Registered Professional Foresters (RPFs)

Registered Professional Foresters (RPFs) are responsible for looking after the forests, forest lands and forest resources of British Columbia along with other forest professionals.

  • The functions and accountabilities of an RPF are generally more broadly defined than other forest professionals and tend to address forest and landscape level issues including the design of complex forest management regimes to achieve long-term outcomes. 
  • RPFs are also called upon to make decisions such as when, where and how to harvest and reforest areas; how to rehabilitate ecosystems to ensure the protection of forest values including fish, wildlife and water.
  • To be a RPF requires a bachelor of science in forestry, or a different science-based degree in natural resource management specializing in forestry.
  • Once enrolled members have completed all their requirements, council will admit them as Registered Professional Foresters.


Scope of Practice Routes of Entry Apply for Membership Six Experience Areas Modules
Core Competency Requirements (ASFITs only) Articling Requirements Legacy Members Only - Exam

Scope of Practice

Refs are entitled to practice the full scope of professional forestry as defined in the Foresters Act.

Routes of Entry

There are three ways to become an RPF.

  1. Enter as a Forester in Training (FIT)
  2. Enter as an Allied Forester in Training (ASFIT)
  3. Enter as a Transferring Forest Professional (registered in another jurisdiction)

1. Enter as a Forester in Training (FIT)

Post-Secondary Education Requirements

A bachelor of science in forestry or natural resource management specializing in forestry from a Canadian or international university recognized by the ABCFP.

  • Canadian Forestry Accreditation Board (CFAB) accredited bachelor of science in forestry or natural resource management program specializing in forestry from a Canadian university recognized by the ABCFP.
  • The (CFAB) website lists Canadian forestry programs that meet FIT eligibility requirements.
  • You may be required to complete additional requirements prior to writing the RPF registration exam.
Work Experience Requirements

You are not required to have any work experience at the time your application is submitted, but...

  • Once you become enrolled as an FIT, you must complete 24 months of acceptable post-enrolment work experience under the guidance and supervision of a registered member. You are also required to complete the professional ethics and obligations and professional reliance workshops as part of your professional development. You are then required to write and pass the RPF registration exam.

Refer to the Registration Policy (2014) for complete details.

2. Enter as an Allied Science Forester in Training (ASFIT)

Post-Secondary Education Requirements
  • A bachelor or graduate degree in forestry, or natural resource management,  or a related science such as geography or natural resource conservation, not accredited by CFAB and from a Canadian or international university recognized by the ABCFP.
  • International Forestry Programs must be evaluated by the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) to determine if they meet our academic requirements.
  • A core competency assessment is required. Please see Core Competency tab below.
  • You will  be required to complete additional requirements prior to writing the RPF registration exam.

3. Transferring Forest Professional (RPF)

Eligibility Requirements

If you are a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) in another Canadian jurisdiction, you may qualify for recognition as a RPF in BC and be entitled to full practice rights in BC under the labour mobility provisions of AIT or TILMA.

Visit the Transferring Members page for more information.

Need more info?

Please contact the registration department.

Apply for Membership

Note: The information in this section pertains to only FIT and ASFIT candidates.

Become registered with the ABCFP in three steps:
  1. Become an enrolled member
  2. Complete the Registration Requirements
  3. Become a Registered Member

1. Become an Enrolled Member

  • Eligibility: Determine if you are eligible to apply for membership (see Routes of Entry)
  • Find a Sponsor
  • Apply and Pay Fees
    1. RPF Application Package (fillable PDF. If you are unable to open this file, please right-click the link and save the PDF to your computer and then open the file.)
    2. Submit the Enrolment Fee and the Membership Fee. See the Fee Schedule.
    3. Submit the application form with the required fees to admissions@abcfp.ca.

We'll review your application and get back to you. See the Application Process Chart for an overview of the application approval process.

2. Complete the Registration Requirements

Once your FIT or ASFIT application is approved by council, you are entitled to use the title 'Forester in Training' and the designation 'FIT'.

FITs abide by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice contained in the ABCFP Bylaws and complete the following registration requirements:

Read the specific registration pages for detailed information and see the Roadmap to Registration which illustrates how enrolled members proceed through the 6 experience areas, articling requirements, and competency requirements. Core competency checkpoints are for allied science members only.

For more details on becoming an enrolled member, see the Routes of Entry web pages and read the Registration Procedures.

