BYLAW 11 ‎–‎ AUDIT AND PRACTICE REVIEW

Published: February 2021

Definitions

11-1 In this Bylaw 11:

“competence audit” means a competence audit under section 11-5;
“peer reviewer” means a peer reviewer selected under section 11-5(2) or an assessor assigned under section 11-5(3) to conduct a competence audit;
“professional conduct audit” means a professional conduct audit under section 11-6;
“professional conduct auditor” means an assessor assigned under section 11-6(2) to conduct a professional conduct audit.

Delegation of authority to audit and practice review committee

11-2 The audit and practice review committee may 

(a) appoint assessors under section 63(2)(b) of the Act for the purpose of conducting audits and practice reviews, and
(b) exercise the powers and authority of the council under section 63(3), (4) and (5) of the Act.

Pre-approved educational courses or other action

11-3 The audit and practice review committee may establish a policy specifying pre-approved educational courses or other action that may be included in an undertaking or consent requested by the investigation committee under section 72(1)(b) or (d) of the Act.

Part A – Audits

Selection of registrants for audit

11-4 (1) The audit and practice review committee must establish policies providing for the routine or random selection of registrants in the following categories and subcategories to participate in competence audits and professional conduct audits:

(a) practising RPF registrants;
(b) practising RFT registrants;
(c) associate registrants;
(d) visiting forest professionals;
(e) transferring forest professionals.

(2) An audit and practice review committee policy established under subsection (1) may provide for the routine or random selection of registrants

(a) in identified practice areas, 
(b) providing identified professional services,
(c) in identified geographic areas, or
(d) meeting other criteria specified by the committee.

(3) The registrar must notify each registrant who is selected for a competence audit or a professional conduct audit.

Competence audits

11-5 (1) A registrant who is selected for a competence audit must comply with the requirements of this section.

(2) Within 28 days of receiving notice of the registrant’s selection for a competence audit, or such further time as may be permitted by the registrar, the registrant must 

(a) select another registrant to conduct the audit who 

(i) meets criteria specified in audit and practice review committee policy, including criteria for avoidance of conflict of interest, and 
(ii) consents in writing to acting as the registrant’s peer reviewer, and

(b) notify the registrar of the registrant’s selection of a peer reviewer.

(3) If a registrant fails to notify the registrar of their selection of a peer reviewer satisfying required criteria within the time required under subsection (2), the registrar may assign an assessor appointed under section 11-2(a) to act as the registrant’s peer reviewer and conduct the registrant’s competence audit.
(4) Within 28 days of the registrant notifying the registrar of the registrant’s selection of a peer reviewer under subsection (2)(b) or the registrar’s assignment of a peer reviewer under subsection (3), or such further time as may be permitted by the registrar, the registrant must provide their peer reviewer with all information and documentation required by audit and practice review committee policy for the purpose of the registrant’s competence audit, including the registrant’s job description, any required self-assessment and professional development records, and samples of professional work product.
(5) Within 28 days of providing their peer reviewer with the information and documentation required under subsection (4), or such further time as may be permitted by the registrar, the registrant must meet with their peer reviewer in person or by video conference, or, if permitted by audit and practice review committee policy, by telephone or e-mail.
(6) The registrant’s meeting with their peer reviewer under subsection (5) must include a discussion of questions required by audit and practice review committee policy for the purpose of competence audits.
(7) If the registrant fails to comply with any of the requirements of subsection (4) or (5) within the time required under those subsections, 

(a) the peer reviewer must notify the registrar, and 
(b) the registrar may deliver a notice of non-compliance to the registrant requiring them 

(i) to pay any applicable late fee specified in the Fee Schedule within 7 days of receipt of the notice of non-compliance, and
(ii) to comply with the applicable requirements under subsection (4) or (5) by a deadline specified in the notice of non-compliance.

