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
  • Troubleshoot
  • Expert witness

These functions tend to fall into different project phases as shown in this table.