The time has come. After extensive research, review and consultation, please note that an electronic vote on mandatory professional liability insurance (PLI) bylaws will commence June 13 and conclude on July 13.
Eligible members will receive voting instructions on June 13. Upon receipt set aside some time –a mere 2-3 minutes– to make your voice heard. I appeal to all members, especially those covered by PLI who may not think it necessary to cast a ballot. As a self-regulatory body, let’s demonstrate how seriously we take this privilege. I’d like to challenge the profession to reverse the downward trend, of late, and vote in higher-than-usual numbers. Please encourage your eligible colleagues, peers and coworkers, too.
Members are reminded that the introduction of professional liability insurance was brought forward for consideration by council through a Member’s Motion from the Floor at the 2015 AIBC annual meeting. This motion received overwhelming support from the 100+ members in attendance. Council proceeded to approve the motion thereby launching a period of research and review conducted by staff, the Bylaw Review Committee and the PLI Working Group. Phase two –the consultation period– involved a variety of member outreach initiatives. Consultation sessions –held in-person and online in Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna– in addition to a questionnaire, a dedicated PLI telephone hotline and email address sought and encouraged feedback from the membership. A comprehensive package of information remains posted online at aibc.ca/pli for those interested in reviewing the material or browsing through the FAQs.
Thank you to those who shared commentary during this 2 ½ month consultation period. Your participation was vital in assisting council consider next steps. On the whole, feedback was generally positive or consisted of technical questions on insurance scenarios.
Of note, several recurring items raised during the feedback period were specifically addressed. As a result bylaw 16.1.1 was adjusted slightly with simpler and more focused phrasing. Furthermore, inclusion of language to allow council, under council rules, to consider establishing exemptions from insurance requirements was added to 16.1.2. Future, currently unforeseen, scenarios where council may want to exempt or modify an insurance requirement for certain certificate of practice holders may include members whose practice is restricted to certain services or where the insurance landscape changes to make it less available or prohibitively expensive. Council rules on PLI will undergo a separate notification period. As per usual, the rules can evolve and would be revisited, if the PLI bylaws pass.
As the professional regulator whose mandate is to serve in the public interest, council continues to believe that mandatory professional liability insurance is long overdue in B.C. In addition to benefitting the public, members are also served. PLI is one of the best risk management tools available. Professional liability coverage provides financial peace of mind, a differentiating factor in the industry and, access to best business practices.
At this point, it comes down to your vote, made easy through electronic ballot.
Your vote does matter. Please vote.
Danica Djurkovic Architect AIBC
AIBC Council President