Bylaws of Regulatory Bodies under the PGA
The Professional Governance Act (PGA) legislates key elements of professional governance, including the framework under which regulatory bodies establish their bylaws. This approach is intended to support transparency, accountability and public confidence in the governance of regulatory bodies. The OSPG works collaboratively with the regulatory bodies affected by the PGA to prepare bylaws which are both consistent with the PGA and allow regulatory bodies to meet the specific needs of their respective professions.
Bylaw Development Process
- Since fall 2019, OSPG has been working with regulatory bodies to set out policy guidance in respect of key subject matter that must be addressed in bylaws including:
- Standards of conduct and competence
- Regulatory body registers
- Complaints and discipline
- Information to be made publicly available
- Regulatory bodies have drafted bylaws based on OSPG’s policy guidance and their own unique experiences regulating their respective professions, and continue to make refinements as necessary.
- Drafts have been shared with Superintendent and OSPG staff for feedback to ensure the bylaws are consistent with the PGA, meet the objectives of transparency and accountability, and consider the perspective of fairness to registrants.
- Once the regulatory bodies are satisfied the bylaws meet the needs of their organizations and the Superintendent is satisfied that the bylaws are suitable, the bylaws will be brought into force.
- The process above is an improvement under the PGA, allowing the regulatory bodies to more easily make changes to bylaws as required, with the OSPG providing assurance that the changes are in line with best practices in professional governance and the public interest.
Bringing bylaws into force
- Prior to implementation of the PGA, many of the affected regulatory bodies required member ratification in order to adopt changes to bylaws. The Professional Reliance Review identified member ratification as an outdated approach that may prevent regulatory bodies from doing their jobs effectively and in the public interest.
- The PGA gives councils the authority to make bylaws by resolution without registrant ratification. Councils use various methods to engage registrants as part of the bylaw development process.
- Bylaws adopted by councils are brought into force under the PGA in accordance with sections 37 and 38:
- Council must deliver bylaws to the Superintendent for a suitability review.
- If the Superintendent has determined that the bylaws are suitable, the bylaws must be filed with the Minister within 45 days. It is expected that dialogue noted above in respect of early drafts will facilitate an efficient finding of suitability by the Superintendent.
- The new bylaws come into force 45 days from the date they are filed with the Minister.
- When the PGA was initially brought into force, regulatory bodies worked with OSPG to bring bylaws into force on a faster timeline than noted above, using the Superintendent’s power set out in section 38(1)(a). This approach provided that regulatory bodies were able to operate under PGA compliant bylaws without delay.
Bylaws filed and in-force under the PGA
- Forest Professionals BC (FPBC) – (October 26, 2022)
- Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC (ASTTBC) – (September 23, 2022)
- BC Institute of Agrologists (BCIA) – (November 25, 2022)
- College of Applied Biologists (CAB) – (February 22, 2022)
- Engineers and Geoscientists BC (EGBC) – (February 28, 2023)
- Architectural Institute of BC (AIBC). – (February 13, 2023)