3. Become a Registered member (Registered Professional Forester - RPF

After we've confirmed that you have completed all your registration requirements, we will forward the approval of your RPF designation to Council. Upon approval:

  • You will receive the title, Registered Professional Forester, and designate, RPF
  • You will be entitled to practice professional forestry in BC as noted in the Scope of Practice section
  • You will be required to meet the requirements for RPF membership
  • You will be sent and official Certificate of Registration
  • You will be able to order your designation stamp/seal, and/or your notarized digital signature.

Questions?

Please contact the registration department.

Six Experience Areas Modules

There are 3 main registration requirements for the RPF designation:

  • Six Experience Areas Modules
  • Articling Requirements
  • Core Competency Requirements (ASFITs only)

Our registration process is a module-based approach built upon 6 experience areas that the profession believes are critical for forest professionals. This process is designed to build knowledge and a professional mind-set from the moment a new member is enrolled.

The Six Experience Areas Modules Include:

  1. Regulation and Ethics
  2. Professional Reliance
  3. BC Forest Professionals Working with Aboriginal Communities
  4. Forest Legislation and Policy
  5. The Business of Forestry
  6. Communications Professional Advice

Read the Six Experience Areas Overview document for details. Modules are not intended to replace or satisfy post-secondary requirements or any core competency requirements necessary for membership. While some of the modules may assist with satisfying core competency requirements for allied members, they are not designed for this purpose.

ROADMAP TO REGISTRATION

The modules contained within the experience areas must be completed online via the learning management system (LMS). The modules include:

  • learning materials,
  • exams, and
  • professional document submissions.

All items must be successfully completed in successive order laid out in the Roadmap to Registration during the articling timeframe.

ORIENTATION WEBINARS

Learn more about the registration process through one of our orientation webinar recordings or watch our orientation view. Webinars provide an overview of the process, and although each webinar covers the same information, questions are unique to each session.

Click one of the links to watch:

Questions?

Please contact the registration department.

Core Competency Requirements (ASFITs only)

Note: The information in this section pertains to only ASFITs.

There are 3 main registration requirements for the RPF designation.

  • Six Experience Areas Modules
  • Articling Requirements
  • Core Competency Requirements (ASFITs only)

The Certification Standards for the Profession of Forestry in Canada are the minimum RPF Core Competency Requirements needed to practice  professional forestry across Canada. These standards are used to accredit university programs and to evaluate the competency of Registered Professional Forester (RPF) candidates.
The standards describe how much a candidate must know about:

  1. Tree and stand dynamics;
  2. Forest to landscape, structure and function;
  3. Forest management;
  4. Economics and administration of forestry;
  5. Communication, critical reasoning;
  6. Information acquisition and analysis; and
  7. Professionalism and ethics.

All enrolled members working towards the RPF designation must meet RPF Core Competency Requirements.

How Do I Know if I Have the Core Competencies to Become an RPF?

FIT program - Graduated from an accredited forestry degree program.

If you graduated from a CFAB accredited forestry degree program, within the last 10 years you have already met the core competency requirements through the completion of your program and will generally not be required to complete additional competency requirements during your enrolment period.

ASFIT program - Graduated from a non-accredited forestry or foreign program.

If you have not graduated from a CFAB accredited forestry program, you will need to complete the core competency assessment process once you have been accepted as an ASFIT.  This process will determine whether you meet the RPF core competency requirements or if you have any outstanding competencies which you will need to complete during your articling period.

When do I Get My Credential Assessed?

Once you are an enrolled member we recommend you get started on preparing your competency assessment right away.

Competency on the Roadmap to Registration

You must submit your core competency assessment application before you will be allowed to proceed to any of the modules after module 2a. If the assessment determines that you still have outstanding competency requirements to satisfy, they will all need to be completed before you can proceed to module 6a. See the core competency checkpoints in the Roadmap to Registration.

How Do I Get My Credentials Assessed?

ASFITs must prepare and submit a comprehensive credentials assessment portfolio to have their competencies evaluated through the CFPFA national credential assessment process.

The assessment process is evidence-based and takes into consideration both education and work experience.  It is a rigorous process; as an ASFIT the onus is on you to provide the necessary proof to demonstrate how and why you believe you have met the RPF core competency requirements.

Briefly, competencies completed through:

  • Post-Secondary Education must be supported with an official school transcripts and course outlines which contain detailed information on course content. See the Applicant’s Manual for examples of course outlines.
  • Work Experience must be presented in the curriculum vitae (CV) will require a detailed CV which contains information on specific duties and responsibilities performed. This is a separate requirement from the resume/work history submitted as part of your membership application or articling requirements.

