Regulatory bodies, like ASTTBC, under the Professional Governance Act (PGA) contribute to upholding the common protective purposes – safety, health, and welfare of the public, including the protection of the environment and the promotion of health and safety in the workplace. This work is based on the different bodies of knowledge or lists of disciplines that each profession is based upon. Under the PGA, regulatory bodies have a regulated practice and a reserved practice.

Currently, technology professionals only have a regulated practice meaning that the titles of applied science technologist (AScT) and certified technician (CTech) are protected. However, there are times where advice and services have been provided by people who may not be qualified or competent to do so. These people can not yet be held accountable to standards of ethics, competence, and professional conduct set by the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC. Reserved practice in applied science and engineering technology represents an important step towards a strengthened professional governance framework and greater public interest protection.

A reserved practice will be limited to those people who are registered with ASTTBC or if they meet certain requirements for exemption. This means that the public can be confident that the advice, service, recommendations, and decisions regarding the work of technologists and technicians will be performed by professionals who are qualified, competent, and accountable to the ASTTBC’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, standards, and policies.

Fast forward to the near future. With reserved practice, it would be a violation not only for an individual to present themselves as a technologist or technician without being registered with ASTTBC. It would also be a violation to engage in any work in those areas of reserved practice without being registered with ASTTBC. With reserved practice implemented, the public interest is upheld because applied science and engineering technology professionals are held accountable through:

  • Rigorous credentialing that ensures technologists and technicians are qualified and competent;
  • Continuing professional development requirements and annual audits that require registrants to maintain competence; and
  • Complaints and discipline processes that allow members of the public and other registrants to bring forward concerns about a professional’s practice.

This is why we are pursuing a reserved practice and why this is our first goal in our ASTTBC Strategic Plan.

You should be aware that it is the government that determines the definition of reserved practice for applied science and engineering technologists and technicians. ASTTBC began seeking input about a reserved practice from stakeholders and registrants in 2019. Throughout 2023, ASTTBC will continue to engage registrants, stakeholders, and the public through meetings where we gather information, surveys, and webinars. It is incumbent upon ASTTBC to consult with various groups to gather the essential information to ensure protection of the public from risk.

We look forward to your input.