Overview of Certification Program
In 1977, to promote and strengthen professional standards amongst wildlife biologists, TWS initiated the Wildlife Biologist Certification Program. The program judges prospective applicants based on 4 considerations:
- Education depth
- Experience as a practicing professional
- TWS membership
- A commitment to TWS's Code of Ethics
To ensure the education and professional experience requirements were being met, TWS established the Certification Review Board (CRB). The CRB is an eight-member board with representation from Canada and 7 other TWS sections across the US.
TWS is the only organization providing a peer-reviewed certification for wildlife biologists. TWS has been responsible for the creation of 1,600 Certified Wildlife Biologists® (CWB®), primarily across Canada and the USA.
The Certification Committee was formed in 2017 to revitalize TWS’s Wildlife Biologist Certification Program in Canada. The structure of the committee reflects a membership intent on achieving two goals:
- To work with TWS to see how the present certification program can be made more appealing to Canadian wildlife biologists
- To work towards establishing national standards for practicing wildlife professionals across Canada.
Levels of Certifications:
Associate Wildlife Biologist: An individual who has met the education requirements but has not yet obtained at least 5 years of professional-level wildlife experience in the previous 10 years to qualify as a Certified Wildlife Biologist® (CWB ®) can apply to be designated as an Associate Wildlife Biologist® (AWB®).
Certified Wildlife Biologist: There are several ways that TWS members can become certified.
- An AWB® certification is granted for 10 years and within that time limit, the applicant is expected to obtain 5 years of professional-level experience. Only then can the TWS member apply to be made to become a CWB®. Note: Associate Wildlife Biologist® Extension Application. If AWBs do not meet the 5-year experience requirement, they can apply to the CRB for a three-year extension. The fee is $25 (US).
- A wildlife biologist who has been working for a minimum of 5 years may elect to become a CWB without first becoming an AWB. In this situation, the applicant must show that his/her courses and his experience agree with TWS guidelines.
- Biologists with 20 years’ experience can use experience in lieu of required course work.
Benefits of Certification:
- Establishes a rigorous standard and quality control for Wildlife Biology and Management practices
- Enhances the credibility of the profession of wildlife biology
- Builds commitment to the wildlife profession beyond employment
- Advances regulation of wildlife biology occupations
- Facilitates communication and sharing of best-practices across jurisdictions
- Eliminates jurisdictional barriers when working anywhere in Canada
- Ensures that appropriate wildlife biology-related courses and training by students/young professionals.
- Provides a definite hiring asset for wildlife-related jobs
- Facilitates communication with other resource-based professionals.
- Provides leadership in promoting the conservation of natural resources.
For more information, please download the TWS Certification Brochure or email us firstname.lastname@example.org