Professional Governance Act
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy received the final report on the professional reliance review on June 28, 2018. The report contains 121 recommendations for improvements to the professional reliance model.
In response to the first two recommendations, the Professional Governance Act was introduced to the Legislative Assembly on October 22, 2018 for First Reading and passed Third Reading on November 22, 2018. The legislation will come into force by regulation and in stages beginning in 2019. The initial stage of implementation will enable the establishment of the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance (Office) and its policy, guidance, investigation and enforcement functions, and bring key provisions of the Act into force such as whistleblower protection. During the implementation transition period, these authorities will operate alongside the existing governance statutes of the five regulatory bodies currently included in the Act. Over time, regulations will be developed to support full implementation of the new Act, at which time the current five governance statutes will be repealed.
The Professional Governance Act and Office will set consistent governance standards across the professions within scope, including:
- Increasing public representation and instituting a merit-based nomination process for councils of regulatory bodies;
- Setting common ethical principles;
- Requiring competency and conflict of interest declarations from registered professionals;
- Strengthening the duty to report hazardous practices of professionals;
- Providing whistleblower protections to those who report;
- Providing practice rights authority for all five professions; and,
- Enabling regulatory bodies to regulate firms.