1. When is the annual registration fee (membership dues) renewal period?
Annual registration fees are paid annually between November 15, 2020 and February 15, 2021. BCIA Bylaws require that annual fee renewal payments are received no later than February 15, 2021.
2. What is the 2021 Annual Registration fee?
The current fee structure for practicing registrants was approved by the attending registrants at the May 31, 2018 Annual General Meeting. Other categories remained the same.
- Practicing Registrants - PAg & RTAg $475.00 AAg & ATAg$415.00
- Non-Practicing Registrants - On leave, all categories $75.00 PAg(Ret) $50.00
- Others - Student $0.00 PAg(Ret 75+) $0.00
3. Will I get an invoice?
A PDF invoice will be sent via a link within an announcement/reminder email OR directly go to the BCIA profile and log-in at www.bcia.com >Dues Invoices/Receipts. You will receive a “reminder” email of fees a week before the start of the renewal period and several more thereafter up to February 15, 2021.
4. What are my payment options?
- Credit Card (VISA or MASTERCARD). To pay with a credit card, log-in to your BCIA account at www.bcia.com using your username and your password OR call the BCIA office to provide a credit card over the phone.
- Cheque (may be post dated). Pay by cheque payable to BC Institute of Agrologists (BCIA). If someone else is paying on your behalf, please include your last name and registration number on the cheque.
- Payments via credit card phone-in or cheque will not be processed until the 2020 PD Report is complete. Ensure that your 2020 PD hours are claimed accurately and completely, including your declared area(s) of practice. PAg(Retired) members are exempt from reporting PD hours.
5. Will I get a receipt?
- Online payments generate an automated email processing receipt.
- Payment by credit card phone-in and cheque an email processing receipt is sent once the registrant'sPD report is satisfied.
- All registrants have access to their official BCIA receipt located in the BCIA profile under 'Dues Invoices/Receipts', for viewing and/or to print.
6. What if I did not receive an invoice?
Check your BCIA profile under 'Dues Invoices/Receipts' and if missing then contact the BCIA office before February 15, 2021 to ensure an invoice is generated for payment. This will ensure you avoid a late fee.
7. What if my status has changed and I am no longer practicing agrology in BC?
If you are no longer practicing agrology your registration status will change. If you know you will not be practicing in 2021 complete a change of status form found online which includes a declaration stating that you are not working in agrology in any capacity. This form ensures your current situation is accurate in the database and are taken out of the annual PD Audit pool while a non-practicing registrant.
8. What are my Professional Development obligations as a BCIA Registrant?
Continuing competence will be demonstrated through recorded professional development (PD). Professional Development Reporting allows registrants to record activities under the categories. The Professional Development Guidelines (with case study examples) provides registrants with more detailed information on how to report Professional Development (PD) and the minimum of Professional Development Hours (PDH) to be reported plus equivalents. Practicing (regulated) members (PAg/RTAg & AAg/ATAg) are required to complete and accurately report a minimum of 125 PDH over a three-year period (ending with the current reporting year) with no less than 30 PDH annually. On leave registrants are required to complete and accurately report PD hours but at a minimum of 50% of the PDH requirement, and the reduction is only during the time on leave. Registrants must also declare their areas of practice annually.
9. Can anyone else pay my annual renewal fee?
Yes, third parties such as your employer can pay on your behalf. Payment can be made by credit card or by cheque. Make sure your name and registration number are indicated in the payment for tracking purposes. Your PD report for the reporting year must be claimed accurately and completely prior to your payment being processed.
10. Is there a late fee if I don’t pay on time?
We commit time and money to following up on renewals that are not paid on time. We do this partly as a service to registrants and partly to ensure that anyone who is using designation and title that we are aware of is registered – as is required in The Act. Therefore, a late fee will be added if your annual registration payment is not received by February 15, 2021. This is so that other registrants do not disproportionally bear the cost of the added time and expense of following up on late payments. The late fee may be reconsidered if a circumstance exists that is beyond your control and made on time payment impossible.
11. What will happen if my fees are not paid on time?
Your registration and membership will be considered late and a late fee will be added effective February 16, 2021. If the registration fee and late fee have not been received by March 31, 2021 your registration will be deemed to have been forfeited and your registration will be discontinued on April 1, 2021. We initially assume that you did not pay your fees because you are not using title and practicing agrology in BC. If we cannot get in touch with you as part of the follow-up procedures, your name will be removed from the register of active registrants.
12. Can I pay my annual fee in installments?
If you would like to request an installment plan please contact BCIA's Financial Officer, Seija Laukkanen at firstname.lastname@example.org. The full amount of your annual fee is still due by February 15, 2021, but you may request arrangements to make multiple payments over the invoicing period from November 2020 - February 15, 2021.This will be assessed on a case by case basis and the registrant will be required to pay a $25.00 administration fee for this service.
13. What if I just let my registration lapse? Can I renew some other time?
If you are practicing Agrology and wish to use the professional designation you must remain registered, otherwise you are carrying on illegily. If you do let your registration lapse and no notice is provided indicating your intentions with registration, a registered letter is mailed out with instruction on how to reinstate registration and a timeline to do so with associated fees.
14. What do I need to do to become reinstated?
Email the Deputy Registrar at email@example.com and indicate your current situation. To place you back into active regulated status, a “reinstatement” process is followed. The process includes application via a request form, payment of Annual Registration fee for the year leaving including late penalty fee, and a reinstatement fee. If applicable, the Annual Registration fee for the year returning will be applied to the above fees.
15. How does BCIA protect online renewal information including credit cards?
We use a secure, well known platform to accept and process online payments to BC Institute of Agrologists. The company provides payment, risk management, and authentication solutions to some of North America’s leading companies and institutions. Financial data transmitted through the payment site is encrypted through an SSL certification process that keeps your credit card and payment information secure.
16. What are the fees for?
Agrology is a regulated profession in Canada and in BC. BCIA is the organization that regulates the Agrology profession in BC. The system is called professional self-regulation and it replaces direct government regulation. The cost of regulation of a profession is paid by the registrants of the profession, not by the public through taxes (the Canada Revenue Agency does recognize your professional fees, read below).
Fees are to support meeting the requirements of the “Agrologists Act” and "Professional Governance Act". Understandably a significant portion of the fees collected goes to the cost of human resources – the people in the office who do all of the tasks associated with regulating a profession in the public interest. One of the largest cost areas is related to registration. Other areas include support for Council and committees, support for Agrologists Canada, as well as normal office costs such as rent, developing and maintaining the web platform and data management system, and communications.
17. Are my fees tax deductible?
The Canada Revenue Agency recognizes professional registration fees required to keep a professional status recognized by law that were paid by you or for you as tax deductible if related to the work you do (for complete details consult the Canada Revenue Agency website: www.cra-arc.gc.ca).