Functions of Qualified Persons
Qualified persons may be brought into an administrative regime for a number of reasons:
- To assure higher quality work.
- To minimize the risks of an activity.
- To allow government to focus their resources on the more complex or higher risk activities or aspects of activities.
- To allow latitude for trying new approaches, with the assurance of expertise and judgement.
- To reduce the need for government approvals.
- To transfer the responsibility and accountability for an activity or project components to the qualified person.
The latter approach is likely to involve a self-regulating professional, with accountability to the public as well as to their association.
What do qualified persons do?
While qualified persons working in the natural resource sector come from a variety of disciplines, and work in a variety of commercial or industrial sectors, an inventory of what work QPs are currently doing showed that they conduct similar functions. Seventeen common ones have been identified:
- Develop standards
- Gather and provide information
- Predict impacts
- Prepare applications
- Prepare plans
- Provide consultation
- Design facilities and structures
- Design operational programs
- Support statutory decision-makers
- Supervise activities
- Conduct activities
- Provide reporting
- Provide compliance verification
- Provide peer reviews
- Provide training
- Expert witness
These functions tend to fall into different project phases as shown in this table.
- More information on the use of QPs in the natural resource sector, and examples of each function, can be found in “Use of qualified persons in the Provincial administration and management of natural resources in British Columbia.”