Canadian Consulting Engineer

Ontario building designers can take advance courses to satisfy new regulations

December 15, 2003
By Canadian Consulting Engineer

The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs has posted more details about the examinations it will be requiring build...

The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs has posted more details about the examinations it will be requiring building practitioners to take by July 1, 2005.
The requirement that engineers and others such as building inspectors pass examinations and register with the Ministry if they want to practice in the building construction area was brought into law by the previous Ontario Government under Bill 124.
A document issued November 2003, “Policies and Procedures, Examination Program for Designers,” is posted on the Ministry’s web site at It spells out the new requirements in Section 2.17 of the Ontario Building Code, including the various areas in which designers need to be qualified. The list is: house, small buildings, large buildings, complex buildings, plumbing house, plumbing – all buildings, HVAC house, building services, building structural, and on-site sewage systems.
While early indications were that all designers — professional engineers included — will have to pass a technical examination showing their knowledge of the building code in their area of practice, the document also offers an alternative. In Section 3.0 it says that designers can complete Advanced Standing Alternatives in various combinations of training courses, in which case the individuals would not have to write the technical examinations. The training courses must be successfully completed, with proof afforded by a certificate or letter issued by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs or an agent it has commissioned to deliver the course. The course for “Part 9 Buildings – structural requirements,” for example is a four-day, 30-hour advanced course, as is the course for “Part 9 Buildings – HVAC & Fire Protection.”
All designers will also have to pass an examination in general legal processes. An overall grade of at least 70% is required to pass both examinations.
Applying for the examination will cost $80 or $70 electronically, and the application fee for confirmation of advanced standing is $25.
When an examination is replaced with a new version, individuals may be required to update their qualifications.
The same legislation, proclaimed as the Building Code Statute Law Amendment Act, 2002 of July 25, 2003, Regulation 305/03 also requires designers to have professional liability insurance. And it introduced changes to the building industry in general, such as standardizing building permit applications and set time frames for making decisions on building permits. The legislation also authorizes municipalities to appoint registered code agencies to process building permit applications.


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