Experience Requirements

For P. Biol. and R. Biol. only. To view experience requirements for R.T. Biol. please click here

An applicant must have three years of experience in the practice of biology within the previous ten years.  Generally, the experience clock starts upon meeting the academic requirements for membership, usually from when the degree is granted.
The Professional Biologists Regulation defines “practice of biology” as: 

-Inventorying, surveying, sampling, interpreting, reporting, evaluating and advising on activities related to biological sciences;
-Preparing, administering and implementing plans or programs for managing biological resources;
-Conducting research activities related to biological sciences; and
-Teaching biological sciences at a university, college or technical institute.

The key is to demonstrate that your work was BIOLOGICAL. Work such as soil and water sampling, or managing environmental programs that focus on emissions inventories is not considered biological, unless you can explain your tasks as they relate to the interaction with living organisms.

Your work should also include a range of the activities. For example, only doing inventory work does not provide a sufficient breadth of practice. However, designing, undertaking and preparing reports related to the inventory work would demonstrate a wider range of experience. 

If your role includes only part-time practice of biology,  provide a quantification of the experience you have in the practice of biology at each position. For example, “…as a proportion of time, 30% of my full-time hours were dedicated to the practice of biology”, or provide the number of days, weeks or months of full-time equivalents.

You can download the Practice of Biology experience document here and review examples here.
Your application to become a P.Biol. or R. Biol. is not the same thing as a job application! You must complete the application form that can be downloaded when you apply. The application must be worded to show exactly what you did to obtain the experience and how that work meets the requirements specified in our regulations. Do not say you participated in a project, but be specific as to your role. Use verbs like: collected, developed, designed, directed, enforced, handled, improved, implemented, observed, presented, reported, solved, and trained.

Common problems encountered with applications are:

1. The length of time, and when, the experience was gained are not clear. Avoid this problem by providing information about when, and for how long, you were involved in the tasks that you are using to provide evidence of your experience.

2. The role of the applicant in a specific task is unclear. For instance, the Registration Committee does not know if applicants who say they were “involved in an environmental impact assessment” did biological work, provided field survey logistical support, or did the report word processing. Therefore, clearly and specifically explain your role in work of a biological nature (e.g., “I designed the fisheries survey program, conducted the field survey, and wrote the report” instead of “I was involved in a fisheries survey.”)

3. The biological nature of the task is unclear. This is particularly problematic with candidates who use Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments as evidence of biological practice. These tasks usually do not include a substantive component of biological practice. Clearly describe how biological practice was involved. This must go beyond comparing analytical results to established standards.
Yes. A postgraduate degree in a biological science and the work experience associated with it are considered to be equivalent to one year of experience in the practice of biology (provided academic requirements were met with the undergrad degree). If you have both a master’s and doctoral degree in a biological science, each may count as one year of experience. Note that a postgraduate degree in science does not automatically qualify as a postgraduate degree in biological science. 

If your post-graduate degree(s) is required to meet the academic requirements, then it can not count towards experience.
If you met the academic requirements with your bachelor's degree, then work experience in biology gained after will count towards the three year requirement. If you did not have enough biology courses in your undergrad and need your graduate degree, then the experience clock will start upon completion of your graduate degree, and that degree cannot be counted for work experience.
It depends. If the work contributed to your degree, then it is already included in the one-year experience that is allowed for the degree. If the work was biological and not associated with your degree, then it may count towards the experience requirement. You must clearly demonstrate that the work was not related to your degree.
There is no requirement to be a BIT or RBIT prior to application for P.Biol. or R. Biol.
No. In most cases, the Registration Committee will only assess work experience obtained after the completion of your university degree.