The British Columbia Institute of Agrologists is a regulatory body which establishes standards for the competent and ethical practice of agrology in BC.
Through effective professional self-regulation, BCIA and its Members shall be consistently regarded by the people of British Columbia as upholding and protecting the public interest.
The mission of the British Columbia Institute of Agrologists is to ensure the professional integrity and competency of its members to protect the public interest in the sustainable use of resources.
The purpose of the institute is:
1. to uphold and protect the public interest by
- preserving and protecting the scientific methods and principles that are the foundation of the agricultural and natural sciences,
- upholding the principles of stewardship that are the foundation of agrology, and
- ensuring the integrity, objectivity and expertise of its members, and
2. subject to paragraph (1.),
- to govern its members in accordance with the Act and the bylaws, and
to cooperate with other professional or occupational bodies charged with governing the conduct or competence of their members on a matter the institute considers relevant to agrology.
Our Strategic Plan
Building and Maintaining a Strong B.C. Institute of Agrologists (BCIA)
The Council exists to implement the mission and mandate of the Institute. The Strategic Plan guides the actions of Council to meet its statutory role. Activities that are necessary to ensure compliance and that support the Institute’s mission include Governance, Conduct and Discipline, Professional Practise, Credentials, Executive management, and Communications. Council is promoting the following areas of interest to help meet the Institute’s mission and ensure integrity, objectivity and expertise of its members:
- Strengthening committees to direct activities that are necessary to ensure compliance of Council’s statutory role and to support the Institute’s mission;
- Maintaining standards of conduct;
- Providing a certification process that includes educational standards and professional development;
- Applying and promoting scientific principles;
- Communicating with the membership and Branches;
- Facilitating informed discussion and decision-making;
- Promoting the profession and liaising with other related associations.
Shortly after the First World War, it became apparent to a group of scientists working in Canadian agriculture, that it was essential to have an organization that could bring all agricultural scientists together, to discuss common problems, consider new findings and developments, and generally correlate the work of the various branches of science.
A group of five men were appointed to seek a solution, the result being the Canadian Society of Technical agriculturalists (C.S.T.A.). The first organizing convention was held in 1920 and Dr. L.S. Klinck, of the University of British Columbia was elected president. In 1945, the organization’s name was changed to the Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC).
The British North America Act gave full power of formation, recognition and control of all professional groups to provincial legislatures. Therefore AIC could not gain legal professional status for all its members on a country-wide basis and each province would have to form its own body for this purpose. In April 1947, the BC legislature passed the Agrologists Act, creating the British Columbia Institute of Agrologists (BCIA). The institute’s bylaws went into effect on June 1 of that year. As it is today, the role of the institute was to protect the public interest through the governing of the professional conduct of its members. Agrology in the 1947 Act was very narrowly defined, applying almost exclusively to those working in the agri-food industry. In 2003, a new Agrologists Act was brought into force. The new act was part of a general policy of government to place greater reliance on the self-regulating professions for policing professional behaviour and setting and maintaining professional standards.
Agrology, once almost solely concerned with agriculture, is now more broadly defined as:
“ ... using agricultural and natural sciences and agricultural and resource economics, including collecting or analyzing data or carrying out research or assessments, to design, evaluate, advise on, direct or otherwise provide professional support to:
(a) the cultivation, production, improvement, processing or marketing of aquatic or terrestrial plants or animals, or
(b) the classification, management, use, conservation, protection, restoration, reclamation or enhancement of aquatic or terrestrial ecosystems that are affected by, sustain, or have the potential to sustain the cultivation or production of aquatic or terrestrial plants or animals."
The BC Institute of Agrologists has over 1,500 members.