RFT Registration Requirements

There are three main registration requirements for the RFT designation:

  • Six Experience Areas Modules
  • Articling Requirements
  • Core Competency Requirements (ASTFTs only)

Please read the information below for details. These requirements are completed once you become a Trainee Forest Technologist.

Six Experience Areas Modules

Our registration process is a module-based approach built upon six experience areas that the profession believes are critical for forest professionals. This process is designed to build knowledge and a professional mind-set from the moment a new member is enrolled.
The Six Experience Areas Modules:
  • Regulation and Ethics
  • Professional Reliance
  • BC Forest Professionals Working with Aboriginal Communities
  • Forest Legislation and Policy
  • The Business of Forestry
  • Communicating Professional Advice

Read the Six Experience Areas Overview document for details. Modules are not intended to replace or satisfy post-secondary requirements or any core competency requirements necessary for membership. While some of the modules may assist with satisfying core competency requirements for allied members, they are not designed for this purpose.

Roadmap to Registration

The modules contained within the experience areas must be completed online via the learning management system (LMS):

  • learning modules,
  • exam modules, and
  • application modules.

All items must be successfully completed in successive order laid out in the Roadmap to Practising Registration during the articling timeframe (see Articling section below).

Orientation Module

Learn more about the registration process by reviewing the Orientation module.  The first module in the Roadmap to Practising Registration is designed for new members and provides an overview of the registration process.

Articling Requirements

  • Articling is Gaining Relevant Work Experience under the Guidance of a Sponsor (Registered Member).
  • Work experience gained during your enrolment period helps you be better prepared for registration and the rights and obligations of a practising professional. Compete details on articling requirements are contained in Articling Procedures.

Note: The information in this section pertains to only TFTs and ASTFTs.

Articling Timeframe: Enrolled members are required to complete 24 months of post-enrolment work experience within the articling enrolment period.

As job markets fluctuate and employment opportunities vary, it may not be possible to complete the requirements within 24 months. Enrolled members are given the following timeframes to complete all of their registration requirements.

Program Articling/Enrolment Period
TFT 4 years (48 months)
ASTFT 6 years (72 months)*


*ASTFTs are given two additional years in case more time is needed to complete outstanding core competency requirements.

An extension to the articling period may be granted, if necessary. Please see the Articling Procedures for more details.

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
  • expose you to the rights and obligations of a practicing professional, including those under the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice (which are binding on all members).

Work Experience

  • Should cover as many of the areas of practice defined in the Guidelines on Scope of Practice for Registered Forest Technologists as possible. Your sponsor is expected to assist you in gaining exposure to multiple practice areas. Read the Articling Procedures for resources on this topic.
  • Must be gained after you apply for membership. Qualifying work experience begins to be credited from the date we receive a completed application. Any work experience gained prior to membership with ABCFP will not count towards this requirement, unless noted in section 2 of the Articling Procedures. This rule is firm.
  • 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 bachelor, master's, or doctorate degree.

Articling on the Roadmap to Registration

In the learning management system (LMS), there will be four articling (work experience) checkpoints set at the 6th, 12th, 18th, and 24th months, as noted on the Roadmap to Practising Registration.

You will be required to demonstrate that you have satisfied the minimum articling requirements by submitting your work history form to proceed to the next six experience areas modules. The first checkpoint is after module 2a. The articling (work history) checkpoints are meant to serve as general guideposts to your enrolment period timeline to becoming a registered member in 24 months, in some cases, it may take longer.

As an enrolled member, you must have a 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 Your Sponsor?

  • Your sponsor must be an active or retired RFT or RPF in good standing.
  • Your sponsor can be your supervisor, a co-worker, an employer or someone else in the community.
  • A sponsor cannot be related by blood or marriage.
  • An enrolled member cannot be in a position of authority over the sponsor.

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 within your area.
  • Contact the registration department for assistance. Email us a copy of your resume which can be shared, and provide details on your geographic area. We will check our list to see if a sponsor is available in your desired area.