The BC assessment is done in English. Documents that are in other languages will need to be translated into English at your expense. Transcript translations must be done by an official translator. For all other supporting documentation, we permit enrolled members to do their own translations only if they can get an RPF or RFT to sign-off on the translations. Note, this may not always be possible, check with us to see if we know a member who may be able to assist you.

Application Deadlines for the Credential Assessment Process

Portfolio submissions are accepted 4 times a year for review.

  • January 1 - winter assessment
  • April 1 - spring assessment
  • July 1 - summer assessment
  • October 1 – fall assessment

It takes time to gather the materials needed, select a target submission deadline and starting preparing your portfolio as soon as possible. Keep in mind that portfolios must meet the submission requirements outlined in the Applicant’s Manual and Supplemental Information document (available on the CFPFA website) before they are forwarded to the CFPFA assessors for review.

How Do I Start Preparing My Portfolio

Go to the credential assessment process page on the Canadian Federation of Professional Foresters Associations (CFPFA) website for information needed to prepare your portfolio.

  1. Watch the video – general overview of process
  2. Read the RPF Certification Standards which outlines the competency standards.
  3. Read the Applicant’s Manual which provides information on preparing your competency assessment portfolio.
  4. Read the Supplemental Information document which provides details on the latest competency assessment submission requirements.
  5. Review the Self-Assessment Matrix spreadsheet, the main document of your submission. When going through the matrix, make notes on the requirements you think you have already completed. This will also give you an idea of how close or far off you are from completing the requirements.
  6. E-mail the registration department to inform them that you are preparing your submission, include your target submission date. We will set-up your logon credentials to the CFPFA Upload Portal.
  7. Preliminary review. Once you have started preparing your portfolio e-mail the following to us to the registration department to confirm if you are on the right track:
    1. a copy of your self-assessment matrix,
    2. cv, and
    3. course outlines.
    4. The preliminary review process may take 2-3 weeks depending on the number of submissions received. Submit it as soon as possible, at least one month before the submission deadline at the latest.
  8. When your assessment portfolio is complete you will need to upload the final documents to the CFPFA applicant’s portal.

Each regulatory body accepts applications from their members on the behalf of the CFPFA. The ABCFP registration department will be your contact during the core competency assessment process. Information noted in the Supplemental Information that needs to be sent directly to us should be sent to admissions@abcfp.ca, including the following:

  • Your list of witnesses, and what they are attesting to competency or character or both.  We will upload the witness forms to your portfolio once all forms have been received.
  • Witnesses must e-mail the Witness Feedback Form to the registration department at admissions@abcfp.ca.  Competency witnesses must also include their biography or resume, and additional testimonials/endorsement about your competencies by citing examples of how he/she witnessed them. The information can be appended to the witness form or separate supporting document.
  • The CFPFA assessment fee of $525 ($500+tax) must be received by the ABCFP by the submission deadline. You can mail a cheque or money order (payable to: ABCFP) or pay by Visa or MasterCard over the phone.
  • Transcripts.  We will upload a copy of the transcripts you submitted to us at the time of application; you do not need to request another copy. Check with us to ensure we have all the correct copies. If there is any outstanding or missing information, let us know and have the school mail a copy of your transcripts directly to us.

Credential Assessment Results

Results will be communicated to you after the assessments are completed which is usually within 6-8 after the submission deadline.

 

  • If all of the competency requirements are met, you can continue completing your registration requirements (Articling and Six Experience Areas Modules).
  • If all of the competency requirements have not been met, you will be required to meet with the Board of Examiners Adjudication Panel to develop a professional development plan to complete your outstanding requirements, in addition to completing the articling requirements and Six Experience Area Modules.

How do I complete Outstanding Competencies?

If you have any outstanding competencies, you will need to meet with the Board of Examiners Adjudication Panel to develop a professional development plan.

As an ASFIT, it is normal to have some gaps/outstanding competencies. It is important to note that the farther off you are from meeting the core competency requirements the greater the chance that additional course work will be required.

Competency gaps/deficiencies may be addressed by completing courses, workshops, seminars, on-the-job training, or, where available, through a qualifying exam set by the association. Note the manner in which an outstanding competency must be completed will depend on the results of assessment as a whole and will be subject to the recommendation and approval of the Board of Examiners Adjudication Panel.

