Q: How do I know if I should be registered with the AIA and what is mandatory registration?
A: The Alberta Institute of Agrologists (AIA) is responsible for ensuring the public interest is protected as it relates to the practice of agrology in the Province of Alberta. AIA's authority stems from the 2007 Agrology Profession Act and the associated Agrology Profession Regulation.
Mandatory registration means that if...
- You have a diploma, applied degree or degree from a recognized post-secondary institution in agriculture or environmental science with the course content required by AIA Council; and
- You practice agrology as defined in Section 1(v) of the Act (see * below); and
- You provide professional services,
...then you MUST, according to the Act, be registered and listed on the professional register with the Institute.
Mandatory registration applies to all individuals who are eligible for the Registered Technologist in Agrology (RTAg) or Professional Agrologist (PAg) designation. Individuals who are registered with another profession or who farm their own land and do not practice agrology outside of their farm operation are exempt from registration with the AIA.
AIA will enforce the mandatory registration requirements of the Agrology Profession Act as required.
CLICK HERE for more information.
*The "practice of agrology" as defined within the Agrology Profession Act (Section 1(1v)):
"Practice of agrology means the development, acquisition or application of or advising on scientific principles and practices relating to the cultivation, production, utilization and improvement of plants and animals and the management of associated resources and includes:
- The certification of compliance with Acts, regulations, directives, standards and guidelines related to agrology,
- The conducting of economic, statistical, financial, sociological and other studies related to agrology,
- The production, processing, marketing and protection of agricultural and related products and supplies,
- The analysis, classification and evaluation of land and water systems,
- The undertaking of agricultural design and advising on the use of buildings, structures, machinery and equipment,
- The conservation, decommissioning, reclamation, remediation and improvement of soils, land and water systems, and
- The development, management and use of waste treatment and ecological systems."
Q: I am still going to school, but I am looking to apply to the AIA. What are my options for membership?
A: Students currently enrolled in a post-secondary agriculture or environmental program can apply to the Institute free of charge as Student Members. For more information on Student Membership and what it can offer you, please CLICK HERE.
Full membership to the AIA as an Agrologist In-Training (AIT) or Agrology Technologist In-Training (ATT) is available after convocation. For more information and to apply, CLICK HERE.
Q: What is the timeline for my AIT/ATT application to be processed?
A: Once an application is submitted and all required documentation is received, the application is moved into the queue for review by the Registration Committee. The timeline for the Registration Committee to review an application is greatly dependent on how many files are currently in queue. We often estimate between 6 to 8 weeks, but this may vary in either direction.
Q: I am applying as a New Applicant and the AIA does not have my course and/or post-secondary institution listed on the approved course lists.
A: The AIA has a comprehensive LIST of post-secondary institutions and their AIA-approved courses - however, if you're unable to find a particular course or institution, you can compare the course description of your course with that of an approved course. Course descriptions can generally be found on the school’s website.
If you still cannot find a similar course, contact the AIA Director of Registration and provide the following information for course approval consideration:
- Post-secondary institution name;
- Course name, description, and year the course was taken; and
- Your intended areas of practice that you would like to work within.
Q: What are practice areas?
A: In Alberta, the “practice of agrology” is defined in the Agrology Profession Act Section 1(v). This definition includes a very broad, extensive list of the various activities in which our AIA members work. The Alberta Institute of Agrologists has used this definition to develop 18 practice areas (PAs). Professional practice within a particular practice area requires educational training relevant to that area. To view the list of these PAs, please CLICK HERE.
Q: I am short courses for my designation (ATT/AIT) or short courses for my desired practice area(s). Does the AIA offer extension courses that I can take to satisfy my course deficiencies?
A: Do you satisfy the general credit requirements for acceptance into the AIA (do you have enough courses in agrology, math, English, etc.)? CLICK HERE for educational requirements.
The AIA does not offer extension courses - however, the AIA Council has approved several three-credit courses from the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension to help meet AIA entrance requirements. These courses can also be used 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 five days total. To view the AIA-approved three-credit courses from the University of Alberta Faculty of Extension, 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: What is CCP?
A: The Continuing Competence Program (CCP) enacts/executes/exerts/fulfills the requirements of the Agrology Profession Regulation (Section 16, 18) to ensure, as stated in Section 43(2) of the Agrology Profession Act, “regulated members […] maintain competence and […] enhance the provision of professional services.”
Q: Do agrologists have to be paid overtime?
A: As per the Employment Standards Regulation, Alta. Reg. 14/97, (2) Sec 14(1)(m), professional agrologists or agrologists in training 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 salary 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. For a recent salary survey of Agrologists (2015) across Canada, including AIA members, CLICK HERE.