Your Responsibilities During Articling

  • Maintain frequent contact with your sponsor.
  • Create a Professional Development Plan.
  • A Professional Development Plan (plan) outlines the knowledge and experience to be covered by enrolled members during their articling period. The plan sets out the intended course of action that an enrolled member will need to take to develop and improve professional attributes for the duration of the articling period.
  • Maintain a Professional Practice Diary. A Professional Practice Diary aligns with your Professional Development Plan, and provides a chronological written record of your work experience and your exposure to the necessary practice areas.

Read the Articling Procedures for complete details about all of your responsibilities.

Your Sponsor's Responsibilities During Articling Period

  • Oversees your growth and development.
  • Periodically reviews your Practice Diary and Professional Development Plan.

See the Articling Procedures for complete details about a sponsor's responsibilities.

Changing Your Sponsor

There are a variety of reasons why you may need to change your sponsor at some point during your articling period, such as: relocation, incompatibility, employment change, your sponsor can no longer maintain the commitment, or your sponsor ceases to be a member in good standing, etc. 

If you need to change your sponsor, you must:

  • Read the applicable section in the 
  •  for full details on requirements when changing sponsors or enrolled members.
  • Discuss any changes with your old sponsor.
  • Have your outgoing and new sponsors discuss your professional development and experience to date.
  • E-mail the completed Change of Sponsor form, which will be signed by you, your new sponsor, and your old sponsor to admissions@abcfp.ca.

Note: You must have a sponsor at all times during your articling period.

Core Competency Requirements (ASTFTs only)

Note: The information in this section pertains to only ASTFTs.

The ABCFP RFT Competency Standards are the minimum common requirements needed to practice professional forestry as a Registered Forest Technologist (RFT) in BC. When assessing individuals for certification as an RFT or assessing college technology or technician programs for accreditation, ABCFP applies the same outcome-based criteria from the National Technology Benchmarks.

The ABCFP RFT Competency Standards

Core Competency Outcomes 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
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Science

Practice Areas Outcomes are competencies specific to the profession of forestry:

  • Forest operations
  • Forest protection
  • Silviculture
  • Measurements

All enrolled members working towards the RFT designation must meet RFT Core Competency Requirements.

Core Competencies to Become an RFT

  • ASTFT program: graduated from a non-accredited forestry or foreign program.

If you have not graduated from an ABCFP recognized diploma program, you will need to complete the ABCFP's credential assessment process (CAP) once you have been accepted as an ASTFT. This process will determine whether you meet the RFT core competency standards or if you have any outstanding competencies which you will need to complete during your articling period.

  • TFT program: graduated from a recognized forest technology diploma program.

If you graduated from an ABCFP recognized diploma program, within the last 10 years, you have already met the core competency requirements through the completion of your program and will generally not be required to complete additional competency requirements during your enrolment period.

Credential Assessment Portfolio

Once you are an enrolled member, we recommend you get started right away on preparing your CAP application portfolio (portfolio).

Competency on Registration Roadmap

See the core competency checkpoints in the Roadmap to Practising Registration. You must meet the requirements listed in each checkpoint before proceeding past it.

  • 1st checkpoint – Core Competency Portfolio Submitted: your CAP assessment application portfolio must be submitted and acknowledged as complete by ABCFP before you can proceed past this checkpoint.

  • 2nd checkpoint – Core Competencies Completed: If the assessment determines that you still have outstanding competency requirements to satisfy, they will all need to be completed before you can proceed past this checkpoint.

Getting Credentials Assessed

There are two types of assessments available:

  • RFT Limited Competency Assessment - limited competency assessments are only available for post-secondary technology or technician diploma programs (program) that have already been reviewed by the ABCFP, as well as highlight specific competencies that may not have been satisfied through the completion of your post-secondary diploma program (go to the Limited CAP page to see if you completed an eligible program. If not, you are required to complete the full assessment);
  • RFT Full Competency Assessment - a full competency assessment is required of graduates from programs that have not been reviewed*; you must prepare and submit a comprehensive credentials assessment portfolio (go to the RFT credential assessment process page for instructions and supporting documents).

