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Frequently asked questions about applying for membership in the ACPBC

Questions about:

  1. educational qualifications B.Sc.
  2. educational qualifications Chemical Technology diploma
  3. work experience
  4. applications from outside Canada
  5. classes of membership and transfers
  6. application process

 

1.0         Educational qualifications (within Canada). The minimum educational requirement for registration as a Professional Chemist or Chemist in Training is a four-year BSc in Chemistry normally consisting of at least sixteen courses of one-term duration each (lectures plus associated laboratory work) which covers a range and depth of chemical disciplines. The minimum educational requirement for registration as Registered Technologist in Chemistry or Professional Technologist in Chemistry is a two-year diploma in Chemical Technology.

1.1          I have a Chemistry B.Sc. degree. Do I need to send a copy of my diploma or transcripts?

Yes. Unless your B.Sc. diploma actually states that the B.Sc. is in Chemistry, from a Canadian university, you need to submit documents to show you have the degree qualifications. Frequently the diploma does not say “Chemistry” so transcripts giving the subject area of the degree are essential.

1.2          I have a B.Sc. degree in (Biochemistry, Environmental Science, Materials Science, ….) and I did a lot of chemistry courses as part of that degree. Do I qualify as a chemist?

Maybe. It depends on the courses you took as documented in your transcripts. The core issue is that registration as a professional chemist requires breadth (courses across the full range of the sub-disciplines of chemistry), and depth (introductory and advanced courses in a particular area) in a chemistry education. You will need to fulfill this requirement regardless of what your degree is called.

 

1.3          My B.Sc. degree was not in chemistry but I have been working as a chemist for some time and I have been learning on the job. Can I use this work experience as equivalent to formal course credit?

Maybe. It depends on the nature of the additional training you received, the qualifications of the persons providing this on-the-job training, and the extent to which this can be documented. Please contact the Registrar for specific details that will apply in your case.

1.4          I graduated sometime in the last century. Do I really need to dig out my diploma?

Yes. Or find some other mechanism to document your educational qualification. The issue for the ACPBC is documentation.

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2.0         Educational requirements – Chemical Technology

The minimum educational requirement for registration as Registered Technologist in Chemistry or Professional Technologist in Chemistry is a two-year diploma in Chemical Technology normally consisting of eight one-term courses in chemical technology.

2.1          I have a Chemical Technology diploma. Do I need to send a copy of my diploma or transcripts?

Yes. You need to submit documents to show you have the degree qualifications. Frequently the diploma does not say “Chemistry” so transcripts giving the subject area of the degree are essential.

2.2          I have a technology diploma in (Chemical Processes, Environmental Technology, ….) and I did a lot of chemistry courses as part of that program. Do I qualify as a chemical technologist?

Maybe. It depends on the courses you took as documented in your transcripts. The core issue is that registration as a chemical technologist requires breadth (courses across the full range of the sub-disciplines of chemistry), and depth (introductory and advanced courses in a particular area) in a chemistry education. You will need to fulfill this requirement regardless of what your diploma is called.

2.3          My educational qualification was not in chemical technology but I have been working as a chemist for some time and I have been learning on the job. Can I use this work experience as equivalent to formal course credit?

Maybe. It depends on the nature of the additional training you received, the qualifications of the persons providing this on-the-job training, and the extent to which this can be documented. Please contact the Registrar for specific details that will apply in your case.

2.4          I graduated many years ago. Do I really need to dig out my diploma?

Yes. Or find some other mechanism to document your educational qualification. The issue for the ACPBC is documentation.

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3.0         Work experience. Applicants for Professional Chemist registration must have completed at least four years post-degree full-time work as a chemist. Applicants for Chemist in Training must be currently employed as a chemist with less than four years full-time work as chemist at the time of application.  Applicants for Registered Technologist in Chemistry must have two years post-diploma experience.  Applicants for Professional Technologist in Chemistry must have seven years post-diploma experience.

3.1          How do I document my work experience?

The work experience portion of your resumé or curriculum vitae, or a detailed description of your chemical work experience, is required. The Membership and Registration committee is particularly focused on the chemistry content of your current and past employment. Please ensure that this aspect is completely described.

3.2          Does a period of graduate studies in chemistry count as post-BSc work experience?

It depends. If you were registered as a Chemist in Training or were not a member of the ACPBC during the time you were a graduate student, then this period will count towards the four years of post-BSc experience required for Professional Chemist registration.   We recognize up to one year of work experience for a completed M.Sc. and up to two years for a Ph.D. or M.Sc. plus Ph.D.

