New Reserved Practices Established for the College of Applied Biologists and the BC Institute of Agrologists.
The Professional Governance Act (PGA) provides for regulated professions to have practice rights. Currently each of the five regulatory bodies under the PGA have title rights, meaning that only registered professionals may use the titles granted to them by regulation. This is helpful for employers, clients, and the public to delineate qualified, competent practitioners who are held accountable for their practice. Engineers and Geoscientists BC and the Association of BC Forest Professionals also have reserved practice rights, meaning that it is a requirement for someone to be registered with those regulatory bodies in order to practice in a defined scope of practice. The ability to set out reserved practices helps ensure that unqualified, unregistered people are not carrying out work that requires the knowledge and skills of a professional.
Until the PGA came into force, biologists, agrologists and technology professionals did not have the ability to obtain reserved practice rights, meaning that there have been instances where advice and services have been provided by unregistered and potentially incompetent individuals who would not be held accountable to standards of ethics, competence, and professional conduct set by the regulatory body. The setting out of reserved practices for biologists and agrologists (work continues to determine appropriate reserved practices for technology professionals) represents an important step towards a strengthened professional governance framework and greater public interest protection. It is also the first instance in Canada where biologists have been given reserved practice, and expands jurisdiction where agrologists have reserved practice, signaling the importance placed in B.C. on these professions and their role in resource management and environmental protection.
The College of Applied Biologists (CAB) currently has over 2800 registrants and the BC Institute of Agrologists (BCIA) has over 1800 registrants. After extensive collaboration and consultation over the past three years, CAB and BCIA will gain reserved practice areas that will be restricted to qualified professionals who are registered with CAB or BCIA. The regulations creating these reserved practices will have a delayed implementation and will require individuals practicing in the field of applied biology and agrology to be registered with the appropriate regulatory body by September 1, 2022. This delay in full implementation is to prepare individuals for the changes to come and allow the regulatory bodies to take the appropriate steps to ensure readiness.
For more information, please see the Practice Rights Key Messaging and Q&A page.