Aquality's staff is made up of Professional Biologists (P. Biol.), Biologists in Training (BIT), Qualified Aquatic Environmental Specialists (QAES), and Quality Wetland Science Practitioners (QWSP), formerly known as Qualified Wetland Aquatic Environmental Specialists (QWAES).
Professional Biologists (P.Biol)
In 1991, the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists was registered under the Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act (POARA), and its members were granted exclusive right to the use of the title of Professional Biologist. Professional Biologists are required to demonstrate minimum levels of education, experience, and practical application, and to follow a Code of Ethics. They are also governed by responsibilities to the public, to their employers or clients, and to their profession. A history of the biological societies in Alberta can be found here.
Qualified Aquatic Environmental Specialists (QAES)
In Alberta, some authorities have allowed for certain regulatory tasks and governmental functions to be delegated to qualified environmental specialists based on training, years of experience, certification, affiliation with certain organizations, insurance, etc. Under the Water Act Codes of Practice, Qualified Aquatic Environmental Specialists (QAES) may be used to design and provide acceptable alternative designs to those specified in the Codes. A Qualified Aquatic Environmental Specialists (QAES) is an individual with a post-secondary degree or technical diploma in biological sciences, or has educational equivalencies.
Qualified Wetland Science Practitioner (QWSP)
Under the Alberta Wetland Policy, Qualified Wetland Science Practitioner (QWSP) replaces the Qualified Wetland Aquatic Environmental Specialist (QWAES) designations and QWSP's are required for the preparation of wetland regulatory applications. QWSP's must understand and be proficient with all wetland Directives, Guides, and tools used for regulatory applications and use the Alberta Wetland Identification and Delineation Directive, Alberta Wetland Assessment and Impact Report Directive, the Alberta Wetland Mitigation Directive, and ABWRET-A in all wetland assessments. The QWSP designation will be governed by a regulatory body and there will be standards/certification process to becoming a QWSP; there is currently no certification process in place for QAES’s and QWAES’s. The standards and certification process are still being developed by the Government of Alberta. To become a certified QWSP an education requirement, professional experience, membership in a professional organization, and completion of an exam will be required. The certification system will be third party administrated (not GoA) and training courses will be offered external to GoA and cross referenced with the requirements.
Qualified Wetland Aquatic Environmental Specialists (QWAES)
For some regulatory functions such as various types of work in and around wetlands, a QAES may not have sufficient knowledge or experience to carry out the requisite function. In the case of wetland compensation or restoration, the services of a qualified Wetland Aquatic Environmental Specialist (QWAES) are required. A QWAES is an expert with detailed knowledge of the aquatic environment, wetland soils, wetland species, hydrology and wetland margin habitat and their management or assessment. The designation is no longer valid as of June 1, 2015.