Q: What is the timeline for my application for full designation to be processed?
- Attending the AIA AGM and Annual Conference : This happens once a year, so if you miss it this year, you will have to wait a full year to complete that requirement.
- Submitting the relevant in-training documents : Failing to send them in a timely manner, or submitting incorrectly completed documents prevents us to move forward with contacting your references.
- Providing three references with professional designations : This is the last requirement of the in-training program before you are reviewed for full designation. We contact these people and request them to fill out a standard reference form. We ask the references to complete these within 2 weeks and return them; however this can take longer depending on their schedules and commitments. You, as the in-training member, are given the main responsibility to keep on top of your references in regards to completing the reference form.
- Registration Committee meetings: The Registration Committee reviews both AIA’s new applicants and the ‘In-training to full designation’ files on an approximately 4 week meeting rotation. This is subject to change based on holidays and whether enough of the Committee members can attend a meeting. There are also generally people already waiting in each review queue, so there is a probability the review of your file will take more than 8 weeks from when you have all your documents in to us.
Q:How do I change my designation from ATT to AIT or RTAg to PAg?
A: To be eligible for registration as an AIT or PAg you must have obtained a 4 year university degree in either agricultural or environmental science and have the required credits in all course categories specified by the AIA Council.
If you have a 2 year diploma or a 3 year applied degree , contact a university of your choice and ask about a post-diploma or post-applied degree transfer to a 4 year degree program. The university will instruct you on the requirements to obtain a 4 year degree based on your academic background. If you transfer to a 4 year degree program, please keep in mind that you must meet the course credit requirements for AIT registration. All of the academic courses you have taken are included in the calculations of course credits. The course credit requirements for registration as an AIT leading to the PAg designation include the following:
- 60 credits (20 courses) of agrology. Of these 60 credits, at least 24 credits (8 courses) must be at a senior university level (e.g non-introductory agrology courses usually taught as a third or fourth year course).
- 15 credits (5 courses) of foundational natural science. These are usually introductory science courses taken in the first or second year such as chemistry, biology, physics, biochemistry, microbiology, ecology, geology, hydrology, hydrogeology.
- 3 credits (1 course) of mathematics or calculus or statistics.
- 3 credits (1 course) of English or communications.
- 3 credits (1 course) of either introductory microeconomics or macroeconomics.
If you have a 4 year university degree but were not granted AIT registration because your degree did not meet the course credit requirements indicated above , you must complete the degree credit courses (e.g. not certificate courses or short courses) that address the deficiencies noted by the Registration Committee. Refer to the official notification letter you received from the AIA office that summarized the Registration Committee’s review of your application.
Select appropriate courses from the approved course lists provided on the AIA website at this link: Apply Now for Registration . If you select courses from these lists, then you do not need to obtain approval from the AIA office prior to registering for the course(s). Complete the courses and send in an official transcript to the AIA office indicating you have obtained credit in the courses. The approved course lists also show the types of courses in each course category required for registration with the profession.
If you wish to take a course that is not on the approved list , please contact the AIA Registration Director for approval of the course prior to registering for the course. Once the course is approved, you may then register for the course. Once you have completed the course, please provide the AIA office with an official transcript showing you obtained credit for the course.
You may request a change to your designation once you have obtained credit in all courses that were deficient as noted by the Registration Committee at the time of your initial application.
Q: I am short of courses for my designation (ATT/AIT), or short courses for my desired practice area. Does the AIA offer extension courses that I can take to satisfy my course deficiencies?
A: Your post-secondary education is reviewed in two respects by the AIA’s Registration Committee:
- Do you satisfy the general credit requirements for acceptance into the AIA (do you have enough agrology/math/English etc courses? (see these requirements on the ‘New Applicants’ page)
- What practice area will your course work support?
For English/Math/Economics Course Deficiencies: satisfying these deficiencies is fairly straightforward. Find an approved course from our approved course lists or approved extension courses (info below).
