Friday, 14 July 2017

PSB News – July 2017

PSB News – July 2017

The Professional Standards Board for the Planning Profession in Canada (PSB) continues to work on the digitization of the certification process, which will include an online portal for certification applications and log submissions. The digitization project will also include an update to the PSB website, and we are working towards a fully bilingual website and service offerings.

The PSB is also actively recruiting volunteers for its initiatives. Specifically, we are in need of Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) application assessors. Any interested volunteers who wish to support the PSB with this process and are full/certified members of their provincial planning institute for at least three years may express their interest via email to Nzinga Brown, Certification Manager at PLAR applications require careful review and include a portfolio and self-assessment grid. Assessments usually take around seven-eight hours and can be completed over the course of one month. Assessors can review from 1-12 applications a year, depending on their availability. More information on the role can be found on the Volunteers page, in the Orientation package for PLAR assessors.

Professional Education and Examination
The next Professional Examination will be held on Monday, September 18th, 2017. This will be the third sitting of the new three-hour multiple choice format. The Professional Examination and Education Committee is working through an extensive examination action plan that includes improving the study materials provided to candidates in advance of the examination, as well as adding additional questions to our existing question bank and reviewing the current questions. The committee hopes to have the new study guide to candidates by August 2017.

As part of the examination action plan, the Professional Education and Examination Committee developed a feedback framework for examination candidates who were not successful. Moving forward, candidates who fail the Professional Examination will receive feedback outlining how successful they were in the three different areas (Public Interest, Ethics and Decision Making and Professional Responsibility).

The March examination will be held on Monday, March 19th, 2018. More details will be made available in the New Year.

Accreditation Planning
We are pleased to announce that in spring 2017, the PSB Board of Directors approved the re-accreditation of the University of British Columbia’s Master of Community and Regional Planning program accredited unconditionally, for the maximum of five years (until the end of academic 2020-2021).  Congratulations and thanks to everyone involved – Dr. Sandeep Agrawal, Dr. Marcia Wallace and Dr. David Hendrickson (the Site Visit Team), Dr. Penny Gurstein and the faculty at the University of British Columbia.

The PSB is also working with the Site Visit Team to finalize the report for the re-accreditation of the University of Northern British Columbia’s Bachelor of Planning. We look forward to reporting on the result of this site visit in the coming months.

The Accreditation Program Committee welcomed a new member –Dr.  Marcia Wallace (OPPI Representative). Longtime member Tracey Ehl has stepped off the committee and is thanked for her many years of support to the PSB.

For the next academic year, we are currently looking to staff Site Visit Teams for the University of Toronto, York University, McGill University and University of Alberta. As a reminder, each team must be composed of one out-of-province representative, one PTIA representative, and one Association of Canadian University Planning Programs (ACUPP) representative on each team, and must not have any conflicts with the University. Our goal is to recruit diverse Site Visit Team members for each university. If you are interested in participating on any of these teams, please contact Maddy Marchildon, Executive Director, at

Lastly, some of the feedback we have received in the past indicated suggestions on adjusting the verbiage in the communications with PTIAs regarding the process of accredited university programs; this will be reflected in the next communications that go out to the PTIAs, CIP, and Site Visit Teams.

Board of Directors
Our team has just returned from Calgary, where we participated in a series of meetings in conjunction with the Canadian Institute of Planners and Alberta Professional Planners Institute conference. The Board held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the members on June 17, where it reported on the last two professional examination sittings, financials from the 2016 year, and some of the improvements that have been made by working with a new management agency, amongst other items. Copies of the reports were circulated in advance to members and may be re-sent upon request.

The Board also met in person to continue discussions from their strategic and operational plan.  The next quarter will primarily be focused on overseeing the creation of more robust preparation materials in time for the September sitting of the Professional Examination, developing a communications plan, and considerations for board succession planning to implement in 2018.

2017-2018 Board of Directors – from top left (clockwise): Finlay Sinclair (APC), Bruce Singbush (Treasurer), John Jarvie (Past Chair), AndrĂ© Daigle (Bilingualism), Chris Leach (PEEC), Diana Hawryluk (Vice-Chair), and Gary Buchanan (Chair)

Finally, we are working on finalizing the Shared Services Agreements, with the goal of having signatory parties sign off by the end of July. Stay tuned for your updated agreement shortly.

At the CIP conference, PSB presented CIP with a cheque for the loan balance. The loan was received from CIP in 2013 to aid with PSB’s start up expenses. We are grateful to CIP for their support.

From left (clockwise): Eleanor Mohammed (President, CIP), Gary Buchanan (Chair, PSB)

Wishing everyone a great start to the summer!