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.
Note: Information on this page refers to the previous registration process. Information on becoming an RPF in the new process (April 27, 2016 onwards) will be posted here soon.

 

Routes of Entry Admissions Sponsorship
Articling & Pro-D Requirements Core Competency (ASFITs only) Exam

 

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.

Admissions

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

Become registered with the ABCFP in three steps.

  1. Apply
  2. Become an Enrolled Member
  3. Become a Registered Member

1. Apply

  • Determine if you are eligible to apply for membership (see Routes of Entry)
  • Find a sponsor.
  • Complete application form and submit it with membership fees.
    • 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 from your computer.)
    • Fees 

We'll review your application and get back to you.

2. Become an Enrolled Member

Once you have been granted enrolment status, you must complete the following steps:

  • Abide by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice contained in the ABCFP Bylaws.
  • Meet any outstanding academic, core competency, pro d, work experience and articling requirements.
  • Complete the sponsor program.
  • Pass the registration exam.

As an enrolled member, you are entitled to use the title Forester-in-Training and the designation FIT.

For more details on becoming an enroled member, read the Registration Policy (2014).

3. Become a Registered Member

After you've passed the exam and met all of the requirements of the enrolment period:

  • Council must approve your registration.
  • You must pay the appropriate fees before becoming registered as an RPF.
  • You will be sent an official Certificate of Registration.

Need More Info?

Please contact the registration department.

Sponsorship

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

As an Enrolled Member, You Must Have 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 applying as an FIT or FP, your sponsor must be an active RPF in good standing.
  • Your sponsor can be your supervisor, a co-worker, an employer or someone else in the community.
  • A sponsor can not 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 in your 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 the Articling Period

  1. Maintain frequent contact with your sponsor
  2. Create a Professional Development Plan
  3. Maintain a Practice Diary showing a record of your work experience and your exposure to the necessary practice areas.

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

Your Sponsor's Responsibilities During the Articling Period

  1. Oversee your growth and development
  2. Periodically review your Practice Diary and Professional Development Plan

See the Articling Policy 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 of you moves, incompatibility, employment change, your sponsor can no longer maintain the commitment, your sponsor ceases to be an active member in good standing, etc.).

If you need to change your sponsor you must:

  1. Discuss any changes with your old sponsor
  2. Submit a Change of Sponsor form signed by you and both your new and old sponsors.

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

Need More Information?

Please contact the registration department.

Articling & Pro-D Requirements

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

Articling is Gaining Relevant Work Experience Under the Supervision of a Registered Member

It is done during your enrolment period and helps you be better prepared for registration and the rights and obligations of a practising professional. Compete details on articling requirements are contained in the Registration Policy (2014).

The 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
  • Sensitize you to the rights and obligations of a practising 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 Policy also provides resources that can help.
  • Must be gained after you apply for membership. Any experience you gained before you applied for membership does not count toward the requirement.
  • 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.

Professional Development Requirements for Sit-Down Exam Writers

All enrolled members are required complete the following professional development requirements to be eligible to write the sit-down exam.

  1.   Professional Ethics and Obligations workshop
  2.  Professional Reliance workshop

Both must be completed by the end of August.

Questions?

Please contact the registration department.

Core Competency (ASFITs only)

Core competency requirements are the minimum common requirements for admission to the practice of professional forestry across Canada. The core competency standard is 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:

  • Tree and stand dynamics;
  • Forest to landscape, structure and function;
  • Forest management;
  • Economics and administration of forestry;
  • Communication, critical reasoning;
  • Information acquisition and analysis; and
  • Professionalism and ethics.

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

I graduated from an accredited forestry program.

If you graduated from an accredited forestry program, you have already met the core competency standards and will generally not be required to complete additional competency requirements during your enrolment period. You can enrol with the ABCFP as a Forester in Training (FIT). 

Note: applicants with degrees that are more than 10 years old will be assessed further to ensure that they have the required competencies.

I have not graduated from an accredited forestry program.

If you have not graduated from an accredited program, you will need to complete a credential assessment which will determine whether you have met the core competency requirements or if you will need to fill in any gaps during your enrolment period. Core competency deficiencies may be addressed by completing accredited courses, on-the-job training, or, where available, through a qualifying exam set by the association. You can enrol with the ABCFP as an Allied Science Forester in Training (ASFIT).

How Do I Get My Credentials Assessed?

ASFITs must have their competencies evaluated through a national credential assessment process*. For detailed information, the applicant’s manual, instructions and required forms, visit the credential assessment process page on the Canadian Federation of Professional Foresters Associations website.

*Note:  This is an evidence-based process; the onus is on you to provide the necessary proof to demonstrate that you have met the core competency requirements. 

Application Deadlines for the Credential Assessment Process

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

Credential Assessment Results

Results will be communicated to you after the assessments are completed which is usually within four months of the date you applied.

  • If all of the competency standards are met, you can continue completing the ABCFP’s articling and exam requirements.
  • If all of the competency standards are not met, you will be required to complete all of the outstanding competency requirements, based on a pre-approved professional development plan, while completing the ABCFP articling requirements.

Different Standards Apply If You Were Admitted Prior to June 2009

ASFITS and Forestry Pupils who were admitted prior to June 2009, under the old standards, have only until November 30, 2015 to complete their outstanding requirements under the original standards. After November 30, 2015, you will have to switch to the new standards.

Questions?

Please contact the registration department.

Exam

IMPORTANT NOTICE:    
The information on this page pertains to only FITs and ASFITs who enrolled on or before November 30, 2015 who are completing the registration requirements under the legacy registration process. 

The ABCFP adopted a new registration process effective December 1, 2015. Registration exams (sit-down and take-home exam) will be offered for the last time in 2017.  Enrolled members who have not completed the registration exam requirement by November 30, 2017, must transition to the new registration process. Read the procedures for enrolled members transitioning into the new registration process and the Transition to the New Registration Process page of our website for more information.

Members who have already transitioned to the new registration process or 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 take-home exam application and fee due

January 22, 2016

RPF take-home exam available

January 25, 2016

RPF take-home exam due

March 7, 2016

RPF take-home exam results announcement

Late-April 2016

RPF sit-down exam applications and fees are due

August 15, 2016

Sit-Down exam locations posted online

Mid-September 2016

RPF sit-down exams held on 

October 7, 2016 

RPF sit-down exam results announced 

Mid-November 2016

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

Take-home exam application will be available in mid-December. Take-home exam questions are generally released mid-January and exam papers must be submitted by end of February. The exam provides a test of your skills in writing and reasoning. You must answer one of the two questions and passing mark for the take-home exam is 60%. According to Section 8 of the Registration Policy (2014), FITs are eligible to write the take-home exam at any time during their articling period once they have completed all core competency requirements and once they and their sponsors are in agreement that the candidate is prepared and can dedicate the time and energy required to complete the take-home exam.

Visit the RPF Take-Home Exam page for exam applications, questions and details on exam procedures.

RPF Sit-Down Registration Exam

The sit-down exam is held on the first Friday in October. It is based on questions designed to test the candidates' 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:


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, 2016:


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 the ABCFP registrar by August 1st of the year you intend to write the exam.

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

Refer to the Registration Policy (2014) and the Supplemental Policy: RPF and RFT Registration Exams for full details.

Questions?

Please contact the registration department.