SLS, P. Surv.
I’d like to begin by thanking the membership for allowing me the opportunity to serve on the council of SLSA. It has been an interesting endeavor based on what has transpired over the last year. This has made me think about our self-governing association and all the responsibility associated with such a group.
What does it mean to be a self-governing body? It’s self-regulation based on the concept of a professional group entering into an agreement with the government to formally regulate the activities of its members. As a condition of entrustment of such regulatory power, the professional group is required to apply such power in a manner that is guided by the public interest. Again, we must remember that self- governance is a privilege provided to us as a professional group.
As a self-governing body, we are given flexibility in how we license new members, how we set code of ethical conduct to follow, how we set standards of professional practice to our current members, how we keep our current members educated with continuing professional development, and finally how we discipline our members who do not meet these standards.
As of late, self-governing professions are under threat due to public perspective and lack of transparency with in the governing body. Real Estate council of British Columbia has lost its ability to regulate the real estate profession due to failure by the council to adequately regulate the conduct of its members. As SLSA members we should be thinking more about how we can be more transparent to the public. We need to promote the importance of our profession to the government through our government relation committee or by inviting more public members on to our standing committees.
As a self-governing body a key expectation of our members is that they accept legal and ethical responsibility for their work and hold the interest of the public paramount. Each member has the responsibility to participate in the maintenance and development of the profession to keep it strong and healthy for the future.