1. Why are we changing the process?
The ABCFP has consistently heard from new members and employers that the current registration exams are cumbersome and not the best tool for measuring readiness for professional registration. We wanted to create a better system -- a more efficient and effective system that would prepare forest professionals to work with their employers on the forested land base. We also wanted to remove access barriers and time constraints so that our members can access the system anywhere, anytime, from any device. This new system is a series of modules based on six experience areas which are the foundational information needed to become a professional member. The online module registration process allows members to work at their own pace within their enrolment period. The success rate for enrollees is designed to be 100%; however, it may take some people more time than others to complete all the components.
2. Is the process the same for all member categories?
The modules being offered apply equally to enrolled members working towards the RPF, RFT and NRP designations. Document submission requirements may vary slightly in order to align with the appropriate scope and practice areas.
3. When does the new process start?
The new online modules will be available on April 27, 2016.
4. Are applications for the new process being accepted now?
Yes, you can apply submit a membership application today and start accumulating work experience as soon as your application has been accepted. People who apply on or after December 1, 2015 will automatically be enrolled in the new process.
Members who enrolled on November 30, 2015 or earlier have the choice of completing their original registration requirements by 2017 or transferring to the new process. Applications for transfer are now being accepted; see the Transition to the New Registration Process page of our website for details.
5. Are there exams in the new process?
Yes. Exams will be required in two experience areas: Regulation and Ethics and Forest Legislation & Policy. These effectively replace the current exams, as the experience areas relate to professional regulation and forest policy. The fundamental difference with these exams is that they will be offered online. Exams will still require a passing grade; however, opportunity will be given for more than one attempt. In order to retake an exam, the ABCFP will require the candidate to observe a waiting period of one month before being allowed to retake the exam. Candidates in this situation will need more than two years to complete the process.
6. What will the new process cost?
The cost of the new process is similar to the old one. Under the old process, enrolled members paid a minimum of $630 (application fee, exam fee and mandatory workshops) and many paid $900 (the other fees plus the cost of the policy review seminar and the Writing the Best Exam workshop).
Under the new process, members who enrolled on December 1, 2015 onwards will pay $1,000+tax which will include all of the modules. The fee covers the cost of delivering the new registration process; it does not reflect the hundreds of hours of volunteer work that went into developing the system and the content for the modules. The ABCFP's registration process is still cheaper than many professional associations. By way of context, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists charge $1,677. Enrolled members can choose to pay the fee in full when applying for membership or over a 12 month period, contact the finance department if you would like to pay in installments.
Current members who enrolled on November 30, 2015 or earlier will only pay a discounted fee $250 +tax to transfer to the new process. This transfer fee will cover all the online modules for the six experience areas. These members are not required to pay the $1,000 fee.
7. Will there be training for the new process?
Yes. The first module is an orientation which provides an overview of the registration process and how to use the new learning management system. We will also hold Orientation webinars and have recording(s) of these available on our website.
There is a separate Sponsor Orientation module for sponsors that provides an overview of the process and the sponsor's role.
8. How will the material be delivered?
The modules will be delivered entirely online, through the ABCFP's website and learning management system. These electronic modules will be available can be accessed any time, on various devices, allowing enrollees to work at their own pace.
9. Will the new process be easier than the current process?
The new process is just a different way of measuring readiness to practise forestry. Enrollees can anticipate a high level of engagement with the ABCFP and their sponsor throughout their articling time. This approach is designed to appeal to a broader range of learners and practitioners.
10. Is the articling timeframe the same as the current process?
Yes, the articling requirements remain the same and will continue to be 24 months of qualifying post-enrolment work experience. Articling experience begins to be credited when we receive a complete membership application. Pre-enrolment work experience does not qualify unless specified in the Articling Procedures. The Association is firm on this rule.
11. Why is articling still important?
The ABCFP believes that its new members need a reasonable amount of time to complete the new modules, while integrating this knowledge with their decision making. This maturation is important for personal professional development and provides additional assurance that enrollees are ready to become registered.
12. Is there a way to evaluate the effectiveness of this new process and will enrollees and sponsors be able to provide feedback?
The importance of the 24-month articling period, and why the experience area modules are spread out over this period, is the mindset and awareness of professional principles that now come to bear upon the daily decisions that are made.
