The British Columbia Institute of Agrologists is committed to continuing professional development to ensure that Registrants are continuously adding to their professional knowledge and skillsets.
The Professional Development Guidelines (with case study examples) provide detailed information on how to report Professional Development and the required minimum amount of hours.
Continuing education will be demonstrated through recorded professional development (PD). Professional Development Reporting allows Registrants to record agrology related-activities in these categories:
- Professional Practice
- Continuing Education
- Professional Contributions
- Professional Service
Program Overview and Requirements
It is the responsibility of each Registrant to accurately record an ongoing record of participation in professional development activities in order to assure the public of their expertise in their declared practice area(s).
Registrants can and should choose professional development activities that maintain, improve and expand their skills and knowledge, and are relevant to their practice area(s) or support the development of a new area of expertise.
Registrants are expected to sign in to their BCIA profile and go to the PD Reports section to report PD activities on an ongoing basis. In addition to reporting Professional Development activities under PD Reports, Registrants are encouraged to maintain a personal detailed record of all professional development activities, including the dates, locations, subject material, and a rationale on what was learned and how that relates to the Registrant's area of practice.
Practicing Registrants are required to complete and accurately report a minimum of 30 PDH per year, an average of 42 PD hours (PDH) annually, with a minimum of 125 PDH over three years. Non-practicing Registrants are required to report a minimum of 50% of the annual PDH requirement during their time on leave and declare practice area(s).
|Annual Hours||Three-Year Period Hours|
|Continuing Education (CE)||10 PDH||50 PDH|
|Total PD hours (including CE hours)||30 PDH||125 PDH|
Reporting Professional Development
When reporting PD, Registrants should document:
- the topic or title or article
- the area of practice/relevancy to the profession
- the type of activity, i.e., webinar, tour, seminar
- the date of activity
- the length of activity
- a short description of the activity
Additional information (including tutorials) on Reporting Professional Development are available under Reporting Professional Development
Registrants are required to self-declare their practice area(s) annually.
A practice area is defined as a unique functional area of professional practice within the agrology profession, which requires specialized knowledge based on education, work experience, and skill sets. If the activities are performed for protective purposes as defined within the Agrologists Regulation, that work is considered within the reserved practice of the profession.
A Registrant is allowed to self-declare in as many practice areas as the Registrant is qualified for and competent in.
The new BCIA Practice Areas were implemented as of September 1, 2022. There are 12 recognized Practice Areas across five different practice sectors listed by BCIA.
Download the Practice Areas - A Summary for BCIA Registrants and Applicants document for detailed information.
Relevant Professional Development
Relevant professional development should relate to either:
- the Practice of Agrology as defined under the Professional Governance Act
- special knowledge areas relating to the performance of professional activities
The Practice of Agrology is defined as:
a) Advice or services that are
i) based on agricultural or natural sciences or agricultural or resource economics, and
ii) relate to
(A) Cultivation, production, improvement, processing, marketing or management of aquatic or terrestrial plants or animals,
(B) Classification, management, use, conservation, protection or enhancements of aquatic, terrestrial or atmospheric ecosystems that are affected by, sustain or have the potential to sustain the cultivation or production of aquatic or terrestrial plants or animals, or
(C) Restoration, reclamation or remediation of aquatic, terrestrial or atmospheric ecosystems;
All Agrologists are expected to maintain knowledge within five particular areas as related to their declared practice area(s).
Policy and Regulation
Each Registrant of BCIA is required to maintain current knowledge of the Agrologist Regulation, its amendments, and any other provincial legislation and or policies relevant to the broader agrology profession in BC and their particular practice areas and activities.
A global consensus now exists that the climate is in an unprecedented state of change and that an overwhelming driver of this change is human activities . Furthermore, this change rate impacts everything from natural ecosystems to agriculture to public infrastructure. These impacts are expected not to be in the public interest, with rare exceptions. To address these challenges and avoid the worst of these impacts, Agrologists are expected to show due care in providing their advice and services by maintaining knowledge and expertise in four specific activities within their practice area:
- The mitigation of climate change.
- The mitigation of the impacts of climate change.
- Adaptation to climate change.
- The adaptation to climate change impacts.
All Registrants of BCIA are expected to maintain knowledge concerning ethical standards of not just the BCIA but of the expectations of broader society, including legal recourse.
Professional Boundaries and Limits to Practice
BCIA is one of five regulatory bodies currently governed by the PGA. In performing their tasks, Agrologists may find themselves in situations where professionals of regulatory bodies under other legislation may also be engaged.
