The definition of the regulated practice of applied biology under the Professional Governance Act is detailed in the Applied Biologists Regulation. The definition has not changed significantly from that under the College of Applied Biology Act (CABA) and is summarized below.
“The practice of applied biology means providing advice or services based on the five biological sciences of botany, zoology, microbiology, ecology and biochemistry, and relates to aquatic or terrestrial ecosystems or the living organisms, habitats or processes within or that supports that advice or services. The practice of applied biology does not include the provision of advice or services within the reserved practice of a registrant of another regulatory body (e.g. Engineers and Geoscientists of BC, Association of BC Forest Professionals).”
Implementation of reserved practice is the culmination of over three years of policy work between the College, its regulatory partners, the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance and the government of BC. Reserved practice also represents one of the original goals of the College itself, to recognize and value the importance of applied biology professionals in the natural resource sector.
Professional Governance Act
Reserved practice was also foundational to the development of the Professional Governance Act:
THE PGA IS INTENDED TO “STRENGTHEN AND FOCUS THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF PROFESSIONAL REGULATORY ASSOCIATIONS” AND TO “EXTEND[S] PRACTICE RIGHTS TO THESE PROFESSIONAL REGULATORY ASSOCIATIONS THAT CURRENTLY HAVE THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO THEIR PROFESSIONAL TITLES BUT NOT EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO PRACTICE THEIR PROFESSION”.
– Hansard – Minister G. Heyman, October 30, 2018
Reserved practice contributes to effective protection of the public interest and the ultimate goal of the PGA, which is work in the natural resource and built environments done by qualified, competent and accountable professionals.
The College of Applied Biologists recognizes and respects that Indigenous traditional knowledge and professional applied biology are complementary practices in managing and protecting natural resources. As such, the reserved practice for applied biology does not include Indigenous traditional practices in resource management.
Effectively, as of September 1, 2022, anyone practicing applied biology as defined in the Applied Biologists Regulation must be registered with the College of Applied Biology, however, the College is allowing a grace period for practitioners to apply for certification with the College. The College’s process for compliance and enforcement with reserved title and reserved practice can be found in the reserved practice compliance plan.
If you have questions about reserved practice or its implementation, please consult the reserved practice FAQ.