(8) The registration of a registrant is cancelled immediately if the registrant fails to deliver payment of a late fee required under subsection (7)(b)(i) within the time specified in the notice of non-compliance or such further time as may be permitted by the registrar.
(9) If the registrant fails to comply with requirements specified in a notice of compliance under subsection (7)(b)(ii) within the time required by the notice, the peer reviewer must notify the audit and practice review committee.
(10) Within 28 days of the registrant’s meeting with their peer reviewer under subsection (5), or such further time as may be permitted by the registrar, the peer reviewer must deliver to the registrant and to the audit and practice review committee a report of the registrant’s competence audit, including a peer review professional development plan, in the form required by audit and practice review committee policy.
(11) If, in the course of a competence audit, the peer reviewer concludes that there is reason to believe that the registrant might have

(a) contravened the Act, the regulations or the bylaws,
(b) failed to comply with a standard, limit or condition imposed under the Act,
(c) acted in a manner that constitutes professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming a registrant, or
(d) acted in a manner that constitutes incompetent performance of duties undertaken while engaged in the practice of professional forestry,
the peer reviewer must notify the audit and practice review committee of that conclusion in their report under subsection (10).

Professional conduct audits

11-6 (1) A registrant who is selected for a professional conduct audit must comply with the requirements of this section.
(2) If a registrant is selected for a professional conduct audit, the registrar must assign an assessor appointed under section 11-2(a) to conduct the registrant’s professional conduct audit.
(3) Within 28 days of receiving notice of the registrant’s selection for a professional conduct audit, or such further time as may be permitted by the professional conduct auditor, the registrant must provide the professional conduct auditor with all information and documentation required by audit and practice ‎review committee policy for the purpose of the registrant’s professional conduct audit, including 

(a) the registrant’s job description and a detailed description of work duties, any required self-‎assessment and professional development records, and samples of ‎professional work product, ‎and 
(b) any further information or documentation requested by the professional conduct auditor in accordance with audit and practice review committee policy.

(4) In addition to information and documentation provided by the registrant, the professional conduct auditor may obtain and consider information or documentation from other sources that is relevant to the registrant’s professional conduct audit, including information or documentation pertaining to the registrant’s practice area or the geographic area of the registrant’s practice.
(5) Within 28 days of providing the professional conduct auditor with the information and documentation required under subsection (3), or such further time as may be permitted by the professional conduct auditor, the registrant must meet with the professional conduct auditor in person or by video conference.
(6) The registrant’s meeting with the professional conduct auditor under subsection (5) must include a discussion of questions required by audit and practice review committee policy for the purpose of professional conduct audits.
(7) If the registrant fails to comply with any of the requirements of subsection (3) or (5) within the time required under those subsections,

(a) the professional conduct auditor must notify the registrar, and
(b) the registrar may deliver a notice of non-compliance to the registrant requiring them

(i) to pay any applicable late fee specified in the Fee Schedule within 7 days of receipt of the notice of non-compliance, and
(ii) to comply with the applicable requirements under subsection (3) or (5) by a deadline specified in the notice of non-compliance.

(8) The registration of a registrant is cancelled immediately if the registrant fails to deliver payment of a late fee required under subsection (7)(b)(i) within the time specified in the notice of non-compliance or such further time as may be permitted by the registrar.
(9) If the registrant fails to comply with requirements specified in a notice of non-compliance under subsection (7)(b)(ii) within the time required by the notice, the professional conduct auditor must notify the audit and practice review committee.
(10) After the registrant’s meeting with the professional conduct auditor under subsection (5), the professional conduct auditor must deliver to the registrant and to the audit and practice review committee a report of the registrant’s professional conduct audit in the form required ‎by audit and practice review committee policy.‎
(11) If, in the course of a professional conduct audit, the professional conduct auditor concludes that there is reason to believe that the registrant might have

(a) contravened the Act, the regulations or the bylaws,‎
(b) failed to comply with a standard, limit or condition imposed under the Act,‎
(c) acted in a manner that constitutes professional misconduct or conduct ‎unbecoming a registrant, or
(d) acted in a manner that constitutes incompetent performance of duties undertaken ‎while engaged in the practice of professional forestry,‎
the professional conduct auditor must notify the audit and practice review committee of that conclusion in their ‎report under subsection (10).

