For many years, the AIBC has been engaged in a comprehensive bylaw review process to address both substantive bylaw subject matter areas and more routine amendments.
The Bylaw Review Committee (BRC) is conducting a review of the approximately 115 bylaws and council rulings that make up the AIBC’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (“Code of Ethics”). Given the size of the task, the BRC is taking a staggered approach to amending the many bylaws and council rulings. The initial set of amendments to the Code of Ethics related to professional engagement, reporting and disclosure, and architectural competitions, concluded in September 2019.
Code of Ethics – Part II
November 2020 Update: The first round of consultation for this suite of bylaws ran in early spring 2020. During the consultation period, the BRC received ample feedback from AIBC registrants and internally from AIBC practice advisors. After reviewing the responses, the BRC and AIBC staff recommended that the bylaw consultation period be extended, and that several drafting changes be made to the initial version of the proposed bylaws.
The BRC, supported by AIBC Council, were consulting on the updated version of the proposed Code of Ethics – Part II bylaws. An overview of the proposed changes, including a PDF of the bylaw amendments, is found below:
- Advertising (‘Promotional Activities”) Bylaw (32.2.1)
The BRC were not recommending any amendments to the advertising bylaw proposed earlier in 2020.
The proposed bylaw (32.2.1) requires registrants to be “accurate, factual and not misleading” in relation to advertising and promotions. This new bylaw will accompany existing Bylaw 32.2, which focuses on accurate representation in relation to qualifications and scope of responsibility and credit for work.
- General Professional Conduct including Harassment and Discrimination Bylaw (34.5 and 34.5.1)
During the first round of registrant consultation, the BRC recommended amendments to current Bylaw 34.5, as well as the creation of a new Bylaw 34.5.1. The proposed amendments to Bylaw 34.5 consolidate the first five council rulings under the bylaw, and specifically prohibit harassment, discrimination, and violations of human rights laws.
The new proposed Bylaw 34.5.1 consolidates the remaining three council rulings from Bylaw 34.5 that relate to registrant’s obligations to the AIBC, specifically responding promptly, cooperating with investigations, and promptly advising of changes to contact information.
Upon further review of the bylaws, the BRC is now recommending minor changes to the initial proposal. The proposed changes include:
- Bylaw 34.5: separating previous paragraph (a) into two paragraphs; and
- Bylaw 34.5.1: adding the word “mandatory” to clarify that the obligation to respond promptly to AIBC communication applies to communication that requires a response.
- Supervision of Intern Architect Bylaw (34.1.1)
The BRC did not recommend any amendments to the proposed bylaw which would require supervising architects to sign and comply with a basic undertaking as to their responsibilities as a supervising architect under the Internship in Architecture Program. However, based on concerns about limitations some firms have in relation to providing the full range of intern architect experience, the proposed undertaking has been amended. In addition to other feedback sought and considered, the AIBC conducted a survey open to all Architects AIBC in relation to the supervision of intern architects issue. Among the data received was general support for this supervision of intern architects standard. See the draft undertaking with the proposed amendments.
- Client Confidentiality Bylaw (34.4.1)
The BRC did not recommend any amendments to the initial proposal for a client confidentiality bylaw that would require registrants to maintain client confidentiality except in circumstances of consent, legal or regulatory requirements, or if imminent public harm is possible.
However, based on concerns about understanding the limits of confidentiality, the BRC drafted additional explanatory commentary that would accompany the new standard in the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
- Election Procedures and Voting Bylaws (22.0 and 24.0) (New)
These bylaws have been recently added to the suite of bylaws that make-up the Code of Ethics – Part II bylaws. During the bylaw review process, the AIBC became aware of a minor inconsistency between the wording for the return of ballots for council elections in both Bylaw 22.0 and 24.0 and the wording found in the Architects Act (the “Act”). The BRC recommended a minor amendment to the bylaws to better align them with the Act.
- Professional Engagement and Client Communication Bylaws (28.4, 28.5 and 28.6)
(Deferred to Code of Ethics – Part 3)
During the initial round of registrant consultation, the BRC recommended a new Bylaw 28.1.1. The proposed bylaw would have established a requirement that architects specifically notify clients, in writing, when less than basic services were contemplated, and a requirement to identify which services were omitted.
Based on feedback received and upon further review, the BRC recommended amending the original concept of the bylaw. The BRC proposed a broader standard intended to improve client communication and understanding of the terms of the client-architect relationship, including the scope of service architects will provide.
The following three new standards are proposed:
- New Bylaw 28.4: This bylaw is an elevation of council ruling 34.10 (c) to a standalone bylaw. It would continue to require architects to communicate adequately with clients and keep clients reasonably informed. Additional commentary has been drafted to help architects and other registrants understand the communication expectations.
- New Bylaw 28.5: This bylaw would require architects to discuss the client-architect agreement with their client and confirm the discussion or the client’s decision not to discuss, prior to providing services on any commission. Keeping a record of any discussions would be required. As explained in the draft commentary to the proposed bylaw, the medium and duration of the client discussion will be left to the architect and client, and is not intended to be a detailed line-by-line contract review.
