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2021 PGA Webinar

Currently only Engineers and Geoscientists BC has been granted authority to regulate firms that provide engineering and geoscience services. The College may seek to regulate firms in the future, building upon the experience and lessons learned from EGBC. How multi-disciplinary firms may be regulated in the future is an important policy area that requires further development.

In those instances where a multidisciplinary firm employs professional biologists and engineers, EGBC will only be concerned with the oversight of engineering professionals.

— OSPG staff

The Professional Governance Act (PGA) gives authority to all regulators under the Act – including the College – to regulate firms, however at this point only Engineers and Geoscientists BC (EGBC) is moving forward starting on July 1, 2021. The other regulators are three to five years away from developing a similar program. Before the CAB moves forward with any firm regulation program we will engage with registrants and the public.

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As per the PGA, a firm refers to a legal entity or combination of legal entities engaged in providing services in respect of a regulated practice. Firms may be small, specialized organisations or larger, multidisciplinary organisations. The regulation of firms pertains to the regulated practice of a profession and is not linked to reserved practice.

— OSPG staff

THE COLLEGE IS MONITORING THE WORK EGBC IS DOING REGARDING THE REGULATION OF FIRMS. THE PRIORITY RIGHT NOW FOR APPLIED BIOLOGISTS IS ESTABLISHING RESERVED PRACTICE. ANY INIATIVE ON FIRM REGULATION WILL BE DONE IN CONSULTATION WITH REGISTRANTS, THE FIRMS THAT EMPLOY REGISTRANTS AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC.
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As per the Applied Biologist Regulation the following titles and their acronyms (RPBio, RBTech, ABT, etc.) are reserved and must not be used by anyone who is not registered and permitted by the College to use that title.

From the Professional Governance Act:

“For the purposes of section 51 (1) (a) [reserved titles] of the Act, the following titles are reserved for the exclusive use of registrants:

  1. “professional biologist”;
  2. “biologist in training”;
  3. “registered biology technologist”;
  4. “registered biology technologist in training”;
  5. “applied biology technician”;
  6. “applied biology technician in training”.”
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Registration with the College is not meant to compete with traditional ecological knowledge and expertise held by Indigenous people – but to compliment that knowledge. CAB welcomes the opportunity to work with First Nations and others to identify areas of collaboration and possible training opportunities.

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Section 55 of the Professional Governance Act provides a pathway for reconciling any overlaps in reserved practices between two or more regulatory bodies under the PGA. By specifying the same area of practice in the professional regulation for each regulatory body granted that particular area of reserved practice, registrants of each specified regulatory body are permitted to practice in that area of reserved practice.

For example, the professional regulation for Engineers and Geoscientists BC identifies reserved practice in the area of “forest engineering” while the professional regulation for the Association of BC Forest Professionals identifies reserved practice in the area of “forest transportation systems”. This structure provides that registrants of both regulatory bodies may practice in the area of forest roads and crossings.

Any overlapping areas of practice identified in regulation may be further supported by practice guidelines jointly developed by multiple regulators. For example, the Professional Practice Guidelines – Legislated Riparian Area Assessments in British Columbia were prepared jointly by the College and other regulators to support professionals doing work under the then-current Riparian Areas Regulation.

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The College is currently working with OSPG to develop and define a path forward towards reserved practice. Once reserved practice is established, anyone practising within the defined scope will be required to register with the College.

— OSPG staff

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The PGA enables a regulatory body to regulate firms when that regulatory body has been authorized through regulation and has developed the necessary bylaws to do so. Regulated firms must become registrants of the regulatory bodies and like individual registrants, must comply with the requirements of the PGA, subsequent regulations, and the bylaws of the regulatory bodies. Regulatory bodies can enforce requirements on their registrants.

— OSPG staff

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As per Part 5, Division 3 section 5-3(1)(c) of the College bylaws, retired registrants are “non-practicing” and must not provide professional opinions. This is not a change from the College of Applied Biology Act and Rules that were in effect until February 5, 2021.

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Implementation of the Professional Governance Act has no impact on trade agreements between provinces. Registrants already accepted through the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) will remain registrants of the College.

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Professional self-regulation is in provincial jurisdiction. Any registrant working outside of BC where registration is required (such as Alberta) should be registered with that provincial regulator. If you live out of province and work in BC you should be registered with the College. Furthermore, the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct still applies whether someone is working in the province or not.

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OSPG is able to accommodate requests for engagement. Interested parties should send an email to OSPGEnquiries@gov.bc.ca. OSPG will continue to host PGA webinars in spring 2021. Dates for these webinars as well as recorded webinars will be posted on the website at https://professionalgovernancebc.ca/.

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This is out of scope for firm regulation.

— OSPG staff

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The College has an accreditation program that reviews the courses in program areas and provides accreditation for those programs that meet the academic entrance requirements. As well, the Registrar regularly makes presentations to undergraduate students at universities to review the academic requirements for entry. Many universities have made changes to their programing that align with the College’s entrance requirements. However some institutions are still working on programing changes to ensure alignment with the Credentialing Standard.

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The Professional Governance Act section 58 requires registrants to report the practice of an identified registrant when there is reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the identified registrant’s practice may pose a risk of significant harm to the environment or to the health and safety of the public or group of people. This reporting duty extends to an employer or partner of an identified registrant when employment or partnerships are impacted because of the risk of harm from the identified registrant’s practice.

For clarity, the s. 58 duty to report is not meant to require registrants to raise concerns to regulatory bodies about risk of significant harm arising from government policies or authorization decisions a registrant may be operating under. There are other mechanisms for registrants and others to bring these types of concerns to the authority having jurisdiction.

Regulatory bodies must treat a report under s.58 as a complaint to the regulatory body by:

  • Following the general complaint process
  • Ensuring there is a process to triage and prioritise given the potential risk of significant harm to the environment or health and safety of the public (as appropriate, may draw upon the extraordinary measures to protect the public).
  • Considering whether another authority having jurisdiction should be notified.
  • Notifying other authorities if appropriate.

— OSPG staff

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Each regulatory body that may regulate firms will determine an approach to regulating firms of various sizes. Currently only EGBC is authorized to regulate firms and their program will accommodate companies of different sizes. There will be specific attention and tailoring provided for sole proprietors, and how to address differences and the unique needs of different organisations.

For more information on the EGBC firm regulation program, please visit their website here.

— OSPG staff

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Further information regarding duty to report can be found on the OSPG website.

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The College makes sure that a registrant practicing applied biology in British Columbia has the necessary knowledge and skills. No one can call themselves a Professional Biologist or a Registered Biology Technologist without registration in the College. In addition, anyone carrying out work that is defined in the reserved practice section of the Applied Biologists Regulation must be registered with the College as a Registered Professional Biologist (RPBio), Registered Biology Technologist (RBTech) or Applied Biologist-Limited Licensee (AB-LL). The College addresses the behaviour, skills and knowledge of registrants through a complaint driven process and through random practice audits.

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2023 Dues: Budget

Approved dues increases are summarized in the table below with the average increase across all categories to be around eight per cent (but not exceeding 10 per cent). The percentage of increase is different for some designations due to rounding preference.

Active and Temporary Withdrawal Status Dues2022 Dues ($)2023 Dues ($, up to 10% Increase)
RPBio Dues450485
RPBio Dues (Temporary Withdrawal)100110
RBTech Dues325350
RBTech Dues (Temporary Withdrawal)7075
BIT Dues140150
BIT Dues (Temporary Withdrawal)100110
ABT Dues140150
ABT Dues (Temporary Withdrawal)5055
Trainee ABT Dues7583
Trainee ABT Dues (Temporary Withdrawal)5055
Trainee RBTech Dues100110
Trainee RBTech Dues (Temporary Withdrawal)7075
Applied Biology – Limited Licensee Dues325350
   
Retired Status Dues2022 Dues ($)2023 Dues ($)
RPBio Dues (Retired)4550
RBTech Dues (Retired)3050
ABT Dues (Retired)2050

NB: Temporary Withdrawal has the same meaning as on-leave

Retired status dues have been static over the last few years but have been set at $50 per annum in order to offset required resources for managing these retired designations.

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The College has worked diligently to find operational savings and non-dues related revenue. This includes reductions in printing costs, bringing the learning management system in-house, thereby eliminating the need for a third party, and securing government grants for specific projects. However these measures alone will not allow the College the increase in capacity required to fulfill our statutory obligations, meet the increased requirements coming from the PGA implementation, and successfully implement reserved practice.

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Delivery demands increased by reserved practice that came into effect in September 2022 require significant resources from both volunteers’ and staff’s workloads and financial perspectives.

The College has identified that it will need to increase capacity by two full-time equivalencies (FTEs) in 2023 and possibly an additional two FTEs in 2024. These increases in resources will allow the organization to manage workloads at a reasonable level, support existing and future committees and Task Forces, and increase professional supports as mandated by the PGA for registrants such as practice guidance, continuing professional development and policy directives.

The 2023 budget will be finalized and posted in early 2023.

NB: To the College’s knowledge, all regulatory bodies under the PGA have increased staffing levels over the past two years to fulfill their obligations.

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While causing severe outcomes in other ways, the ongoing coronavirus has restricted some activities of the College that has resulted in a budget surplus. While these restrictions saved money in the short term, it has meant that many of our important outreach activities have been neglected. As restrictions are removed the College is resuming its critical pre-Covid activities.

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2023 Dues: General

Dues for College registrants were last raised (by $50 for RPBios and RBTechs and $15 for ABTs) for the 2022 registration year. The College was continuing with implementation of the Professional Governance Act and was adding resources to be able to address increasing requests and requirements of the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance.

Under the Professional Governance Act, a referendum is no longer required to enact changes to registration dues. The Council of a governing body has the authority to set and adjust registration dues.

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All regulators under the PGA have had to evaluate, revise and expand their statutorily mandated activities to come into and remain in compliance with the Act. Examples of investments and improvements made over the last four years includes:

  • Legal fees for regulatory and Bylaw development
  • Revisions to the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and corresponding mandatory course
  • Revamped internal operating procedures
  • Investments in technology to allow for better access for registrants including online CPD reporting, an in-house Learning Management System, and the online application portal
  • Development of new mandatory courses, webinars and explanatory documents
  • Enhanced engagement and consultation on changes because of the Act and the implementation of reserved practice

Ongoing costs will include:

  • Increased capacity to support the required practice guidance program which includes development of a formal practice guidance program
  • Increased support for statutory committees
  • Bylaw updates and bylaw development
  • Increased reporting functions as required through the OSPG’s Standards of Good Regulation
  • Increased OSPG information requests, annual audits by the OSPG on meeting the Standards of Good Regulation, and annual reporting requirements
  • Proactive approach to enforce Title and Reserved Practice infringement
  • Operationalizing the Environmental Practice Panel (EPP) with the Association of Professional BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) to develop better guidance for our registrants and the public
  • Ongoing collaboration with other regulators on alignments and intersections of reserved practice, and overlaps in regulated practice
  • Continued investments in technology
  • Monthly meetings with the OSPG and other regulators, quarterly meetings with the Professional Governance Advisory Committee, and participation on a number of task-oriented committees (e.g., firm regulation)
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As well as increased demands from the OSPG, ongoing regulatory requirements of the PGA continue to put increased pressure on the College’s capacity to meet its statutory requirements.

These requirements include:

  • Maintaining a fair, transparent and robust Complaints and Discipline process in an environment that has seen the number of complaints double over the past five years
  • Delivering an efficient and rigorous credentialing program that has seen applications increase seven per cent annually since 2019 that could still increase further now that reserved practice has been enabled
  • Supporting effective audit and practice reviews programs to ensure that registrants continue to meet their professional development requirements and maintain high professional standards
  • Implementing a new Practice Guidance program to support registrants proactively with their professional practice

It is important to note that the College is required to meet the same regulatory standard as other regulators under the Act who currently have more capacity.

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Yes, however with the increase in registrants comes an increase in workload for the College. This includes increases in:

  • applications to be processed,
  • audits to meet the three per cent requirement annually,
  • practice reviews,
  • complaints leading to more disciplinary action; and,
  • practice and title infringement enforcement
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Yes, as with the statutory responsibilities mentioned above (particularly the possible increase in applications), reserved practice is a benefit to the public interest that requires greater resources. For most of 2023, the College will still be in the education phase of its compliance plan, but towards the end of 2023, and in subsequent years, enforcement measures will be required.

At this time, it is unclear how much demand enforcement will have on the College’s resources, but the College will need to build capacity in this area before enforcement can occur.

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The added pressure on the College’s ability to fulfil its mandate to protect the public interest comes more from increased statutory demands rather than the general cost of doing business in the current economic conditions.

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Registrants are obligated to pay their dues by the dues deadline in order to avoid losing their status in good-standing and to avoid risk of removal from the register. The College begins taking dues payment in October and payments made after December 31 are considered late; the College does not have a mechanism at this time to allow for payment plans, however it will be investigating this for implementation in future years.

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Failure to pay the annual dues (as well as any late fee and GST on the late fee, which become applicable on January 1st) by March 31 will result in a registrant being listed as removed from the register according to College bylaw Part 5, Division 5, 5-15 and Part 12, 12-2 which means that the registrant is not in good standing and not authorized to practice applied biology. The registrant must apply for reinstatement according to College bylaw Part 5,  5-11 and Part 12,  12- 4. Under reserved practice, being removed from the register may compromise your ability to work in compliance with the Professional Governance Act and could result in further sanctions under the law.

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Annual dues for most other professionals under the PGA continue to outpace those of applied biology professionals even with the 2023 increase.

ABCFP

Title: RPF

Dues:

20212023
$593^$810^
AIBC*

Title: AIBC

Dues:

20212023
$1049^$1070~^
BCIA

Title: PAg/TAg

Dues:

20212023
$475$600
EGBC

Title: PEng/PGeo

Dues:

20212023
$473^$483~^
ASTTBC

Title: AScT

Dues:

20212023
$399$510^

*Currently transitioning to the PGA
~Subject to change: regulator has not announced dues for 2023 registration year
^Inclusive of Goods and Services tax (GST)

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Yes, if you were randomly selected in August 2022, you must complete the Indigenous Awareness training and Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct training through the College portal in order to pay your dues for the 2023 registration year. If you were not selected in August 2022, you can still complete the courses at your leisure through the registrant portal. More information about mandatory training courses can be found here.

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About the College

Yes. The Professional Governance Act prescribes that the governing Board of regulatory bodies shall have four public representatives (Lay Board members) appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council through the Crown Agency and Board Resourcing Office. Public representatives are also required for Committees and are appointed by the Board.

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The College makes sure that a registrant practicing applied biology in British Columbia has the necessary knowledge and skills. No one can call themselves a Professional Biologist or a Registered Biology Technologist without registration in the College. In addition, anyone carrying out work that is defined in the reserved practice section of the Applied Biologists Regulation must be registered with the College as a Registered Professional Biologist (RPBio), Registered Biology Technologist (RBTech) or Applied Biologist-Limited Licensee (AB-LL). The College addresses the behaviour, skills and knowledge of registrants through a complaint driven process and through random practice audits.

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If you believe a registrant of the College — or a registrant of any other regulator under the Professional Governance Act — has contravened the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, you should submit a complaint to the College by completing and submitting the complaint form.  

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Audits

Members who resign to avoid an audit will be required to have a mandatory audit (including meeting CPD requirements) should they ever want to reactivate their membership. Members who have resigned are restricted from undertaking any work that requires Registered Professional Applied Biologist status.

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Completing an audit is mandatory. Auditees must demonstrate cooperation and maintain a polite, professional demeanor with College staff and auditors. Failure to comply is a contravention of the College’s Code of Ethics and could result in disciplinary action (refer to Section 21.2 of the College of Applied Biology Act and Rule 14).

In rare situations, an audit may be deferred due to extenuating circumstances. Auditees must notify the College of the reason(s) for the deferral. If the reason(s) are acceptable, the Chair of the Audit and Practice Review Committee will grant approval and specify the year in which the audit is to occur.

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College staff will email auditees advising them of their upcoming audit and provide related details (i.e. name of auditor, deadlines, required forms).  Notifications will be sent in January.

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The Registrar will randomly select registered members from the eligible pool of members. Registered members of the College may also volunteer to be audited.

Under Schedule 6 there are allowances for a process to be other than simple random selection. This may occur as a recommendation of the Discipline Committee or based on another committee recommendation. The selection of auditees may also be stratified by membership category to ensure equitable representation.

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Yes. Members of the College for less than three years are required to provide their CPD record for the duration of their membership, and are expected to demonstrate that they are on track to meet the College’s CPD requirement of 100 points over three years.

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There are 6 possible outcomes:

  1. Successful completion: No further action required (Rule 14.14.1). 
  2. Additional information: The auditee may be required to provide additional information (Rule 14.14.2).
  3. Remedial action required: When there is an isolated practice-related issue that can be addressed. The auditee must report to the College that the mandatory remedial action has been implemented within the required timeframe (Rule 14.14.3).
  4. Referral for a practice review: Required if the auditee fails to demonstrate their compliance with College audit requirements or if practice-related concerns become apparent (Rule 14.14.4).
  5. Referral to the Discipline Committee for non-compliance: When an auditee has failed to provide completed audit forms within 20 business days of being notified, or has not responded to requests for additional information within a reasonable timeframe, i.e. 5 business days unless otherwise indicated by the auditor (Rule 14.14.5), or has failed to meet the remedial action requirements.
  6. Referral to Discipline Committee for breach of practice: If the audit process reveals egregious breaches of professional conduct in contravention of the College’s Rules and policies, the Discipline Committee may initiate an investigation of the member’s conduct (Rule 14.14.6).
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You must notify the College as soon as possible, provide a reason, and the requested extension period. If the reasons are acceptable to the Chair of the Audit and Practice Review Committee, the schedule may be amended.

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The audit process examines how members:

  • generate and administer their work products;
  • remain current with changing legislation;
  • manage their records;
  • adhere to the College’s Code of Ethics; and,
  • track and document Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities

Once the auditee is notified they will be audited, the auditee may declare any real or perceived conflicts with their assigned auditor within 5 business days of being notified. If there are no conflicts, the auditee must submit completed forms and supporting information to the College. The assigned auditor reviews the information and upon completion of the audit, makes a recommendation to the Audit and Practice Review Committee (APRC). The APRC considers the recommendation of the auditor(s) and determines one of six possible outcomes (see Question 15). Once the outcome has been determined, a letter is mailed to the auditee with the results of their audit.

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Each auditee will receive an official letter explaining the result of their audit. The letters are sent by Express Post for guaranteed delivery and the College usually mails them by September.

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The College matches each auditee with an auditor. All auditors are College members who have undergone an audit themselves. Auditors must have diverse and extensive experience in applied biology, be long-standing members of the College, and must also be mentored by an experienced auditor during their first year. 

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Please contact the College office with any questions about the audit program in general. Contact the Director of Practice at: (250) 383-3306  or email: director_practice@cab-bc.org

If you are in the process of being audited, questions should be directed to your assigned auditor.

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To proactively monitor members’ practice of applied biology to ensure that standards are being met. The audit program is one mechanism for the College to meet its legislated public interest mandate.

Relevant sections in the Act and Rules:

  • Under Section 21 of the College of Applied Biology Act, the College is authorized to establish an Audit and Practice Review Committee (APRC), and establish the audit process by way of a Rule.
  • Rule 14: sets out the rules for the establishment and conduct of the Audit and Practice Review Committee. 
  • Under Schedule 6: a description is provided of the Audit program which includes a link to the member form used during the audit process.
  • Under Schedule 4: information on associated CPD program and a template CPD form that can be used for tracking activities is provided. 
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Following the successful completion of an audit, a member’s name is removed from the random draw list for a period of five years.

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Becoming A Member

At this time the College of Applied Biology is a right to title organization with regulated practice. The Applied Biologists Regulation maintains exclusive use of title for registrants in good standing with the College of Applied Biology. These include:

  1. (Registered) Professional Biologist
  2. Biologist in Training
  3. Registered Biology Technologist
  4. Registered Biology Technologist in Training
  5. Applied Biology Technician
  6. Applied Biology Technician in Training

No individual may present themselves with any of these titles without being in contravention of the Professional Governance Act. In this way, the College upholds the public interest by setting entrance standards and accountabilities for practitioners using these titles.

Over the past few years, the College has been working diligently to secure reserved practice – or practice rights – into regulation. We have consistently maintained that, to achieve the primary objective of the PGA of protecting the public interest, all applied biology practitioners must be qualified, competent and accountable through reserved practice. Should reserved practice be added to the Applied Biologists Regulation, any practitioner of applied biology would need to be registered with the College in order to continue practicing.

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The College has seven different categories of membership; Register Professional Biologist (RPBio), Registered Biology Technician (RBTech), Applied Biology Technician (ABT), Biologists in Training, Trainee (RBTech), Trainee (ABT), and Student.  Students, Trainees, and Biologists in Training are categories that lead to becoming either an RPBio, RBTech, or ABT, and provide for membership in and support of the College while satisfying the academic and work requirements for membership as an RPBio, RBTech, or ABT.

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No. To apply for all registrant categories (minus the Student Biologist) an applicant must have completed the required education and have proof of education completed (e.g., degree, diploma has been conferred and states so on official transcripts) before applying. There are other streams of entry for the RBTech and ABT designations that include various education requirements and do not require a diploma, certificate or course work. These are detailed in the Credentialing Standard. There is also a Student Biologist category.

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Registration with the College is not meant to compete with traditional ecological knowledge and expertise held by Indigenous people – but to compliment that knowledge. CAB welcomes the opportunity to work with First Nations and others to identify areas of collaboration and possible training opportunities.

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The College has an accreditation program that reviews the courses in program areas and provides accreditation for those programs that meet the academic entrance requirements. As well, the Registrar regularly makes presentations to undergraduate students at universities to review the academic requirements for entry. Many universities have made changes to their programing that align with the College’s entrance requirements. However some institutions are still working on programing changes to ensure alignment with the Credentialing Standard.

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Work experience is not accepted as a substitute for required courses.

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The College does not have the resources to complete pre-assessments of applications.  The College has developed an Academic Self-Assessment Tool to assist potential applicants in determining which category to apply for registration. Meeting all the requirements outlined in this tool will not guarantee certification.  Assessment by the Credentials Committee will still be required. 

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To apply for membership in the College please go to the Membership Categories page.  This page on the College’s website provides you with detailed information regarding the submission of an application.  If you have questions that are not answered in this section please email adminassist@cab-bc.org for further information.

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Complaints & Discipline

All complaints about registrants are reviewed. Many can be resolved at the investigation stage and others may ultimately be sent to a Discipline Panel. The Investigation Committee, the body charged with reviewing complaints, consists of registrants of the College and members of the public. The Committee reviews and discusses all material submitted about the complaint.

What happens when the College receives your complaint submission?

  1. You will receive an acknowledgement (mail or electronic) regarding your complaint.
  2. Your complaint will be reviewed by the Registrar to determine if the subject registrant is/was a registrant with the College during the time of the alleged infraction.
  3. If the subject of the complaint was a registrant with the College at the time of the alleged infraction, the complaint will be forwarded to the Investigation Committee within 30 business days.
  4. You may be contacted if further information is required by the Discipline Committee. (Note: Ensuring that all information is available to the Discipline Committee can take time as this may involve submissions from both parties and sometimes a separate investigation).

Depending on the findings of Investigation Committee, the following outcomes are possible:

  • Dismissal of the complaint
  • Dismissal of the complaint with a letter of advice
  • Reach a Conditional Admission with the subject registrant
  • Issue a Citation to the subject registrant, convene a Discipline Panel and proceed to a Discipline Hearing (Note: At this time, the subject registrant’s name and nature of the alleged infraction will be published on Discipline Digest page of the College website)

At any point in the Investigations process, the subject registrant may agree to an alternative complaints resolution (ACR) prescribed by the registrar, Investigation Committee or Discipline Committee as applicable.

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This is out of scope for firm regulation.

— OSPG staff

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The Professional Governance Act section 58 requires registrants to report the practice of an identified registrant when there is reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the identified registrant’s practice may pose a risk of significant harm to the environment or to the health and safety of the public or group of people. This reporting duty extends to an employer or partner of an identified registrant when employment or partnerships are impacted because of the risk of harm from the identified registrant’s practice.

For clarity, the s. 58 duty to report is not meant to require registrants to raise concerns to regulatory bodies about risk of significant harm arising from government policies or authorization decisions a registrant may be operating under. There are other mechanisms for registrants and others to bring these types of concerns to the authority having jurisdiction.

Regulatory bodies must treat a report under s.58 as a complaint to the regulatory body by:

  • Following the general complaint process
  • Ensuring there is a process to triage and prioritise given the potential risk of significant harm to the environment or health and safety of the public (as appropriate, may draw upon the extraordinary measures to protect the public).
  • Considering whether another authority having jurisdiction should be notified.
  • Notifying other authorities if appropriate.

— OSPG staff

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Further information regarding duty to report can be found on the OSPG website.

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If you believe a registrant of the College — or a registrant of any other regulator under the Professional Governance Act — has contravened the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, you should submit a complaint to the College by completing and submitting the complaint form.  

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Current Members

No. As a regulatory body, the College has the option of charging GST and has chosen not to do so.

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Work experience is not accepted as a substitute for required courses.

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The College does not have the resources to complete pre-assessments of applications.  The College has developed an Academic Self-Assessment Tool to assist potential applicants in determining which category to apply for registration. Meeting all the requirements outlined in this tool will not guarantee certification.  Assessment by the Credentials Committee will still be required. 

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To apply for membership in the College please go to the Membership Categories page.  This page on the College’s website provides you with detailed information regarding the submission of an application.  If you have questions that are not answered in this section please email adminassist@cab-bc.org for further information.

