Since 2011, 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), supported by AIBC Council, introduced a suite of bylaws in two subject areas:
- A series of amendments to certain bylaws in the AIBC’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (“Code of Ethics”). This was the first phase of a multi-stage update to the Code of Ethics, which is scheduled to span several bylaw initiatives.
- Routine administrative bylaw amendments to several investigation and discipline bylaws, as well as to the honorary membership voting process.
The Code of Ethics and Administrative Bylaws initiative was organized into three categories: Code of Ethics – Part 1; Investigation and Discipline; and Honorary Membership. An overview of each section, including a PDF of the bylaw amendments and supporting rationales, is found below:
1. Code of Ethics – Part One
The BRC is in the process of conducting a review of the approximately 115 bylaws and council rulings that make up the AIBC’s Code of Ethics. Given the size of the task, the BRC is proceeding with a staggered approach to amending the many bylaws and council rulings. This initial set of amendments to the Code of Ethics related to professional engagement, reporting and disclosure, and architectural competitions. The primary amendments proposed were:
- Professional Engagement (Bylaws 28.0, 28.1 & 28.3)
Bylaws 28.0 and 28.1 establish the requirement for architects to provide services consistent with standard agreements. The BRC recommended that Bylaw 28.0 be amended to include the following three standards currently located in council rulings found in Bylaw 34.10:
- That an executed written contract be in place prior to providing services;
- That the client be notified confirming that professional liability insurance is in place and that the policy is available for review; and
- That the written contract is in compliance with AIBC Bylaws, including the Code of Ethics.
Amendments proposed for Bylaw 28.1 focus on updating and modernizing syntax, as well as removing reference to a specific contract document that has been re-titled. The repeal of Bylaw 28.3 is also recommended, as this bylaw does not establish a professional standard, but rather restates the law of copyright in relation to an architect’s drawings.
- Reporting and Disclosure (Bylaw 32.5)
Substantial amendments were recommended to Bylaw 32.5 which required registrants to report apparent violations of the Architects Act, AIBC Bylaws or Council Rulings. The BRC recommended that the bylaw be amended to include the obligation to self-report in relation to:
- findings or admissions of unprofessional conduct in other jurisdictions;
- being charged under the Criminal Code; and
- defending legal proceedings related to competency and ethics.
- Architectural Competitions (Bylaws 34.11 & 34.12)
Amendments were proposed to replace reference to the RAIC “Canadian Rules” for competitions, which no longer exists, with architectural competition rules or another arrangement approved by council. A more thorough review of the AIBC’s competition bylaws is anticipated to take place in a later stage of the Code of Ethics review.
2. Investigation and Discipline
The BRC proposed amendments to six bylaws that make-up the suite of investigation and discipline bylaws. The primary changes included:
- clarifying the authority and publication requirements for “costs” of the consensual resolution process;
- confirming the AIBC’s discretion whether to pursue ‘potential complaints’ that may be unfounded; and
- removing the requirement that disciplinary hearings be held only at the AIBC offices.
3. Honorary Membership
The conferral process for honorary members required approval by four/fifths majority of members present at the Annual Meeting. The BRC recommended a process change so that the vote for honorary members could take place electronically, similar to e-votes for council elections.
The consultation period for the Code of Ethics and Administrative Bylaws initiative began on May 9, 2019, and ran until June 27, 2019. An in-person and online consultation session was held at the AIBC offices at 100-440 Cambie Street, and online, as follows:
Date: June 11, 2019
Time: 12–1 p.m.
Location: In-person (AIBC Office) and online via WebEx
Learning Units (LUs): 1 Core
RSVP: In-Person* Session | Online Session. Note: registration closed for both sessions on June 10, 2019, at 12 p.m.
*Lunch was served to those who attended the in-person session from 11:30 a.m.–12 p.m.
A minimum of eight people were required in order for the session to be hosted.
- Read the full background memorandum to council on the proposed bylaw amendments (PDF).
- View the PowerPoint Presentation from the consultation session (PDF).
- Review the Bylaw Consultation Session Questions and Answers (PDF).
Throughout the consultation process, members and associates were invited to provide feedback by either emailing email@example.com or by submitting an online feedback form (which was open from May 9, 2019 until June 27, 2019).
AIBC members and honorary members were encouraged to vote on proposed new and amended bylaws. The voting period for the council-endorsed bylaws commenced on July 19, and continued until August 15 at 4 p.m.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 proposed Code of Ethics and Administrative Bylaws received strong support, with the following results:
- Code of Ethics: Professional Engagement Bylaws 28.0 and 28.1 were approved by 81.4 percent of voters.
Amendments to Bylaw 28.0 incorporate three council rulings found in Bylaw 34.10. These rulings require that an executed contract be in place before providing services, and PLI and bylaw compliance notification. Amendments to Bylaw 28.1 include syntax updates and the removal of reference to the “Canadian Standard Form of Agreement Between Client and Architect”. AIBC Council will be updating the list of approved standard form agreements for posting on the AIBC website in September.
- Code of Ethics: Copyright Bylaw 28.3 was approved by 80.6 percent of voters.
Bylaw 28.3 will be repealed when the bylaws become effective.
- Code of Ethics: Reporting and Disclosure Bylaw 32.5 was approved by 81.6 percent of voters.
Amendments to Bylaw 32.5 clarify the obligation to report (including self-report) in relation to: the illegal practice of architecture; breaches of any standard related to competency, professional conduct, or public safety; bankruptcy/insolvency; findings or admissions of unprofessional conduct in other jurisdictions; being charged under the Criminal Code; and defending legal proceedings related to competency and ethics.
- Code of Ethics: Architectural Competitions Bylaws 34.11 and 34.12 were approved by 94 percent of voters.
The amendments to Bylaws 34.11 and 34.12 replace reference to the RAIC “Canadian Rules” for competitions document with architectural competition rules, or another arrangement approved by council.
- Investigations and Discipline Bylaws 36.3, 36.21, 36.22, 37.2, 37.16, and 37.31 were approved by 91.5 percent of voters.
Minor amendments update six bylaws related to the investigation and discipline process. The primary changes include: clarifying the authority and publication requirements for “costs” of the consensual resolution process; confirming the AIBC’s discretion whether to pursue ‘potential complaints’ that may be unfounded; and removing the requirement that disciplinary hearings be held only at the AIBC offices.
- Honorary Members Bylaws 12.0 and 12.1 were approved by 95.6 percent of voters.
Amendments to the Honorary Member bylaws see a process change which allows for the conferral of honorary members by electronic vote, rather than in-person at the Annual Meeting.
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 August 22, 2019. The government had 45 days to consider whether to disallow the bylaws. After the passing of the disallowance period, members were notified that the bylaws were in effect.