Regulations to fully implement the Professional Governance Act (PGA) came into effect on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021. At the same time, the Foresters Act, which has governed FPBC since 1947, was repealed.
The PGA is similar to the Foresters Act in that it also grants FPBC the privilege of self-regulation, although we won’t have the same autonomy in our self-regulation status. The Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance (OSPG) now oversees the operation of all professions under the PGA, setting policy directives regulators must follow, and auditing against those policies and regulatory standards.
Under the PGA, the fundamentals for the forest profession remain the same:
New FPBC Bylaws also took effect Feb. 5, 2021. New bylaws were needed in order to transition the rights and authorities from the Foresters Act and meet the requirements of the PGA.
The PGA primarily impacts the way FPBC, as a regulatory body, undertakes its work. It also creates some limited, new obligations for forest professionals directly, including:
a new Code of Ethical and Professional Conduct (Bylaw 9);
statutory duty to report unsafe or harmful practices (PGA Section 58);
mandatory continuing professional development (Bylaw 10);
practice reviews that can lead to mandatory actions (Bylaw 11); and
requirement to provide more information for a public online directory of forest professionals (Bylaw 13).
You can learn more in our publication, The Professional Governance Act: What You Need to Know. New Guidelines for the Interpretation of the Code of Ethical and Professional Conduct will help you understand and apply the Code. A series of webinars is also available to explain how the Code and new FPBC Bylaws may affect your practice.
FPBC is also working on new and revised policies and procedures, which will sit under the new bylaws, as part of the transition to governance under the PGA. FPBC will have one year after the PGA provisions are brought into force, to realign these supporting policy, procedures, and practices to meet the new PGA requirements.
This will result in changes to how FPBC business operations are conducted, will change council and committee authorities and responsibilities, and will modify the obligations of forest professionals.