Membership Standards

Membership Definitions and Requirements:

In this article, unless the context indicates otherwise:

Good Character” means not meeting the criteria for refusal of registration specified in clauses 19(2)(b) and (c) of the Act.

In the event, a character witness identifies a concern on one of the questions on the Character Witness Form, the OPFA Registration Committee will request that the applicant provide additional, written supporting documentation relevant to the situation.  The OPFA keeps all information confidential except as required or allowed by law.  The Registration Committee will consider the conduct under review including the nature of the conduct, the honesty and completeness of the submission by the applicant, the consequential actions of the applicant, and the subsequent practice of professional forestry by the applicant with no further evidence of conduct issues arising.

Professional Level Ability” means the successful demonstration of the professional (not just technical) level of knowledge, skill and judgment in a definable aspect of professional forestry.

Local Knowledge Assessment” means successfully passing an examination, or in exceptional circumstances an alternate evaluation approved by the Registration Committee, confirming knowledge of the relevant laws, policies and practices related to the practice of professional forestry in Ontario.  Applicants who graduated from an Ontario, accredited forestry degree program within the past five years are deemed to have met this requirement as part of their program.

Local Knowledge” means having knowledge of the relevant laws, policies and practices related to the practice of professional forestry in Ontario.

Information regarding membership categories and the qualifications (along with the terms, conditions and limitations of each category) is contained in OPFA’s By-law.  They are:

Article 11.3 – Applications for Membership

A person shall apply for registration by submitting an application, in the form and manner approved by Council, to the Registrar along with the required application fee and documentation. Only Full or Associate Members can apply for Inactive or Non-Resident Membership.  Only Full, associate, Inactive or Non-resident Members can apply for Life Membership.  Honourary Members are selected by the Council and a person cannot apply for that category of Membership.

Article 11.4 - General Qualifications for Membership

An applicant for registration in any category must be an individual who is at least 18 years of age and be of Good Character.

Article 11.5 – Qualifications for Full Membership

The requirements for Full Membership are as follows:

1.  a four year science-based degree or equivalent;

2.  demonstration of Core Competency by meeting the 2008 Certification Standards  by either:

(a) graduating from a university program accredited by the Canadian Forestry Accreditation Board, or

(b) by successfully demonstrating professional forestry competencies through the national Credential Assessment Process (CAP); 

3.  successful completion of 18 months of progressive, relevant, post-graduation, experience which shall be obtained while holding a Provisional Member category of registration;

4.  adequate sponsorship reports, in the required form, from two Members, in Good Standing with relevant scopes of practice who have been registered for at least two years, at least one of whom must be a Full Member; 

5.  adequate character witness reports in the required form from two Members, in Good Standing (i.e. Good Character);

6.  demonstration of a commitment to professionalism and ethics; and

7.  successful completion of the Local Knowledge Assessment.

Graduation from a University Program, accredited with approval of the Council in respect of the time of graduation, shall be adequate to satisfy elements 1 and 2, unless the Registration Committee determines that sufficient time has elapsed from graduation to require reconfirming one or more core competencies.

The Registration Committee may, without lowering the standard:

  1. accept alternate documentation from the normal requirements where an applicant is unable to produce the normal document;
  2. approve methods other than written exams for demonstrating specific Core Competencies; and
  3. accept for all or part of the experience requirement, relevant experience acquired outside Ontario, relevant experience acquired while not a Provisional Member, and/or up to 6 months of relevant post-graduate academic study.

Article 11.6 – Qualifications for Associate Membership

The requirements for Associate Membership are as follows:

1.  demonstration of attainment of Professional Level Ability in the geographic area and functions for which the applicant desires authority to practice;

2.  inability to meet requirements 1 or 2 of the requirements for Full Membership (requires assessment of competencies through the national professional forestry Credential Assessment Process);

3.  successful completion of 18 months of progressive, relevant, post-graduation, experience which shall be obtained while holding a Provisional Member category of registration; 

4.  adequate sponsorship reports in the required form from four persons, at least two of whom shall be Full Members or Associate Members with relevant scopes of practice who are in Good Standing and have been registered for at least two years;

 5.  adequate character witness reports in the required form from two Members, in Good Standing (i.e. Good Character);

 6.  demonstration of a commitment to professionalism and ethics; and

 7.  successful completion of the Local Knowledge Assessment.

