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Mandatory training for RAR assessments and upcoming RAR course deadline

Please see the following message from FLNRO below following up from last year's Striking a Balance report

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Dear Colleagues:

We hope you are enjoying a fantastic and productive summer.

As you may be aware, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) is working towards implementing recommendations to improve the Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR). These recommendations were made by the office of the BC Ombudsperson in their March 2014 Striking a Balance report. As the RAR is delivered through a professional reliance model, the ombudsperson’s report covers a range of topics relating to Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEPs).

At this time, we would like to draw your attention specifically to the Ombudsperson’s Recommendation #5:

“The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations take steps to amend the Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) to ensure that successful completion of a training course is mandatory for all individuals who are eligible to conduct assessments under the RAR and that a list of individuals who have successfully completed the course is publicly available”

This note is to inform you that we expect that this mandatory training requirement for QEPs conducting RAR assessments is expected to come into force within the next 12 months. As you may be aware, a standardized RAR training course is currently offered regularly in locations across the RAR region through the Vancouver Island University (VIU) Natural Resources Extension Program. As the course is currently optional we are encouraging all professionals that work with the RAR that have not yet taken the course to consider doing so in advance of its becoming mandatory, as we expect that interest in the course will increase as the deadline for certification approaches. The course is also useful to local government staff and others who support the implementation of the regulation.

Information on the RAR course can be found on the VIU NREP website at: https://www2.viu.ca/nrep/environment/rar.asp     

The next course offering will be in North Vancouver, beginning on September 1. As of August 18 there are spaces available in this course, our understanding is that a minimum number of registrants will be required by Thursday August 20 for this course to go ahead.  

We thank you for your interest and attention to this issue and encourage you to contact us with any questions.

Best,

Andrew Appleton

Riparian Areas Regulation Resource Specialist

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Resource Management Objectives Branch

3rd Floor, 1520 Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC   V8W 3K2

phone:  (250) 356 1157

[email protected]