BCIA Operations, Events, Councillor Election, Committees and Professional Development Requirements
April 9, 2020: In compliance with Federal and Provincial government directives respecting the current Covid 19 situation BCIA has made several changes to its operations. In addition, BCIA has received numerous questions from its Registrants regarding the effect of these changes on the annual professional development requirements expected from each registrant. At its April 7th, 2020 meeting the BCIA Council (“Council”) determined that the best communication tool would be the provision of a Presidents Special Report to each BCIA Registrant utilizing the email addresses for each Registrant currently on file with BCIA. In this Report BCIA will address changes to its business operation, changes to the BCIA Annual General Meeting, methodology for a Registrant Councillor election for one vacant position in Electoral Regional District (Vancouver/Victoria & Islands), and confirmation of available Professional Development resources for BCIA Registrants.
Currently all BCIA staff are working from their respective residences with the exception of one employee who is attending in the BCIA office on a daily basis. A return to the BCIA office by all staff is currently set for Monday April 20th however that may be extended dependent on directives issued by the Federal and Provincial governments. All staff are current with their respective work obligations with applications, payments, remote meeting attendance etc. All staff endeavour to respond to all inquiries as soon as possible however given the remote work situation it is possible that response times may be slightly slower than in the past.
BCIA Annual General Meeting:
The 2020 BCIA Annual General Meeting and Conference was set for May 21-22 at the Sun Peaks Resort outside of Kamloops. Due to the current situation the AGM and Conference were cancelled however the BCIA Bylaws require that an AGM be held no later than June 30th of each year. Consequently, Council is currently investigating options for conducting an online AGM. A final decision, including a date, has not yet been finalized. This option will require that certain Bylaws requiring in person attendance be suspended by Council (for 2020 only) due to the current situation.
The other option is for Council to suspend the specific Bylaws that require an AGM by June 30th and reschedule an in-person AGM for the fall of 2020. Councils’ final determination will be made within the next 10 days and communicated to all BCIA Registrants.
One consequence of the cancellation of the AGM is with respect to the requirement for all Articling registrants to attend a provincial AGM. Council has determined that attendance in an online AGM will, (for 2020 only), be accepted as fulfillment of this requirement. Further information will go out to Articling registrants once a decision on the AGM has been made.
As we move forward in this new working environment, with no currently anticipated end date, we urge all branches to comply with the Federal and Provincial government recommendations in planning and undertaking any branch initiatives or activities. Please feel free to take advantage of the many electronic communication tools which we have at our disposal to continue reaching out to your branch members while still remaining within the boundaries of social distancing. If you require assistance in using any of these technical options please contact the office. Within the bounds of legislation, branches are thus encouraged to continue to provide opportunities, albeit in a different manner, for their members to remain connected, both as professionals and co-workers, under this new operative paradigm.
Registrant Councillor Election:
The BCIA Nomination Committee has recently reviewed the nomination material for three nominees who would like to stand as Candidates for the one vacant Registrant Councillor position in Electoral Regional District #3. All three nominees were approved as valid Candidates and as such an election within that District is required. BCIA is finalizing the technical requirements for conducting an online election within that District that will serve as the template for all subsequent Registrant Councillor elections. Voting instructions and Candidate material will be provided to each Registrant in good standing in District 3 in the near future.
Committees (and Working Groups):
The BCIA Credentials Committee continues its work online to ensure that all applications are processed within a reasonable time. Most work by the other BCIA Committees and Working Groups is currently tabled as much of that work is more effectively conducted in person. If the current challenges remain in place for much longer BCIA will establish protocols by which most of that work can be completed online or via teleconferencing.
Annual Professional Development Requirements:
Many Registrants have historically attended the AGM and Conference to obtain a portion of their annual professional development requirements. With the possible cancellation of the 2020 Conference there are questions as to what effect, if any, that cancellation will have on the annual requirements.
BCIA is currently working on the development of an on-line version of the Ethics for Professionals course and hopes to have a pilot course ready by mid May 2020.
The BCIA office plans to provide webinars (including access to those offered by other professional organizations) and other virtual opportunities which will be shared with the branches and will count toward the mandatory annual PD requirements. Council has determined that there is enough online material available to meet the annual requirements and as such the annual requirement of 30 hours of professional development will NOT be reduced for 2020 at this time. Information as to access to this material is always available from the BCIA office and/or website.
Hopefully this report answers many questions that may have arisen respecting BCIA in these unique times. BCIA staff is always available to help although it may take slightly longer for staff to respond to your questions than in the past. The office is still open so feel free to call and staff will respond as soon as possible.
Jane Kerner, PAg, BCIA President