The PGA specifies that all five 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.
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 Association of B.C. Forest Professionals (ABCFP) 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) and will begin protecting the practice rights following a one year implementation period. This means that individuals practicing in the field of applied biology and agrology must be registered with the appropriate regulatory body by September 1, 2022. The delay in full implementation is to prepare individuals for the changes to come and allow the regulatory bodies to take the appropriate steps to ensure readiness.
- 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, please see the Practice Rights Key Messaging and Q&A page.