PROGRAM Have you ever been asked to explain what you do? Engineers and Geoscientists BC frequently receives requests for
To learn more, visit egbc.ca/volunteer and view the current opportunities for Career Awareness volunteers. If you have questions about the program, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Engineers and Geoscientists BC is often referred to as a “dual-mandate” organization, meaning that its primary duty is regulation, but that it also has the objective of supporting members’ interests, subject to its primary duty. This blend of regulation and member support can sometimes lead to confusion about what the association’s primary responsibility is, and this can open the door to misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Over the years, consultation data from members has indicated that there is sometimes a gap in understanding between what some members perceive to be the mandate of the association and what the mandate actually is. Members who have indicated that they believe the association’s primary function is to support and advocate for members and their interests are frustrated when these expectations aren’t met. “The misunderstanding is certainly something we’ve noted anecdotally,” says Ann English, P.Eng., the association’s CEO and Registrar. “But it’s also something that gets communicated to us in survey feedback and directly to Council and branch executives. For some members, it’s a major point of frustration, because what they believe we should focus on isn’t what we’re mandated to do.” The Engineers and Geoscientists Act gives the association only one duty: “to uphold and protect the public interest with respect to the practice of professional engineering and geoscience.” Subject to this duty, we also have three purposes, known as “objects,” in our Act : 1. to uphold and protect the interests of our members and licensees, 2. to establish, maintain, and enforce standards of entry to practice, and 3. to promote the professions. Our duty of public protection sets us apart from other types of organizations, such as voluntary membership associations, but the addition of member support functions complicates perceptions of who we are and what we do. This challenge is by no means a new one, but it has become increasingly important to address because the regulatory landscape is evolving in the engineering and geoscience industries as well as others. There have been major shifts in the regulation of teachers and realtors in BC, and notably the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, which has been under trusteeship since 2016. Engineers and Geoscientists BC conducts a public opinion poll roughly every three years to measure public awareness of the association and the professions. We conducted our most recent poll last summer, and it revealed an upward trend in the amount of importance the public places on professional regulation. For example, when asked if engineers and geoscientists should have an organization that regulates and governs them, positive responses from the public have shown a steady increase since 2008. CONNECTING WITH MEMBERS TO INCREASE REGULATORY CLARITY
Q: ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 10, PLEASE TELL US HOW MUCH YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT.
% A gree (7-10)
2017 82% •
Engineers and geoscientists should have an organization that regulates and governs them to ensure they meet set standards.
Similarly, when asked to rank the importance of Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s current and potential responsibilities, the public rated almost every regulatory tool as more important compared to previous years—with one exception: the question of whether the association should promote the professions. While the response remained neutral or declined slightly between 2008 and 2014, there has been a sharp downturn in the past three years in public attitudes towards whether the association should promote the professions.
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Q: PLEASE RATE THE IMPORTANCE OF EACH OF [THE ASSOCIATION’S] CURRENT AND POTENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES.
% I mportant (7-10)
Develop guidelines and standards of practice.
Assess qualifications to issue licenses to practice.
84% • 86% •
Regulate firms offering engineering and geoscience services to the public. Audit the practice of individuals to assess compliance with rules and standards.
79% • 79% •
Promote the professions of engineering and geoscience.
“As a public sector organization,” says CEO Ann English, “we’re created by and accountable to government to serve and protect the people of British Columbia. We’re accountable to the people of British Columbia. I think it’s clear that public expectations for regulatory bodies like ours are changing. So it’s important for us now, perhaps more than ever before, to clarify our role and our dedication to protecting the interests of the public.” BRINGING CLARITY TO THE ASSOCIATION’S REGULATORY ROLE In 2016, Council set out to explore the issue more in depth, with a long-term vision for increasing members’ understanding and awareness of our regulatory role under the Act . This is reflected throughout the association’s 2017–2020 Strategic Plan, one of the main objectives of which is to ensure that the association’s role as a regulator is widely understood. Work on this began with a comprehensive update to association communications, to bring prominence to our regulatory role across all communications channels. This included website architecture updates that now provide more direct access to practice-related resources and complaints and discipline information, changes to university student outreach materials to emphasize our regulatory responsibilities, and highlighting members’ participation in regulation through practice, standards, and ethics at new member induction ceremonies. Senior staff also engaged with internal stakeholders, such as branch and division executives and volunteer leaders, to bring clarity to this issue and to understand member concerns and questions regarding our real and perceived roles. Of particular interest during these discussions was the chain of events that led to the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ) coming under trusteeship in 2016. The instituting of trusteeship followed OIQ’s attempts to curb corruption in the management of construction contracts and improve the quality of engineering practice in the wake of the Charbonneau inquiry. OIQ implemented mandatory continuing professional development (CPD), increased practice audits significantly, implemented a requirement for mandatory professional liability insurance, and increased member fees to help pay for these changes. Members then called a special general meeting in response, which more than 1,800 members attended and in which several motions were passed: that Council should repeal professional liability insurance requirements, suspend CPD regulation, provide access to a drug insurance plan, do roll-call votes of the board, and abolish membership-fee increases. Following an investigation by the Office des professions du Québec, the authority that oversees all of the province’s professional regulatory bodies, trusteeship was introduced in July 2016. The office issued a statement that read: “The Office believes that the effective delivery of activities of regulation of the profession and the financial stability of the OIQ are seriously affected, to the point of putting into question the capacity of the OIQ of carrying out its primary mission of public protection.” ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES For Engineers and Geoscientists BC to perform its role effectively, we need to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to upholding the standards of a strong, credible regulator. Over the course of 2018, we will be engaging in discussion with members on this issue to increase awareness about how we deliver on our mandate of public protection. Council vice-president Kathy Tarnai-Lokhorst, P.Eng., will be hosting engagement sessions during visits to each of the association’s branches around the province. Sessions in Richmond and Parksville have been well received by members, generating positive discussion and a stronger understanding of the legislative framework within which the association operates. Information on these sessions will be available in our events directory at egbc.ca/Events/Branch.