The purpose and value of the articling period is the knowledge that the enrolled member is professionally accountable for his or her work. In addition, the advice and mentorship from an experienced registered member (the enrolled member’s sponsor) when undertaking his or her practice is also extremely valuable. Prior to enrolling with the ABCFP, the member may not have had any knowledge of the Foresters Act, Bylaws or Code of Ethics, among other things.
13. I'm transitioning to the new process, do I have to start my articling all over again?
No. Your original enrolment date remains the same in the new process. You will receive credit for all qualifying work experience completed since your original date of enrolment not the date you transfer over to the new process. In the new process, after completion of module 2a (see the Roadmap to Registration
), you will be required to submit a current work history which will be our basis for validating the period of time that can be credited towards your articling requirements.
14. Is there a way to evaluate the effectiveness of this new process and will enrollees and sponsors be able to provide feedback?
Yes. The ABCFP will set up an evaluation tool so that enrollees and their sponsors can provide feedback and make improvements for the next round of enrollees.
15. How will this new process affect current enrolled members?
Member who enrolled on December 1, 2015 and onwards will automatically be enrolled in the new process. Members who enrolled on or before November 30, 2015 have the option of completing their registration requirements in the existing process or switching (transitioning) to the new one.
16. What if the enrolled member has already written one or more exams?
17. What if the enrolled member only has the exam(s) remaining and have already fulfilled the articling time frame?
Credit for articling experience will be reviewed and granted after module 2a in the new process. If all articling experience is complete, the enrolled member will be able to proceed through the modules at their own pace in the order they are laid out on the Roadmap to Registration.
Note: core competency requirements and checkpoints apply to ASFITs and ASTFTs.
18. What if enrolled members have completed some or all of the ABCFP's workshops?
19. How long will the registration exams be offered?
2017 will be the final year the registration exams for enrolled members will be offered. The exam eligibility requirements remain the same, you must complete the professional development workshops and all outstanding competency requirements before you can write the exams.
20. What if enrolled members just want to complete their registration under the old process?
21. Can enrolled members get their designations sooner with this new process?
For those who are just starting the registration process, they will still have to complete the modules, exams, document submissions and qualifying work experience prior to registration. This work will still require no less than 24 months. For those who have already accumulated qualifying work experience, the ABCFP will ensure that their past experience is credited; therefore, they may be able to become registered sooner – assuming that they complete the other requirements as well.
22. How does this affect allied members’ competency assessment process? (ASFITs and ASTFTs only)
The registration process will not affect the process of meeting any outstanding competencies. Competency assessments will remain a requirement prior to completing the last steps of enrollment and prior to registration.
23. Are there any implications for filling core competency knowledge gaps? (ASFITs and ASTFTs only)
Core competencies are based on the entry standards for the profession and are a separate requirement for member registration. The ABCFP modules are not designed to fulfill core competency gaps; however some modules may contribute to gap filling. If a module satisfies a competency requirement, it will need to be reflected in your gap-filling plan. This will be identified by the ABCFP once your gaps have been identified and recommendations are made. Allied enrolled members will still be required to complete their gap-filling plan, including any additional course work that has been assigned through the right institution.
24. How will the new process affect sponsors?
The new process may require more engagement from sponsors than it has in the past. This is because sponsors need to check in with the system when the enrolled member completes a step or prepares to submit a document. The sponsor's validation of the enrollee's work is a critical component of the new system.
25. Will it require more time on the sponsor’s part?
For those who are already quite involved with their sponsored enrollees, there should not be a lot more time required. The ABCFP will be looking for early feedback on the process, as we don't want to require more sponsor time than is reasonable.
26. Is it possible to sponsor multiple candidates?
Yes. At this time, we have not put any limit on the number of enrollees a member can sponsor. The system will be set up to accommodate this.
27. What do sponsors have to do?
Sponsors will need to verify submission documents (e.g. professional diary), invigilate exam modules, and sign-off the enrollee's work experience. Sponsors who have sponsored enrollees in the new process will have access to the new learning management system. They will be required to complete a Sponsor Orientation Module which provides an overview of the new process and the sponsor's role.
28. As an employer, how will this affect my business?
The enrolled members you hire will still be gaining valuable skills to complement their forestry education. The new process means that your employees who are enrolled members will gain additional skills but will be eligible for registration in the same time-frame (two years) and will not need as much time away from work for studying the large volume of material all at once or to attend workshops or training sessions as this new process is delivered entirely online.
29. How will the new process affect transferring professionals?
RPFs and RFTs who transfer in from another province will still follow the existing process and will not be entered into this process at this time unless they see value in some of the modules.