Unlawful Practice

Report Unlawful Practice

If you have reason to believe a person is unlawfully engaged in the reserved practice of professional forestry or is unlawfully using a reserved title, please submit your concern to complaints@fpbc.ca or contact the compliance manager at 604.331.2329.

Professional Forestry is a Regulated Profession

Professional forestry in British Columbia is a regulated profession similar to engineering, law, chartered accounting, architecture, and dentistry.

As such, forest professionals are granted specific practice rights established in provincial legislation. Under the authority of the Professional Governance Act (PGA), Forest Professionals British Columbia (FPBC) is responsible for licensing and regulating the people practising professional forestry in BC.

FPBC works in the public interest by ensuring only those with the requisite education, experience, knowledge, and competence practise professional forestry. We do this by setting education standards for professionals to enter the profession; setting professional service practice standards, competency standards, and a code of conduct; and holding our registrants to account for following professional standards via a public complaint and discipline process.

As part of our mandate to protect the public interest, FPBC is empowered under the Professional Governance Act to take action against individuals who misuse reserved titles or abbreviations to imply they are registered forest professionals and entitled to practise professional forestry.

What is Professional Forestry?

Under the PGA, the practice of professional forestry is defined by regulation as providing advice or services in relation to trees, forests, forest lands, forest resources, forest ecosystems or forest transportation systems, or providing advice or services that are ancillary to those described.

The PGA also grants FPBC registrants the exclusive right to use a reserved title, such a Registered Professional Forester (RPF) or Registered Forest Technologist (RFT).

Additionally, the PGA contains the concept of reserved practice, which broadly means that the ability to practise a profession is reserved for registrants of that regulatory body, with the exception of persons who may practice aspects of the profession in accordance with another legislation.

In terms of forestry, this means that individuals registered with FPBC have the exclusive right to engage in the reserved practice of professional forestry and use reserved titles.

What is Unlawful Practice?

Unlawful practice, also known as practice infringement, occurs when an individual not registered and licensed with FPBC to practise professional forestry undertakes activities defined as the reserved practice of professional forestry.

Unlawful practice can also occur if an individual represents themselves as having a reserved title, such RPF or RFT.

Those at risk of committing unlawful practice:

  • individuals not registered and licensed by FPBC.;

  • former FPBC registrants whose registration has been cancelled; and

  • individuals who have non-practising registration with FPBC such as retired registrants, registrants on a leave of absence, standing non-practising registrants.

 Concerns About Unlawful Practice

If you have a concern about unlawful practice, contact the FPBC compliance manager. The compliance manager will provide a form to submit the details of your concern.

We may ask for additional information to support your allegations or we may speak to other parties to clarify the matter. Depending on the nature of the concern, FPBC may use other avenues of inquiry to understand whether there is non-compliance with the regulation.

If we determine that a person contravened the regulation, there is a range of actions that may be taken, such as sending a cease and desist letter to the offending party, pursuing court action to prevent further contraventions, and publishing notices to notify the public in the community in which the individual works.