The Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) have been identified as a priority by the Advocacy Committee. The anticipated benefits from providing municipal authorities with updated information about professional scope aligns closely with the AAA’s regulatory focus and public safety:
The AAA upholds and administers the professional conduct and practice standards as set out by provincial legislation. Beyond these established responsibilities, the AAA champions the value that registered architects and licensed interior designers bring to Alberta’s built environment – including the intrinsic duty to serve and protect the public interest.
Moreover, municipal authorities are a definable and very accessible target audience so a formal implementation plan toward this prioritized objective would be both attainable and measurable.
The purpose of this AHJ initiative is to enhance the awareness of municipal authorities so they better understand the legislated requirements of professional involvement. Ultimately, the AAA hopes this focused initiative will significantly reduce, and ideally eliminate, instances of non-professionals illegitimately gaining municipal approval for projects.
The first project in this area was the development and delivery of a Compliance Webinar. The webinar was delivered live, on two occasions in early 2020 to nearly 500 registrants in total. The webinar is now available on-demand on the AAA website here
, along with a copy of the PowerPoint presentation, and we continue to utilize these as educational tools for both safety code officers and members of the design professions. Many questions were submitted by participants in the webinar, and the panelists have developed comprehensive answers that will be posted online as an ongoing resource.
Prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic which precipitated the cancellation of many conferences, the AAA was invited to make a presentation at the Safety Codes Council annual spring conference. We are hopeful that we will be able to be part of a re-scheduled conference where we can address common issues and questions from this important stakeholder group.
On an ongoing basis the AAA engages in conversations with various AHJs on issues related to restricted scope of practice and the permitting process. The Compliance Webinar has given us an additional tool to offer to many authorities as part of our conversations.