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    From the desk of Lindsay Ramage, president of the BCVTA

    The BCVTA is guided by a set of bylaws. These bylaws have been formed and upheld by our membership, with the executive role aiding in clarifying and upholding these bylaws. One right that every one of our members has is to propose amendments (or revisions) to these bylaws. These amendments are then put forward to the membership as a whole for the opportunity to first discuss, and then to vote on whether to bring about this change or not.
    The Executive Board of the BCVTA has received a proposed amendment to one of our bylaws, put forward by one of your fellow members. We encourage all members to read this amendment that is attached to this email. It will be discussed at the general meeting in Richmond, BC on November 8th at 2pm. It will then be voted upon by our membership in the form of an online vote.

    Equally important as a members right to propose amendments is a members right to vote. We ask that you take this opportunity seriously and approach the Executive Board or our Executive Director if you have any questions on the matter. To allow our membership an opportunity to discuss this matter in an open forum before the General Meeting in November, this thread was started.


    Proposed amendment as submitted by a fellow member that is in good standing with the BCVTA.

    “Any technician who has let their membership to the AHTA of BC lapse for greater than 3 years, but has been working as a technician within the province of British Columbia during that time, and can provide proof of said employment, as well as proof of obtaining continuing education credits during the time the technician has not been a registered member of the association will not need to re-write the VTNE exam in order to regain membership into the association. They will be able to pay the current years dues and be welcomed in as a member in good standing with the AHTA of British Columbia.”.


    To assist in the discussion, the current bylaws pertaining to a member letting their membership lapse is included:

    A) A member in good standing shall be defined as: A person whose application for membership in the Association has been accepted as outlined in Section 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
    B) A member ceases to be in good standing at such time as he/she ceases to pay the required dues, fines, or surcharges at such time as they become due and payable as described in these bylaws; or in the event that it is determined that he/she has acted in a manner which contravenes the Constitution, Bylaws, Code of Ethics, and Standard of Practice or compromises the objects of the Association.
    C) A member who has previously written the national examination and has allowed their membership to lapse for a period of greater than three years will be required to resit and pass this examination before being considered for reinstatement as an active registered member of the Association.

    To assist in the discussion, the current bylaws pertaining to voting:


    Section 1.
    A) Shall be submitted by any member in writing to the Executive Board prior to the date designated at the previous Business meeting.
    B) The general membership shall receive a copy of the proposed amendment(s) a minimum of six weeks prior to the next General Business meeting.
    C) Shall be presented as a special resolution at the next General Business meeting.
    D) Voting will be held as outlined in Article VII Section 8.
    E) If passed, the membership will be notified in writing.


    A) Any member who wishes to speak shall raise their hand and be acknowledged by the chairman of the meeting.
    B) Any member who wishes to make a motion shall upon acknowledgment state their name first.
    C) Any person who seconds a motion shall upon acknowledgment state their name first.
    D) Process of motions will be: Motion, seconded, discussion, and vote.
    E) Motions wishing to be amended after discussion shall be amended before voting only if the members who originally presented the motion amend them.
    F) No other motion will take precedence over the motion on the floor except the one to table the motion presented.
    G) Voting will be done by an online vote of those in favour and those opposed emailed to Registered members only within 24 hours of the general meeting and will be available for seven days from that day. Members that wish to vote by mail will be required to request a mail in vote at the time of discussion. Mail in votes must be post marked no later than seven days after the meeting. Results will be kept for 30 days. Members will be notified in writing of the result by email. Online voting will not be made available for elections.


    Will said member who hasn’t been paying dues for the 5+ years have to pay the outstanding dues for the years they were not registered? Or do they only have to start paying once they “re-register”?
    In other words: why is everyone working, getting CE credit, AND paying annual fees while someone else can work, get CE credit and not pay for 5 years worth of annual fees?


    I would have the same questions as Ashley posted.
    I think that the current timeline of 3 years lapsed membership is already pretty generous. Another question – how does it currently work if a member lets their membership lapse for 3 years? Are they required to pay the 3 years of absenteeism to reactivate their membership?
    We are professionals, we need to support our professional association and be a part of our profession. If you ‘forget’ to pay one year, then sure, that happens but I would think you would be required to pay for the absent year (unless an excused absence due to illness, maternity, etc) and continue on from there.
    If you let your membership lapse for more than 3 years, then I feel you need to show your commitment to the profession, re-write the VTNE and reapply to the BCVTA for the privilege of being a member of your professional organization.
    And that’s my thoughts! 🙂


    I agree with the above posts.
    Also, I thought that we were supposed to be an active, paying member of the association in order to work as an VHT.


    Well said, Ashley. I totally agree with your comments. It has always been the members responsibility to keep up their membership. The Assoc. can send out reminders but if the person doesn’t act on these reminders or has changed their contact info. so they can’t be located….


    From what I’m hearing out in the field, I think some techs let their membership lapse as they didn’t perceive value for their membership in past years (quite a few years ago). Value is very well demonstrated now, and I think some people are noticing that and wishing to rejoin. Which is a great thing for our BCVTA! The commitment and hard work of everyone over ALL of the years since inception has truly gained momentum and we are in a great place, which makes us attractive.

