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Board of Examiners

Role of the Board of Examiners

The role of the BCSLA Board of Examiners is a general check on the Standards of the Profession at the point of entry through an examination as defined in the Architects (Landscape) Act [RSBC 1996] Chapter 18, Section 8 and as per the BCSLA Bylaws.  The next 2020 Examination Administration is October 16, 2020.  Follow this link for complete details on the October 16, 2020 exam administration.  We have added October 30, 2020.  Follow this link for  details on the October 30, 2020 exam administration.  Please note that in view of the constantly changing COVID-19 situation the 2020 Board of Examiners schedule is tentative.   Alternate and/or additional dates and alternate examination venues may be considered in response to COVID-19.

The BCSLA Board of Examiners set and administer the examination necessary for the registration of members in the British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects. They review the applicants' qualifications and determine acceptability.

Appearance before the BCSLA Board of Examiners is the last step towards licensure as a landscape architect in British Columbia and is essential to ensure that an individual has demonstrated sufficient local knowledge, skill, and ability to practice the profession in BC while protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Pre-Examination Process

All applicants for membership are reviewed by the Credentials Committee.  Applicants who meet all of the requirements for membership as outlined in the BCSLA Bylaws and have sufficient practical experience will be recommended to write the the Landscape Architectural Registration Exam (LARE). Upon successful completion of the pre-examination process, the Credentials Committee will recommend to the Board of Directors that the applicant appear before the Board of Examiners.

Notification to Appear Before Board of Examiners

The Board of Directors through the BCSLA office will invite all successful applicants to appear before the Board of Examiners. The correspondence will clearly state the location, time of the candidate's interview, and the range of topics that may be covered during the interview process. Candidates from outside the Lower Mainland are given first choice of examination times to accomodate travel arrangements.  Candidates will be expected to review experience, provide a small portfolio of two to three varied projects, and answer any questions related to the professional practice of landscape architecture. The candidate must also discuss the reasons for registration and involvement with BCSLA. 

The Board of Examiners focuses on the following aspects:

  1. to be satisfied that there are regular examinations for entry into the profession of landscape architecture in British Columbia, provided not less than once a year;
  2. to be satisfied that such examinations are administered through a fair and reasonable procedure;
  3. to notify new members of successful completion if the examination process and remind them of their principled obligations as professionals, and
  4. to act as a review panel for appeals from the examination process, or to hear special circumstances relating to entrance standards under an application for entry into the profession.

The exam is administered in two parts as described below:

PART ONE: Ten-minute Presentation

Candidates are asked to present materials relative to one or two projects, and be able to speak to their involvement in the various technical phases of design, research, management and construction. A brief summary or opening statement of past education and experience is welcome; however, resumes of candidates are reviewed in advance of the presentation. Project examples from outside British Columbia are acceptable if the candidate does not have previous experience in BC.

Please only bring two hard copies of work samples for the presentation. Digital copies or presentations are not required. Photographs of completed work and a general portfolio are welcome, but not required. Please also ensure your prepared materials include:

  • A full technical drawing set including a planting plan, details, plan views, and affiliated drawings
  • Technical specifications
  • Examples of construction administration experience (i.e. meeting minutes, a contemplated change order form)

Examples brought forward should be representative of works that you have largely completed. It is understood that some work is completed in teams and under the review and direction of others. Please speak to the three areas listed above where you have gained significant experience. The objective should be to demonstrate that you have the experience, competence and integrity to successfully manage a project from start to finish. If you are a candidate from out-of-province you are able to use examples from areas outside of BC, but should be prepared to speak to your effort to become familiar with BC legislation and standards of practice. 

PART TWO: Ten-minute Interview

The focus of this portion of the exam is for you to demonstrate current knowledge and conditions of practice relative of Landscape Architectural practice in British Columbia. This is the basic criterion for deciding if a candidate will be granted registration. Candidates must be prepared to demonstrate a working knowledge of the following:

  • Builders Lien Act
  • Contract and Construction Administration
  • The Canadian Landscape Standard 
  • Architects (Landscape) Act and other BC legislation
  • BCSLA Bylaws, Policies and Standards of Professional Conduct and Practice
  • Insurance 
  • Public Interest
  • Reason for Registration and involvement with BCSLA

Please refer to the Detailed Terms of Reference for a more comprehensive understanding of the question topics. 

> For the candidates of the Landscape Architect (Non-Stamp) Category, please refer to this Detailed Terms of Reference.

Board Selection Profile

The Board of Examiners consists persons who have been designated in the past as those who would be familiar with the nature and standards of the profession, plus a lay-member.  As per the Architects (Landscape Act), RSBC 1996, c18, the Lieutenant Governor in Council appoints a Board of Examiners of not less than five (5) persons, among who shall be:

  • A person nominated by the Principal of Kwantlen Polytechnic University;
  • A person nominated by the Director of the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture of the University of British Columbia;
  • A person nominated by the Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science of the University of British Columbia;
  • The President of the Society; and
  • A person to represent the public interest in the furtherance and maintenance of proper standards of professional practice in Landscape Architecture in the Province.

Board of Examiner Member Biographies; This is a list of examiners who are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. The Past President of the BCSLA is the Chair of the Board of Examiners. The BCSLA Registrar is not a member of the Board of Examiners, but is responsible for the presentation to the Board of all Applicants for membership.

Exam Administration

The BCSLA Board of Examiners must set and hold regular examinations in British Columbia at least once in each year at the place and the time specified by the Board of Examiners. 

  1. A summary of each Applicant member is sent to the Board of Examiners two weeks in advance of the sitting of the Board of Examiners.
  2. The Board of Examiners will meet one hour prior to the first scheduled appearance of an applicant  to determine the session's specific questions and minimum passing answers based on the broad topics listed above.
  3. Each candidate is introduced to the Board by the Registrar.
  4. The Chair of the Board welcomes the Applicant and introduces the Board of Examiners.
  5. The Chair of the Board reads the prepared statement that explains the objectives of the oral exam.
  6. The Chair will then ask the applicant to start with a five minute review of experience followed by a five minute presentation of two to three portfolio objects.
  7. The Board will then question the applicant to determine their knowledge in the areas listed above.

Each Board member will keep notes on responses by applicants.  This should be kept to fifteen minutes to allow equal time for all candidates throughout the day.  Board members are requested to ask questions and probe but not provide answers or lengthy explanations.

The Applicant will then be dismissed and the Board will deliberate for ten to fifteen  minutes on the success of the Applicant.  A tentative decision will be recorded by the Registrar subject to an overall review at the end of the days' proceedings.  The applicant will be notified of the Board decision by phone the following work day by the Registrar.  This will be followed by correspondence clearly outlining any concerns that the Board had with the Applicants' evaluation.

Click to view background photo & credits
Project: VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre
Landscape Architect / Firm: Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture Inc
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Photo Credit: Brett Hitchins