Welcome to the home of the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists (ASPB). As a professional society and self-regulating body, the ASPB is committed to the promotion of excellence in the practice of biology.
The ASPB represents biologists in government, industry, consulting, education, not for profit and enforcement. The Society’s main purpose is to regulate the professional practice of biology in the Province of Alberta to protect the interests of the public. The ASPB is the only organization that is registered under Provincial laws, and it achieved this status in 1991 after approval of The Professional Biologists Regulation and the Alberta Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act. Registration of the Society gives its members the exclusive use of the title “Professional Biologist” and its abbreviation “P. Biol.”
Dream a Little Bigger!
The ASPB’s Board of Directors has set the Society on a course that will take us through this current period of considerable growth and beyond. As one Board member put it, “We have advanced far beyond a small collective of like-minded individuals and we now have the potential to provide so much more to the membership and the public. We need to dream a little bigger.”
One of the first orders of business in this regard will be to re-brand the ASPB visually and match that to our website, which will be fully re-designed. Our current website has grown organically over the years, with new features being added when needed as opposed to sitting down and planning for all of the needs to begin with. As our developer puts it, “This ‘technology stack’ has essentially hit its ‘end-of-life’ and is no longer supported, similar to how Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft. Another way to show how old the website is: when it was launched there was no such thing as an iPhone!”
Our members and other website users can look forward to:
- Members’ Only pages will be cleaner and easier to use
- New applicants applying to the ASPB will find the process easier
- All users will find information more intuitively
- Staff can update the entire website (saves money on developer costs)
- A more professional, cleaner look and feel for a professional regulatory organization, instead of a “club” look and feel
On the subject of a more professional look and feel, the re-branding process the Board has approved will involve the professional design of a new logo. Another Board member commented, “I was recently thinking that our current logo does not represent the entire breadth of biology. Currently, there is a focus on the environmental and wildlife components, and I feel a logo re-design is an opportunity to reach out to a broader constituency. It is a lot of change but in my view that is a reflection of our growth and the need to stay current.”
Over the ASPB’s history (remember, 2015 is our fortieth anniversary!) there have been two distinctly different logos, as well as a modification of the one we use today. Current marketing philosophy points out that logos should be about identifying and branding a company and not about trying to cover everything an organization represents. Consider, as an example, the Nike swish: it is not a drawing of a sportswear, yet when you see the swish on event posters you know immediately that Nike sponsored the event.
With this in mind, our members will want to be prepared to vote on two logo options which the designers will present. We’ll use “Survey Monkey” to make that a straightforward exercise, with a relatively short turnaround. Stay tuned; this will likely happen in the next six weeks!
And remember the principles of logo use: logos must be:
- Simple – good logos are unique, without being overdrawn.
- Memorable – again, that too is about simplicity!
- Versatile – can it be printed in one colour? In reverse colour (light on dark)?
- Resizable – can it be made smaller and still be recognizable, or as large as a billboard?
- Appropriate – as a professional society, we will want a professional font and colour
- Timeless – needs to last 20 years
These are exciting times at the ASPB!
New Membership Categories and Proposed Changes to Experience Category Approved by Membership at SGM
A motion to accept changes to the experience requirements, as well as three motions to accept new membership categories Registered Technologist in Biology, Professional Technologist in Biology, and Biological Technologist in Training passed at the ASPB Special General Meeting on May 27, 2014. The meeting was held Edmonton and Calgary, where the venues were linked through web and teleconference.
The passing of these motions mark the beginning of a lengthy process involving provincial government approval of both the experience requirement changes and the new membership categories. The ASPB Board and Executive Director, along with government legal staff, will spend several months developing the wording for the new regulations, and both the government representatives and the ASPB Board expect to have the documentation ready for the membership to vote upon at the 2015 Annual General Meeting. Only then will the new regulations package be taken to the Legislature for final approval.
The ASPB will not accept new members under R.T.Biol. and P.Tech.Biol. until the regulations have passed through the Legislature, but may be able to accept BTTs (Biology Technologists in Training) as non regulated members should the membership vote in favour of this at the AGM 2015.
A Draft Copy of the Draft of Member Categories and Experience Requirements is available HERE
GST will now be added to Professional Biologist membership fees beginning June 1, 2014
Because of the significant discount offered to members for ASPB events such as the annual conference and wetlands workshop, the ASPB must begin charging GST on all Professional Biologist (P. Biol.) membership fees (as per CRA Information Bulletin rc4081-13e). This will begin June 1, 2014 for any new Professional Biologist member, and any existing member who has not yet renewed their membership. This does not impact anyone who has already renewed this year; however, next year you will be required to pay GST.
This change does not impact BIT or Student members who already pay GST on dues.