While we attempt to find online options for additional course work this is not always possible and is dependent on the schools. You should be prepared to have to take in person courses if online options are not available.

Questions?

Please contact the registration department.

Articling Requirements

Note: The information in this section pertains to only FITs and ASFITs.

There are 3 main registration requirements for the RPF designation.

  • Six Experience Areas Modules
  • Articling Requirements
  • Core Competency Requirements (ASFITs only)
Articling is Gaining Relevant Work Experience under the Guidance of a Sponsor (Registered Member).

Work experience gained during your enrolment period helps you be better prepared for registration and the rights and obligations of a practising professional. Compete details on articling requirements are contained in Articling Procedures.

ARTICLING TIMEFRAME

Enrolled members are required to complete 24 months of post-enrolment work experience within the articling time frame. As job markets fluctuate and employment opportunities vary, enrolled members have the following timeframe to complete all of their registration requirements.

  • FITs - 4 years (48 months)
  • ASFITs - 6 years (72 months). 2 additional years are given in case more time is needed to complete outstanding core competency requirements.

An extension to the articling period may be granted, if necessary. Please see the Articling Procedures for more details.

PURPOSES OF ARTICLING REQUIREMENTS ARE TO:

  • Expose you to a wide range of professional forestry practice;
  • Enable you to develop professional practice skills under the guidance of your sponsor and other registered members; and to
  • Expose you to the rights and obligations of a practicing professional, including those under the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice (which are binding on all members).

Your Work Experience:

  • Should cover as many of the areas of practice defined in the Foresters Act as possible. Your sponsor is expected to assist you in this regard and the Articling Procedures also provides resources that can help.
  • Must be gained after you apply for membership. Pre-enrolment work experience does not count towards this requirement unless noted in section 2 of the Articling Procedures. This rule is firm.
  • Must be directly related to professional practice. We will not normally consider work such as wood processing, agriculture, landscape gardening, horticulture, marketing, etc.
  • May include volunteer work, work done outside British Columbia, or a master's or doctorate degree.

ARTICLING ON THE ROADMAP TO REGISTRATION

In the learning management system (LMS), there will be 4 articling (work experience) checkpoints set at the 6th, 12th, 18th, and 24th months as noted on the Roadmap to Registration. You will be required to demonstrate that you have satisfied the minimum articling requirements by submitting your work history format o proceed to the next six experience areas modules. The first checkpoint is after module 2a.

As an Enrolled Member, You Must Have a Sponsor During Your Articling Period.

Among other things, your sponsor agrees to oversee your growth and development as you work towards becoming a registered forest professional.

WHO CAN BE A SPONSOR?

  • If you are looking for the FIT or ASFIT program, your sponsor must be an active or retired RPF in good standing.
  • Your sponsor can be your supervisor, a co-worker, an employer or someone else in the community.
  • A sponsor cannot be related by blood or marriage.

HOW TO FIND A SPONSOR.

  • Get recommendations or suggestions from colleagues.
  • Network within your community. Who do you look up to? Who are you comfortable with?
  • Use the public version of the member directory to identify individuals who live or work within our area.
  • Contact the registration department for assistance. We are currently collecting names of registered members who are willing to sponsor an enrolled member.

Your Responsibilities During Your Articling Period.

  1. Maintain frequent contact with your sponsor.
  2. Create a Professional Development Plan. Also see the Guidance for Developing an Enrolled Member Professional Development Plan.
  3. Maintain a Professional Practice Diary showing a record of your work experience and your exposure to the necessary practice areas. See the Professional Practice Diary Instructions and Professional Practice Diary example.

See the Articling Procedures for complete details about all of your responsibilities.

Your Sponsor's Responsibilities During Your Articling Period.

  1. Oversees your growth and development.
  2. Periodically reviews your Practice Diary and Professional Development Plan.

See the Articling Procedures for complete details about a sponsor's responsibilities.

Changing Your Sponsor

You may need to change your sponsor at some point in your articling period for various reasons (one person has moved, incompatibility, employment change, your sponsor can no longer maintain the commitment, or your sponsor ceases to be a member in good standing, etc.).

If you need to change your sponsor, you must:

  1. Discuss any changes with your old sponsor.
  2. Have your old and new sponsors discuss your professional development and experience to date. Your new sponsor will be signing off your work experience for your work history submissions moving forward.
  3. E-mail the completed Change of Sponsor form, which will be signed by you, your new sponsor, and your old sponsor to admissions@abcfp.ca.