If you were a Student member of the ACPBC during the time you were a graduate student then the period of graduate studies does not count towards work experience.

3.3          I have several terms of Co-op and summer work experience as part of my BSc degree. Does this count towards work experience for PChem?

No. Work you did as an undergraduate before you completed your BSc is part of the primary educational qualification. The “work experience clock” resets to zero when you get your BSc.

3.4          I have been working part-time. How do I count this experience?

Work experience can be pro-rated according to the fraction of full-time you actually worked. Four years of half-time is equivalent to two years of full time.

3.5          My work experience is outside BC/Canada. Does this count?

Yes – provided you document the chemistry nature of your work.

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4.0         Applications from outside Canada

4.1          I have been working as a chemist outside Canada and I am now looking for a job in BC. Can I apply for registration as a Professional Chemist?

Yes – but you will need to satisfy all the requirements. This may require that your primary degree be certified by a degree certification agency, your work experience outside Canada needs to be fully documented, and you will also be required to provide a professional reference that can be verified.

4.2          I have a chemistry degree from outside Canada but have not worked as a chemist. Can I apply for registration as Chemist in Training?

Maybe. You must be currently employed as a chemist to apply for Chemist in Training. If you are not currently employed then you cannot qualify as a Chemist in Training.

4.3          Does the ACPBC certify foreign degrees or credentials?

No. Applicants seeking registration as a chemist should have their foreign credential evaluated by the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES; http://www.bcit.ca/ices/). We require a “Comprehensive Evaluation Report” from ICES as we need to assess the course content of your degree or diploma.   Full details are at: http://www.bcit.ca/files/ices/pdf/bcit-ices_acpbc.pdf

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5.0         Classes of membership and transfers

5.1          I am registered as a chemist in another province in Canada and I wish to transfer registration to BC. How do I proceed?

To become registered in BC you will need to do the following:
1) complete the address and contact information portion of the application form so we have your current coordinates; 2) contact the Registrar of the provincial organization where you are currently registered and have a copy of your file sent to the ACPBC Registrar; 3) pay the fees for the current year. When you submit your application indicate that it is a transfer of registration.

5.2          Can I be registered as a chemist in more than one province?

Yes. You could maintain your registration with each provincial organization independently.

5.3          How do I upgrade my registration from Chemist in Training to Professional Chemist?

You need to apply for registration as a Professional Chemist using the application form. You will need a professional reference and documentation on your work experience and current position. If there is no change to your educational qualifications, you do not need to send anything beyond what we already have on file, but if you have done additional courses or a degree, please include transcripts.

5.4          How do I upgrade my membership from Student member to Chemist in Training (or Professional Chemist)?

You will need to complete the full application.

5.5          I am a graduate student in Chemistry. Can I become a Student member?

Yes. But you have a choice with consequences; you are either a student or you are working as a chemist – not both. We will be happy to have you as a student member, but in this case the post-BSc work you are doing as a grad student does not count as work experience when you come to apply for registration as a Professional Chemist. Alternatively, you are now eligible for registration as a Chemist in Training; in this case your time as a grad student does count as work experience when you wish to become a Professional Chemist.  We recognize up to one year of work experience for a completed M.Sc. and up to two years for a Ph.D. or M.Sc. plus Ph.D.

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6.0         Application process

6.1          I don’t know any Professional Chemist well enough to ask as a professional reference. What do I do?

Although we would prefer that you have a Professional Chemist as your professional reference we recognize that this is not always possible. We will accept professional references from any other registered professional. This issue is that the reference can be independently established via his/her professional organization and can be directly contacted.

6.2          My courses don’t fit properly on the application form summary of educational experience. I have done lots of other courses and have additional work experience as part of my degree. How do I handle this?

Do your best within the constraints of the form. In addition to the form, you also need to supply a transcript, and document your work experience. If there are points you wish to clarify, please note those in the work experience documentation.

6.3          How is my application evaluated?

Applications are received by the Registrar, your professional reference is contacted, and the completeness of your documents is assessed. When everything is complete, your application is reviewed by the members of the Membership and Registration committee. They may have additional questions for you. If your application meets the standard, your registration is recommended to the Board who need to approve the recommendation. You will then be contacted to review and sign the Code of Ethics. Once a signed copy is received you will be a registered member.

6.4          How long does it take?

It depends entirely on how well you document your achievements and how closely you fit the standards. We try to come to a decision within 4-6 weeks of a complete application being received.

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