Our History

Shortly after the First World War, it became evident 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 technical developments, and consolidate the work of the different agrology-related branches of science.

A group of five individuals was appointed to seek a solution, the result being the Canadian Society of Technical Agriculturalists (CSTA). Their inaugural convention was held in 1920, with Dr. L.S. Klinck of the University of British Columbia elected as President. 25 years later In 1945, the CSTA changed its name to the Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC).

The British North America Act gave provincial legislatures full power of formation, recognition, and control of all professional groups. As a result, the AIC could not gain professional status for its membership on a country-wide basis, and each province was required to form its own professional body for this purpose. In April 1947, the BC Legislature passed the Agrologists Act, creating the British Columbia Institute of Agrologists (BCIA). BCIA's Bylaws went into effect on June 1st, 1947. As it is today, the role of the Institute is to protect the public interest by governing the professional conduct of its membership and protecting the province's natural resources.  The agrology profession in 1947 was narrowly defined by today's standards, applying almost exclusively to those working in the agri-food industry.

In 2003, a new Agrologists Act broadened the focus to include the environment and natural resources. The new Act was part of a government policy to place greater reliance on the professions for regulating professional behaviour and the setting and maintenance of professional standards.

The Cabinet of British Columbia repealed the Agrologists Act and enacted the Professional Governance Act (PGA) on February 5, 2021.

The PGA provides a framework for five self-regulating professions.; agrologists, biologists, applied sciences technologists and technicians, engineers, geoscientists, and foresters. 

The enactment of the PGA also strengthened government oversight by establishing the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance (OSPG) under the Ministry of the Attorney General. The OSPG simplifies and standardizes how the five professions are governed under the PGA. 

Professional Governance Act Updates