For immediate release
VICTORIA — When biologists founded their professional association in 1984, it was with the objective to lobby government for the right to title, self-regulation, and a Code of Ethics to protect the public interest. The efforts of these biologists were recognized in 2002 when the BC government began the process of drafting the College of Applied Biology Act, a statute which came into effect on June 20, 2003.
In the 20 years since, the College has become a key contributor to the resource management sector, regulating applied biology professionals who are competent, qualified and ethical. Now under the Professional Governance Act, practicing professionals registered with the College1 have reserved practice – the first jurisdiction in the world with such legislation. Reserved practice further enhances the public confidence that work that falls under the reserved practice definition in the Applied Biologists Regulation must engage a registered applied biology professional who has demonstrated competency and is held to the College’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
“Reaching 20 years as a regulator is a great achievement,” declared Seán Sharpe, Chair of the Board of the College of Applied Biologists.
“But we’re by no means the finished product. We’ve worked hard over the years to have applied biology professionals involved in key natural resource decisions. We will continue to educate organizations, firms and contractors that including the knowledge of applied biology professionals in their projects is not only in the public interest – it’s the law.”
The natural resource sector is an area that has undergone considerable change in the last 20 years, and even more so in the last five years. “We recognized in the ‘80s when we founded the College that things in the natural resource sector needed to change, but the ongoing effects of climate change mean that applied biology professionals are needed more than ever,” explained Melvin Kotyk, the inaugural President of the College who was appointed in 2003 by the Minister of Forests as the College of Applied Biology Act was brought into force.
“We will continue to educate organizations, firms and contractors that including the knowledge of applied biology professionals in their projects is not only in the public interest – it’s the law.”
— Seán Sharpe, Chair, College of Applied Biologists
Going forward, the College will move toward enforcement of reserved practice and continue to work with its regulatory partners to provide guidance and direction on areas of practice which align, intersect and, with the broader regulated practice definitions, overlap among professions. More information for the public and for practitioners can be found on the College website.
1 Practicing professionals include Registered Professional Biologists (RPBio), Registered Biology Technologists (RBTech), Applied Biology Technicians (ABT) and Applied Biologist-Limited Licensees (AB-LL); ABTs do not have reserved practice and AB-LLs only have reserved practice in their licensed area.
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As a professional regulator, the College of Applied Biologists is committed to acting in the best interests of the public by ensuring that all registrants apply, represent, and maintain ethical standards of professional conduct and competence. The College has over 3000 registrants comprised of Registered Professional Biologists, Registered Biology Technologists, Applied Biology Technicians and associated in-training designations.
College of Applied Biologists