Chapter 8: Professional Responsibilities & Considerations
This chapter describes the Ministry's mandatory procedures, best practices and applications of professional responsibility of members of the ABCFP and EGBC with respect to forest service roads. It is intended to provide enough detail on the processes and expected mandatory procedures, while ensuring that the road meets the regulatory requirements related to safety and protection of other resources.
Consistent with the joint guidelines prepared by the professional associations:
- Guidelines for Professional Services in the Forest Sector - Forest Roads (the Guideline), 2012; and
- Guidelines for Professional Services in the Forest Sector - Crossings V.3.0, 2021.
road activities will be carried out under the professional direction of a Coordinating Member (CM). Structures that form part of a road will be overseen by a Coordinating Registered Professional (CRP) or a Professional of Record (POR) depending upon the scope of the project and any necessary division of responsibilities.
Note that professional oversight for a forest road project may include responsibility for one or more of the following activities:
- road layout;
- road survey;
- road design
- preparation of a road plan;
- design and fabrication of a structure (bridge, major culvert, retaining structure);
- construction of a road or structure;
- inspection and maintenance of an existing road; and
- road deactivation.
As such, this manual will refer to the scope of works as a project, whether the works encompasses several activities or not. For example, for an existing road that requires inspections and maintenance, and eventually deactivation, the project related to professional responsibilities may be limited to the activity taking place at that time. As well, where a project may cover several activities, but the responsibilities may be shifted from one agency to another, or from one professional to another, each project will be necessarily limited to only those activities within the umbrella of each organization or professional.
Note that while the most common situation is where there is only one CM/CRP responsible for several phases of a project, circumstances such as:
- staff changes in the local office;
- shifts in priorities by management; and
- the range of expertise provided by a CM
may dictate the need for one or more additional CM/CRP's for different job phases. However, there must be a clear division of responsibilities and understanding of each CM/CRP as to their scope of work and their individual professional responsibilities, as well as assurance that there is continuity in the professional oversight for the project. Accordingly, for those projects that have been carried out since the implementation of the Guidelines for either forest roads or crossings, the responsibilities of a CM include reviewing any existing Assurance documents and confirming their project coverage and scope.
For some of its new road access, BCTS may elect to lay out, survey and design, and prepare a road plan for a road, then shift the responsibility for construction to a TSL licensee, subject to the road becoming a forest service road at some point after construction. As such, a professional engaged by the licensee should undertake CM responsibilities for the road works after the transfer of responsibilities. The scope of that CM's responsibilities may include:
- road layout;
- road survey;
- road design;
- preparation/amendment of the road plan;
- road construction; and
- preparing construction and inspection records, including Assurance Statement documents.
These responsibilities may be limited only to road construction, but if the licensee elects to relocate and redesign the road, there should be professional coverage on behalf of the licensee for those activities as well.
When issuing a Timber Sale License, if it is proposed to declare an RP as an FSR subsequent to a timber sales licensee’s activities, include the following in a cover letter:
Please note FPPR Section 77 regarding preparing, retaining and providing records to the timber sales manager (TSM). It is proposed to declare the RP an FSR upon completion of your activities. If the RP is declared an FSR, the TSM will request construction and inspection records [as identified in FPPR Section 77(1)] as provided for in FPPR Section 77(3).
Where a bridge or major culvert project will be constructed by a timber sale licensee where upon closure of the of the timber sale licence, if the road is declared a FSR, the Ministry (BCTS TSM) will make a formal request to the timber sale licensee for the bridge and major culvert construction and inspection records (per FPPR Section 77(1) & 77(3).
Once the road becomes a forest service road subsequent to construction, the further professional responsibilities must be provided on behalf of the Ministry, such responsibilities to include review of those construction and inspection records and confirmation of their project coverage and scope.
Generally, the professionals that are impacted by this chapter include the CM/CRP/POR and those Members that undertake the preparation of parts of the road or crossing project, as well as their interaction with Specialists and Road Personnel during the life of the project. The CM/CRP/POR is responsible for considering the composition and interaction of all the road components, as well as their relationships and impact on the users, the road itself and other resources. A key concept is continuity of professional oversight and output reviews. The CM/CRP/POR is charged with retaining a close familiarity with the progress of the project, and with coordinating the various Member and Specialist inputs into the road project and, as such, carries overall professional responsibility for the delivery of the project.
The CM/CRP/POR may be the only professional involved in a road project, or may be managing a team of professionals. A team consists of a CM/CRP/POR who is qualified to oversee and take responsibility for professional practice associated with the forest road activities plus other Members and/or Specialists who are required depending on the size and complexity of the project.
The CM/CRP/POR may need to draw upon other Members and Specialists for their expertise to assist with the development of some or all of a project, and for those situations, the CM/CRP/POR must establish a standard of care by:
- identifying professional tasks;
- identifying considerations that need to be addressed; and
- identifying outputs in the form of deliverables.
As the guidelines reflect, members need to exercise professional judgment when providing professional services associated with the design, construction, maintenance and deactivation of forest roads and crossings, and as such, the applications can vary depending on the circumstances.
There is a need for members to utilize a quality management plan to ensure that the work completed is technically correct and complies with applicable codes, standards and regulatory requirements. The objective of this plan is for the professional to exercise due diligence by ensuring suitable applications of knowledge, completeness and correctness, and professional care. This may be accomplished through:
- use of qualified specialists;
- documentation of supporting rationale for the professional's work;
- retention of project documentation; and
- where the Member so determines, an independent peer review of work that is especially complex or that may particularly impact user safety.
The planning, layout and design, construction, maintenance and deactivation of a Forest Service Road or crossing on the road must be carried out or coordinated by a CM/CRP/POR who will be professionally responsible for the road outcomes.