The principle object of the OPFA, as set out in subsection 5(1) of the Professional Foresters Act, 2000 (the Act), is to regulate the practice of professional forestry and to govern its members in accordance with the Act, the regulations and the bylaws, in order that the public interest may be served and protected. As licensing legislation, the Act protects the public interest by, among other things, requiring that anyone who engages in or holds themselves out as able to engage in the practice of professional forestry must obtain a certificate of registration and comply with the standards and ethics of the profession. Persons who violate this requirement commit an offence under the Act. These persons may have certain technical skills and knowledge, but as long as they remain unregistered, they are immune from any kind of control or regulation by the OPFA, and are not subject to the discipline process if their conduct does not meet the standards or ethics of the profession. Allowing them to continue would defeat one of the main objectives of the Act in protecting the public interest.
The OPFA has several options to prevent unregistered persons from engaging in the practice of professional forestry, or committing other offences under the Act. There are three options
- alternative procedures;
- a prosecution; and
- a restraining order.
The Professional Foresters Act, 2000 gives OPFA member forester’s the right to title and states, “No person shall engage in or hold himself, herself or itself out as able to engage in the practice of professional forestry unless the person holds a certificate of registration issued by the Association”. Also, no person, other than a Member, shall use the designation “Registered Professional Forester” or the initials “R.P.F.”, or any name, title, abbreviation or description in any language implying or which may lead to the belief that the person is a registered Member of the Association, including the term “Professional Forester” or the initials “P.For.”.
For more information refer to the Professional Foresters Act, 2000.