Key points re: use of title outside the home jurisdiction.

January 19, 2012

This document was reviewed by the CFPFA, and accepted by CFPFA member agencies on the above date.

Note that the points herein are, in the main, extracted from an article by Doug Krystofiak, published in the November/December 1996 issue of the Forestry Chronicle. Some modifications have been made by Ed Czerwinski and Ian Millar with editorial input from other CFPFA members.


You may only use your R.P.F. (ing.f)* designation after your name in the provincial jurisdiction(s) where you are a member in good standing, and except as noted in the points below.

Legislation establishing professional foresters associations is created and approved by provincial legislatures and thus becomes law in the province which passed the legislation. That legislation does not apply in other jurisdictions.


Can I use my R.P.F title if I go to work in another province that has professional forester legislation?

 The answer is no; until you have become registered in that province. Professional legislation prohibits the use of your home title in another jurisdiction. The R.P.F. designation is reserved only for registered members who hold a valid certificate of registration for that jurisdiction. This applies also to the use of one's professional seal or stamp and the use of one's R.P.F. designation on such things as correspondence and business cards identifying a “professional” location outside of the jurisdiction in which you are registered. However, some associations have provision for limited practice by visiting out-of-province foresters who must obtain local authorization. 


If I clarify that my R.P.F. title only applies to my home association, is that alright?

 The answer once again is no. The R.P.F. designation is reserved for and applicable only to registered members of that province. Using an out-of-province designation, even if one attempts to clarify it, with the home province in brackets after the designation, contravenes the "restricted" use of title provisions in the legislation because it does not clarify the fact that the proponent is not authorized (and may not be competent) to practice within the jurisdiction.

 There is nothing wrong with being introduced as a visiting R.P.F. or handing out business cards which clearly identify you as a visiting R.P.F. from out-of province (i.e., your business card has your home province address on it).  R.P.F.s are not to use their R.P.F. title out-of-province, except as noted above, when providing any professional services. Where there is a professional association in the province, they must contact that association for guidance regarding applicable membership.  Failure to do so may result in such individuals facing disciplinary actions by their home Association as well as legal action launched by the professional foresters association in the jurisdiction in which they misrepresent themselves.

What happens if I move to another jurisdiction where no professional forester legislation exists?

 You should make it clear, to anyone that questions the designation (e.g., clients and members of the public), that it applies to your home association, thereby, making it clear that you are accountable to your Association’s professional legislation and codes of conduct and ethics.


What would happen if I continue to use my out-of-province R. P. F. title in another jurisdiction in which a professional forester association exists?

 If this happens, you will most likely be acting in direct contravention of the legislation in force in that province. Upon being informed of such an infraction, an association could take immediate action to ensure that the individual cease “improper” use of title by way of a “cease and desist” letter or some other such demand.  In most jurisdictions, the next step would be to take the matter to court.

The association could also bring the matter to the attention of the R.P.F.’s home association which may also take whatever actions it deems necessary to ensure that its member complies with a request to cease improper use of title. In most instances, the home association’s codes of ethics or conduct (usually under the general topic of “Responsibilities to the Profession”) come into play. There may well be significant fines associated with improper use of title.


I am required to be very fluid in my job and must work in more than one province in any calendar year as a consultant/forester. Can I maintain membership in more than one professional foresters association?

 The answer is yes and, in fact, it may be required. Often, consultants working in two or more jurisdictions maintain active R.P.F. status in both provincial organizations.  This “cost of business” is common to most, if not all, regulated professions in Canada.

Some associations have established a “temporary” or “special” permit, or membership category, as a means of further addressing this issue to accommodate non-resident R.P.F.s. Those R.P.F.s   possessing such authorization would be bound by, and are accountable under the local provincial professional legislation.


If I transfer as a member in good standing, under the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), to another jurisdiction, and join that association, may I continue to use the R.P.F. title in the new jurisdiction while waiting to write their jurisprudence exam?

Yes, as soon as your transfer is approved and you are registered, you will be permitted to continue to use the title as the AIT provides for mutual recognition of trades and professions which have similar entrance requirements. However, you must write, and pass, the local knowledge exam of the new jurisdiction at the first available opportunity or within a specified period in order to retain this privilege.


 *Wherever R.P.F., and / or the word association, appears in the above document it is to be understood that the French, ing.f, and / or the word ordre, should be substituted, where appropriate and required.


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