Council approves new regulatory conflict protocol

511TH MEETING, MARCH 23, 24, 2017

Council has approved a new regulatory conflict protocol for PEO to use to address current and future regulatory conflicts between external provincial statutes and regulations, and the Professional Engineers Act (PEA) and its regulations. 

Over the last few months, PEO’s Legislation Committee (LEC) has undertaken a review of all external legislation that refer to or involve the practice of professional engineering, and that may conflict with PEO’s exclusive authority under the PEA to regulate the practice in the public interest.

The review identified 94 separate statutes and regulations aside from the PEA that refer to “engineer” or “engineering.” The LEC analyzed those references and developed five objective, principle-based categories or levels of potential regulatory conflict: infringement, overlap, non-alignment, practice guidance and no apparent conflict.

Based on those categories, the regulatory conflict protocol addresses PEO’s required actions pertaining to external legislation that appear to conflict with the PEA. The LEC will work with PEO’s registrar to determine the necessary steps and priorities for action, and the registrar will consult with the Enforcement, Complaints or Professional Standards committees as needed. Funds for legal opinions and possible court actions will be drawn from PEO’s existing budget for legal services.

COUNCIL TERM LIMITS REPORT

At its March meeting, council received the Council Term Limits Task Force Report and Recommendations and, after a long discussion among councillors, referred the matter back to the task force for further deliberation and to reflect on council members’ opinions, and to report back to council at the June 2017 council meeting. Many councillors voiced their concerns about certain recommendations in the report, such as the lifetime limit to the number of terms an elected councillor can serve.

As per its terms of reference, the task force was directed to analyze the practices at other self-regulating organizations and engineering associations in Canada and provide a report establishing term limits and succession planning to council before the 2017 annual general meeting. In fulfilling its mandate, the task force analyzed the membership of PEO council for the past 20 years, which covered the period since the last major review of election procedures in 1997. In addition to surveying the practices of other regulators, it also surveyed the literature on the governance of non-profit boards, and consulted with two experts in the field. The results of the task force’s research were reviewed in an “if, then” exercise and subsequently summarized in a conclusions and rationales matrix to ensure that conclusions were logically based. Council also heard a presentation of its preliminary results at the February 2017 plenary meeting.

NEW AND REVISED ACADEMIC SYLLABI

Council has approved the recently revised syllabi for chemical, civil, mechanical and naval architectural engineering and a new mechatronics engineering syllabus for use as of the May 2017 technical examinations sitting.

PEO’s Academic Requirements Committee is mandated to assess the academic preparation of applicants whose education from engineering programs have not been accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB), to determine if they meet PEO’s academic requirements for licensure. It does so by comparing the applicants’ transcripts and courses studied to a syllabus of a particular discipline. Most syllabi are developed and maintained by the Engineers Canada Canadian Engineering Qualifications Board (CEQB) and PEO adopts them for its own examinations.

PEO DIRECTORS OF ENGINEERS CANADA BOARD

At the March meeting, council appointed Danny Chui, P.Eng., FEC, as a PEO director on the Engineers Canada board for a three-year term, effective May 27 at the Engineers Canada annual meeting of members. Council also re-appointed Annette Bergeron, P.Eng., FEC, as a PEO director, beginning her new term May 27. Bergeron has served on the Engineers Canada board since 2014.

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