The Joint Practice Review Board (JPRB) derives its powers from the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act (the Act). The Act provides the JPRB with powers of review, inquiry and recommendation. The JPRB has only those powers set out in the Act and the Professional Technologists Regulation (the P.Tech. Regulation).
The JPRB’s overarching purpose is to ensure ongoing competence and compliance of professional technologists and permit holders. As part of its mandate, the board can conduct practice reviews.
The intent of the practice review is to provide a proactive review mechanism. In this way, it is distinct from the disciplinary process, which is designed to deal with complaints or concerns about members’ conduct. The practice review can potentially identify practice concerns in advance, before these concerns develop into a greater problem.
Broadly speaking, the JPRB has the power to conduct practice reviews in two circumstances:
- ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Continuing Professional Development program; and
- reviewing matters with respect to registration, discipline and professional practice.
Each year, the JPRB sets a target percentage for random audits of ASET members and permit holders. Those selected will receive a notification that they have been audited for a practice review, and be provided with an outline of the process. An initial practice review is then conducted by a practice reviewer appointed by the JPRB.
The practice reviewer is responsible for conducting the initial review of the member’s practice. This includes reviewing a self-assessment package submitted by the member and, if deemed necessary, the reviewer completing a site visit at the permit holder’s place of business. The practice reviewer will also complete a report for consideration by the JPRB. If the JPRB finds that all criteria are met, the member receives a notification of successful compliance.
If the review uncovers potential unprofessional conduct, unskilled practice or other concerns, the JPRB may refer the matter to the joint investigative committee by lodging a complaint, or may commence an investigation.
Consistent with ASET’s public interest mandate, every member of the board is required to act in the interest of the public, and for the safety of the public. When conducting practice reviews, individuals are required to act in a procedurally fair manner towards members and permit holders, and to ensure and uphold the integrity of the process.