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Riparian Areas Protection Regulation Methods

Course Description

This four-day theoretical and practical course introduces participants to the purpose and application of the Riparian Areas Protection Regulation (RAPR), including the roles and responsibilities of government, the proponent, and the Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP). Participants also learn to complete a field assessment and follow reporting procedures, including electronic submission requirements. This program is suitable for environmental consultants and other professionals (ie. fisheries, forestry, engineering, etc.) who will be conducting Riparian Areas Protection Regulation field assessments, as well as those individuals who will be working with, or regulating, land use initiatives such as land developers, government personnel and other industry stakeholders. This program is highly recommended by fisheries agencies and local governments for environmental professionals to conduct effective and compliant RAPR assessments.


The Riparian Areas Protection Regulation calls on local governments to protect riparian areas during residential, commercial, and industrial development by ensuring that a QEP conducts a science-based assessment of proposed activities. Originally enacted under the Fish Protection Act in 2004, the Riparian Areas Regulation now falls under the Riparian Areas Act. In November 2019, the regulation was amended and retitled as the Riparian Areas Protection Regulation (RAPR). Information on the regulatory changes can be found here: Amendments to the Riparian Areas Regulation.


Under the Riparian Areas Protection Regulation, QEP's are required to provide their professional opinions and conduct assessments of development proposals in riparian areas. This course will assist participants in understanding riparian area assessment methods, roles and responsibilities related to RAPR implementation, and reporting procedures.

Riparian Areas Protection Regulation Program Completion Disclaimer

The Riparian Areas Protection Regulation course provides training related to reporting procedures, field assessment, and electronic submission requirements that meet the training objectives (Part 20(b)) required for the submission process to the Ministry of Water, Land & Resource Stewardship.

As a registrant of the course, you understand that this VIU program may provide certification, but this is only one of the requirements to be a primary QEP under the regulation. If you do not have the appropriate experience/skills required as noted in the regulation to identify and assess potential fish habitat in BC, then you may not be considered a QEP under the regulation.

A primary QEP must meet Parts 20 and 21 of the Regulation. This course is not intended to provide instruction on how to become a QEP in your chosen field of expertise.

If you do not meet the requirements of a primary QEP please seek out mentorship in your professional organization or professional association, and/or there are many courses that will help you build your skillset. Please check our schedule page or contact NREP@viu.ca if you have any questions.


Day 1 and 2: Online/Remote

9 am Zoom meeting each morning followed by online module work composed of readings, micro-lectures and exercises. Participants should plan to work on course until approximately 4pm each day.

Day 3: On-site field practice

Field-based exercises in the morning, followed by a field exam in the afternoon. Participants should bring lunch and expect to be in the field until approximately 4pm. Specific location will vary depending on cohort.

Day 4: Online/Remote

9 am Zoom meeting followed by an online written exam. Participants can expect to finish course work around mid-day.



You Supply

Students are responsible for supplying their own personal equipment for the field-day, as outlined below. Please ensure that your gear is clean and ready for use per the British Columbia Ministry of Environment Hygiene Protocols for Amphibian Fieldwork.


  • chest waders
  • foul weather gear
  • pen, pencil, paper, clipboard, ruler, calculator

Recommended (please bring your own, if you have it):

  • field vest
  • clinometer
  • rotary measuring tape
  • compass
  • foldable ruler

All other supplies and field equipment will be provided for you, including course manuals.

Upcoming Deliveries and Registration Information

See our program schedule for a list of all upcoming NREP course deliveries. If this course is not currently noted in the schedule, please contact NREP@viu.ca to enquire about future opportunities. Prior to registering for any NREP course, please review the program's registration guidelines, including important cancellation and refund policy information.

Course Participants

VIU’s Natural Resources Extension Program (NREP) has compiled a list of participants who have successfully completed this training program since the regulation was amended in November 2019. This list is available to industry stakeholders desiring to utilize the services of a RAPR course graduate. Vancouver Island University does not confirm if these individuals are "Qualified Environmental Professionals", as defined by the province of British Columbia.

Successful Riparian Areas Protection Regulation Course Participants: November 1, 2019 - Current

A list of Riparian Areas Regulation course participants preceding the November 2019 amendments.

Don’t see your name on the list? If you successfully completed this VIU training after November 1, 2019 and would like to be included on the contact list please download, complete and return this waiver form to NREP@viu.ca

"The course was extremely thorough, and I left feeling confident in my knowledge of the Riparian Area Regulation (RAR) and my ability to conduct assessments in the field. The instructor was able to answer any question that was asked and it was clear that her extensive experience was built into the course. It was particularly important to me that the course included examples from around the province to identify challenges and differences that arise when conducting RAR Assessments across BC."

Robyn Reudink, Ecosystems Biologist, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Thompson Okanagan Region