Routes of Entry
There are two ways to become an RFT.
- Enter as a Trainee Forest Technologist (TFT)
- Enter as an Allied Science Trainee Forest Technologist (ASTFT)
- Enter as a Transferring Forest Professional (if you are an RFT from Alberta)
1.Enter as a TFT
Post-Secondary Education Requirements
You must have a two-year forest technology diploma from an institute accredited nationally by Canadian organizations providing evaluation of allied science technology programs and recognized by the ABCFP.
ABCFP recognized diploma programs that meet TFT eligibility requirements:
Other Programs Recognized by the ABCFP
- British Columbia Institute of Technology – Forest and Natural Resource Management program (if program is completed in 2017 or later).
- British Columbia Institute of Technology - Sustainable Resource Management (SRM) – Forest Management Option (if program is completed between 2011 & 2016).
- British Columbia Institute of Technology - Renewable Resources Technology - Forest Ecosystems program accredited until June 2010 (if program is completed in 2004 or later).
- College of New Caledonia - Natural Resources & Environmental Technology formerly Forest Resource Technology (if program is completed in 2004 or later).
- Nicola Valley Institute of Technology - Natural Resource Technology program accredited until December 2010 (if program is completed between 2006 and 2010).
- Selkirk College - Forestry Technology (if program is completed in 2003 or later).
- Vancouver Island University - Forest Resources Technology (if program is completed in 2005 or later).
You may also be eligible to enrol as an Allied Science TFT if you have an unrecognized technology diploma. You may be required to complete additional requirements prior to writing the RFT registration exam.
Contact the registration department for more information.
Work Experience Requirements
No work experience is required at the time your application is submitted but...
- Once enrolled as a TFT, you will be required to complete 24 months of acceptable post-enrolment work experience under the guidance and supervision of a sponsor. You are then required to write and pass the RFT registration exam.
Refer to the Registration Policy for complete details.
Ready to Apply?
2. Enter as an Allied Science Trainee Forest Technologist
Post-Secondary Education Requirements
- A technology diploma or technician diploma in forestry, or natural resource management, or fish, wildlife & recreation or GIS that is not accredited nationally by Canadian organizations providing evaluation of allied science technology programs and from a Canadian or international educational institutions recognized by the ABCFP.
- International programs must be evaluated by the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES) to determine if they meet our academic requirements.
- A core competency assessment is required. Please see Core Competency tab below.
- You will be required to complete additional requirements prior to writing the RFT registration exam.
Below are samples of ABCFP recognized diploma programs that meet ASTFT eligibility requirements:
- Algonquin College – Forestry Technician
- British Columbia Institute of Technology – Forest Resource Technician, Fish, Wildlife & Recreation Technology, Advance Diploma in GIS
- Camosun College – Environmental Technology
- College Boreal – Forestry Technologist
- Fleming College – Forest Technician, Fish & Wildlife Technician, Fish & Wildlife Technology
- Maritime College of Forest Technology – Forest Technology, Advance Diploma in Forest and Fish & Wildlife Technology
- Northern Alberta Institute of Technology – Forest Technology
- Nicola Valley Institute of Technology – Natural Resource Technology program (prior to 2004 and after 2010)
- Sault College – Forestry Technician, Fish & Wildlife Technician
- Selkirk College – Recreation, Fish & Wildlife Technology, Integrated Environmental Planning Technology, GIS – Advanced Diploma
- University College of the North – Natural Resources Management Technology
There may be other programs recognized that are not on the list or have not been considered earlier by the ABCFP. Please contact the registration department, for more information.
3. Enter as a Transferring Forest Professional (RFT from Alberta)
If you are a Registered Professional Forest Technologist (RPFT) from Alberta, you may qualify for recognition as a Registered Forest Technologist in BC and be entitled to full practice rights in BC under the labour mobility provisions of TILMA.
Visit the Transferring page of this website for more information.
Note: If you are transferring from a province other than Alberta and want to become a Registered Forest Technologist in BC, you must go through the regular RFT application process outlined in point one.
Ready to Apply?
Note: The information in this section pertains to only TFT and ASTFT candidates.
Become registered with the ABCFP in three steps.
- Become an Enrolled Member
- Become a Registered Member
- Determine if you are eligible to apply for membership (see the Routes of Entry heading)
- Find a sponsor.
- Complete application form and submit it with membership fees.
- RFT Application Package (Fillable PDF. If you are unable to open this file, please right-click the link and save the PDF to your computer and then open from your computer.)
We'll review your application and get back to you.
2. Become an Enrolled Member
Once you have been granted enrolment status, you must complete the following steps:
- Abide by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice contained in the ABCFP Bylaws.
- Meet any outstanding academic, core competency, pro d, work experience and articling requirements.
- Complete the sponsor program.
- Pass the registration exam.
