Complaints - Q & A

Is my complaint confidential?

Your complaint will be treated confidentially unless required by law. Anonymous and confidential submissions will only be disclosed to persons who need to know in order to carry out an investigation of the complaint.

Will my complaint cost me money?

The Institute does not charge a fee to file a complaint or to investigate a complaint. You are responsible for the cost of your time if a hearing is required and for any witnesses, you choose to bring. If you decide to hire a lawyer or hire other outside expertise you will also be responsible for their costs.

Are there any complaints that the Institute will NOT investigate?

The Institute will NOT investigate complaints such as (but not limited to):

  • A dispute over fees or contractual terms and conditions
  • Concerns outside the practice of Agrology
  • Rumors or innuendo not supported by facts

How long will it take for my complaint to be resolved?

The Institute will do its best to resolve complaints as quickly as possible. Because there is a range of possible actions resulting from a complaint, there is no defined complaint resolution period.

Will the Institute help me resolve a dispute with another party?

The Institute may be able to refer you to another agency but our current resources do not include direct mediation or dispute resolution.

The industry is like a family, the registrants often know each well. The Institute's Code of Ethics suggests that it may be appropriate to discuss your concerns directly with the other party as a first step. In all circumstances, it may be possible to have a constructive conversation without the situation turning into a damaging battle. The complaints process is available when that option does not seem realistic.

What is required to become registered?

Review the Process of Registration.

Where can I find information on the Code of Ethics?

Read the Code of Ethics.

How can I find out if someone is registered or if there are any conditions on a registrant's practice?

Search the Institute's registry using List of BCIA Registrants.

What if I believe someone is practising Agrology and using designation/title without being registered with the Institute?

If you believe that someone who is representing themselves as an Agrologist is not registered you may use the Complaints Process or call the BCIA office at 250-380-9292.

Practising Agrology and using designation/title without being registered is known as unauthorized practice, and it is illegal in most circumstances.

The Professional Governance Act and other provincial laws exist to protect the public interest against individuals who are using designation/title and providing advice that only a qualified registrant of the Institute is allowed to do. The BC Institute of Agrologists will take appropriate action to protect the public when these laws are broken and the Institute is informed.