Geologists, Geological Engineers, and other Geoscientists are legally-recognized professionals in British Columbia (and in a growing number of other provincial and territorial jurisdictions in Canada). To practice within these fields, the law requires that you be duly and legally registered. Therefore, if you plan to seek employment as a Geologist, Geoscientist, or Geological Engineer in British Columbia, you will want to select a Program that would meet the academic requirements for registration. These are reviewed in a short guide for UBC-EOAS students in geoscience.
Biologists are now also legally-recognized professionals in British Columbia. If you wish to seek employment as a Biologist and wish to register as a Professional Biologist, you will want to select a Program that would meet the academic requirements for registration.
The Geological Engineering Program at UBC is officially "accredited" by the Association, so that all BASc graduates are eligible to apply for registration as Professional Engineers or 'P Eng' in training (EIT). The accreditation process involves a thorough evaluation of the Program, including on-site visits, and is conducted at regular intervals (the most recent evaluation was completed in late 2005). Registration as P Eng has a long-established history in BC and Canada. Some Geological Engineering students take additional Science courses which enable them to qualify for a dual registration, as P.Eng. and as P.Geo.
Graduating students from the Faculty of Science can apply for registration as a Professional Geoscientist or 'PGeo' in training or as a Registered Professional Biologist (RPBio).
Compared to registering as a professional engineer, registration procedures for PGeo or RPBio are relatively new. The rules and regulations have only recently been formalized and may be subject to further refinement. Also in contrast to P Eng, there is no official accreditation of the programs at various institutions. Instead, the governing associations provide lists of courses (the 'syllabus') that represent the minimum requirements for eligibility for registration. Undergraduate and graduate students may join the APEGBC or CAB as student members or members in training before they meet all of the requirements for professional registration. According to the guidelines, the net effect to students from UBC is that they will need to include certain elective courses in their Program to ensure that they will be eligible to for registration as PGeo or RPBio. There are four 'options' for PGeo registration (Geology, Geochemistry, Geophysics, and Environmental Geoscience) under which an applicant can be considered, each with a different list of required subjects.
You may have heard somewhere that Majors graduates cannot qualify for Professional Registration, but this is NOT correct. You simply have to ensure you have chosen a suitable set of courses.
The legislative authority to license professional biologists in BC is the College of Applied Biology (CAB):
205-733 Johnson Street
Victoria BC V8W 3C7 Canada
Telephone: (250) 383-3306 | Fax: (250) 383-2400
Professional Geoscientists and Professional Engineers
The governing body for registration in BC is The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia. For additional details and updated information regarding registration, contact the Association directly and request a current version of either the GEOLOGICAL ENGINEERING SYLLABUS or the GEOSCIENCE SYLLABUS at the address:
The ASSOCIATION of PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS and GEOSCIENTISTS of BRITISH COLUMBIA
200 - 4010 Regent Street
Burnaby BC V5C 6N2 Canada
Telephone: (604) 430-8035 | Toll Free Canada-wide: 1-888-430-8035 | Fax: (604) 430-8085 | www.apeg.bc.ca