- New Bylaw 28.6: This bylaw is an amended version of proposed Bylaw 28.1.1 noted above. It would require architects providing ‘partial basic services’ on a design and construction commission to notify clients when less than basic services are being provided, and which basic services are being omitted. The result would be the authorized provision of “partial basic services”.
NOTE: While these proposed standards form part of the Code of Ethics – Part II bylaw consultation, they were not included as part of this bylaw vote. Instead, they will comprise part of the next initiative (Code of Ethics – Part 3), which will be coming forward in spring 2021. The BRC put them forward earlier to provide more opportunity for architects and other registrants to comment and ask questions. In addition, more time was needed to coordinate the BRC’s work on this standard with that of the Tariff of Fees for Architectural Services Working Group.
Second Round: The second round of consultation took place from November 17 to November 27, 2020. An online consultation session was held on Tuesday, November 24, 2020.
Date: Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Time: 12:00–1:30 p.m.
Location: Online via Zoom
Learning Units: 1.5 Core
RSVP: Registration closed on November 23 at 12 p.m.
This presentation was recorded and may be posted on the AIBC website for bylaw consultation purposes for up to six months. By signing up for and joining this presentation you consented to being recorded. Note that only the presenters were visible on screen but audio questions from participants may have been captured in the recording.
First Round: The first round of consultation took place from January 27 to February 28, 2020. An online and in-person consultation session was held at the AIBC Offices on February 11, 2020.
Second Round of Consultation Documents
- Proposed Bylaw Amendments
- Draft Intern Architect Supervision Undertaking
- View the PowerPoint Presentation from the second round consultation session
- Consultation Session Recording (Password: 1t&%N5lh)
First Round of Consultation Documents
- Read the full background memorandum to council on the proposed bylaw amendments
- View the PowerPoint Presentation from the first consultation session
Throughout the consultation process, registrants were invited to provide feedback by either emailing email@example.com or by submitting an online feedback form (which was open from November 17, 2020 until November 27, 2020).
Electronic voting commenced on December 22 and continued until January 31 at 4 p.m. Passage requires a minimum of two-thirds of affirmative ballots cast by eligible voters. Active participation in bylaw initiatives is critical to both the governance of the Institute and the profession of architecture in British Columbia. An electronic ballot was emailed directly to eligible voters from firstname.lastname@example.org.
*December 24 Update: Due to technical difficulties with the voting provider, the Code of Ethics Part II Bylaw voting period was extended from January 22, 2021 to January 31, 2021.
The proposed Code of Ethics Part II Bylaws received strong support from those who voted, with the following results:
- Code of Ethics: Advertising Bylaw 32.2.1 was approved by 95.9 percent of voters.
Bylaw 32.2.1 is a new standard which requires registrants to be “accurate, factual and not misleading” in relation to advertising and promotions. This new bylaw will accompany existing Bylaw 32.2, which focuses on accurate representation in relation to qualifications and scope of responsibility and credit for work.
- Code of Ethics: General Professional Conduct including Harassment and Discrimination Bylaws 34.5 and 34.5.1 were approved by 90.5 percent of voters.
Amendments to Bylaw 34.5 consolidate the first five council rulings under the existing bylaw, and adds a new paragraph specifically prohibiting harassment, discrimination, and violations of human rights laws.
New Bylaw 34.5.1 consolidates the remaining three council rulings from current Bylaw 34.5 that relate to registrants’ obligations to the AIBC, specifically to respond promptly, cooperate with investigations, and promptly advise of any changes to contact information.
- Code of Ethics: Supervision of Intern Architects Bylaw 34.1.1 was approved by 91.5 percent of voters.
Bylaw 34.1.1 is a new standard which requires supervising architects to sign and comply with a basic undertaking as to their responsibilities as a supervising architect under the Internship in Architecture Program. This new standard elevates the profile of supervision of interns; establishes a minimum standard to promote quality supervision; and demonstrates that the AIBC will assist firms in this process.
The draft Intern Architect Supervision Undertaking will be finalized in the coming months.
- Code of Ethics: Client Confidentiality Bylaw 34.4.1 was approved by 89.5 percent of voters.
New Bylaw 34.4.1 requires registrants to maintain client confidentiality except in circumstances of consent, legal or regulatory requirements, or if imminent public harm is possible.
- Election Procedures & Voting Bylaws 22.0 and 24.0 were approved by 96.9 percent of voters.
Minor amendments to Bylaws 22.0 and 24.0 update the wording for the return of ballots for council elections so that it is better aligned with the wording in the Architects Act.
Under the Architects Act, notice of bylaw changes must be filed with the provincial government within seven days of passage. This filing took place on February 2, 2021. The government has 45 days to consider whether to disallow the bylaws. After the passing of the disallowance period, members will be notified that the bylaws are in effect.