Ontario Bridge Training Program for Foresters


The Ontario Bridge Training Program for Foresters (OBTF) provides training and assessment for the 35 demonstrable competencies required for entry into the Profession of Forestry in Canada. Lakehead University offers OPFA Standard 3: Forest Management (modules 1-7), Standard 4: Economics and Administration in Forestry (modules 1-6), Standard 6: Information and Acquisition Analysis (modules 1-5) and the Ontario Bridging Program (modules 1-4).

Please note the following:

  • Registration in a non-credit course does not imply future admission as a regular learner.
  • Participants will receive a certificate of recognition and a pass on their non-credit transcript upon successful completion of a course.
  • Course withdrawals and refunds may vary by course and could include a non-refundable administration fee.
  • Non-attendance or not formally withdrawing will result in an incomplete on your non-credit transcript.
  • Upon submission of the form below, you will receive an e-mail confirming your receipt of registration.
  • All modules are offered online with a continuous (anytime) intake - with the exception of Standard 6 Module 5: This is primarily a field event over several days with a cost per individual participant of $1,600. However, costs will be reduced accordingly if more than one (1) participant take the field module at the same time.
  • Currently, Standard 6 (Information Acquisition and Analysis) and Policy are available for registration.
  • The Economics (Standard 4) and Forest Management (Standard 3) are available.

Registration for the Ontario Bridge Training Program for Foresters (OBTF) is continuous intake.

Forest ecosystem management balances ecological, social, and economic demands with the capacity of forest resources to provide for present and future values.

OBTF Standard 3 - Module 1 - Forest Values

Describe the variety of values and competing interests in a forest.
a. Identify and describe the range of values (timber and non-timber) in a forest.
b. Identify the interests and rights present in a forest including Indigenous Peoples’ rights, claims and interests in forests and the importance of implementing processes to determine and address them.
c. Describe the requirements of and interaction among these values.

OBTF Standard 3 - Module 2 - Forest Strategic and Operational Principals

Explain forest strategic and operational planning principles.
a. Explain why forest planning is required.
b. Discuss basic principles of planning.
c. Discuss planning tools.
d. Differentiate among levels of planning.
e. Describe the specific operational elements that should be included in a plan.

OBTF Standard 3 - Module 3 - Forest Cover Manipulation Strategies

Analyze and apply a range of forest cover manipulation strategies that effectively achieve a given set of objectives while minimizing negative impacts on other values from a perspective emphasizing:
a. Commercial extraction as the management objective; and
b. Management objectives that are non-extractive.

OBTF Standard 3 - Module 4 - Legal and Policy Framework in Forest Management

Explain the legal and policy framework.
a. Describe forest regulation/legislation /policies and procedures (nationally and regionally specific) and the importance to forest management.

OBTF Standard 3 - Module 5 - Forest Management Concepts

Discuss forest management concepts.
a. Explain various management approaches and situations where they might be used.
b. Describe risk and uncertainty in forest management options.
c. Describe the application, design and function of adaptive management.
d. Discuss the cumulative impacts of forestry and other land use practices (e.g. oil and gas, urban development) on various forest resources.
e. Describe the role and application of monitoring in forestry.

OBTF Standard 3 - Module 6 - Global Trends in Forest Management

Describe how global drive trends and influence forest management.
a. Identify global trends.
b. Explain the influence of global trends on regionally specific forest management.

OBTF Standard 3 - Module 7 - Resource Plan Development ‘Capstone Project’

Develop a resource planning document that incorporates current economic, environmental and social values into actions that lead to achieving the planning objectives and to future desired conditions and goals.
a. Identify and describe resource abundance through time and space and determine the management activities required to provide for a sustainable supply of consumptive and non- consumptive goods and services.
b. Plan resource use decisions and determine the harvest of resources (including timber) within the context of larger, socially-defined goals.

Canada’s forest resources provide a wide variety of goods and services. Utilizing forest resources requires knowledge of the principles of allocation of limited resources among competing interests and the economic, policy and administrative forces that cause change.

OBTF Standard 4 - Module 1 - Business & Project Plans

Describe the content and importance of business and project plans.
a. Explain the importance of business plans and project plans.
b. Identify the components of a business plan.
c. Prepare a project plan.

OBTF Standard 4 - Module 2 - Risk Management

Describe risk management relative to forest resources.
a. Describe the limitations, including risk and uncertainty, in managing forests and forest operations.
b. Perform a sensitivity analysis for a management action or strategy.
c. Recognize the impact of natural disturbance on the availability of forest resources.