You may see your program’s name on the list of limited assessments, however, if you did not graduate within the year(s) listed you must complete the full assessment. This is because the school did not complete the accreditation process which requires them to ensure they meet the RFT competency standards in their program content from year to year, without it there is no guarantee that the program content has not changed. We are therefore required to do a full assessment of an individual’s credentials to ensure that the competencies have been satisfied.

Evidence-based Assessments

The assessments are evidence-based and take into consideration both education and work experience. It is a rigorous process; as an ASTFT the onus is on you to provide the necessary proof to demonstrate how and why you believe you have met the RFT core competency requirements.

Competencies completed through:

  • Post-Secondary education must be supported with an official school transcripts and course outlines containing detailed information on course content. See the applicant’s manual for examples of course outlines.
  • Work experience must be presented in a detailed curriculum vitae (CV) containing information on specific duties and responsibilities performed. This is a separate requirement from the resume/work history submitted as part of your membership application or articling requirements.


The BC assessment is done in English. Documents that are in other languages will need to be translated into English at your expense. Transcript translations must be done by an official translator. For all other supporting documentation, we allow enrolled members to do their own translations only if they can get an RFT or RPF to sign-off on the translations.  Note, this may not always be possible, check with us to see if we know a member who may be able to assist you.

Application Deadlines for Credential Assessment Process

CAP portfolio submissions are accepted at any time throughout the year.
It takes time to gather the materials needed; select a target submission deadline and start preparing your portfolio as soon as possible. Keep in mind that portfolios must meet the submission requirements outlined in the Applicant’s Manual.

Start Preparing Portfolio

Go to the RFT credential assessment process page for information needed to prepare your portfolio for the full competency assessment.
  • Watch the video – general overview of process
  • Read the ABCFP RFT Competency Standards which outlines the competency standards.
  • Read the Applicant’s Manual which provides information on preparing your competency assessment portfolio.
  • Review the Self-Assessment Matrix spreadsheet, the main document of your submission.
  • When going through the matrix, make notes on the requirements you think you have already completed. This will also give you an idea of how close or far off you are from completing the requirements.
  • If you find that your competency is lacking in one or more of the four RFT practice areas, it is recommended you complete the appropriate courses from any of the ABCFP recognized diploma programs before you submit your assessment.
  • Start preparing your portfolio.  Also email the registration department to inform them that you are preparing your submission.
  • Preliminary review.  

Once you have started preparing your portfolio, e-mail a draft copy of the following to the registration department to confirm if you are on the right track:

  • self-assessment matrix,
  • CV, and
  • course outlines.

The preliminary review process may take two to three weeks depending on the number of submissions received. When your assessment portfolio is complete, email it to the registration department.

Credential Assessment Results

Results will be communicated to you after the assessments are completed; usually within 6-8 weeks after the submission.
  • If all of the competency requirements have been met, you can continue completing your registration requirements (Articling and Six Experience Areas Modules).
  • If all of the competency requirements have not been met, you will be required to develop a professional development (gap-filling) plan to complete all of the outstanding competency requirements, in addition to completing the articling requirements and Six Experience Area Modules. The plan is subject to the approval of the Registrar and/or RFT CAP Assessors.

Completing Outstanding Competencies

If you have any outstanding competencies, you will be required to develop a professional development (competency gap-filling) plan. Note: this is not the same plan used for your articling requirements, this is a separate requirement.

As an ASTFT, it is normal to have some outstanding competencies. It is important to note that the farther off you are from meeting the core competency requirements the greater the chance that additional course work will be required.

Competency gaps may be addressed by completing courses from academic institutions, workshops, seminars, on-the-job training, or, where available, through an ABCFP challenge exam. Note: the manner in which an outstanding competency must be completed will depend on the results of assessment as a whole and will be subject to the recommendation and approval of the Registrar.

Completion of an appropriate course (s) from one of the ABCFP recognized diploma programs could help address some outstanding competencies in silviculture, forest engineering and operations, forest protection and forest measurements.

While we continuously attempt to find other online options for additional course work this is not always possible and is dependent on the schools. You should be prepared to have to take on-campus courses if online options are not available.

Questions? Please contact the registration department.