British Columbia’s major reform of the regulation for many non-health professions is being amended (https://www.leg.bc.ca/parliamentary-business/legislation-debates-proceedings/42nd-parliament/3rd-session/bills/first-reading/gov21-1). The Professional Governance Act has been in effect for just over a year. Most of the changes are relatively minor, and include the following:
- Updating terminology, such as changing the governing “council” to the “board”, changing “professional association” to “professional regulator”, and changing “president” to “chair”;
- Authorizing the oversight office of the Superintendent to conduct informal inspections before determining whether a formal investigation or audit is required;
- Requiring the regulatory bodies to pay fees to cover at least some of the cost of their oversight;
- Reducing the ability of registrants to require the regulatory body to conduct a referendum on registrant resolutions at the annual general meeting or implement such resolutions;
- Allowing the regulator to establish a more flexible process for administrative suspensions (e.g., for non-payment of fees);
- Clarifying that the prohibition of reserved practices does not apply to a person exercising the rights of an Indigenous people;
- Allowing the government to make regulations requiring registrants to make a declaration of their competence or of the existence of a conflict of interest;
- Creating a presumptive 60-day time limit to initiate an application for judicial review of decisions made under the legislation;
- Adjusting the process for transferring additional professions to the legislation; and
- Eliminating the category of certified non-registrants from the legislative scheme.
This Bill demonstrates that regulatory reform is a process, not an event.