Professional Biologist

This category designates individuals who fully meet requirements for academic, experience and good character. A P. Biol. has voting privileges in the ASPB, and may hold office as a Board of Director. Only a P. Biol. may use the protected title Professional Biologist or the abbreviation P. Biol. A Professional Biologist must also participate in the continuing competency program.


A P. Biol. must hold a four year undergraduate and/or graduate degree(s) in the biological sciences from a Canadian university, or equivalent. The Registration Committee considers a university bachelors degree is equivalent to a biology degree if it includes 25 science courses of which 15 courses are in the biological sciences, and where four or more of the biological science courses are at a senior level (i.e., third or fourth-year).

An applicant should arrange for university transcripts and proof of degree to be sent directly from the university to the ASPB office. For applicants with education completed outside Canada, they must submit a third party evaluation of their academics, such as IQAS. More information is available on the FAQ for Applicants located here.


A P. Biol. must have three or more years of practice in biology earned after graduation (i.e., after academic requirements have been met). Usually it is expected that the experience must have been obtained not more than ten years prior to the application. An applicant with an M.Sc or Ph.D will be given one year’s biology practice credit for each degree.

The practice of biology is defined 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.

Experience in biology may also be evidenced by

  1. Preparing, administering and implementing policies, plans or programs for managing biological resources,
  2. Assessing compliance with Acts, regulations, directives, standards and guidelines related to biological sciences and environmental support systems, and
  3. The conservation, decommissioning, reclamation, remediation and improvement of the environment.

Applicants are welcome to identify other areas of biological experience not included above in their applications.

Good Character and Reputation

An applicant should provide the names of three referees who are knowledgeable about the applicant’s professional experience as a biologist and their character and reputation. At least one referee should be a P. Biol. If a P. Biol. is not available, a professional from another recognized professional organization will be acceptable. Preferred referees include the applicant’s current employer, previous employer or supervisor. Only two letters of reference will be accepted from a current employer.

All P. Biol. applicants must complete an ethics course as prescribed by the Society before becoming a member in good standing.  Professional Biologists must then maintain continuing competency requirements on a yearly basis.


Before applying under this category, please read the FAQ PAGE,where you will also find a "Quick Start Information Sheet" with screen shots of the application process.

Apply to become a Professional Biologist here.

Don't forget to send your official sealed transcripts to our office listed at the bottom of the website. They are required to assess your application.

Please note: The average turn around time for an application has been around 6 months. This includes receiving all documentation, to review, to a decision. You can check the status of your application on your profile at anytime.  We will contact you if information is missing from your application, or when  a decision has been made.