What is self-regulation?
Self-regulation is a privilege delegated to a professional group by the Legislature when it is clear that the public can best be served by regulating the profession. Certain professions perform activities that if carried on in a negligent or fraudulent way, can be dangerous to the public or contrary to the public interest1. Many well-known professions such as medicine, dentistry and law are self-regulated professions.
All self-regulated professions seek to protect the public against incompetence and misconduct. The ABCFP upholds the public interest respecting the practice of professional forestry by ensuring the competence, independence, professional conduct and integrity of its members and by ensuring that each person engaged in the practice of professional forestry is accountable to the association.
Like all self-regulated professions, the ABCFP takes its responsibility very seriously. We have a rigorous complaints and discipline process that is fair and transparent.
Who can lodge a complaint?
Anyone – whether a fellow professional or member of the public – can lodge a complaint against an ABCFP member. The ABCFP can only entertain complaints about our individual members and not their employers.
How can I complain about an ABCFP member?
The ABCFP has a complaints and discipline section on our website. It outlines the steps you need to take and explains what you can expect from the process. Complaints must meet four 'tests' before they are accepted by the ABCFP's registrar. All of these tests are explained on the website. There's even video that helps explain everything in plain language.
Our best advice for people wishing to lodge a complaint is to gather as much information as possible before submitting it to the ABCFP. The registrar will be your contact and will keep both you and the member you are complaining about informed every step of the way.
Will my complaint be taken seriously?
Absolutely! We pride ourselves on protecting the public's interests in BC's forests. We treat every complaint with care and work hard to ensure every party is kept informed each step of the way.
What happens to members who are guilty of breaching a bylaw or the Foresters Act?
There are a number of options including fines, remedial education, removal of practice rights and more. In addition, members who are found guilty of breaching the ABCFP's bylaws or the Foresters Act will have their name published in the ABCFP's member magazine as well as on our website.
Can I see all the complaints lodged against ABCFP members?
Yes. All closed complaints are published on our website. Complaints are filed by year they were lodged.
1 What does it mean to be a self-governing regulated profession?, by Robert Schultze, AASS, AACI, CAE, Journal of Property Tax Assessment & Administration, Volume 4, Issue 3.