Government review of Professional Reliance now open

Publish date: Thursday, December 07, 2017

GLP - Government Licensed Professionals

The Government has committed to a review of professional reliance. This is the best opportunity for positive change since the professional reliance model was introduced in the early 2000’s. The participation of PEA members will impact the outcomes of this review.

Engage BC Survey

As previously communicated, the Province has announced that its public survey about professional reliance has opened and will close on January 19, 2018.

We are strongly encouraging members to participate in the survey. 

We have requested assurances that no issues relating to the Standards of Conduct would arise from PEA members participating in the survey. The Public Service Agency confirmed yesterday that for members participating in the survey, “We will extend the protection outlined in the PEA collective agreement under article 36.12 Disclosure of Information to the PEA employees. Specifically, no employee shall be disciplined for bringing forth in good faith an allegation of wrongdoing.”   

As well, recent communications from various Deputy Ministers to ministry staff have encouraged participation and given assurances that “All information provided by individuals (QPs, users of QP information, general public) will be combined and reported so that no individual will be identifiable.”

The survey questions include whether professional reliance balances resource development and environmental protection, whether there is sufficient transparency in the model and whether the government provides the right level of oversight.

We hope members will respond to these questions in a manner that sends a clear message to the government that there must be significant changes to professional reliance for it to achieve balance, transparency and accountability and respect the public interest.

Members can review information about professional reliance on the PEA's Professional Reliance webpage.  

Meetings with Politicians – GLP Issues and Professional Reliance

In addition to meeting with Green party politicians in September, PEA staff and GLP representatives have recently met separately with the Ministers of Environment, Forests and Agriculture. These meetings have been an opportunity to provide an overview of the PEA, outline key issues facing GLP members and to discuss the Professional Reliance Review.  

Ministers have been informed of:

We have also made Ministers aware of our position regarding the review of professional reliance. We need to restore trust and confidence in government and industry decision-making in relation to the natural resource sector to ensure the public interest is protected. More specifically we have encouraged Ministers to support:

Updating current laws, regulations and policy to bring decision-making and required expertise back into the government.
Outlining a clear role and appropriate actions for qualified professionals and their organizations.
Re-building government expertise and capacity (more professional PEA staff and supports for staff, e.g. professional development, knowledge transfer and succession planning).
Bolstering efforts at compliance, enforcement and independent monitoring.
Ensuring whistle-blower protection.

After these meetings, we remain optimistic about the potential for changes that will directly benefit PEA GLP members.

We have also recently met with various senior government staff, including representatives from PSEC, for similar discussions as outlined above.

Next Steps

The PEA will draft a formal submission for the professional reliance review. Members’ stories will be an important feature of this submission, and they are always the most compelling part of discussions with external stakeholders. We thank members who responded with professional reliance stories earlier this fall and we will be seeking additional stories from members in the coming weeks.

In the new year, we will also be asking members to engage in public displays of support for improving professional reliance. Information on these opportunities will be posted on the PEA’s social media channels and on the PEA website. We would encourage members to share our social media posts to increase awareness.

The public is encouraged to submit their views to the Professional Reliance Review. Please make your friends and family aware and support them in providing their feedback.

PEA staff have also been working with an outside group of stakeholders concerned about professional reliance. This group will be taking actions to inform the public and encourage the government to implement legislative and policy changes flowing from the professional reliance review report, which will be released in May 2018. The group will also be focusing on media coverage about professional reliance. The outside group includes BCGEU representatives, as BCGEU members have also been negatively impacted by professional reliance. 

Please participate in the survey before January 19, 2018, and send the government a clear message.

Feel free to contact Scott McCannell or Melissa Moroz with any questions.

In this section

The PEA was formed in 1974, by a group of professionals working in the public sector. The story goes that the founders of the union mortgaged their houses to fund negotiations of the union’s first collective agreement. 

Now, the PEA is BC’s union for professionals. We represent a wide range of professionals including lawyers, foresters, engineers, agrologists, teachers, veterinarians, fundraisers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, psychologists program managers, librarians and more.

Our union is led by the PEA Executive. They represent members from across the chapters of the PEA and set the overall vision and direction for our union.

Resources for our members

Navigating a union can sometime be a challenging process. Under this section of the website you will find resources to help you navigate the PEA. In the members section you'll find expense claim reimbursements, information on the PEA's scholarship and bursary program and our grants and donations program.

Collective bargaining and job action resources explain the process of collective bargaining and what to do in the unlikely event of job action. 

Local reps can also find resources to help them complete their job more effectively. This includes ways to welcome new members, how to take notes in investigation disciplinary meetings and more.

The heart of our union

The PEA is made up of nine chapters, or groups of members who either work for the same employer or are in the same field of work. Each chapter has an elected executive tasked with running the affairs of the chapter. Each chapter is entitled to representation at the PEA Executive, the governing body of the union. 

Our members work for a range of employers: the Province of BC, the University of Victoria, St. Margaret's School, the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program, the Oil and Gas Commission, the Law Society of BC, Legal Services Society, the Okangan Regional Library and health authorities across BC.

Professionals need unions now more then ever

Since the 1970’s, when the PEA was formed, our mission has been to ensure our members can work in safe, productive environments and receive fair and reasonable wages and benefits for the valuable work they do. We help individuals and groups of professional workers to understand the challenges they face in their workplaces and some of the solutions available to them. 

We work with potential members to become certified as a union and achieve the wages, benefits and respect they deserve. 

The Professional | Volume 46 Issue 1

The Professional is the PEA's award-winning, quarterly magazine for members.

The January-February 2020 issue includes a Vancouver Sun op/ed piece from PEA Executive Director Scott McCannell on the Legal Services Society strike.

Read the January-February 2020 issue



The PEA was formed in 1974 to represent licensed professionals in the BC Public Service. Since then the organization has grown to include a wide range of professionals from across BC. Find our more about our governance, staff and strategic direction.

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