Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC

June 04, 2012 13:09 ET

APEGBC: Changes to the Engineers and Geoscientists Act Enhance Public Protection

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 4, 2012) - The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) announced today its appreciation for legislation passed by the BC government that modernizes the Engineers and Geoscientists Act. The new amendments enable efficiencies in the registration of qualified applicants to practice in BC and provide the Association with broader options for managing investigation and discipline matters.

"This is a positive move that is in the interest of the public as well as the professions of engineering and geoscience," said APEGBC President Jeff Holm, P.Eng. "We are grateful to government for the introduction of the legislation needed to effectively carry out our regulatory duty."

Brought into law by the provincial government in 1920, the Engineers and Geoscientists Act sets out APEGBC's authorities and responsibilities in regulating the engineering and geoscience professions. The long outdated legislation significantly hampered the ability of the Association to effectively carry out its regulatory duties with respect to the registration of qualified applicants and the investigation and discipline of its members.

The new amendments will enable APEGBC to support labour force development through improved processes to allow qualified professionals trained outside of British Columbia to practise engineering and geoscience in BC. Changes to The Act will also ensure protection of public health and safety, and increase transparent governance by providing additional disciplinary tools such as practice reviews and conduct reviews, and by making minor changes to APEGBC's governance to facilitate fairness and efficiency.

To examine and address these issues APEGBC undertook an extensive 18 month consultation process in 2009 with members and other stakeholders to obtain their input. As a result of the consultation, APEGBC proposed 35 amendments to the Engineers and Geoscientists Act and identified 11 priority amendments suitable for a miscellaneous statues amendment bill.

On May 1, 2012, Bill 41, the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No 2), 2012, was introduced in the legislature by Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond. This bill included the 11 amendments to the Engineers and Geoscientists Act put forward by APEGBC. APEGBC sincerely appreciates the efforts of all stakeholders and applauds the actions of government to bring about these important updates.

APEGBC works collaboratively with government on a number of issues of importance to the practice of professional engineering and geoscience, including: seismic retrofitting of schools, labour market supply and demand, climate adaptation, flood hazard and risk assessment, seismic slope stability assessments, on-site sewage regulations, and the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA).

Founded in 1920, APEGBC is the regulatory and licensing body for the engineering and geoscience professions and is charged with protecting the public interest. With over 27,000 members, APEGBC is one of the largest professional associations in BC and is focused on maintaining high academic, experience and professional practice standards. APEGBC works to support government in a variety of ways, from providing solutions for BC's infrastructure to supporting labour mobility across the country.

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