As an enrolled member, you are entitled to use the title Trainee Forest Technologist and the designation TFT.
For more details on becoming an enrolled member, read the Registration Policy (2014).
3. Become a Registered Member
After you've passed the exam and met all of the requirements of the enrolment period:
- Council must approve your registration.
- You must pay the appropriate fees before becoming registered as an RFT.
- You will be sent an official Certificate of Registration.
Need More Info?
Please contact the registration department.
Note: The information in this section pertains to only TFTs and ASTFTs.
As an Enrolled Member, You Must Have Sponsor During Your Articling Period
Among other things, your sponsor agrees to oversee your growth and development as you work towards becoming a registered forest professional.
Who Can Be a Sponsor?
- If you are applying as a TFT, your sponsor must be an RPF or RFT (who has passed the registration exam) in good standing.
- Your sponsor can be your supervisor, a co-worker, an employer or someone else in the community.
- A sponsor can not be related by blood or marriage.
How to Find a Sponsor
- Get recommendations or suggestions from colleagues.
- Network within your community. Who do you look up to? Who are you comfortable with?
- Use the public version of the member directory to identify individuals who live or work in your area.
- Contact the registration department for assistance. We are currently collecting names of registered members who are willing to sponsor an enroled member.
Your Responsibilities During the Articling Period
- Maintain frequent contact with your sponsor
- Create a Professional Development Plan
- Maintain a Practice Diary showing a record of your work experience and your exposure to the necessary practice areas.
See the Articling Policy for complete details about all of your responsibilities.
Your Sponsor's Responsibilities During the Articling Period
- Oversee your growth and development
- Periodically review your Practice Diary and Professional Development Plan
See the Articling Policy for complete details about a sponsor's responsibilities.
Changing Your Sponsor
You may need to change your sponsor at some point in your articling period for various reasons (one of you moves, incompatibility, employment change, your sponsor can no longer maintain the commitment, your sponsor ceases to be an active member in good standing, etc.).
If you need to change your sponsor you must:
- Discuss any changes with your old sponsor
- Submit a Change of Sponsor form signed by you and both your new and old sponsors.
Remember, you must have a sponsor at all times during your articling period.
Need More Information?
Contact the registration department.
Articling & Pro-d Requirements
Articling is gaining relevant work experience under the supervision of a registered member.
It is done during your enrolment period and helps you be better prepared for registration and the rights and obligations of a practising professional. Compete details on articling requirements are contained in the Registration Policy (2014).
The Purposes of Articling Requirements are to:
- Expose you to a wide range of professional forestry practice;
- Enable you to develop professional practice skills under the guidance of your sponsor and other registered members; and to
- Sensitize you to the rights and obligations of a practising professional including those under the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice (which are binding on all members).
Your Work Experience:
- Should cover as many of the areas of practice defined in the Foresters Act as possible. Your sponsor is expected to assist you in this regard and the Articling Policy also provides resources that can help.
- Must be gained after you apply for membership. Any experience you gained before you applied for membership does not count toward the requirement.
- Must be directly related to professional practice. We will not normally consider work such as wood processing, agriculture, landscape gardening, horticulture, marketing, etc.
- May include volunteer work, work done outside British Columbia, or a master's or doctorate degree.
Professional Development Requirements for Sit-Down Exam Writers
All enrolled members are required complete the following professional development requirements to be eligible to write the sit-down exam.
- Professional Ethics and Obligations workshop
- Professional Reliance workshop
Both must be completed by the end of August in the year you are planning to write the sit-down exam.
Please contact the registration department.
Core Competency (ASTFTs only)
Certification standards (made up of core competency requirements and practice area standards) set the minimum common requirements for admission to the practice of professional forestry across Canada. The core competency standard is used to accredit college technology and technician programs and to evaluate the competency of Registered Forest Technologist (RFT) candidates.
Core competency requirements describe how much a candidate must know about:
- Office preparation for field operations and data acquisition
- Navigation to the site
- Field operations and data acquisition
- Data analysis in the field
- Data input in the field
- Data input in the office
- Plan preparation and presentation in the office
- Emergency response
- Applied research
- Ethics and professionalism
- General office routines
- Social Science
Practice areas standards are competencies specific to the profession of forestry:
- Forest operations
- Forest protection
The ABCFP also recognizes competencies from practice areas that are allied to the profession of forestry such as: GIS, urban forestry, park management, recreational land management, wildlife management, fisheries and aquatic management, agriculture, geography, amongst others.
How Do I Know if I Have the Competencies to Become a Registered Forest Technologist (RFT)?
I completed an ABCFP-recognized and an accredited forest technology diploma.
The general rule is that if you have completed an ABCFP-recognized and an accredited forest technology diploma, you have met the core competency requirements. While this rule holds true in almost all cases, there are times when additional requirements are deemed necessary even though the program is accredited. See the Routes of Entry heading for a list of accredited programs. You can enrol with the ABCFP as a Trainee Forest Technologist (TFT).
