I want to design on-site systems in Ontario, do I have to have a license?

Yes. Since 2005 all persons practicing any part of the Ontario Building Code must obtain a license, called a Building Code Identification Number (BCIN). Professional engineers and architects are exempt from the licensing requirements.

I am a professional engineer (or architect), can I design on-site systems in Ontario? 

Yes. That being said, it is up to the regulators discretion to decide whether or not to challenge the design. The code also states that designers role is to provide designs pertaining only to matters which he/she is qualified for.

I am an installer, can I design on-site systems in Ontario?

As an installer, you are permitted to design your own systems that you will be installing. You cannot design for other installers.
How do I obtain a license to design on-site systems in Ontario?

In order to obtain a license to install or design on-site systems in Ontario, interested persons must pass the appropriate written examination. Building Code exams are now being delivered by Humber College.  Humber College will be offering the exam both online or in test centers across the province.  To apply to write an examination you will need a Building Code Identification Number (BCIN). Anyone writing a Building Code examination for the first time will require a BCIN in order to register for an examination with Humber College.    This must only be obtained for the first exam – your BCIN will not change for subsequent additional building code qualifications.

In order to become a licensed third party Designer, an applicant must pass the Designer Legal/Process exam in addition to the On-Site Sewage Systems Technical Exam.

Follow these steps to get your license:

  1. Apply for a Building Code Identification Number if you don’t already have one. This can be done online here.
  2. Check the online exam schedule and choose your preferred date and location to write your exam.
  3. Register to write your exam.  You may register online, by phone, email or via a paper registration form. Go here for more details.
  4. Write exam (you will need to bring photo I.D. and your Official Registration Receipt). Exams consist of 75 multiple choice questions and a passing grade is 70%.
  5. You will be advised via email of your exam results within 14 days.
  6. Register yourself and your business – see Q5

Is there a course that will help me pass the licensing exam?

Yes. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing (MMAH) has a course that is specifically designed to help participants pass the licensing exam. Please note the course is not required in order to obtain the license – the exam may be challenged at any time. For Part 8 OBC practitioners, the appropriate course is called “On-Site Sewage Systems 2012”. The course may be completed at home via self study or with any authorized delivery agency. The Ontario Rural Wastewater Centre (ORWC) is an authorized delivery agency – go to our course schedule to see if we’re offering the Part 8 licensing course soon.

Are there any other requirements beyond obtaining a BCIN to design on-site systems in Ontario?

Yes. Subsequent to passing the exam practitioners must register with MMAH.  Registering allows the practitioner to be entered into an on-line database which allows building officials to search BCIN’s and confirm qualifications. Licensed designers and installers must also by law carry liability insurance. For more information go to the Become a Registered Building Practitioner web page at MMAH.

How do I find a out if my designer or installer is licensed in Ontario?

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing has set up a registry accessible by the Public which lists all licensed Ontario Building Code Practitioners. To find out if your designer or installer is licensed to install/design sewage systems in Ontario, go to the Become a Registered Building Practitioner web page and follow the QuARTs link under Enforcement, or click here go directly to the Registry.