Other Proposed Changes
Beyond the 13 Guiding Principles, there are several other items that will require other parts of the Architects Act
be reviewed and updated for consistency. There may be consequential changes
to other statutes as well as interior design matters
that are being addressed with government.
Joint Board of Practice
By better defining practice entities, we will no longer need to take joint firm applications to a Joint Board for assessment and so the board can be repealed. Repeal of the Joint Board will require the repeal of Schedule 8 of the Government Organization Act
and coordination with the statute governing professional engineers.
Some of the language in the old Act
is very dated and we will be using more modern references. For example, inconsistent references to interior designers throughout the legislation will be cleaned up.
The governance framework under the current Act
is out of date in that it does not provide the tools necessary for the AAA to function efficiently and effectively in a modern professional regulatory context.
The roles and responsibilities of Council, the Registrar, Complaints Review Committee, the Chair of the Complaints Review Committee and the Registration Committee need to be updated. In addition, these bodies need appropriate delegation authority. The composition of statutory committees and Council will also need to be amended to reflect the inclusion of allied professions such as interior designers and architectural technologists. The Chartered Professional Accountants Act
is a good legislative model for proposed changes.
The Chartered Professional Accountants Act
and the new Foresters Act
lay out modern approaches to managing complaints and discipline. The new Architects Act
will take significant cues from these statutes in regard to the manner in which complaints and discipline are addressed in the newer legislation. One of the challenges that the AAA current faces with our current legislation is a lack of ability to compel evidence. Another limiting factor is the unrealistic timeline that is mandated within the legislation for investigation of complaint files.
Updating and Streamlining Registration
The Architects Act
currently addresses the topic of registration in Part 4 in a somewhat cursory manner. The rules and processes around registration are not always clear which can make registration applications from other jurisdictions difficult. AAA is aiming to update the legislation in regard to registration such that:
- The role of the Registrar is much cleaner – currently the Registrar and the Chair of Registration Committee each have specific powers and responsibilities, with ultimate administrative approval coming from Council. The new legislation will give Council policy-making authority, but delegate administrative authority to the Registrar. Entry to practice requirements will be set in legislation, policy set by Council, and administration of such to be done by the Registrar.
- The Registrar will be given delegation authority for efficient operations.
- The registration process will be set out (at a high level) including appeal and cancellation mechanisms.
- Registrants will be required to notify the Registrar if their registration information changes.
- Mechanisms for periodic registration renewal will be established.
- Matters around reinstatement will be clarified.
- Clarification around the information that the Association must maintain with respect to each registrant.
Authority Over Interns
Currently, there are several categories of registrants, including intern architects and intern interior designers which are set out in the bylaws. This means that they are not subject to the statutory discipline, registration or practice review portions of the Act
. These registers should be addressed in the Act
and regulation so that the AAA has comprehensive authority over all registrants engaging in the practice of architecture and interior design.
Information Collection Use and Disclosure
The disclosure of information about regulated members is a challenging area for many regulators. However, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that regulators regulate professions in the public interest such that they must balance the information privacy interests of individual members with the public interest of knowing certain things about regulated professionals.
Examples include knowing whether an individual is in good standing as a professional, whether there are conditions on their ability to practice and even their discipline history. The current Act
does not contemplate such disclosures and does not address the use or disclosure of discipline information. It is important to properly authorize the AAA to disclose discipline information to other regulatory bodies as per modern legislation.