The PGA specifies that all six designated regulatory bodies 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 September 13, 2021, new reserved practice rights under Professional Governance Act were prescribed for Applied Biologists and Agrologists, adding to existing reserved practice rights for Engineers, Geoscientists, and Forest Professionals.  As of September 1, 2022, the new reserved practice rights for Applied Biologists and Agrologists are now in force.

Initial implementation of practice rights under the Professional Governance Act (PGA), involved carrying forward the status quo from previous statutes and expressing them in a consistent format under the framework of the PGA, with some modernizations.  With new reserved practices prescribed, the following describes the current framework for regulated and reserved practices:

  • All regulatory bodies are regulating the same registrants they were regulating under their former statutes (regulated practice).
  • All regulatory bodies have authority to confer the same titles (with some modernizations) as in their former statutes (reserved titles).
  • The Engineers and Geoscientists B.C. (EGBC) and the Forest Professionals BC (FPBC) continue protecting any practice rights reserved for the profession (reserved practice), as authorized under their former statutes (the Foresters Act or the Engineers and Geoscientists Act). and,
  • The College of Applied Biologists (CAB) and the B.C. Institute of Agrologists (BCIA) have new practice rights reserved for the profession (reserved practice) that came into force on September 1, 2022. The new practice definitions were granted through Order in Council 517/2021 which amends the Agrologists Regulation and the Applied Biologists Regulation.
  • Where a regulatory body has been granted a reserved practice, the defined scope of work must be carried out by or under the supervision of a registrant. Reserved practices help ensure that unqualified, unregistered people are not carrying out work that requires the knowledge and skills of a professional.
  • No new practice rights have been reserved for the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of B.C. (ASTTBC).  The Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance (OSPG) intends to begin a process with ASTTBC and EGBC to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with, and potential approaches to, reserved practice within the engineering discipline for technologists and technicians.

For more information on the introduction of new reserved practices under the PGA, please see Key Messaging and Questions and Answers. And, for information about the framework for regulated and reserved practice under the PGA, see OSPG Guidance: Regulated and Reserved Practice.