What is a Professional Biologist?

A Professional Biologist...

...is bound by a strict code of ethics;

The ASPB code of ethics identifies four general areas of responsibility for its members:

  1. General responsibility to exhibit competency and integrity
  2. Public responsibility to provide current, accurate information and to encourage public discussion of biological issues;
  3. Professional responsibility to publish reports and disseminate biological information;
  4. Responsibility to the employer/client to give advice based only on professional qualifications, not to disclose confidential information, and not to use position or influence for personal gain.

...has increased credibility with the public;

Receiving a professional designation in ASPB demonstrates that your education and training credentials have met prescribed standards and that you undertake ongoing professional development activities to stay current in your field. The need is growing for professionals with recognized qualifications and training who are accountable for their actions.

...has increased credibility with government;

Increasingly the Alberta Government is requiring professional sign-off in key areas such as reclamation and remediation. Being a Professional Biologist means you can sign off on a plan, report, map, or any other form of document and that the regulators may rely upon the Professional Biologist for reporting.

...is required by many employers;

Many employers are requiring that their employees be regulated by a professional regulatory organization. Members of ASPB are bound to a strict code of ethics and are required to meet the academic, experience, good character and reputation criteria of membership in the Society. Professional members hold the right to the title “professional biologist", have document sign-off privileges, and are a credible and objective source of advice to clients and the public in the event of regulatory hearings. The disciplinary process of the society holds members accountable in the case of a client grievance, minimizing employer responsibility. Access to a professional network of peers, along with mandatory professional development requirements, ensures members will adhere to continued competence and standards of practice throughout their career in biology.

...has a protected title;

Only members in good standing can call themselves Professional Biologists and use the designation "P. Biol."

...is subject to a Professional Society's disciplinary process in case of grievances;

Being regulated means adhering to the ASPB Code of Ethics for the protection of the public. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action against the Professional Biologist.