Professional Governance Act

Professional Governance Act

Government Oversight

A professional governance officer (ie: a Government of Alberta employee) can issue a mandate to a professional regulatory organization to comply with specific matters. While other jurisdictions have established a formal professional governance oversight secretariat, the Government of Alberta is still creating a new oversight of professional regulatory organizations.

Amalgamations and Name Changes

There are provisions in the new act for adding, removing and amalgamating professions – based on public interest and public safety criteria.
A professional regulatory organization can apply for a name change under Section 15 of the act.

The Designation Review

There are provisions in the new act for adding, removing and amalgamating professions – based on public interest and public safety criteria. If the government believes that a professional regulatory organization is not exercising its powers, duties and functions (ie: protecting public interest and public safety) or is not viable long-term economically, the minister can initiate a “designation review” and may appoint an administrator to carry out the professional regulatory organization’s duties or revoke the organization’s status as a professional regulatory organization.

New Professional Governance Act

Bill 23, the new Professional Governance Act, makes it clear that the role of the professional regulatory organizations under this act is “to protect the public interest and the interest of public safety by safeguarding life, health and the environment and the property and economic interests of the public.” This wording is used repeatedly throughout the act.

What’s the Purpose of a PRO?

Bill 23, the new Professional Governance Act states that the purpose of a professional regulatory organization (ie: the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association) is “to ensure that each professional regulatory organization (PRO) administers its affairs and regulates its registrants in a manner that protects the public interest and the interest of public safety.”

What’s in the New Professional Governance Act?

Bill 23, the government’s new Professional Governance Act, creates a standardized approach to professional regulation, including complaints, registration and continuing competency.
When passed, the following existing acts will be repealed:
  1. Agrology Profession Act;
  2. Architects Act;
  3. Chartered Professional Accountants Act;
  4. Consulting Engineers of Alberta Act;
  5. Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act;
  6. Land Surveyors’ Act;
  7. Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act;
  8. Regulated Forest Management Profession Act;
  9. Veterinary Professions Act.
The new act applies to the following professions:
  1. Alberta Assessor’s Association;
  2. Alberta Association of Architects;
  3. Alberta Association of Landscape Architects;
  4. Alberta Human Ecology and Home Economics Association;
  5. Alberta Institute of Agrologists;
  6. Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association;
  7. Alberta Professional Planners’ Institute;
  8. Alberta Shorthand Reporters’ Association;
  9. Alberta Society of Professional Biologists;
  10. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association;
  11. Association of Alberta Forest Management Professionals;
  12. Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta;
  13. Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta;
  14. Association of School of Business Officials;
  15. Association of the Chemical Profession of Alberta;
  16. Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta;
  17. Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta;
  18. Consulting Engineers of Alberta;
  19. Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta;
  20. Institute of Certified Management Consultants of Alberta;
  21. Society of Local Government Managers of Alberta;
  22. Supply Chain Management Association of Alberta.

New Professional Governance Act to Replace 40-Year-Old Land Surveyors Act

The Government of Alberta has introduced Bill 23 – The Professional Governance Act.
The Professional Governance Act would replace the Land Surveyors Act as the governing document for the professional regulation of land surveyors in the province.
If passed, the Professional Governance Act will:
  • Provide a consistent and standard way for professional regulatory organizations to carry out core functions such as governance, registration and addressing professional conduct and discipline.
  • Allow development of profession-specific schedules to address any unique needs or requirements.
  • Have consistent processes for amalgamating or deregistering existing professional regulatory organizations and creating new ones.
  • Have a consistent and efficient process to appoint public members to the organizations to ensure the public’s interest is represented.
  • Provide that a public administrator be appointed when a professional regulatory organization is no longer fulfilling its obligations, acting in good faith or serving the public interest and public safety. This provision will be used only in exceptional circumstances when there is a clear threat to the public interest or the interest of public safety.
  • Align with the Labour Mobility Act (awaiting proclamation) and the Fair Registration Practices Act. This will reduce barriers for regulated professionals from outside Alberta and allow their credentials to be recognized more quickly and efficiently. Credentials can also be recognized on a temporary basis to allow out-of-province professionals to work in Alberta on short-term projects or during emergencies.
If passed, the Professional Governance Act will take effect upon proclamation.
The Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association has been waiting for this legislation to be introduced for a long time and views it as an opportunity to modernize and update its professional regulatory regime to even better protect the interests and concerns of the public. The existing Land Surveyors Act was last amended in 1982.

Related information


Surveys Act Amendments Introduced

On Monday April 25th, the Government of Alberta introduced Bill 21, the Red Tape Reduction Statutes Amendment Act.
The bill, if passed, would amend the Surveys Act.
The amendments are the result of a multi-year effort between Alberta Environment & Parks (the Director of Surveys Office) and the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association to modernize the almost forty-year-old legislation.
Throughout the process, Alberta Land Surveyors were asked for their comments and feedback on potential amendments.
Notable changes include:
  • Updating the duties of the Director of Surveys
  • Modernizing the provisions for the payment of a re-survey
  • Making timelines more realistic
  • Adding provisions for the use of coordinates in addition to physical monuments
  • Getting the government out of the business of selling iron posts and marker posts and putting the responsibility in the hands of the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association as the professional regulatory organization.
Bill 21 is available from here through the Legislative Assembly of Alberta.
A summary of what the amended Surveys Act would look like (as prepared by the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association) is available here.

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The Alberta Land Surveyors' Association (ALSA) is a self-regulating professional association legislated under the Land Surveyors Act. The Association regulates the practice of land surveying for the protection of the public.