 The Registration Committee may, without lowering the standard:

  1. accept alternate documentation from the normal requirements where an applicant is unable to produce the normal document;
  2. approve methods other than written exams for demonstrating specific Core Competencies; and
  3. accept for all or part of the experience requirement, relevant experience acquired outside Ontario, relevant experience acquired while not a Provisional Member, and/or up to 6 months of relevant post-graduate academic study.

Article 11.7 – Terms, Conditions and Limitations for Associate Membership

The certificate of registration of an Associate Member is subject to the term, condition and limitation that the Member only hold themselves out as able to engage in and shall only engage in the practice of professional forestry in the personal scope of practice approved by the Registration Committee. 

Article 11.8 – Qualifications for Provisional Membership

The requirements for Provisional Membership are as follows:

  1. successful attainment of the Academic Requirements, or
  2. demonstration that the applicant has a reasonable prospect and the commitment to achieve the requirements for Full or Associate Membership.

Article 11.9 – Terms, Conditions and Limitations for Provisional Membership

The certificate of registration of a Provisional Member is subject to the following terms, conditions and limitations:

  1. the Member shall only carry out activities that would otherwise be professional forestry under the supervision of a Full or suitably qualified Associate Member or as part of a formal course of study; 
  2. the Member shall work diligently to fulfill the remaining requirements for Full Membership or Associate; and
  3. the certificate of registration shall expire and be revoked on the earlier of the following events:
    - the Member receives a certificate of registration as a Full or Associate Member;
    six years have passed since the issuance of the original Provisional certificate of registration unless the Registration Committee approves an extension because of exceptional circumstances, or
    -
    the Member does not continue to effectively pursue Full or Associate Membership to the satisfaction
    of the Registration Committee.

Article 11.10 – Qualifications for Temporary Registration

The requirements for Temporary Membership are as follows:

  1. registration as a practicing professional forester in a category that is analogous to Full Membership in Ontario with Good Standing with a body in Canada that regulates professional foresters in another jurisdiction;
  2. a written contract or appointment that specifies the duties the applicant will perform in Ontario; and
  3. the applicant has not held a Temporary certificate of registration more than twice before in the previous year and has not previously held more than eight Temporary certificates of registration in the previous ten years.

Article 11.11 – Terms, Conditions and Limitations for Temporary Registration

The certificate of registration of a Temporary Member is subject to the following terms, conditions and limitations:

1.  the Member shall only perform the professional services which are:

(a)  described in their application as accepted or modified by the Registration Committee, unless
  working under the supervision of another Member in Good Standing, and
(b)  fall in an area in which the Temporary Member has provided satisfactory evidence of having
  the relevant Local Knowledge; and

2.  the certificate of registration expires no later than three months after the date on which it was issued.

Article 11.12 – Qualifications for Student Membership

The requirements for Student Membership are that the person is enrolled as a student in any post-secondary, forestry-related program in Ontario, or a program accredited by OPFA on the recommendation of the Canadian Forestry Assessment Board.

Article 11.13 – Terms, Conditions and Limitations for Student Membership

The certificate of registration of a Student Member is subject to the term, condition and limitation that the Member shall not hold themselves out as able to engage in and shall not engage in activities that would otherwise constitute the practice of professional forestry.

Article 11.14 – Qualifications for Inactive Membership

The requirements for Inactive Registration are as follows:

  1. the applicant has held Full or Associate Membership with Good Standing for at least twelve months; and
  2. is a Member in Good Standing; and
  3. the applicant submits a written undertaking not to practise any aspect of professional forestry or hold themselves out as having the right to practise any aspects of professional forestry in any jurisdiction without first obtaining an appropriate category of Membership. 

