On December 7, 2023 the Ministry of Advanced Education met with the professional regulatory organizations that oversee the regulation of the 22 non-health professions
(architecture being one of the 22).
We were informed that the Professional Governance Act
first introduced to the Alberta Legislature in May of 2022 as Bill 23 will be re-introduced in 2024 with a goal of it taking effect upon proclamation in the spring of 2025. Bill 23 did not make it through to proclamation due to a variety of political factors that had nothing to do with the legislation itself. Other priorities within government at the time moved this off the agenda. But – it’s back!
What this means for AAA is that once again we have forward momentum towards our long-awaited modernized legislation!
The Professional Governance Act
and General Regulation will apply equally to all 22 professions. These two pieces of legislation will speak to the framework for professional regulation; the high-level principles for complaints, discipline and appeals; provide regulation and bylaw-making authorities; and speak to rules of professional conduct.
The AAA will have our own customized Schedule that will outline elements very specific to the regulation of the practice of architecture and interior design. This is where entry to practice and protected scope and title details will reside. Much of the content that currently resides within our General Regulation under the Architects Act
will move into the new Schedule under the Professional Governance Act
Ultimately, we will also need to update our Bylaws to reflect all the changes in the other pieces of legislation as well as the typical items that a PRO has in their bylaws such as governance matters.
The timeline we have been given is for the introduction in the Fall of 2024 of the new Act, General Regulation, and Schedules.
The target date for proclamation of these items is end of Spring session, 2025. This will mean that by this date AAA will have updated our Bylaws as well as many internal processes, policies, and documents to come into compliance with the new legislation.
Working the Plan
We have been ready for updates to our legislation for a very long time. Thousands of volunteer hours have prepared us for the opportunity to update the laws governing the professions. Despite the 2022 pause in progress towards the Professional Governance Act
, we have continued to prepare for a new set of guiding documents.
Our Bylaws Task Force began meeting in the fall of 2022. On a monthly basis, this small team of Registered Architects and a Licensed Interior Designer has been working diligently on the first drafting of a comprehensive Code of Ethics. We know an updated Code of Ethics will be required under new legislation, so we decided to get going well ahead of time. This task force will turn their attention to the Bylaws once the Code of Ethics is completed.
The work done on the Code of Ethics will be leveraged to develop Standards of Practice (SOP). AAA has never had a formal set of SOP, relying instead on a series of practice bulletins and other resources to guide our registrants in their practices. The Practice Review Board will take the lead on the SOP, supported by the Practice Advisory Committee. Additional tools such as practice bulletins will supplement the new legislative framework.
Communication with Registrants
As we move through this process there will be plenty of opportunities for engagement with our registrants. At this point in time, we are not yet clear on how the process with the Ministry of Advanced Education will roll out so we cannot give you any specifics. We are waiting for a series of meetings early in 2024 with Ministry staff to guide us through the process. Watch the monthly AAA eBulletins
for updates in the coming year.