Landscape Architecture Title
Using the “Landscape Architect” Title in Ontario
The OALA Act, which came into force in 1984, regulates the use of the title, “Landscape Architect” (the “Title”), in Ontario.
While there are various classes of membership in the OALA, the Act states that only Full Members of the OALA can be granted exclusive use of the title “Landscape Architect” or be permitted to use the professional designation “OALA” after their name. In addition, the Act provides that a firm, partnership, corporation, or association of persons (a ‘Firm’) may only use the designation "Landscape Architect" or "Landscape Architects" as part of its name, or after its name, where the Firm employs a Full member of the OALA to supervise the practice of landscape architecture by the Firm. Furthermore, section 10(3) of the Act makes it an offence for any person in Ontario, who is not a Full Member of the OALA, or who is otherwise not in compliance with section 10(2) of the Act, to use the designation "Landscape Architect" or "Landscape Architects".
OALA Members with a membership status other than Full Member, such as Retired or Associate Members, may not use the Title but may use one of the following terms to indicate they are still a member of the OALA:
For retired members:
- John Doe , OALA – Retired
For inactive members
- Jane Doe, OALA – Inactive; Jane Doe, Landscape Architect – Inactive, OALA
For associate members:
- Jane Smith, Landscape Architectural Intern
For clarity, OALA Associate members may not use the OALA designation after their name. Section 6.2 of the OALA By-laws outlines restrictions on use of the Title for OALA Associate members . For example, the designation "associate" cannot be used in certain circumstances without prior consent of the Council.
Public Listing of Landscape Architects
Members of the public who wish to verify whether an individual is a Full Member of the OALA, with the right to use the title “Landscape Architect” or the “OALA” designation in Ontario, can do so by using the Find a Landscape Architect search tool on the OALA Website.
Members of the public may also verify whether landscape architectural firms in Ontario employ at least one Full Member of the OALA by using the Find Company search tool on the OALA website.
For further questions on the use of the title “Landscape Architect”, please contact the Registrar or email TitleUse@oala.ca.
Why Does it Matter If a Landscape Architect is a Full Member of the OALA?
Full Members of the OALA, who may lawfully use the designation “Landscape Architect”, are subject to the OALA Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice (Code) which safeguards standards of professional practice consistent with the OALA’s obligation to serve and protect the public interest.
In connection with OALA’s responsibility to maintain standards of professional practice and conduct, consistent with the need to serve and protect the public interest, the OALA also has responsibility for:
- regulating professional standards
- accreditation for the profession
- maintaining and improving the examining process
- approving educational and professional development standards.
Enforcement of the Proper Use of Title
The OALA regulates the use of the Title in Ontario. In doing so, the OALA works to follow up on any public breach of the Act. Once a person registers a complaint the OALA will contact the subject of the complaint to inform them of the alleged breach. If the person or company does not respond to the request, the OALA will take any steps available to ensure the matter is resolved. The Act provides the OALA with the option to impose fines or take further legal action as may be necessary.
A person who would like to report illegal use of the Title by either an individual or a Firm may follow the Complaints Process below.
Use of Title - Complaints Process
If you become aware of an individual who is not a Full Member of the OALA but is using the title Landscape Architect or the designation OALA, please email TitleUse@oala.ca with the following details:
- name of person or company that appears to have misused of the Title and/or the designation
- a copy of the document, or link to the website, where the title was misused (e.g., picture of and URL of website page, scan of public document)
- date when the complainant became aware of the misuse of the title or designation.
The OALA will follow the OALA Complaints Process. As part of this process, the OALA will confirm receipt of all complaints and questions about the use of title. OALA Staff will review all complaints, create a file, and initiate an investigation where necessary.