In July 2020, the Government of British Columbia announced that the AIBC will transition legislation from the Architects Act to the Professional Governance Act (PGA). The transition to the PGA better aligns the profession with current societal and governmental expectations and standards, and will allow the AIBC to more effectively regulate the profession in the public’s interest. Note this transition does not change the AIBC’s core function, mandate, or operations – the AIBC will continue to exist, and will continue to regulate the profession of architecture in British Columbia in the interest of the public.
It is anticipated that the AIBC will be transitioned to the PGA by early 2023. Information, including next steps and updates, will be shared on this webpage.
Bylaw Consultation – Registration and Licensing
The major component of the AIBC’s transition to the Professional Governance Act is the development of new bylaws which meet the requirements of the PGA. The first suite of proposed PGA bylaws were shared in May 2022, regarding Registration and Licensing. Registrants are encouraged to email feedback and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AIBC is currently consulting on the following bylaws:
Provincial Government Consulting on Reserved Practice
The provincial government is undergoing a consultation process on the reserved practice of the profession. As a reminder, it is the provincial government that sets reserved practice, unlike bylaws.
Specifically, the government has asked the AIBC to provide advice on a replacement for Section 60 of the Architects Act, which is also commonly known as the “exceptions”. Working with a group of experienced industry stakeholders and external organizations, the AIBC provided policy advice to the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance. A key objective of the AIBC’s recommendations was to align reserved practice with the BC Building Code and public safety regulations to the greatest extent possible, but in every case to carefully calibrate the legal requirements for an architect with the modern built environment.
In summary, the key proposed recommendations include:
- Language written in the affirmative, clearly describing which buildings require the services of an architect;
- Modern, careful calibration of building type and size to better align with the BC Building Code and public safety expectations of key stakeholders;
- Minimizing interpretive ambiguity for the public, including owner-developers and building officials; and
- Helping ensure public safety, environmental protection and the right to access in the built environment.
After a second round of consultation that resulted in extensive feedback from primary stakeholders, including Building and Safety Standards Branch, Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia, and Building Officials’ Association of BC, the AIBC made some amendments to the original set of recommendations. The primary change was to revert to “five or more dwelling units” as the threshold for requiring an architect. Readers will also note that the recommendations maintain the status quo in most areas. The OSPG, the AIBC, and other stakeholders have expressed their commitment to continuing to review and more carefully calibrate the reserved practice in the public interest through 2023 and beyond.
Over the coming weeks and months, more suites of draft bylaws will be shared. Registrants can expect to see an updated draft Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, Institute governance bylaws and professional conduct and discipline process bylaws updated to meet PGA requirements. In addition to sharing all information on the website, consultation sessions will be hosted.
The completion of the transition has been delayed until early 2023. The exact date the AIBC will be fully under the PGA will be shared with registrants as soon as its available.
Previous AIBC PGA Updates
- Update on Reserved Practice (November 2022)
- October 2022 Update – Code of Ethics (October 2022)
- Regulation Versus Advocacy (July 2022)
- Professional Governance Act Amendments and Next Steps (May 2022)
- Dispelling Four Myths about the AIBC Transition to the PGA (May 2022)
- Professional Governance Transition – April Update (April 2022)
- Timeline Update: Professional Governance Act Transition (February 2022)
- AIBC PGA Transition December 2021 Update (December 2021)
- AIBC Professional Governance Act Transition Update (March 2021)
- AIBC Transitions Ministries, Now Under Ministry of Attorney General (December 2020)
- President’s Message | Important Announcement from the Government of British Columbia Regarding Professional Regulation (July 2020)
General PGA Resources
- Professional Governance Act
- AIBC PGA Transition Frequently Asked Questions
- Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance website
- Professional Reliance Review
- OSPG Virtual Town Hall Presentation (Hosted on September 17, 2020)