The Government of British Columbia has announced that the AIBC will be moved from the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to the Ministry of the Attorney General, with an eventual transition from the Architects Act to the Professional Governance Act (PGA). The letter from the government, which announces the transition, can be read here.
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. Over the next several years, the AIBC will work with Attorney General and the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance (OSPG) as partners in professional regulation to transition Ministries and legislation.
The AIBC has sought to modernize the Architects Act for many years. Although changes to the Architects Act now won’t be made, the PGA contains key items that were being considered as amendments to the Act. The transition to the Professional Governance Act 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.
Information, including next steps and updates, will be shared on this webpage. We encourage you to check back frequently – the AIBC is committed to keeping registrants and the public informed at each stage of the transition process.
Transitioned Ministries as of November 26
As of November 26, 2020, the AIBC became officially part of the Ministry of Attorney General. This was announced on December 1 in a letter from the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance (OSPG). Previously, the AIBC was under the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
It is important to note this part of the transition does not involve any regulatory or operational changes, and has no affect on registrants of the AIBC.
Updates & Next Steps
Submit Comments, Questions and Feedback
If you have any questions about the transition, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will allow the AIBC to compile and categorize questions, as well as gain a better understanding of the public’s and registrants’ comments and concerns. Please note submitted questions will remain anonymous.
Your questions will be answered in the Frequently Asked Questions section below.
Questions and Answers
What is the Professional Governance Act, and how did it come into force?
Why is the AIBC being moved under the Professional Governance Act?
When will this take effect?
Is the Architects Act still in effect?
Is the government taking away self-governance?
How will the perception that there's a problem – requiring the government to 'step-in' – be managed?
The Architects Act & Section 60
Section 60 of the Architects Act delineates a quantifiable scope wherein the services of an architect are required. This helps to protect the public by establishing the authority of the architect and prevents
the encroachment on the profession by non-regulated individuals. How will the PGA continue to
uphold this scope with the support of provincial legislation?
Currently, there are buildings that require an architect under the Architects Act, and some that do not. Is it expected that this distinction will be examined and updated? Will there be scopes of work under
new legislation for the registrants currently in the associates class?
Architects work in different contexts: architectural firms, engineering firms and public service at many levels. Will PGA governance reflect these differences?
The AIBC already regulates firms, but does not have any guidelines or practice standards specific to firms, nor firm-specific CES requirements. Can we expect to see the introduction of mandatory requirements, such as courses, examinations, Quality Management programs? Is there an expectation to create ‘firms guidelines’ that define a standard of practice specific to firms?
Relationship with Government
Will AIBC have representation on the OSPG Council?
Will the PGA have a stronger mandate/ability to enforce and regulate more of the grey areas of building projects in the province, such as un-incorporated areas outside of an Authority Having Jurisdictions
(ski-resorts, non-municipal areas, or oil and gas mining camps) for building practices that are often able to find ways around building regulations?
Under the heading of transparency, there does not appear to be an opportunity to go 'In Camera' for issues of personnel or staff salaries, for example. Is confidentiality of some aspects of Council and/or committee meetings possible?
Stakeholder Engagement & External Organizations
What kind of stakeholder engagement will the OSPG do, and what are the expectations of the AIBC?
Is there overlap between AIBC and Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC?
Will they be combined?
Do you see a situation where the OSPG will directly intervene in advocacy initiatives?
- Letter from the Government of B.C. Announcing Transition (July 2020)
- Ministry Transition Letter from Provincial Government (December 2020)
- OSPG Virtual Town Hall Presentation (Hosted on September 17, 2020)
- Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance website
- Bill 49 – 2018: Professional Governance Act (Full Act)
- Professional Governance Act (Items in Force)
- Factsheet: Professional Governance Act Overview
- Implementing the PGA Timeline
- Professional Reliance Review
- ABCFP Forestry Conference – Q&A with Paul Craven, Superintendent of Professional Governance
If you have any questions about the legislation and ministry transition, please email email@example.com.