Path to Membership
There are various options through which an individual may be eligible to apply to become a Full Member in the Association. Eligibility of full membership for applicants is based on an assessment of relevant education, experience, and examination.
See the Path to Full Membership
Step 1: Study Landscape Architecture and Become a Student Affiliate Member
OALA supports members and students aspiring to become professional landscape architects.
Become a Student Affiliate Member
Sign up to become a Student Affiliate to stay up to date with the profession and receive association newsletters and event notifications.
Study in an accredited program
Individuals with a Bachelor or Masters of Landscape Architecture from an accredited program are eligible to apply upon graduation. Information on accredited programs can be found in the OALA Handbook, Section 7.2 - Education Requirements.
Study in a non-accredited program
Individuals who have graduated from a related, but a non-accredited program, must complete a minimum of four (4) years of relevant professional landscape architectural experience (post-graduation) to apply for Associate membership. The Examining Board will review the experience report provided by applicants with a non-accredited degree and will be assigned a professional development period of 4-7 years. This experience period is in addition to the 4 years’ experience required to apply for Associate membership .
Step 2: Become an Associate Member
Only those who are interested in becoming a Full Member in the Association should apply for membership as an Associate. Those who do not aspire to become a Full Member, but are interested in the profession of landscape architecture, should apply for membership under the Affiliate category.
To apply for Associate membership, candidates will:
- Submit a completed application form with the required documentation and fees as outlined on the application form.
For study in a non-accredited program only: Individuals will submit a report that outlines the landscape architecture experience gained over the 4+ years. The report should follow the experience report requirements outlined in Section 9.1 of the OALA Handbook. Applicants may refer to the PDP Summary Experience Chart in the OALA Handbook to see the list of experience areas the Board will assess.
- Have the endorsement of one OALA Full Member.*
- Have current employment in the field.
- Have an advisor who is a Full Member of the OALA (with a minimum 4 years’ as a Full Member).
* Note: An advisor may also sign as an endorser on the application.
Candidates who meet these eligibility requirements will be accepted as Associate members. Upon acceptance, individuals with an accredited degree will be assigned a minimum two-year period in OALA’s Professional Development Program (PDP). Individuals with a non-accredited degree will be assigned a minimum four-year period in OALA’s PDP. Individuals accepted as Associate members will also receive an invoice for their annual membership dues.
The purpose of the Professional Development Program is to assist the Associate by providing the opportunity for regular interaction with active members as well as monitoring the Associate’s progress in acquiring appropriate professional experience and guidance.
The program consists of three components that can be done simultaneously.
- Experience reports
Once an Associate application is accepted, the individual will be given a mandatory PDP Experience period to complete before they can apply for full membership (24-72 months). The Associate’s advisor will also provide a mid and final assessment to complete this requirement.
- Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.)
Successful completion of the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.) is required for licensure as a landscape architect. Three passed exams allow the Associate to apply for full membership with certificate. Four passed exams also grant the use of the OALA stamp.
- Independent Course of Study (IS)
All Associates complete the Independent Course of Study. Associates are expected to read all of the Primary Reference List “A” and any of the Secondary Reference List “B” that applies to the work they will be doing .
Step 3: Apply as a Full Member
There are several options for Full Member eligibility including:
- graduating with a BLA/MLA and going through the Associate PDP;
- equivalent membership* and;
- extensive relevant professional experience with a BLA or MLA degree.
Persons who are certified full members (or equivalent) in an organization equivalent to OALA and recognized by the OALA are eligible to apply for full membership. Currently, the two other regulated jurisdictions in Canada are the AALA and BCSLA. To learn more about the National Reciprocity Agreement for the Profession of Landscape Architecture in Canada, click here.
Mandatory Continuing Education (MCE)
Once you become a Full Member, you are required to participate in the Mandatory Continuing Education (MCE) Program.
An excellent way to gain MCE credits is to volunteer within the Association. There are several committees that members can participate in including the OALA Council; or members also volunteer as Reviewers or Advisors for Associate members pursuing the PDP. Volunteering is the best way to stay active in the Association and enrich the education and involvement of future landscape architects.
Use of Title
An individual must be a Full Member of the OALA before they can be granted the exclusive use of the title landscape architect. The title is regulated the OALA granted by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects Act. Only Full Members of the OALA may use the professional credentials OALA after their name. To learn more about the use of title, click here.