I am pleased to have this opportunity to introduce myself, and the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance, to the British Columbia Institute of Agrologists (BCIA).
The Professional Governance Act (PGA) strengthens professional governance in British Columbia by establishing a consistent and modern framework, and by ensuring government oversight through the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance or the OSPG. As Superintendent, it is my role to oversee all regulatory bodies included under the PGA (currently 5) including BCIA, with a focus on oversight of systemic or general matters relating to the governance of professions. As a ‘regulatory body,’ BCIA will focus on serving and protecting the public interest with respect to the professional practices of Registered Professional Agrologists in British Columbia.
My immediate goal is to get my office up and running so that we can make sure that the OSPG, BCIA, and the other regulatory bodies are ready when the professions are formally brought under the PGA.
At present, only certain sections of the PGA are operating or “in force”. These include the provisions that establish the office and give the Superintendent specific powers. This first phase has also resulted in changes in the nomination and election process for council members that you may have noticed.
While a specific date is not known, it is expected that registered Agrologists, and other professionals (engineers, geoscientists, science technologists and technicians, biologists, and foresters), will come under the full authority of the PGA sometime in fall 2020. When that takes place, the Agrologists Act will no longer exist.
Some of the more complicated aspects of implementing the new Act may take longer. These include issues such as firm regulation, scope of practice and practice rights, and competency and conflict of interest declarations. These issues were discussed in a recent intentions paper published on the Professional Reliance Review website - https://engage.gov.bc.ca/professionalreliance/, and more information on these topics is available there.
Since my appointment in early June, I have had the pleasure of meeting with BCIA executive and staff as well as hosting a meeting of the OSPG and all five regulatory bodies. I welcome the opportunity to work alongside the Council and staff of BCIA to enhance professional governance in British Columbia to ensure that this system surpasses expectations and becomes an example of excellence into the future. Change will be required of all of us, whether it is from an oversight perspective, a shift in culture and attitudes, or in the day-to-day work and planning required to be ready to function within a new framework of governance.
Working together I am confident we will ensure that the expectations of the public, and their trust in professionals, is maintained and strengthened.
More information about the OSPG can be found on our website (https://professionalgovernancebc.ca/). I also hope to have the opportunity to meet with you at BCIA events such as your Annual General Meeting and Conference. If you have questions – please do not hesitate to contact our office at OSPGEnquiries@gov.bc.ca.
Paul Craven, Superintendent
Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance