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What is the College of Applied Biology?

The College of Applied Biology is the regulator in British Columbia of Applied Biology Professionals (ABPs) working with natural resources. The College has been delegated authority by the Government of British Columbia under the College of Applied Biology Act (2002) to register and give title (designation) protection to applied biology professionals in BC.

What does title protection mean?

Title protection means that only a registrant of the College of Applied Biology is legally allowed to use the following titles in British Columbia (BC).

  • Registered Professional Biologist (RPBio, R.P.Bio.) or Professional Biologist
  • Registered Biology Technologist (RBTech or R.B.Tech.)
  • Applied Biology Technician (ABT or A.B.T.)
  • Biologist in Training (BIT or B.I.T.)
  • Registered Biology Technologist in Training (Trainee RBTech or Trainee R.B.Tech.)
  • Applied Biology Technician in Training (Trainee ABT)

What is the purpose of the College of Applied Biology?

The College’s mandate is to uphold and protect the public interest, uphold the principles of stewardship of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and biological resources, and ensure the integrity, objectivity and expertise of its registrants.

How does the College of Applied Biology protect the public interest?

The College protects the public interest in a variety of ways including setting high standards for entrance to the College and for College registrants.

How are natural resource professionals regulated in British Columbia?

There are five natural resource professional regulatory bodies specific to their field of practice such as, applied biology, forestry, agrology, engineering, geoscience, applied science in BC. However, this is changing in fall 2020 when the Professional Governance Act (PGA) will be fully enacted.

Who are the natural resource professional regulatory bodies in BC?

The natural resource professional regulatory bodies in BC are the 1) College of Applied Biology, 2) Association of Forestry Professionals of BC, 3) Engineers and Geoscientists of BC, 4) BC Institute of Agrology and 5) Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC.

What does the Professional Governance Act (PGA) mean for natural resource professionals?

When the PGA is fully enacted, all natural resource professionals working in BC will be required to be a registrant of or to be working under the supervision of a registrant of a natural resource professional regulatory body regulated by the PGA.

What does the Professional Governance Act (PGA) mean for the College of Applied Biology?

The College of Applied Biology (the College) currently regulates registrants under the BC College of Applied Biology Act (CABA). However, when the PGA is fully enacted, CABA will be repealed and replaced by the College of Applied Biology Regulations. The College is currently going through a transition period to be compliant with the PGA and are making changes to the College’s governance and operations.

What does the Professional Governance Act (PGA) mean for registrants of the College of Applied Biology?

To comply with the PGA, the College is and will continue to implement changes over the next few years. One change will be to the mandatory Continuing Professional Development Program (CPD) being changed to the Continuing Education Program (CEP). Registrants will be notified and informed of all changes.

What is a registrant?

A registrant is an individual who is registered with one of the five natural resource professional regulatory bodies under the Professional Governance Act in BC. The College of Applied Biology is moving away from the term member to the term registrant.

What are the employment opportunities as an Applied Biology Professional (ABP) in natural resources in BC?

Applied Biology Professionals in natural resources have several employment opportunities in BC. They work in a number of sectors that include government (federal, First Nations, provincial, municipal), environmental, industry, consulting and non-profit. However, many employers require ABPs to be registered with a natural resource professional regulatory body such as the College of Applied Biology. The Professional Governance Act (PGA), when fully enacted, will require ABPs in BC to be a registrant or to be working under the supervision of a registrant of a natural resource professional regulatory body.

What does an Applied Biology Professional (ABP) registrant in the College of Applied Biology do?

An ABP registrant of the College of Applied Biology practices within the five applied biological sciences, botany, zoology, ecology, biochemistry or microbiology, and applies their knowledge to the management, use, conservation, protection, restoration, or enhancement of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, biological resources within these ecosystems, or influences the practice/profession of applied biology.

What are the standards for applicants to the College of Applied Biology?

The College has standards for applicants in 1) knowledge, which includes education and training, 2) skills and abilities, which includes work experience and professional practice competencies, 3) references to verify an applicant’s work experience and competencies, and 4) mandatory training, e.g. professional ethics.

What are the standards for registrants of the College of Applied Biology?

Registrants are required to comply with the 1) College of Applied Biology Act, 2) College’s Code of Ethics, 3) mandatory Continuing Professional Development Program, and 4) the mandatory Audit and Practice Review Programs.

What does a Registered Professional Biologist (RPBio) do?

An RPBio identifies project parameters; develops experimental design; designs data collection standards; plans, implements and manages experimental design or protocol; analyzes and interprets data; and writes professional reports including conclusions and recommendations. An RPBio practices independently and has full authority (granted by the College of Applied Biology) to sign off and seal work products, as long as they work within their area of expertise.

What does a Registered Biology Technologist (RBTech) do?

An RBTech plans, implements and manages experimental design or protocol; calibrates equipment and collects data; troubleshoots data collection; enters data and provides summary information; and prepares technical data reports and contributes to professional reports. An RBTech can practice independently and has full authority (granted by the College of Applied Biology) to sign off and seal work products, as long as they work within their area of expertise.

What does an Applied Biology Technician (ABT) do?

An ABT assists in the collection of baseline biological, biophysical and cultural data; conducts monitoring and onsite testing; assists with mapping and report preparation, operational and monitoring assignments and with the installation and maintenance of field and laboratory equipment. An ABT works within their area of expertise under the supervision of another natural resource professional such as an RPBio or RBTech.

What is a Biologist in Training (BIT)?

A BIT has met the knowledge (education and training) standards of an RPBio but has not met the skills and abilities standards such as 3 years of work experience, professional practice competencies, report, scientific communication, or a combination. BITs do not have authority to sign off or seal work documents and can practice applied biology under the direct or indirect supervision of another natural resource professional such as an RPBio.

What is a Registered Biology Technologist in Training (Trainee RBTech)?

A Trainee RBTech has met the knowledge (education and training) standards of an RBTech but has not met the skills and abilities standards such as 2 years of work experience, data report, or a combination. Trainee RBTechs do not have authority to sign off or seal work documents and shall practice applied biology under the direct supervision of another natural resource professional such as an RPBio or RBTech.

What is an Applied Biology Technician in Training (Trainee ABT)?

A Trainee ABT has met the knowledge (education and training) standards of an ABT but has not met the skills and abilities standards for work experience. Trainee ABTs must work under the supervision of another natural resource professional such as an RPBio or RBTech.

Can students register with the College of Applied Biology?

A student can be a member of the College of Applied Biology. However, they are not eligible to be a registrant of the College as they have not met the knowledge and skills and abilities entrance standards for registrants.

What does it mean to be a student?

To be a student member in the College of Applied Biology requires an individual to be enrolled in a minimum of three courses per semester at a post-secondary institution in a program leading to education credentials suitable for meeting the admission requirements of the College.

What if I am currently a member of the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists (ASPB)?

A Labour Mobility Agreement (LMA) is in place between the College of Applied Biology and the ASPB to comply with the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA). The LMA and NWPTA allows all professional biologists in good standing from Alberta to apply for registration in the College of Applied Biology and all Registered Professional Biologists from BC are able to apply for membership in ASPB without going through the normal application process and vice versa.

 

https://www.aspb.ab.ca/college-of-applied-biology-applicants

 

https://www.cab-bc.org/aspb-professional-biologists

What if I am a Chartered Biologist with the Royal Society of Biologists (RSB)?

There is a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between the College of Applied Biology and the Royal Society of Biology (UK). This agreement allows Chartered Biologist (CBiol) with the RSB to become a Registered Professional Biology with the College of Applied Biology and vice versa. 

https://www.rsb.org.uk/

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