April 9, 2008
Legislation Provides Architects with New Governance Criteria
The Provincial Government has passed a new act respecting architects which replaces the previous Architects Act of 1995. The new Act Respecting Architects and the Provision of Architectural Services was passed in the House of Assembly yesterday and provides greater consumer protection by placing the onus on architects to uphold the highest professional standards.
"This legislation establishes criteria which protect public interests," said the Honourable Kevin O�Brien, Minister of Government Services. "We consulted with the Association of Architects to determine the provisions which need to be in place in order to make them publicly accountable. The new act includes criteria for governance, conduct and discipline procedures similar to other self-regulatory occupations in the province."
These criteria include filing annual reports, establishing a conduct and complaints committee, appointing lay people to boards and putting in place processes for appeals and disciplinary procedures.
Paul Blackwood, the chairman of the Newfoundland Association of Architects� Act Review Committee, said the association has been looking forward for some time to the day a new act is passed.
"The new act goes a long way to reducing red tape for architects," said Mr. Blackwood. "No longer will there be a need for an architect to obtain a certificate of registration, certificate of practice, and a certificate of approval in order to practise in this province. These certificates have all been replaced with a simple licence. As well, the new act also clarifies a long-standing list of building types that require the services of an architect with emphasis on renovation projects."
In the Department of Government Services� Strategic Plan 2006 to 2008, the department referenced the need to review legislation to determine which pieces were outdated, needed to be updated or retained. Based on that review, the department decided that a new Act Respecting Architects and the Provision of Architectural Services will better meet the needs of architects while at the same time providing enhanced protection to the public.
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2008 04 09 10:30 a.m.
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