College of Applied Biology Applicants

On April 1, 2009, the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) came into effect. The TILMA states that any worker certified for an occupation by a regulatory authority of British Columbia or Alberta shall be recognized as qualified to practice that occupation by the other province. In 2010, the Governments of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan signed the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) to replace TILMA. As of 2016, Manitoba has also joined.

Under the NWPTA, the ASPB is required to recognize any worker who is currently as a  Registered Professional Biologist (R.P. Bio.) in good standing with the British Columbia College of  Applied Biology (BC-CAB) as eligible for registration as a Professional Biologist in Alberta.

As a P Biol or a RPBio, NWPTA allows for a recognition of eligibility for registration; it is not a transfer of registration. Registering in each organization creates two separate registrations – one in the ASPB and one in BC CAB - and each registration has separate fees paid to separate regulators.

A R.P.Bio from British Columbia who wishes to become a P. Biol. in Alberta is required to complete an ASPB membership application form, be confirmed as an R.P.Bio in good standing by the BC CAB Registrar, and pay the ASPB membership fee. All regulated members must also complete an ethics quiz as prescribed by the Association. To start the process of becoming an ASPB member,please fill out an online application form showing that you are a BC CAB member, then request a form be sent to you by emailing [email protected]. After you complete the form sent to you, please submit to BC CAB for processing.

You can access the application by clicking on "Join Now" at the bottom left of this page. Once in the application select "NWPTA - RPBio to P. Biol." as the membership type per the below screen shot:

For biologists in Saskatchewan and Manitoba where the practice is not regulated, they must meet the requirements of ASPB and apply as a new applicant.

Alberta’s obligations under the CFTA vis a vis British Columbia

In Alberta, the only regulated category for biologists is professional biologist (P. Biol.) Therefore we have a labour mobility obligation to recognize other professional biologists who are certified in Canadian provinces and territories and who may be seeking certification in Alberta. Alberta’s labour mobility obligations only extend to certified workers who are fully certified and not to workers with an “in training” designation or who have yet to meet all of the requirements for full certification/registration.

Unregulated occupations in Alberta (registered biologists, registered biologists in training, registered biologist technologists and registered biologist technologists in-training) fall outside of Alberta’s labour mobility obligations under Chapter 7 (Labour Mobility) of the CFTA or Article 13 (Labour Mobility) of the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA).

Under the Canadian Free Trade Agreement, if an Alberta registered technologist in biology applies for certification in British Columbia (where the occupation is regulated) they are going from a jurisdiction where their occupation is unregulated (Alberta) to a jurisdiction where their occupation is regulated (British Columbia). In this case an Alberta registered technologist in biology would need to apply as a new applicants in British Columbia; they cannot apply through labour mobility as their occupation is not regulated in Alberta. It would then be up to British Columbia to determine if Alberta’s registered technologist in biology meet their entry-to-practice requirements (including occupational standards) to be certified in British Columbia.

Categories other than Professional Biologist (P. Biol.) should seek to satisfy the requirements of the BC College of Applied Biology as set by their governing body and legislation.