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CPD or Continuing Professional development information can be found on the Continuing Professional Development page. Information regarding payment of dues can be accessed on the Registration and Application Fees page..  If you are a current member you can pay your outstanding dues at https://www.cab-bc.org/payment-forms/college-dues.

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Temporary withdrawal is available for members who are returning to school, for parental leave, and for medical or compassionate leave. If you plan on travelling, your only options would be to maintain your membership or resign and reapply or reinstate upon your return to practice.

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You will have to pay your full ‘active status’ dues for the year in which you plan to go ‘On Leave’ (due by December 31st of the previous calendar year). When you change your status to ‘On Leave’, the extra dues you paid to have ‘active status’ for the full year will be held by the College as credit and applied to your account when you reinstate your membership to ‘active status’. You will only have to pay ‘On Leave’ dues if your leave continues until the next dues payment period (i.e., there is no charge associated with your ‘On Leave’ status for the portion of the first year in which you changed to ‘On Leave’ status). 

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The College wants to ensure that all members, regardless of category, understand the obligations and restrictions of the category in which they hold membership.

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Dues Questions

No. As a regulatory body, the College has the option of charging GST and has chosen not to do so.

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Temporary withdrawal is available for members who are returning to school, for parental leave, and for medical or compassionate leave. If you plan on travelling, your only options would be to maintain your membership or resign and reapply or reinstate upon your return to practice.

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CPD or Continuing Professional development information can be found on the Continuing Professional Development page. Information regarding payment of dues can be accessed on the Registration and Application Fees page..  If you are a current member you can pay your outstanding dues at https://www.cab-bc.org/payment-forms/college-dues.

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College dues can be paid online by credit card, by mailing a cheque or money order, or by providing a credit card number to the office over the phone. (Important note: Before phoning in your card card number, make sure to fill in your declarations otherwise your payment cannot be processed).

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Temporary withdrawal is available for members who are returning to school, for parental leave, and for medical or compassionate leave. If you plan on travelling, your only options would be to maintain your membership or resign and reapply or reinstate upon your return to practice.

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You will have to pay your full ‘active status’ dues for the year in which you plan to go ‘On Leave’ (due by December 31st of the previous calendar year). When you change your status to ‘On Leave’, the extra dues you paid to have ‘active status’ for the full year will be held by the College as credit and applied to your account when you reinstate your membership to ‘active status’. You will only have to pay ‘On Leave’ dues if your leave continues until the next dues payment period (i.e., there is no charge associated with your ‘On Leave’ status for the portion of the first year in which you changed to ‘On Leave’ status). 

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The College wants to ensure that all members, regardless of category, understand the obligations and restrictions of the category in which they hold membership.

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Reserved Practice

The definition of reserved practice as it applies to regulators under the Professional Governance Act (PGA) means the ability to practice a profession is reserved for registrants of that regulatory body, with the exception of persons who may practice aspects of the profession in accordance with another legislation. Practically speaking, it means that a person must register with a regulatory body and meet all their professional, ethical and competency standards in order to offer their services as a professional when practicing within the defined reserved practice.

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The terms “practice rights” and “right to practice” have the same meaning as reserved practice, but reserved practice is the terminology that is used in the Act.

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Most activities within academia would fall outside of the reserved practice. If activities fall under the biology objective, then the individual would be required to be a registrant.

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Currently Engineers and Geoscientists of BC are the only regulator who regulates firms. (The Architects Institute of British Columbia will be the other regulator once they are brought under the Professional Governance Act.) The College continues to sit on the Advisory Committee on Firm Regulation with all our regulatory partners to monitor and advise on EGBC’s initiative. A key principle of this committee is to ensure that there is a streamlined and consistent approach to regulating firms.

At this time the College’s primary objective is the successful implementation of the Professional Governance Act, and most importantly reserved practice. We estimate it being at least five (5) years before starting to develop what firm regulation may look like for the College. This work will be done in collaboration with regulatory partners and firms.

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As per the PGA, a firm refers to a legal entity or combination of legal entities engaged in providing services in respect of a regulated practice. Firms may be small, specialized organisations or larger, multidisciplinary organisations. The regulation of firms pertains to the regulated practice of a profession and is not linked to reserved practice.