Registrants of the BCIA are expected to have a clear understanding within their practice areas as to where their authority borders that of the Registrant of another regulatory body. It should be clearly understood that there can be no overlap between the reserved practices of two regulatory bodies (unless the overlap is legislatively recognized), but rather that the practices can compliment each other.
Registrants of all regulatory bodies subject to the PGA are explicitly required to facilitate the provision of knowledge to their Registrants for facilitating reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in the province of BC as per section 57 (1) (f):
57 (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the council of each regulatory body must make bylaws establishing the following:
(f) continuing education programs or requirements that support reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia;
Recording Professional Development
Registrants are required to record their Professional Development hours under the following four categories.
1. Professional Practice
Professional Practice is the work a Registrant has done over the past year related to agrology, as defined, either practicing actively or influencing how agrology is performed through professional activities. (Professional activity areas common to most practice areas include: supervision, regulatory, policy, education, project management, climate change, indigenous relations, and research). A minimum of 30 hours of work per week is defined as full-time.
Registrants who work part-time or who are not employed for a full year should estimate the percentage of work performed. Registrants should not report work that is not related to agrology or the performance of professional activities. (i.e., bookkeeping, construction)
NOTE: No more than 10 PD hours can be reported annually under this category.
|Full Time 100% = 10 PDH||Half Time 50% = 5 PDH|
2. Continuing Education
Continuing Education activities have clear learning objectives to assist the Registrant in maintaining their professional competence. Except for self-study, these learning activities may occur during or outside of work hours. A minimum of 50 PDH over a three-year period with no less than 10 PDH should be declared annually under the Continuing Education category.
Self-Study is defined as non-interactive professional development activities which are conducted outside of regular work, such as; reading articles, journals, books, viewing podcasts, and recorded webinars. No more than 15 PDH can be claimed as self-study under 2.1.2 and 2.2.2 combined.
Contact Hours are limited to no more than 30 PDH per course (based on three credit post-secondary courses – in class or online). Homework is considered self-study.
2.1 General Professional Learning
This includes activities that assist a registrant in maintaining due diligence and aid the registrant in practicing as a professional but are not directly related to their declared areas of practice or agrology as defined. Examples include: report writing, business skills, ethics, and indigenous relations. Certifications (WHMIS, First Aid) required for employment should not be considered.
2.1.1 Formal General Professional Learning
1 Contact Hour = 1 PDH
Structured courses or formal training that involves formal assessment for credit or certification, and that are provided through Universities, Colleges, Technical Institutions, industry and employers, including those by correspondence or the internet. To be considered for this category, an examination or formal evaluation of participant learning is typically required.
2.1.2 Informal General Professional Learning
1 Contact Hour = 1 PDH
This includes learning activities with no formal assessment such as short courses, workshops, seminars, live webinars, field tours, or clinics. Additional sources can also include self-study through books, journals, recorded webinars and other electronic sources.
2.2 Agrology Professional Learning
This includes activities that assist a registrant in maintaining competence in their declared areas of practice or to develop competence in new agrology-related areas of practice.
2.2.1 Formal Agrology Professional Learning
1 Contact Hour = 1 PDH
Structured courses or formal training that involves formal assessment for credit or certification, and that are provided through Universities, Colleges, Technical Institutions, industry and employers, including those by correspondence or the internet. To be considered for this category, an examination is typically required.
2.2.2 Informal Agrology Professional Learning
1 Contact Hour = 1 PDH
This includes learning activities with no formal assessment such as short courses, workshops, seminars, live webinars, field tours, clinics. Includes most BCIA branch and conference PD activities, tours, etc. Additional sources can also include self-study through books, journals, webinars and other electronic sources.
3. Professional Contributions
Activities which provide a service or learning opportunity to the community or other professionals and increase the registrant’s knowledge base outside of regular work activities.
3.1 Formal Instruction
1 Unit = 5 PDH
Formal instruction of an agrology-related course, workshop or training provided outside of the registrant’s regular work. Usually requires an assessment of the participants.
1 Unit = 5 PDH
Publishing a profession-related article, position paper or similar publication in a trade journal, magazine, bulletin, conference proceedings or on the internet; publishing a refereed paper or book; writing and /or producing training materials in various media (print, video, CD, etc).
1 Unit = 2 PDH
Conducting technical, scientific or professional presentations as a guest speaker or presenter at a conference, meeting, seminar, field tour, webinar, etc.