OBTF Standard 4 - Module 3 - Organizational Structure & Function

Describe organizational structure and function.
a. Discuss social, environmental and economic effects of policies and strategies that impact forestry as developed by various organizations.
b. Describe Indigenous peoples’ interactions with relevant organizations.
c. Describe effects of labour relations on forestry.
d. Explain the effects of certification programs on forestry.
e. Describe the role of government in society as a process for establishing legislation and policy.

OBTF Standard 4 - Module 4 - Business Concepts in Resource Management Planning

Discuss business concepts that apply to a management plan.
a. Describe the business objectives that must be considered in resource management planning.
b. Discuss the concept of balancing environmental, social, and economical considerations in resource management planning.
c. Identify various products produced from forests and the markets they serve.
d. Discuss concepts of best end-use and value-added products as related to forest resources.

OBTF Standard 4 - Module 5 - Forest Products & National & Global Trends

Recognize the effects of national and global trends on supply and demand, and flow of forest-based products including price and production.
a. Describe basic principles of macroeconomics and their application to forest resources.
b. Discuss the effects of international policies on Canada’s ability to compete.
c. Explain Canada’s evolving position in global markets.
d. Recognize full cost analysis for multiple-use where information is available.

OBTF Standard 4 - Module 6 - Operational Plan Development

Prepare and defend a basic operational plan for a project to achieve resource management objectives within available resources.
a. Plan and implement a project with emphasis on human resources, production schedules and budgeting
b. Explain the role of performance measures (e.g. human resources, financial, timelines and production).
c. Defend a plan of action.

The management of Canada’s natural resources requires the acquisition and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. Developing comprehensive measurement and sampling skills provides professional foresters with an ability to collect information and understand sources of uncertainty that affect data reliability.

OBTF Standard 6 - Module 1 - Basic Orienteering and Surveying Techniques

Demonstrate an ability to apply basic orienteering and surveying techniques.
a. Read and follow a map, use aerial photographs, use a compass and global positioning technology to navigate in the forest.
b. Demonstrate an ability to measure distances and angles.

OBTF Standard 6 - Module 2 - Collecting Forest Resource Data

Use measurement tools for collecting forest resource data.
a. Describe the commonly used tools and procedures, appropriate application and associated accuracy.
b. Employ a variety of measurement and identification tools.

OBTF Standard 6 - Module 3 - Designing and Implementing Sampling Strategies

Design and implement sampling strategies.
a. Demonstrate knowledge of fundamentals of statistics.
b. Differentiate among sampling strategies.
c. Analyze data collected using simple sampling strategies.

OBTF Standard 6 - Module 4 - Analyzing Qualitative and Quantitative Data

Analyze simple mathematical models.
a. Express the relationship between variables using mathematical models.
b. Interpret output provided by statistical packages.

OBTF Standard 6 - Module 5 - Advanced Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analysis

Analyze and display both qualitative and quantitative data.
a. Describe techniques for synthesizing data.
b. Demonstrate the use of a range of analytical techniques.
c. Develop displays, such as maps, relational data bases, graphs, or GIS that are appropriate to a particular use.

The Local Knowledge Assessment (as per our Bylaws) requirement, also called the Ontario Forest Policy and Legislative Framework, is required for all those applying for Full (R.P.F.) Membership and may be required for those applying for Associate (Associate R.P.F.).

Membership depending on their prescribed scope of practice. Applicants will be informed of what, if any, training modules they will be required to complete as determined by our Registration Committee.

The Ontario Forest Policy and Legislative Framework are self-directed training modules which are completed online and consist of four modules:

  • Module 1 – Concepts and Principles of Forest Administration & Policy
  • Module 2 – Analysis of Forest Policy and the Tools Used
  • Module 3 – Forest Policy in Canada and its Provinces
  • Module 4 – Forest Policy in Ontario

The Ontario Forest Policy and Legislative Framework will not be required for:

  • Past Full or Associate OPFA Members who practiced within the past five (5) years;
  • Graduates from a CFAB (Canadian Forestry Accreditation Board) accredited forestry program in Ontario who graduated within the past five (5) years.
Instructional Method
Variable Delivery
Start Date
Continuous Intake

Program and Course Related Questions

You can find answers to your questions related to your chosen course or program by contacting the Instructor listed within the course or program details page.

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