For Agrology Course Deficiencies: When considering which courses to take to satisfy your agrology deficiencies, it is important to consider the desired practice area you would like to practice within and ensure that you satisfy the core knowledge requirements of that practice area through your course work as well. Take a look at the core knowledge areas of each practice area on our Practice Areas page and choose courses based on your practice area’s core knowledge requirements. Ensure that the course you would like to take is approved by the AIA by looking at the AIA’s approved course lists ( CLICK HERE ), or is an approved three credit course.
The AIA Council has approved several three-credit courses to help meet AIA entrance requirements; they can also be taken for CCP requirements and/or to supplement core knowledge areas of registered members. These courses are a condensed version of the same four month course you would take at a University. They are generally about 5 days total. Information about these courses can be accessed under the Members’ Site “Three Credit Course” option in the left-hand side menu.
To visit the AIA Approved Three Credit Courses, CLICK HERE . The topics of these condensed courses are unfortunately limited at this time. The AIA office is working to broaden the topics of the extension courses.
Q: I want to work in a practice area that is different than what the AIA’s Registration Committee recommends. How do I change this?
A: The Registration Committee recommends Practice Areas based on a person’s education and the Core Knowledge Area table (find the Core Knowledge Area table under the list of Practice Areas, CLICK HERE . It is in the AIA’s mandate to protect the public in matters related to agrology and ensure its members are competent. If a person works outside of the Practice Areas that are most closely aligned with their education, it is a professional’s responsibility to have the education and training to support the area in which they practice. Work experience is only part of the equation for creating competence, formal education and Continuing Competence Program are required, too.
The registration committee also understands that people’s jobs and career choices change over time. In order to achieve a new practice area, you should ensure you take formal education to meet a majority of the core knowledge areas for that Practice Area and and CCP hours in this new area. Finally, submit an official copy of your transcripts for records and request a reassessment of your Practice Areas.
For information on three-credit courses, CLICK HERE
For information on CCP, CLICK HERE
Q: I am an ATT and have to complete a Competency Checklist. What is this and why do I have to complete it?
A: As an ATT (and future RTAg), your area of practice and the tasks in which you can practice unsupervised as an RTAg are determined by the AIA’s Registration Committee. Requesting and completing a competency checklist from the AIA office is one of the in-training requirements. The competency checklist is sent out by the AIA office to help define the tasks an ATT will have sign-off capability on as an RTAg.
Q: What is a Scope of Practice? Where can I find this?
A: The Competency Checklist is a report informing the Registration Committee of your activities and the length of time you have performed them for. It also serves as an application for the work tasks you would like to have as part of your Scope of Practice within your Practice Area.
- The “Include this task in your Scope of Practice” is your announcement that you would like to work within that task unsupervised; the number of projects and the number of years you have worked doing that task is the information you are using to back up your reasoning for wanting to work in that task.
- The “Level of supervision required” section gives the registration committee an idea of how confident and competent you feel about your work and supplements the “ Include this task in your Scope of Practice ” section. When ATTs complete their competency checklists, they should be applying to include as many tasks as they feel competent in on their scope of practice. The AIA’s registration committee reviews your application and then decides based on the information you have given them whether they are in agreement with your application.
The committee is made up of people from the industry itself so they have a working idea of the experience level required for task. They make the final decision on what tasks are put on your practice permit, i.e. which tasks you have professional signoff ability for, or that you can work unsupervised in.
Q: Does ticking off a certain task prevent me from performing them in my job?
A:You can still do tasks that are not put on your practice permit (whether that be from you not requesting they be included, or the committee disagreeing with your application to include the task on your permit). You will just have to be supervised when completing the task and you cannot sign off on those tasks. You can apply for a reassessment whenever you feel that you have gained experience in tasks that were not originally on your practice permit throughout your career.
Q: As an In-training member, can I practice without supervision or sign off on projects?