— OSPG staff

THE COLLEGE IS MONITORING THE WORK EGBC IS DOING REGARDING THE REGULATION OF FIRMS. THE PRIORITY RIGHT NOW FOR APPLIED BIOLOGISTS IS ESTABLISHING RESERVED PRACTICE. ANY INIATIVE ON FIRM REGULATION WILL BE DONE IN CONSULTATION WITH REGISTRANTS, THE FIRMS THAT EMPLOY REGISTRANTS AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC.
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Section 55 of the Professional Governance Act provides a pathway for reconciling any overlaps in reserved practices between two or more regulatory bodies under the PGA. By specifying the same area of practice in the professional regulation for each regulatory body granted that particular area of reserved practice, registrants of each specified regulatory body are permitted to practice in that area of reserved practice.

For example, the professional regulation for Engineers and Geoscientists BC identifies reserved practice in the area of “forest engineering” while the professional regulation for the Association of BC Forest Professionals identifies reserved practice in the area of “forest transportation systems”. This structure provides that registrants of both regulatory bodies may practice in the area of forest roads and crossings.

Any overlapping areas of practice identified in regulation may be further supported by practice guidelines jointly developed by multiple regulators. For example, the Professional Practice Guidelines – Legislated Riparian Area Assessments in British Columbia were prepared jointly by the College and other regulators to support professionals doing work under the then-current Riparian Areas Regulation.

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The College is currently working with OSPG to develop and define a path forward towards reserved practice. Once reserved practice is established, anyone practising within the defined scope will be required to register with the College.

— OSPG staff

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As per Part 5, Division 3 section 5-3(1)(c) of the College bylaws, retired registrants are “non-practicing” and must not provide professional opinions. This is not a change from the College of Applied Biology Act and Rules that were in effect until February 5, 2021.

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Implementation of the Professional Governance Act has no impact on trade agreements between provinces. Registrants already accepted through the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) will remain registrants of the College.

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Professional self-regulation is in provincial jurisdiction. Any registrant working outside of BC where registration is required (such as Alberta) should be registered with that provincial regulator. If you live out of province and work in BC you should be registered with the College. Furthermore, the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct still applies whether someone is working in the province or not.

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Section 1 -- Reserved Practice

The definition of reserved practice as it applies to regulators under the Professional Governance Act (PGA) means the ability to practice a profession is reserved for registrants of that regulatory body, with the exception of persons who may practice aspects of the profession in accordance with another legislation. Practically speaking, it means that a person must register with a regulatory body and meet all their professional, ethical and competency standards in order to offer their services as a professional when practicing within the defined reserved practice.

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The terms “practice rights” and “right to practice” have the same meaning as reserved practice, but reserved practice is the terminology that is used in the Act.

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Section 2 -- Outreach

Most activities within academia would fall outside of the reserved practice. If activities fall under the biology objective, then the individual would be required to be a registrant.

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Section 3 -- Regulation of firms

Currently Engineers and Geoscientists of BC are the only regulator who regulates firms. (The Architects Institute of British Columbia will be the other regulator once they are brought under the Professional Governance Act.) The College continues to sit on the Advisory Committee on Firm Regulation with all our regulatory partners to monitor and advise on EGBC’s initiative. A key principle of this committee is to ensure that there is a streamlined and consistent approach to regulating firms.

At this time the College’s primary objective is the successful implementation of the Professional Governance Act, and most importantly reserved practice. We estimate it being at least five (5) years before starting to develop what firm regulation may look like for the College. This work will be done in collaboration with regulatory partners and firms.

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Currently only Engineers and Geoscientists BC has been granted authority to regulate firms that provide engineering and geoscience services. The College may seek to regulate firms in the future, building upon the experience and lessons learned from EGBC. How multi-disciplinary firms may be regulated in the future is an important policy area that requires further development.

In those instances where a multidisciplinary firm employs professional biologists and engineers, EGBC will only be concerned with the oversight of engineering professionals.

— OSPG staff

The Professional Governance Act (PGA) gives authority to all regulators under the Act – including the College – to regulate firms, however at this point only Engineers and Geoscientists BC (EGBC) is moving forward starting on July 1, 2021. The other regulators are three to five years away from developing a similar program. Before the CAB moves forward with any firm regulation program we will engage with registrants and the public.

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The PGA enables a regulatory body to regulate firms when that regulatory body has been authorized through regulation and has developed the necessary bylaws to do so. Regulated firms must become registrants of the regulatory bodies and like individual registrants, must comply with the requirements of the PGA, subsequent regulations, and the bylaws of the regulatory bodies. Regulatory bodies can enforce requirements on their registrants.

— OSPG staff

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