Continuing Forestry Education

Continuing Forestry Education (CFE)

In 1994 a national program of Continuing Forestry Education (CFE) was developed for forestry professionals in Canada in consultation with members of the Canadian Federation of Professional Foresters Associations and the Canadian Institute of Forestry’s Board of Directors. The CFE program is based on the idea that continuing education is a professional responsibility, if not a legal requirement, due to rapid changes occurring in forest management and technology, particularly in relationship to the environment and society. Our Association has adopted this format of CFE and it became mandatory in 2003. Subsequently changes have been made to update the requirements, the last of which occurred in 2013. For full program details click here. See also the note at the bottom of the page for updates


  • Maintain, advance, and broaden the knowledge and skills of all forestry professionals and practitioners.
  • Speed the transfer of new technology and concepts.
  • Recognize those forestry professionals who are successful in CFE and professional development.


To obtain a CFE Certificate, applicants must complete 150 credit hours of approved activities within a three-year period. The three-year period for completion of the requirements begin on the first of October annually. During the three year period, members are required to annually report a rolling total of their CFE credits obtained over the 3 year period by October 15 of each year

Approved activities are described in two broad categories. Credit weight varies with the type of activity. Although many different activities are acceptable, the system requires focus on Structured Learning, (Category 1), by stipulating a minimum of 60 credit hours in the three year period for that category, and thus limiting the eligible credit hours for Category 2 (Non-Structured Learning). All 150 credit  hours may be obtained in Structured Learning, but participants are encouraged to participate in other activities.

Individuals are required to keep their own records with the Personal Activity Record. This record form is top be submitted annually. All related supporting documents for all activities claimed must be retained for use in an audit situation. Since record forms and applications are not returned, participants should make copies for their personal records. In the process of reviewing applications and evaluating Credit hours, the CFE Committee recognizes the professional integrity of individual members and their Code of Ethics.


Category 1: Structured Learning (60 credit hours minimum)

Typically university or technical school courses, but also including study by correspondence, seminars, short courses, and workshops that meet five criteria: organized program of learning, primarily related to the career and practice of forestry, conducted by forestry experts, suitable education setting, and applicable to forestry practitioners in general. Other activities not specifically related to forestry can be included, such as computer science, personnel management, public speaking, and others which benefit an individual in their profession or position. Formal instruction and field trips would be credited as three credit hours per hour of instruction. Contact hours do not include lunch breaks. The CFE documentation will include course outlines or program agendas.

Category 2: Non-Structured Learning (eligible for up to 90 credit hours)

In three areas:

  1. one credit hour for each hour in attendance at business meetings of the RPFANS, CIF-NS, NSFTA.  (technical sessions of these organizations would qualify in Category 1); and
  2. one credit hour per hour of reading, viewing, or listening to related technical forestry material. Most members are familiar with The Forestry Chronicle and the Canadian Journal of Forest Research and their American counterparts, the Journal of Forestry and Forest Science. Many sources of technical and scientific articles pertaining to the practice of forestry can be included such as publications from the CPPA, FERIC, and government agencies such as CFS.
  3. preparation time for the legislation and policy (Jurisprudence) exam will be eligible for 15 credit hours.
  4. service as a member of the Executive or Board of Directors of active related organizations, is eligible for 5 credit hours annually

Official criteria regarding eligible credits and CFE forms are available through the link below. The forms may be used for keeping track of your hours or for documenting activities which do not otherwise have supporting documents. The CFE Application file also has information on how to correctly calculate hours and fill out the form. Your representatives on the CFE Committee can be contacted through RPFANS email. The forms MUST be completed when submitting your CFE report. The current forms can be found on this link .

NOTE: The CFE Registrar has provided some clarifications and updates to the information which was provided in 2013. These clarifications apply to your reporting for the current year. Click on CFE 2014 update for this information.


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P.O. Box 1031
Truro, N.S., B2N 5G9

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