A: As an In-Training Member, you are obligated to work under the direct supervision of a regulated professional, regardless of whether your area of practice is supported or not supported by your education. You cannot sign off on projects or practice without supervision as an in-training member. You must complete all your in-training requirements and be given your full professional designation to sign off on documents and practice unsupervised. To achieve your full designation the Registration Committee reviews applicants’ files individually based on an In-Training member’s education, references and experience shown on the resume. The committee then communicates their decision, which may include a cautionary note related to the current situation. Practice in areas outside of one’s scope is at one’s own professional risk.
You can still do tasks that have not been approved or recommended by the Registation Committee; You will just have to be supervised when completing the task and you cannot sign off on those tasks. You can apply for a reassessment when you have gained the required competence in the new practice area (through education, work experience, and Continuing Competence Program hours).
Q: What is CCP?
A: The Continuing Competence Program (CCP) Program enacts/executes/exerts/fulfills the requirements of the Agrology Profession Regulation (Section 16 , 18) to ensure, as stated on Section 43(2) of the Agrology Profession Act , “regulated members […] maintain competence and […] enhance the provision of professional services.”
Q: How do I report a CCP credit?
A: If you are accepted as a new applicant you will not have to record CCP hours for that current year; this is a rule we have made for all new applicants so they have a fair transition into their designation requirements. Upon being accepted we do encourage you to still attempt to record CCP hours within your first year so when it becomes mandatory you are very comfortable with the recording system we use for CCP hours on the website. Once it does become mandatory for you to record CCP (i.e. 2015 if you are accepted this 2014),
- Log into the AIA website to access the member areas
- Once you log in, you will be automatically directed to the Member Home Page.
- Select CCP Reporting from the options showing on the left hand side (7th item from the top of the menu).
You will have to select the CCP year that you are wanting to report for from the small drop-down menu, then click on the brown ‘Go’ button.
To add a CCP activity: Click on the ‘Add New Activity’ button. Make sure that you check the ‘Completed’ before you save the activity so that the hours you entered are actually recorded.
Q: I am adding my CCP Activities but my CCP Hours are not being counted. Why is this ?
A: If you have created CCP activities, but you did not put any hours into the 'Actual hours' category for these, they will not show up on your record. You will need to manually type in the hours you have worked on each activity and then, either click your cursor outside the Actual Hours box or press the Tab button on your keyboard: The system will automatically add in your accredited hours now. Again, ensure that you check the ‘Completed’ box for each activity!
Q: The 2014 AIA Conference is supposed to give me 20 hours of CCP. It is only counting 17. Why?
A: In order to be accredited the full 20 hours, members must attend the AGM, the CCP workshops and the plenary sessions. Since some people do not attend the AGM, however, we separated the AGM from the workshop and conference hours.
Add another activity for the AGM if you attended it; it is still the same category but the Activity type will just be the AGM this time. You should be credited 3 hours automatically for this activity, bringing your total up to 20 hours.
Q: I’m going on maternity leave. What should I do in regards to my AIA membership?
A: Your membership can be placed on a deferred status for the period of time you will be on leave. You will need to fill a declaration form for a deferred start request. On your return, you will need a deferred end request form to update your status to active once more. Please email email@example.com to obtain the necessary form and further information.
Q: Do Agrologists have to be paid overtime?
A: As per the Employment Standards Regulation, Alta. Reg. 14/97, Section 2(2)(m), professional agrologists are exempt from minimum standards legislation in the Employment Standards Code dealing with hours of work and overtime entitlements. This same situation applies to quite a few designated professions (including professional engineers and lawyers).
Agrologists, like other employees, can certainly enter into individual contracts with their employers to establish working conditions, including hours of work and overtime entitlements, that they consider to be reasonable and balanced, and these contract commitments will be legally enforceable.
Q: Does the AIA have any documentation on agrologists’ salaries ?
A: Although the AIA does not keep records on salaries averages, the Government of Alberta's Occupational Profile provides an ample description of the main duties and salary averages for Alberta. For more information, CLICK HERE