INNOVATION May-June 2015

p rofes s iona l deve lopmen t

CPD Bylaw Revised in Response to Member Feedback On April 17, APEGBC Council heard the results of APEGBC’s five- month consultation with members, volunteer groups, and external stakeholders on the proposed professional development bylaw. As a result of that feedback, APEGBC Council decided to alter the proposed professional development bylaw to better reflect what members are seeking. “The consultation process we undertook was significant and

At a Glance: Who: All members with practice rights What: • Average of 50 hours per year (150 hours on a three year rolling total) • A maximum of 20 hours can be professional practice hours • 15 (of the 50) need to be verifiable hours (professional practice hours cannot be counted towards the verifiable requirement) What’s different?  Reduced hours  Enhanced flexibility  Streamlined and simplified categories

extremely valuable,” said APEGBC President John Clague, P.Geo., FGC, FEC (Hon). “Members told us that in order to work, the program had to be flexible and accommodate their busy professional lives. They wanted clear, simple rules that wouldn’t disadvantage any particular group. I’m confident that the changes we’re making meet these goals, while still meeting the expectations of the public and government.” The consultation process reflected a high level of engagement, with more than 5,000 members participating in the survey, more than 500 attendees at consultation sessions and events around the province, and online information accessed more than 6,500 times. Consultation sessions were also held with APEGBC volunteer groups that have specific areas of expertise or knowledge related to professional

development and the proposed bylaw, including the Professional Practice, Investigation, Registration, and Practice Review committees. Groups with insight into specific areas of practice were also consulted, such as the Geoscience and Consulting Practice committees. APEGBC also discussed the proposed bylaw and received feedback from the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of BC (ACEC-BC). APEGBC’s Continuing Professional Development Committee received and considered the feedback prior to it being delivered to Council. Revisions Recognize Members’ Busy Lives Members raised concerns about several key areas of the proposed bylaw, including the time commitment required; the reporting process; uncertainty over the process for handling non-compliance; program structure; CPD opportunities; and cost. Some members also questioned the program’s inherent value and whether they should be required to demonstrate compliance. In its deliberations, Council discussed how the requirements could be changed to address members’ concerns while still ensuring a robust program that would meet expectations of the public and government. Council identified the program should be simple, flexible and achievable; not disadvantage any particular group; outline a reasonable level of professional development activity for all practicing members; and maintain a simple reporting mechanism. This discussion resulted in several significant changes to the bylaw: Reduced hours: The overall total number of hours required was reduced from an average of 80 to 50 per year (240 PDH to 150 PDH on a three-year rolling total). Enhanced flexibility: The professional practice category was maintained, but the number of hours permitted within this category was reduced from 50 hours* per year to 20 hours per year. This responds to concerns from members who are semi-retired, underemployed, or working part-time. (* Where 15 hours of work earns 1 PDH) Streamlined and simplified categories: Restrictions on categories were removed, which provides members with more flexibility to select opportunities that best meet their professional development goals. The program formerly required hours to be accrued in three of six categories. Category maximums were also removed, except for professional practice. The program formerly had maximum hours in each category. Lastly, a new requirement that 15 hours (45 hours on a three-year rolling total) need to be verifiable was introduced. Verifiable activities are activities that can be objectively verified by a third party and include activities such as attendance at seminars, conferences, industry tradeshows, educational field trips, association meetings, volunteer service, mentoring and more. Verifiable activities cannot include hours accrued under the professional practice category.


M AY/J U N E 2 015

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