Note: applicants with accredited forest technology diplomas that are more than 10 years old will be assessed further to ensure that they have the required competencies.
I have not graduated from an accredited two-year forest technology program recognized by the ABCFP.
If you have not graduated from an accredited two-year forest technology program recognized by the ABCFP, you will need to complete a credential assessment which will determine whether you have met the core and practice areas competency requirements or you will need to fill your competency gaps during your enrolment period. Competency deficiencies may be addressed by completing accredited courses, on-the-job training, or, where available, through a qualifying exam set by the association. You can enrol with the ABCFP as Allied Science Trainee Forest Technologists (ASTFT)
How Do I Get My Credentials Assessed?
ASTFTs must have their competencies evaluated through the ABCFP's credential assessment process. This is an evidence-based process; the onus is on you to provide the necessary proof to demonstrate that you have met the core competency requirements. For detailed information, the applicant's manual, instructions and required forms, visit the credential assessment process
Credential Assessment Results
Results will be communicated to you after the assessments are completed.
- If all of the competency standards are met, you can continue to complete the articling and exam requirements.
- If all of the competency standards are not met, you will be required to complete all of the outstanding competency requirements, based on a pre-approved professional development plan, while completing the articling requirements.
TFTs and ASTFTs completing the registration requirements under the legacy registration process (enrolled on or before November 30, 2015) - THIS NOTICE APPLIES TO YOU.
The ABCFP adopted a new registration process effective December 1, 2015.
In the procedures for enrolled members transitioning into the new registration process, 2017 is the final year the exams will offered under the legacy process. Please note:
*Members who have not passed both the sit-down and take-home exams in 2017 must transfer to the new registration process.*
** Members who do not apply to transfer to the new process by November 30, 2017 will be removed from the membership roll.**
Members who have already transitioned to the new registration process or enrolled on December 1, 2015 or later are not eligible to write the registration exams.
Important Dates and Deadlines
|RFT sit-down exam applications and fees are due
||August 15, 2017
|Sit-Down exam locations posted online
|RFT sit-down exam held on
||October 6, 2017
|RFT sit-down exam results announced
|Additional Important Dates and Deadlines for Allied Science Members
As noted in the procedures for enrolled members transitioning into the new registration process, ASTFT members who would like write the registration exams must have satisfied all competency requirements to be allowed to write it. The following are the core competency requirements deadlines to be eligible to write the exam in 2017. Anyone who has not completed the competency assessment stages below by the prescribed dates will be required to transition to the new process.
|Submit Complete Competency Assessment Package
||March 1, 2017
|Complete Outstanding Competencies
||August 15, 2017
RFT Registration Exam
The sit-down exam will be held for the last time on October 6, 2017. It is based on questions designed to test your understanding of professionalism (ethics) and forest policy. You must answer four of seven questions in four hours and the passing mark for the sit-down exam is 60%.
All enrolled members are required to meet the exam eligibility requirements of the current Registration Policy (2014) and complete the professional development requirements to be eligible to write the sit-down exam. Specifically:
1. All core competency requirements must be completed by the end of August; and
2. All of the following professional development requirements:
Sit-Down Exam Locations
Exam locations will be available in mid-September on the Exam Locations page.
Before you apply, it is your responsibility to ensure you are eligible to write the registration exam.
For your application to be considered for the 2017 registration exams, the following must be received by August 15, 2017:
Preparing to Write the Exam
Many exam candidates begin studying up to a year or more in advance of writing the exam. We offer a number of resources designed to help you prepare for the exam.
Special Exam or Other Exam Requests
According to Section 8.3 of the Registration Policy, candidates may apply for an oral exam in lieu of the written sit-down exam or may apply for other special exam consideration due to medical reasons, learning disabilities or any other extraordinary circumstances. A detailed written request including supporting documents that may include medical records, professional learning assessments, letter of support from sponsor/mentors must be submitted and addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 1st.
We will consider your request and decide whether or not it can be accommodated. We will work with you to assess what, if any, special arrangements may be appropriate.
All requests for special accommodations for the registration exams are reviewed on a case by case basis and are at the discretion of the registrar.
Getting Your Exam Results
After your exam has been marked and the list of successful candidates has been approved by council, the registration department will send each exam candidate an e-mail with a URL to the exam results. You will need to login with your ABCFP logon name and password to see the web page that contains your mark. You will not have access to anyone else's results. Sit-down exam results will be available in mid-November.
Please contact the registration department if you have not received your exam results two weeks from the date we release the exam results.
Rewriting the Exam
2017 is the final time the sit-down exam will be held under the legacy registration process. If you do not pass the exam, you must transfer and complete the new registration process requirements. Apply to transfer to the New Registration Process.
Please contact the registration department.