Internationally Educated Applicants

The College of Applied Biology (the College) has a broadly based membership that includes biologists educated around the world. The College is committed to providing internationally educated applicants with the information necessary to self-assess their qualifications so as to aide in the application process. To that end, the College has created the following document.

Information Sources

Many organizations provide information to internationally educated applicants regarding the necessary credentials required to practice applied biology in BC. For example, bioscience career profiles presented by ECO Canada may be misleading to those wishing to pursue these careers in BC. The education recommended does not reflect the regulatory reality of applied biology in BC. Those wishing to pursue these careers in BC may be required to have professional title and may not be eligible due to deficiencies in education.

Therefore, it is important that applicants become aware of College requirements so that they can make informed educational and professional decisions in order pursue their profession of interest. It is important that applicants wishing to pursue a career in applied biology in BC educate themselves, through this document, regarding the requirements needed to achieve professional recognition and registration.  To this end the College has developed an online academic self-assessment tool to aid the internationally educated applicant to self determine if their academic education meets the requirements of the College.  This tool can be accessed by going to the accreditation tool.

CAB Membership Categories

The College offers a variety of membership categories that are reflective of different professional skillsets required in the profession. Click here for more information about membership categories.

Registered Professional Biologist (RPBio)

RPBio is the highest qualification level offered by the College; therefore, registration requirements are proportional to this level of achievement and experience.  The College continues to contact and work with similar organizations around the world that share our vision and commitment to the highest standards in professional biology.

You may be eligible for streamlined College registration provided for in a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with the Society of Biology.

The Society of Biology (SB) is a leading professional body in the United Kingdom (UK) that represents many learned societies and organizations as well as thousands of individuals in the biological sciences. The SB’s vision is to create a single unified voice representing the discipline and practitioners. The SB holds right to title for Chartered Biologist (CBiol) and sets the professional standard for biology in the UK. CBiol registration is representative of the elements of practice required by a professional and is recognized as the benchmark for professional biology in the UK. The SB is committed to:

  • ongoing professional learning and requires and promotes Continued Professional Development for all members;
  • increasing public engagement in the sciences by  providing evidence-based opinion and advice to government and policy makers while engaging with educational institutions in support of the discipline; and
  • developing international partnerships in support of members, organizational goals, and the discipline.

The following sections provide information needed to understand the RPBio application process and self-assess your qualifications in order to help you decide whether you wish to apply for membership with the College. 

What qualifications are required to become a RPBio?

To become a RPBio you must satisfy the five (5) requirements, as outlined on the Registered Professional Biologist page.

How do I know if my qualifications are equivalent?

It has been the College’s experience that the largest obstacle to the recognition of internationally educated applicants’ qualifications is education equivalency. It may be confusing and complex to attempt to compare your education with the CAB requirements that are based on the Canadian education system. The College has investigated this problem and has provided the following information in an effort to aide you in self-assessing your education credentials.

I am a member of the Society of Biology

If you are a Chartered Biologist from the Society of Biology, you may be able to utilize an established Mutual Recognition Agreement for streamlined RPBio registration.

For more information go to the page providing more information on the Mutual Recognition Agreement with the Society of Biology.

For those individuals who meet this requirement there is a streamlined College application form.  Applicants must also submit a form to the Society of Biology to confirm their active membership. 

I am applying from the United Kingdom

If you were educated in the United Kingdom and are wishing to pursue a career in professional biology in British Columbia (BC) you can self-assess your education through the Quality Assurance Agency's Framework for Higher Education Equivalency (QAA-FHEQ). It is recommended that you determine which level of education you have within this framework. Those with QAA-FHEQ 5 or lower education will not meet the education requirement of the College. Regardless of your education level you will still be required to have your course transcripts evaluated, at your expense, by a credential evaluation service, such as WES or ICES, and submit them to the College as part of the standard application process.

I am applying from Europe (excluding the UK)

If you were educated in Europe and are wishing to pursue a career in professional biology in BC you can self-assess your education through the Framework for Qualifications of the European High Education Area (FQ-EHEA). It is recommended that you determine which cycle of education you have within this framework. Those with education that is below completion of first cycle will not meet the education requirement of the CAB. Regardless of your education level you will still be required to have your course transcripts evaluated, at your expense, by a credential evaluation service, such as WES or ICES, and submit them to the College as part of the standard application process.

I am applying from outside Canada and the United States

If your education was completed outside of Canada or the U.S. , you will be required to have your education transcripts evaluated, at your expense, by a recognized credentialing service such as WES or ICES, before they are submitted to the College. This evaluation is advisory only and does not guarantee recognition of your qualifications.

I think I am qualified; how do I apply to become a Professional Biologist (RPBio)?

If you do not meet the criteria of the MRA with the Society of Biology the following instructions outline the application process to become a RPBio.

  1. Complete the application form for mail in Registered Professional Biologist  or on line submission at Registered Professional Biologist 
  2. Have your education transcripts accredited by a recognized credentialing service such as WES or ICES before they are submitted to CAB.  You must also submit, to the College, course descriptions for the courses listed on the transcripts. Again, it is recommended that you refer to Schedule 3 and the Academic Worksheet for information regarding required academic course work.
  3. Complete a chronological summary of your work experience.  See the Work Experience Worksheet for help in completing this requirement.  Please provide a clear description of tasks/duties in your employment history.  
  4. Complete the Professional Report Worksheet in which you will demonstrate the requirements stated in the worksheet through the submission of one (1) to three (3) professional reports.  If you are submitting a mulit-authored paper where you are not the lead author you will need to submit by mail Authorship Declaration Form or on line Authorship Declaration Form to confirm your role in the publication or report. 
  5. Ensure you have forwarded reference requests, outlined in the application form, to three (3) referees. 
  6. Include the application fee and annual dues (credit card information, a cheque or money order in Canadian funds) as outlined on the application form.  The annual dues will not be processed unless and until your application is approved.
  7. Ensure all correspondence and documents are in English. If you are submitting a thesis ensure your abstract is in English.
  8. Prior to registration as an RPBio you will have to complete the online College course and exam in professional ethics.   Please see Professional Ethics Requirement for more information.

I have applied, how do I find updates regarding the status of my application?

The College has a tracking page to provide you with a summary of documents received and those still outstanding. You will be sent a unique username and password to access this information.  The information is updated regularly and can be viewed at anytime.

How long does the application process take?

Once ALL required documents have been received, it takes the College approximately 8 - 10 weeks to complete the assessment of your application.

Can I get my documents back?

College policy is to return all reports submitted to meet the professional report requirement. The College will return all academic material submitted as part of the education requirement upon request.

Additional Questions?

For any further questions please contact the Registrar by email at [email protected] or by phone at 250-383-3306 and we would be happy to assist you.

Mutual Recognition Agreement with Society of Biology

If you are an active member of the Society of Biology you may be eligible for streamlined RPBio registration. The College and the Society of Biology have established a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) that provides for the automatic recognition of the majority of the credentials of a Chartered Biologist (CBiol) with QAA-FHEQ Level 6 or higher education, allowing for streamlined registration.

  Chartered Biologist Level   RPBio Education Requirement
  QAA-FHEQ Level 8   Eligible for MRA
  QAA-FHEQ Level 7   Eligible for MRA
  QAA-FHEQ Level 6   Eligible for MRA
  QAA-FHEQ Level 5   Ineligible
  QAA-FHEQ Level 4 or below   Ineligible