Positive Duty to Tell - Feedback December 1 Deadline

The Council of the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association is considering adding a “positive duty to tell” statement within its Code of Conduct. We invite anyone to provide their comments on the proposed wording (below) no later than December 1, 2021. Comments may be sent to Executive Director, Brian Munday.

The intent of the recommendation is to provide the regulator’s expectation about what practitioners must say to clients and potential clients if their ability to practice is restricted in some way because of a discipline order.
The code of conduct creates a positive duty to tell and would not rely on the client or the potential client “accidentally” discovering the practitioner’s restriction or forcing the client or the potential client to do their own research.
This positive duty to tell would only apply if the practitioner’s license or permit is currently restricted in some way and would not apply to past restrictions or past discipline cases.
Providing guidance for practitioners to communicate with their clients about potential errors will “elevate public confidence in the land surveying profession.”
The issue was identified in a presentation to the ALSA membership on professional governance in June 2020. The public has come to expect that disciplined practitioners cannot fail to disclose their misconduct if their license is restricted in some way.

Proposed Wording for Positive Duty to Tell:

If a practitioner’s license is currently restricted in any way as a result of an order from the Discipline Committee / the Council of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association / the Court of Appeal, then the practitioner has a professional responsibility to tell any current or prospective client before taking on that work and any current or prospective employer.

The practitioner is not expected to disclose any restrictions if the work for the client or prospective client is not relevant to the restriction(s) (i.e.: a practitioner restricted from producing real property reports (RPR) does not have to disclose to a client looking for a pipeline survey that the practitioner is currently restricted from performing RPR work).

Restrictions to a practitioner’s license include:

  • The practitioner is suspended.
  • The practitioner cannot engage in producing certain types of products.
  • The practitioner is to practice under supervision.
  • The practitioner cannot engage in sole practice.
  • The practitioner must permit periodic inspections by a person authorized by the Discipline Committee / Council of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association / Court of Appeal.
  • The practitioner must report to the Discipline Committee / Council of the Alberta Land Surveyors' Association / Court of Appeal on specific matters.

Positive Duty to Tell Proposed Wording Rationale Document
Code of Conduct

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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.