Progress Reports

Legislation Committee Report - May 2016
Patti Swanson, Architect, AAA | Chair, Legislation Committee

The AAA Legislation Committee has been active since 2012 working in conjunction with the Government of Alberta (GOA) to update the Architects Act and General Regulation. Numerous task forces were established to review the various components of the Act that needed to be revisited. After our membership voted on the 13 guiding p rinciples in the spring of 2014, the committee has been developing these principles into a concrete framework to present to the government. 

This past year has been spent identifying issues and preparing specific questions that have gone back to the task forces for consideration/clarification to ensure our proposal to the GOA meets the intent of the guiding principles. In addition to a more in-depth look at the specifics of the Act, we have been meeting with special interest groups affected by any proposed changes to our Act. These groups include: 
•  Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA)
  We have been meeting with APEGA to address issues of the Joint Board and proposed changes to the exclusions in the Alberta Building Code and both of our Acts. The meetings have been productive and we are working toward changes that will benefit both associations and ensure clarity and protection of the public.
•  The Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET)
  Discussions have begun on the possibility of the AAA creating categories of memberships within our Regulation to include architectural technologists. The meetings have been positive and we are confident that we can move forward on this issue.

Additionally, a great deal of work has gone into investigating a model for the requirement of professional liability insurance as voted on by our members. After many meetings and discussions Council approved the mandatory model for implementation under our new Act. The mandatory model means that all practice entities will be required to obtain insurance through commercial providers and provide proof of coverage to the AAA. Council believed this model best reflected our core mandate and will be a more acceptable option for our members.

We are working closely with the Professional Governance Branch of the GOA, reviewing the specifics of our draft three column document. Bi-weekly meetings are planned and will continue until all items are resolved. While we had hoped to go before the Legislative Assembly in the spring of 2017, that now appears unlikely and no new date has been given. Still, the work continues and our goal is to have everything determined for when the government is ready to review our Act. 

In closing, I wish to acknowledge the hard work being completed by our task forces. Their commitment to our profession and willingness to devote countless volunteer hours to this initiative is humbling. I would also like to thank the Duggan House administration and consultants who continue to keep this project moving forward. 

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