Fee guide: How Technical Safety BC fees are determined

Technical Safety BC is a self-funded, not-for-profit organization. We are tasked with administering safety legislation and regulation, and overseeing the safe installation and operation of technical systems and equipment in British Columbia.

We do not receive government funding, so our fees must:

  • recover the direct and indirect costs of administering our services
  • contribute to provincial safety oversight and improvements
  • allow us to be financially sustainable by maintaining an operating reserve.

Our fee responsibilities are outlined in the fee setting regulation and the administrative agreement protocol with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. These responsibilities include consulting with stakeholders and clients and providing at least 90 days’ notice before adjusting or introducing new fees, and making our best effort to ensure that clients in each sector are informed of the new or adjusted fee and why the change is occurring.

How are Technical Safety BC fees calculated?

There are many reasons to set a new fee or adjust a fee, including regulatory or legislative change, changes to the way we administer programs, and client feedback.

When setting a new fee or reviewing an existing fee, we calculate the fees based on the following principles:

  • cost recovery: the fee must recover the direct costs of administering the service, and contribute to indirect costs such as overhead, safety oversight, and operating reserve;
  • equity: the fee should not disproportionately negatively impact any one group;
  • simplicity: categories of fees will be kept to a minimum and standardized wherever possible; and
  • motivation: the fee schedule will be structured to encourage and recognize compliance with the Safety Standards Act.

There are several steps in the fee setting process:

  1. Modeling the program’s direct costs and calculating indirect costs;
  2. Public consultation on the fee, analysis of feedback, and a consultation report (posted here);
  3. Decision on whether to implement the change or not (taking into account consultation results and program requirements); and
  4. If the decision is made to implement the change, a 90-day notification period before the fee takes effect.

All technologies regulated by Technical Safety BC must be independently sustainable. That is, one technology should not be subsidized by revenue from another technology.

Technical Safety BC incurs indirect and overhead costs that provide the necessary support to its operations, such as building rental, adoption of new codes and standards, financial analysis and accounting, communications and stakeholder engagement, computers and IT systems. The amount each technology contributes towards our indirect and overhead costs is dependent on each technology’s revenue.

We also aim to maintain an operating reserve of 15% of our yearly operating expenses, or enough to fund about 1.5 months of operation. The operating reserve is intended to support our operations in the event of a major unforeseeable incident.

Got more questions? We answer the most frequently asked fee questions here. We’d love hear your feedback, so please comment below with any questions.

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