Part B – Practice Review

Authorization of practice reviews

11-7 (1) The audit and practice review committee may authorize a review of the practice of a registrant under section 63(4) of the Act in accordance with the bylaws and any applicable policy established by the committee.
(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the audit and practice review committee must consider whether to authorize a review of the practice of a registrant under section 63(4) of the Act upon receipt of any of the following:

(a) notification provided by a peer reviewer or professional conduct auditor under section 11-5(9) or 11-6(9);
(b) notification provided by a peer reviewer or professional conduct auditor of a conclusion under section 11-5(11) or 11-6(11);
(c) a referral by the registrar under section 10-2(4)(a) of Bylaw 10  (Continuing Professional Development);
(d) a referral by the registrar under section 12-2(8)(b) of Bylaw 12  (Complaints, Investigation and Discipline);
(e) a referral by the investigation committee under section 12-11(1) of Bylaw 12 (Complaints, Investigation and Discipline).

Conduct of practice review

11-8 (1) If the audit and practice review committee authorizes a review of the practice of a registrant under section 63(4) of the Act, the registrar must assign an assessor appointed under section 11-2(a) to conduct the practice review.
(2) The assessor appointed under subsection (1) must ensure that appropriate steps are taken to conduct an adequate practice review in accordance with audit and practice review committee policy, which may include any of the following:

(a) inspecting files, records or other documents in the registrants possession and control relating to the registrant’s practice;
(b) requesting that the registrant provide a self-assessment;
(c) requesting that the registrant provide written responses to inquiries;
(d) interviewing the registrant;
(e) requesting that the audit and practice review committee issue a written notice to the registrant under section 63(5)(a) of the Act in support of the practice review.

(3) The registrant must

(a) cooperate fully with any steps taken in a practice review under subsection (2),
(b) respond fully and substantively to any written requests by the assessor under subsection (2) within 7 days of receipt of the request or such further time as may be permitted by the assessor,
(c) attend for an interview requested by the assessor, and
(d) subject to subsection (5), produce or provide access to any information, including files, records or other documents, requested under subsection (2), even if that information is confidential.

(4) The registrant must comply with any written notice issued by the audit and practice review committee under section 63(5)(a) of the Act within 7 days of receipt of the notice or such further time as may be permitted by the audit and practice review committee.
(5) For greater certainty, nothing in this section requires disclosure of information to an assessor if

(a) the information is subject to solicitor-client privilege, or
(b) disclosure of the information to the assessor is prohibited by law.

(6) The assessor must deliver to the registrant and the audit and practice review committee a report of the findings of the practice review, in accordance with audit and practice review committee policy and any further direction given by the committee.
(7) If the registrant fails to comply with any of the requirements of a practice review under this section, the assessor must notify the audit and practice review committee.

Recommendations, requests or referrals resulting from practice review

11-9 (1) After reviewing the report of an assessor under section 11-8(6), the audit and practice review committee may take one or more of the following actions, if the committee considers it to be in the public interest to do so based on the findings of the practice review:

(a) recommend that the registrant undertake further education or training or implement other measures to improve or enhance the quality of their practice, or to remedy any deficiencies identified in the practice review; 
(b) request that the registrant enter into an agreement imposing limits or conditions on the registrant’s practice under section 63(5)(c) of the Act;
(c) refer the assessor’s report to the investigation committee under section 63(5)(d) of the Act, with directions for the investigation committee to 

(i) consider whether or not the findings of the practice review might warrant authorizing an investigation under section 66(1)(a) of the Act, and 
(ii) advise the audit and practice review committee accordingly. 

(2) If the audit and practice review committee has reasonable grounds to believe that a registrant’s continued practice poses a threat to the public interest as result of the registrant’s 

(a) failure to comply with any recommendation made by the audit and practice review committee under subsection (1)(a)
(b) refusal to agree to any limits or conditions on practice requested by the audit and practice review committee under subsection (1)(b), or 
(c) failure to comply with the requirements of a practice review under section 11-8,
the audit and practice review committee must notify the investigation committee.

(3) If the audit and practice review committee refers the report of an assessor to the investigation committee under section 63(5)(d) of the Act or notifies the investigation committee of a belief under section 110(4) of the Act or subsection (2)

(a) that report or notification must be accompanied by any supporting records or information that the audit and practice review committee considers will be necessary to enable the investigation committee to carry out its duties under the Act and Bylaw 12  (Complaints, Investigation and Discipline), and
(b) for the purposes of section 110(2) of the Act, the disclosure of those records or information to the investigation committee is deemed to be for the purpose of carrying out a duty under the Act. 


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