Article 11.15 – Terms, Conditions and Limitations for Inactive Membership

The certificate of registration of an Inactive Member is subject to the following terms, conditions and limitations:

  1. the Member shall not practise any aspect of professional forestry or hold themselves out as having the right to practise any aspects of professional forestry in any jurisdiction;
  2. when applying for a category of Membership permitting the practise of professional forestry, the Member shall satisfy the Registration Committee of their knowledge, skill and judgment of current forestry policy and may also be required to submit any additional information or to complete any additional requirements that the Registration Committee deems appropriate to protect the public from a Member who has not practised recently; an
  3. the Member shall act with the professionalism and integrity expected of a Member.

Article 11.16 – Qualifications for Non-Resident Membership

The requirements for Non-Resident Membership are as follows:

  1. the applicant holds Full Membership with Good Standing for at least twelve months;
  2. the applicant submits a written undertaking not to practise any aspect of professional forestry or hold themselves out as having the right to practise any aspects of professional forestry in Ontario without first obtaining an appropriate category of Membership or, specifically authorized by the Registration Committee on a basis and term comparable to qualifying for Temporary Membership; and
  3. the applicant does not reside in Ontario.

Article 11.17 – Terms, Conditions and Limitations for Non-Resident Membership

The certificate of registration of a Non-Resident Member is subject to the following terms, conditions and limitations:

  1. the Member shall not practise any aspect of professional forestry or hold themselves out as having the right to practise any aspects of professional forestry in Ontario, unless specifically authorized by the Registration Committee on a basis and term comparable to qualifying for Temporary Membership;
  2. when applying for a category of Membership permitting the practise of professional forestry in Ontario, the Member shall satisfy the Registration Committee of their knowledge, skill and judgment of current forestry policy and may also be required to submit any additional information or to complete any additional requirements that the Registration Committee deems appropriate to protect the public from a Member who has not practised recently in Ontario;
  3. the Member shall not reside in Ontario; and
  4. the Member shall act with the professionalism and integrity expected of a Member.

Article 11.18 – Qualifications for Life Membership

The requirements for Life Membership are as follows:

  1. the applicant holds a Membership with Good Standing in the Full, Associate, Inactive and/or Non-resident and has held such status for 25 years; and
  2. the applicant submits a written undertaking indicating retirement from the practice of professional forestry and the applicant will not practise any aspect of professional forestry or hold themselves out as having the right to practise any aspects of professional forestry.

Article 11.19 – Terms, Conditions and Limitations for Life Membership

The certificate of registration of a Life Member is subject to the following terms, conditions and limitations:

  1. the Member shall not practise any aspect of professional forestry or hold themselves out as having the right to practise any aspects of professional forestry in any jurisdiction;
  2. should the Member subsequently apply for a category of Membership permitting the practise of professional forestry, the Member shall satisfy the Registration Committee of their knowledge, skill and judgment of current forestry policy and may also be required to submit any additional information or to complete any additional requirements that the Registration Committee deems appropriate to protect the public from a Member who has not practised recently; and
  3. the Member shall act with the professionalism and integrity expected of a Member.

Article 11.20 – Qualifications for Honourary Membership

The requirements for registration as an Honourary Member are as follows:

  1. Council believes the person has made significant contributions to professional forestry; and
  2. the person meets the other criteria published by Council for Honourary Membership.

Article 11.21 – Terms, Conditions and Limitations for Honorary Membership

The certificate of registration of an Honourary Member is subject to the following terms, conditions and limitations:

  1. the Member shall not practise any aspect of professional forestry or hold themselves out as having the right to practise any aspects of professional forestry in any jurisdiction; and
  2. The Member shall act with the professionalism and integrity expected of an Honourary Member.