The provincial government is conducting a review of the Province’s professional reliance model to ensure the highest professional, technical and ethical standards are being applied to resource management in B.C.
Professional reliance takes different forms across the natural resources sector, but in general terms is a regulatory model in which government sets the natural resource management objectives or results to be achieved, and professionals hired by proponents decide how those objectives or results will be met. Generally, government oversight focuses on monitoring, compliance and enforcement, rather than reviewing and approving plans or project designs. In doing so, government relies on the professionalism of the qualified professionals (QPs), the professional and ethical codes they are required to follow, and oversight by the professional associations to which they belong.
The review will assess the current legislation governing QPs in the natural resource sector, and the role their professional associations play in upholding the public interest. The review will look at how other jurisdictions structure their professional reliance models, and also will identify best practices and assess whether those practices are being used by QPs who do work on government’s behalf.
The review will make recommendations regarding resource decisions made by government, conditions governing the involvement of QPs in those decisions and the appropriate level of government oversight to assure the public their interests are protected.
Engagement with First Nations, representatives of the public, stakeholders, those who use QPs in both government and the private sector, professional associations, as well as QPs themselves will be part of the review.
Read the Terms of Reference
A final report is expected to be completed by spring 2018.