**Remember, you must have a sponsor at all times during your articling period.

Questions?

Please contact the registration department.

Exam Requirements - Legacy Members Only

FITs and ASFITs completing the registration requirements under the legacy registration process (enrolled on or before November 30, 2015) - THIS NOTICE APPLIES TO YOU: 

We have adopted a new registration process, effective December 1, 2015.

In the procedures for enrolled members transitioning into the new registration process, 2107 is the final year the registration exams will be offered under the legacy process. Please note:

*Members who have not passed both the sit-down and take-home exams in 2017 must transfer to the new registration process.*
**Members who do not apply to transfer to the new process by November 20, 2017 will be removed from the membership roll.**

Members who have already transitioned to the new registration process or those enrolled on December 1, 2015 or later are not eligible to write the registration exams.

 

All RPF Candidates are Required to Write Both the Take-Home and Sit-Down Exams

Important Dates and Deadlines   

RPF sit-down exam application and fees are due

August 15, 2017

Sit-Down exam locations posted online

Mid-September 2017

RPF sit-down exam held on

October 6, 2017

RPF sit-down exam results announced 

Mid-November 2017


Additional Important Dates and Deadlines for Allied Science Members   

As noted in the procedures for enrolled members transitioning into the new registration process, ASFIT and FP members who would like write the registration exams must have satisfied all competency requirements to be allowed to write it. The following are the core competency requirements deadlines to be eligible to write the exam in 2017. Anyone who has not completed the competency assessment stages below by the prescribed dates will be required to transition to the new process.

Submit Complete Core Competency Assessment Package October 1, 2016
Complete Outstanding Competencies January 13, 2017

Take-Home Registration Exam

The final take-home exam was offered in January 2017. If your take-home exam requirement is outstanding, you must transfer and complete the new registration process. Apply to transfer to the new registration process.

RPF Sit-Down Registration Exam

The sit-down exam will be held for the last time on October 6, 2017. It is based on questions designed to test your understanding of professionalism (ethics) and forest policy. You must answer four of seven questions in four hours and the passing mark for the sit-down exam is 60%.

All enrolled members are required to meet the exam eligibility requirements of the Registration Policy (2014) and complete the professional development requirements to be eligible to write the sit-down exam. Specifically:

1. All core competency requirements must be completed by the end of August; and

2. All of the following professional development requirements:

Note: If you have not already passed the take-home exam requirement, we recommend you complete the new registration requirements. If you choose to write the sit-down exam, you will still be required to transfer to the new process to complete all of modules 3, 5, and 6. Review the Transition to the New  Registration Process for the online transfer application.   

Sit-Down Exam Locations

Exam locations are will be available in mid-September on the Exam Locations page.

Exam Applications

Before you apply, it is your responsibility to ensure you are eligible to write the registration exam.

For your application to be considered for the 2016 registration exams, the following must be received by August 15, 2017:

Preparing to Write the Exam

Many exam candidates begin studying up to a year or more in advance of writing the exam. We offer a number of resources designed to help you prepare for the exam.

Special Exam or Other Exam Requests

According to Section 8.3 of the Registration Policy, candidates may apply for an oral exam in lieu of the written sit-down exam or may apply for other special exam consideration due to medical reasons, learning disabilities or any other extraordinary circumstances. A detailed written request including supporting documents that may include medical records, professional learning assessments, letter of support from sponsor/mentors must be submitted and addressed to admissions@abcfp.ca by July 1st.

We will consider your request and decide whether or not it can be accommodated. We will work with you to assess what, if any, special arrangements may be appropriate.

All requests for special accommodations for the registration exams are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are at the discretion of the registrar. 

Getting Your Exam Results

After your exam has been marked and the list of successful candidates has been approved by council, the registration department will send each exam candidate an e-mail with a URL to the exam results. You will need to login with your ABCFP logon name and password to see the web page that contains your mark. You will not have access to anyone else's results. Sit-down exam results will be available in mid-November and the take-home exam results will be released in late-April.

Please contact the Registration Department if you have not received your exam results two weeks from the date we release the exam results.

Rewriting the Exam

2017 is the final time the take-home and sit-down exam will be held under the legacy registration process. If you have not passed both exams, you must transfer and complete the new registration process requirements. Apply to transfer to the new registration process.

Questions?

Please contact the registration department.