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F E B R U A R Y 9 , 2 0 1 8 Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s council of elected members and government representatives meets throughout the year to conduct the business of association governance. The following are the highlights of the February 9, 2018, meeting. WHOLE BUILDING ENERGY MODELLING GUIDELINES APPROVED Council has approved Professional Practice Guidelines—Whole Building Energy Modelling for final editorial and legal review prior to publication. These guidelines were developed by the association and the Architectural Institute of BC to set the standard of practice for architects and engineers who provide energy modelling services. DIVISION TERMS OF REFERENCE UPDATED The association’s divisions provide a forum for the exchange of ideas by members on a particular area of professional interest. Council has approved updates to the General Division Terms of Reference, which is applicable to all five divisions, and to each division’s specific Terms of Reference. These updates have been made to provide clarity on the relationship between the association and the divisions, update the reporting structure for professional practice–related matters, and reflect current division operations. REGISTRATION POLICIES UPDATED Council has approved revisions to the registration policies on Currency of Experience and Non-Accredited Reputable International Programs, as well as the inclusion of a new policy on Remote Video Conference Interviews. Updates to the policy on Currency of Experience indicate that applicants will need to ensure that two of their four years of experience have occurred in the past four years and that all of their experience has occurred in the last seven years. The Non-Accredited Reputable International Programs Policy was revised to add or remove a number of programs from the attached List of Non-accredited Reputable International Programs according to their current status on the International Institutions and Degrees Database and three other international source lists. NATIONAL COMPETENCY BASED ASSESSMENT PROJECT UPDATE Engineers and Geoscientists BC is working on agreements with a number of Canadian engineering regulators to make its Competency Based Assessment Framework and online tool available as a Software as a Service for competency- based assessment on a cost-recovery basis. This is an important step toward standardization of application for
engineering licensure at a national level. Council received an update on the progress of this project. Engineers and Geoscientists BC expects to roll out its first project deliverable in April 2018, transitioning BC applicants, validators, and assessors to the pan-Canadian system. At that time, participating regulators will be able to begin using the Competency-Based Assessment Framework and online tool with full multi-jurisdictional applicant support but no multi- jurisdictional administration, no integration with the regulators’ back-end systems, and no French language support. Future releases will incrementally increase the tool’s functionality. CONSULTATION UPDATE ON LIFE, HONORARY, HONORARY LIFE, AND NON-PRACTISING MEMBERSHIP Council received an update about the consultation on proposed changes to the Life, Honorary, Honorary Life, and Non-Practising membership bylaws. To date, members who would have been eligible for Life Membership have been engaged through focus groups and surveys, and via email, and the general membership has been engaged through a survey and a webinar. The association has also sought feedback from the Standing Awards Committee (which is responsible for recommending Honorary Membership recipients), current Life and Honorary Life members, and sister associations. A report is scheduled to go to Council in April 2018 with the full results of the consultation and proposed revisions to the bylaws. (For more information, see page 10.) CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: ASSESSMENT AND NEXT STEPS Engineers and Geoscientists BC has a responsibility to protect the public interest where engineering and geoscience regulation is concerned, and maintaining public confidence in practising professionals is vital to the association’s ability to deliver on this obligation. Council endorsed the Continuing Professional Development Committee’s assessment that a CPD program will enhance public safety and confidence in the professions, as well as supporting member competence. Council then passed a motion endorsing elements identified by the committee as ones that should be considered in the development of a new program in concert with the association’s other regulatory initiatives. Council directed staff to work with consultants to support the CPD committee’s development of a new program. Program development will involve member engagement and consultation.
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