The PGA specifies that all five regulatory bodies (EGBC, ABCFP, BCIA, CAB, and ASTTBC) may be granted reserved practices, often known as practice rights. This means that the ability to practice a profession is reserved for registrants of that regulatory body, with the exception of persons who may practice aspects of the profession in accordance with another legislation. Practically speaking, it means that a person must register with a regulatory body and meet all their professional, ethical and competency standards in order to offer their services as a professional.
As of February 5, 2021, the practice rights under Professional Governance Act remain the status quo. That is, the same as they were under the previous statutes.
Initial implementation of practice rights under the Professional Governance Act (PGA), involves carrying forward the status quo from the statutes being and expressing them in a consistent format under the framework of the PGA, with some modernizations. This means that each regulatory body will
- Regulate the same registrants it was regulating under its former statute (regulated practice);
- Have authority to confer the same titles (with some modernizations) as in its former statute (reserved titles); and,
- Continue protecting any practice rights reserved for the profession (reserved practice), if authorized under the former statute (the Foresters Act or the Engineers and Geoscientists Act). This means that, upon initial implementation, reserved practices are only granted for professional forestry, engineering, and geoscience. No new reserved practices are being established upon initial implementation of the PGA
With respect to Applied Biologists and Agrologists, work is already underway to establish reserved practice for registrants of these professions. We expect that the Applied Biologists Regulation and Agrologists Regulation will be updated to set out the impending reserved practice in the coming months following a further period of consultation. The introduction of these new reserved practices will include a reasonable transition period identified well in advance of the reserved practices being introduced.
The Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance (OSPG) also intends to begin a process with Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C. (ASTTBC) and Engineers and Geoscientists B.C. (EGBC) to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with, and potential approaches to, reserved practice within the engineering discipline for technologists and technicians.
For further details, please refer to Key Messages and Q&As on Practice Rights under the PGA.