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Vancouver IslandUniversity

Professional Accreditation

Professional Accreditation

Professional Accreditation – Geography and Geoscience

What is professional accreditation?

A designation (letters after your name) to show that you are qualified to do a particular job or task. It serves as proof of your skills and knowledge in a particular discipline. Oversight is by a provincial (or national) organization that sets acceptable standards for professional practice, and controls admittance to the organization. The practice is often written into provincial legislation.

Why pursue accreditation?

It can enhance career prospects (and rates of pay), gives you standing amongst your professional peers, networking opportunities & is a requirement for some jobs (especially in government).

How do I pursue professional accreditation?

First you need to decide on your career path and which designation you will pursue, often there is a student category which gives benefits. To begin, examine the admission requirements and make sure that you take the courses required to satisfy the educational requirements. Getting work experience of relevance to your chosen career path during your education and after is important.

What is needed for professional accreditation?

Usually two or more requirements.

  1. Educational requirements: Often the successful completion of a specific set of university courses, or an entire program may be accredited (see table below).
  2. Experience requirements: Significant mentoring and oversight from another registered professional, often for several years. Some time may be waived with an advanced degree or other criteria.
  3. Other: Some accreditation may have additional requirements, see specific accreditations for details. For example, EGBC requires that you study for and pass a law, professionalism and ethics exam.

Professional Association



Work Opportunities

EGBC – Engineers and Geoscientists of BC www.egbc.caProfessional Geoscientist (P.Geo.)

VIU BSc degree in Geoscience with specific set of courses depending upon the discipline (geology, environmental geoscience and geophysics)
Follow this link to view the checklist for required courses at VIU.

Oil and gas,
Slope stability,
Terrain assessment,
Environmental impact assessment

PIBC – Planning Institute of British Columbia

Registered Professional Planner (RPP)Accredited degree from a planning program. The VIU MCP program is accredited. Follow this link to view the full list of accredited programs on the Professional Standards Board for the Planning Profession in Canada. Land-use and municipal planning

BCIA – British Columbia Institute of Agrologists

Professional Agrologist (P.Ag.)Bachelor’s degree with foundational science and courses in natural sciences and/or agricultural and resource economics. Follow this link for the  approved courses at VIU for the BC Institute of Agrologists.

Agrology (agriculture),
Land capability assessment,
Environmental impact assessment, Site remediation/restoration

FPBC – Forest Professionals BC
Registered Professional Forester (RPF)Note the VIU Forestry program is not an accredited degree. One option for gaining RPF designation is completing a BA Major in Geography (SRM) coming in from the Forest Technology Program, and then going on to do a Masters at UBC.  For full details on professional requirements follow this link to the Forest Professionals BC website.

Forest resource management

This list is not exhaustive, and others may be applicable, such as:

  • GIS Professional (GISP) is an American certification that is held by some Canadians -
  • Environmental Professional (EP) which is a national voluntary registration -
  • Registered Professional Biologist (RPBio) with a degree in biology -
  • Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC (AScT/CTech) with a technical diploma/certificate -