The Terms of Reference for the Qualified Persons Cross-Ministry Working Group (QP working group) were endorsed by the Natural Resources Board in December 2011. The original focus of the project was on professional reliance.
In February 2012, a draft Professional Reliance Opportunity Assessment Tool and a draft Professional Reliance Framework were circulated to over 100 parties, including government staff, industry associations and professional associations. Recipients were asked to participate in a Challenge Dialogue by reviewing the material provided, answering specific questions and providing additional comments.
The responses were used to revise the draft opportunity assessment tool and framework, which were further reviewed and discussed at a workshop in March 2012. Thirty Challenge Dialogue respondents attended the workshop.
The final products and the consolidated feedback from the Challenge Dialogue were shared with all 100 Challenge Dialogue participants in April, 2012. Due to feedback received at and following the workshop, the name of the working group and project was changed to “Qualified Persons” to better reflect the broader scope of the project.
In spring 2012, the Qualified Persons working group established four sub-projects focusing on specific components of the framework:
Mechanisms: This project examined legal and policy mechanisms currently in use to support or require the use of qualified persons in the natural resource authorization process.
- Read the report:
Mechanisms Supporting or Requiring the Use of Qualified Persons in Natural Resource Administration in British Columbia
Competency and Accountability: This project conducted an inventory of the mechanisms in use to support the competency and accountability of qualified persons and conducted a survey to discover whether these mechanisms are effective.
- Read the inventory:
Measures in Place to Support the Competency and Accountability of Qualified Persons Working in the Natural Resource Sector
Metrics for evaluating effectiveness: This project developed a common set of metrics and methods for use by the natural resource agencies to assess the benefits and effectiveness of moving to a greater use of qualified persons.
- Read the report:
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Using Qualified Persons in the Natural Resource Sector: Preliminary Metrics
Compliance Verification: This project identified areas where qualified persons are, or could be, used to verify compliance with a proponent’s authorization.
- Read the report:
The Use of Qualified Persons for Compliance Verification
All projects provided draft reports for review by staff and stakeholders.
November 2012 Framework workshop
In November 2012, the working group met with industry associations, professional associations, QP service providers and non-government organizations to discuss the results of the Competency and Accountability survey and obtain feedback on an expanded framework for the use of qualified persons. The second draft of the framework incorporated the work of the four focus projects.
Some aspects of the framework were supported, while others were felt to need more work. The feedback received was used by the working group to formulate the next steps needed to work toward a higher level of acceptance of the framework, and comfort with the goals of the project.
- Next steps were endorsed by the Natural Resource Sector Assistant Deputy Ministers committee in February, 2013.
The QP working group is currently focused on sharing the knowledge gained through the project. Some natural resource agency work units are exploring the possibilities of using more qualified persons in the regulatory areas for which they are responsible.