The Professional Governance Act came into force on February 5, 2021, and requires Engineers and Geoscientists BC to regulate firms, including sole practitioners, that engage in the practice of professional geoscience or engineering. This means all companies who employ professional geoscientists and engineers must apply for a Permit to Practice with Engineers and Geoscientists BC. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2021.
The regulatory model centres around three pillars: ethics, quality management, and continuing education. It seeks to improve regulatory oversight, protect the public interest, and provide opportunities for firms to improve processes and reduce risk – and in most cases, it’s about formalizing responsible practices that are already in place.
Requirements of a Permit to Practice
Firms (including sole practitioners) will need to follow a few steps to fulfill their regulatory obligations:
- Prepare application information.
- Identify a Responsible Registrant and Responsible Officer for your firm (may be the same individual).
- Confirm your firm’s roster (all registrants on staff including EITs & GITs).
- Confirm your firm’s areas of practice.
- Apply through Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s website before September 30, 2021.
- Beginning October 1, 2021, all firms must apply their Permit to Practice number to all authenticated documents. Permit to Practice numbers are issued by Engineers and Geoscientists BC upon approval of the firm’s application.
Within 12 months of being issued a Permit to Practice, a firm must complete:
- The Permit to Practice Training. The Responsible Registrant of the firm must complete training (approximately 8 hours) that provides guidance on the requirements of a Permit to Practice.
- The Professional Practice Management Plan. A firm’s Professional Practice Management Plan (PPMP) documents the policies and procedures in place that indicate how the firm will meet ethics, quality management, and continuing education requirements. Engineers and Geoscientists BC provide standardized templates to assist firms in developing their PPMP.
For more information about applying for a Permit to Practice and available resources, visit egbc.ca/firms.
For additional guidance, check out AME’s summary of the PGA and EGBC Update.
If you are unsure whether your firm is required to apply, visit the Who Needs a Permit to Practice page for a list of firms included under the regulation and access to the Permit to Practice Assessment Tool for further assistance.