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 (the “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 (the “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.
The BRC, supported by AIBC Council, is now consulting on the second phase of Code of Ethics bylaw amendments. This suite of bylaws is divided into five subject areas. An overview of each section, including a PDF of the bylaw amendments and supporting rationales (PDF), is found below.
Upon conclusion of the first round of consultation (open until February 28), the BRC and staff will review all feedback, with a subsequent draft shared with registrants during a second round of consultation. Feedback will be reviewed with the intention to clarity the language and better articulate the underlying concepts.
Code of Ethics – Part II
The primary amendments proposed are:
- Basic/Partial Services Bylaw (28.1.1)
To address concerns about client lack of understanding in partial service scenarios, the BRC is recommending a new Bylaw 28.1.1. It would establish a straight forward requirement that architects specifically notify clients when partial services are contracted. The proposed bylaw is complementary to the amendments made to Bylaws 28.0 and 28.1 during the first round of Code of Ethics amendments.
The proposed new bylaw requires architects providing partial services to accurately describe the reduced scope of services and to further notify clients specifically which basic services found in AIBC 6C will not be provided. The BRC’s position is that the public, including clients, is best served when clarity of the scope of an architect’s services is mandated.In addition, Bulletin 90: Minimum Scope of Architectural Services (PDF) is slated for review and revision. Should this proposed bylaw pass registrant vote, the updating of Bulletin 90 will be accelerated.
- Advertising (‘Promotional Activities”) Bylaw (32.2.1)
The BRC recommends the addition of a simple promotions bylaw (32.2.1) that 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 of work.
- Harassment / Discrimination Bylaw (34.5 and 34.5.1)
In light of the #MeToo movement, the BRC considered whether the current Code of Ethics adequately addresses registrant behaviour with regard to harassment and discrimination. The BRC is recommending 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 would 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, namely to respond promptly, cooperate with investigations, and promptly advise of changes to contact information.
- Supervision of Intern Architect Bylaw (34.1.1)
To address concerns related to supervision of Intern Architects AIBC, the BRC is recommending the creation of a new Bylaw 34.1.1. The new Bylaw 34.1.1 would require the supervising architect to sign and comply with a basic undertaking established by council. See the draft undertaking (PDF) on page 10.
- Client Confidentiality Bylaw (34.4.1)
The BRC is recommending a new Bylaw 34.4.1 to reinforce the expectation that registrants maintain client confidentiality. This new standard would complement any contractual confidentiality requirements that are enforceable through private litigation.
The proposed bylaw would require registrants to maintain client confidentiality except in circumstances of consent, legal or regulatory requirements, or if imminent public harm is possible.
First Round: The first round of consultation is scheduled to run January 27 to February 28, 2020. An online and in-person consultation session was held February 11.
Second Round: A second round of consultation is anticipated to open later this spring/early summer. A follow-up consultation session will also be held. Registrants will be notified once details are confirmed.
Registrants are invited to provide feedback regarding the Code of Ethics Part II.
Feedback can be submitted to the Bylaw Review Committee by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or through an online feedback form. Feedback and commentary during consultation sessions is also conveyed to the BRC and to AIBC Council.
Architects AIBC and honorary members are entitled and encouraged to vote on proposed new and amended bylaws. The passage of AIBC Bylaws requires at least five per cent of the number of eligible voters and a minimum of two-thirds of affirmative majority of ballots cast by eligible voters.
The voting period is anticipated to take place this summer.
Results will be made available after the voting period closes.