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BC Becomes First Jurisdiction to Grant Reserved Practice (Practice Rights) to Applied Biology Professionals

VICTORIA -- The province of British Columbia has granted reserved practice – or practice rights – to applied biology professionals making BC the first jurisdiction in the world to recognize the profession of applied biology as full partner in resource management. The amended Applied Biologists Regulation now clearly defines the practice of applied biology and delineates those functions that require the education and competencies of a registered applied biology professional.

“To get to this point we have been working for the past three and half years, consulting with registrants and other practitioners, reviewing and improving standards, processes and governance structures, and constructively engaging with our partners.” -- Christine Houghton, CEO, College of Applied Biology.


In practice, the new reserved practice for applied biology will require the use of Registered Professional Biologists (RPBio) or Registered Biology Technologists (RBTech) to carry out or supervise work in resource management activities that fall within the definition of “reserved practice” in the regulation. The addition of reserved practice ensures that applied biology practitioners are qualified, competent, and accountable by way of registration with the College.

“This is a significant step for the profession, for the province and most importantly the public whose interest we are here to protect,” said Brian Clark, RPBio, President of the College of Applied Biology. “It’s recognition of applied biology professionals’ critical role in the conservation and management of BC’s natural resources now and into the future."

Currently the College has almost 3,000 registrants. These professionals, working collaboratively with other resource management professionals, play an important role in resource management across a broad spectrum of activities such as environmental assessments, fish and wildlife management, habitat restoration, and marine and terrestrial monitoring.

The amendment to the Regulation -- and to the Agrologist Regulation, who have also been granted practice rights -- does not come into effect for a year (September 1, 2022) allowing those who may still need to register with the College time to apply and qualify as registered professionals.

“To get to this point we have been working for the past three and half years, consulting with registrants and other practitioners, reviewing and improving standards, processes and governance structures, and constructively engaging with our partners,” said Christine Houghton, CEO of the College of Applied Biology. “While there is still more to be done, this is an important milestone in the evolution of resource management in BC.”

If you have questions about reserved practice or its implementation, please consult the reserved practice FAQ.

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