    While I acknowledge their regret, I also acknowledge the persistence of members who have been involved for anywhere from recent registrants, to 20 plus years. Many registrants have consistently been supportive and asked questions like “How can I make a difference?” “What can I contribute?” “What do I want to see different and what am I willing to do to make that happen?”

    Maybe the answer isn’t to change existing bylaw at all. Maybe we consider something really wild and crazy like a one or two year campaign to recapture lapsed registrants who have to pay all back dues and agree to an active stint on a committee or the board. In other words, if you truly want to rejoin us, what are YOU willing to contribute to the BCVTA, to make that happen? This is just my crazy idea on a Friday night and by no means a proposition to make an amendment or any changes. It’s simply a conversation starter.


    I can’t imagine it works to the organization’s benefit to allow people to return to membership whenever they want, even with paying back dues. I don’t see much value in my membership, but keep it so I have the flexibility that maintaining my registration allows me. I don’t work in the field, and would likely let my dues lapse if I could rejoin anytime if needed..
    Its an interesting proposal. I’d be very interested in hearing from those who feel it would benefit the members or organization..

    AlieshaTimms Wilson

    What about members who leave the province and come back? If they were registered elsewhere (eg Alberta) and wanted to rejoin in BC is there going to be a special consideration since they did keep up a membership, just not ours?


    That person would have reciprocity as they were a active member of another provincial AHT/VT Association. They would just renew their BC membership and pay the yearly dues.


    I don’t think a working person should be able to take a “holiday” from paying dues for 3 years and then be able to rejoin the association by only paying the current years’ dues. At the very least they should pay the 3 years back dues as well. As far as re-writing the VTNE exam goes, if it has been no longer than 3 years of lapsed membership then I feel the person need not re-write the exam.


    There was information presented at the AGM held this weekend and some insightful discussion. I am not attempting to quote the research but I think it is important to know that our current bi-laws are similar to other provinces and even internationally. Any changes, especially a reduction of requirements, would single us out and set a less than ideal (in my opinion) precedence.
    Please be informed and make sure other techs you know are informed and vote.


    It seems to me there are a number of things at risk here. By lowering the standards of our association we send a poor message to other provincial associations and run the risk of being excluded from their standard of measurement (ie: your membership is transferable from province to province unless you are from BC). We damage the reputation of the association with other professional associations and governing bodies, thereby potentially making it hard to set regulations pertaining to our profession. And finally, if we allow for a level of neglect within our membership pertaining to paying their dues, we will see a drop in funds generated (funds that are needed to put on CE, and make improvements and advancements withing the organization). There will be nothing to stop someone from neglecting their dues until it is convenient to them or until they need the association. At that point, they just need to flash some paperwork and pay their current dues, and they are “back in the fold”. In my opinion we are on a slippery slope. The amendment does not advance our profession or our association. It is a step backwards.


    I agree with Darren. If the BCVTA allows people to not pay their dues and then come back whenever they want, then what will stop everyone from skipping their dues until it is convenient for them (IE they decide to specialize in something or move to another province)? The membership would not have the funds needed and the other provinces would probably “laugh” at us. As an above member pointed out maybe some people decided not to bother and now realize there is a benefit to the membership. Having a one year “allow everyone back in with increased fees” providing they can prove they worked and did their required CE during said time might be a better way to go. That will increase our membership, and not allow those already in good standing to decide to stop paying their dues. Close it again after one year to the current bylaw and move on with normal membership activity.


    I agree with all the above comments and strongly disagree with the proposed amendment. What are the reasons why one would be a fully qualified tech, keep up with c.e. but let their membership lapse for several years? I understand there can be rough patches in one’s personal and financial life, but after a year or two these situations should be resolved and membership dues paid in full. My dream for our profession is mandatory membership for employment as an RVT. This proposed amendment moves us farther away from realizing this dream that I know I’ll never see in my lifetime but perhaps the next generation will.


    There are a lot of very good points made here, and I agree with many of them. Particularly with Tracy’s perception that many members likely do not see the value in their membership which is why they may have let it lapse. Personally, I struggle with the value myself, but pay my dues as a necessary “tax” of my profession.
    Having said that, there are very good points made as well in regards to trying to build and keep the reputation of the association if we allow the amendment as it is written.
    I think if we were to change it, it would be critical that one of the criteria be that the member pay all dues owed for outstanding years missed. In fact, I think that would be much more important than re-writing the VTNE. And much more of a deterrent for members in the future to jump on and off the membership train.


    I am relatively new to BC. Has the topic of self regulation been brought to the table for discussion? I think as a profession we need to step forward and step up to increase our credibility and value. I do not understand how entertaining this will benefit the association, us as a profession, or our credibility.
    If you let your membership slide in Ontario you have to retake a professionalism and ethics course and provide a criminal reference check, and pay your back dues, and provide updated CE hours. (maybe even more??? I am a bit fuzzy on the details.)
    I take being an RVT very seriously – as I am sure you all do and think being wishy washy with the rules and expectations is setting our profession up to not be taken seriously.


    I too agree with what’s already been said. The proposed change is a step backwards rather than a step forward as far as a professional association. I do like Tracy’s idea of a one or two year stint to bring everyone “back in” as it gives every tech who want’s to be a part of our association again, plenty of time to get their “affairs” in order, but at no point are we encouraging current members to let their dues lapse.

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