How to Become A Qualified Designer of Onsite Sewage Systems
Becoming a designer is similar to becoming an installer, with the additional step of taking the Legal Process for Building Officials and Designers Exam as well as the Part 8 exam. Below are the steps in order.
Similar to an Installer, a Designer will need to have insurance for their company before registering with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH). The company and the individual will also need to be registered with the MMAH.
If the company has a Professional Engineer (P. Eng) or Architect on staff that can stamp/seal the design, then they are exempt from the registration and qualification requirements of the Ontario Building Code (OBC).
For reference, below is the Ministry portion of a permit application. See page 3 (Schedule 1: Designer Information) for more information and specifically Note 2 at the bottom of the page regarding the Engineer and Architect exemption.
Step 1: Obtain Your Building Code Identification Number (BCIN)
To register for your BCIN which is a personal identification number, visit the MMAH website. You will be redirected to the QuARTS system to complete the registration. QuARTS is a public registry of all Ontario Building Code (OBC) practitioners and BCIN holders. By obtaining your BCIN you will be identified on the QuARTS system by MMAH as such.
Step 2: Prepare for the Ontario Building Code (OBC) On-site Sewage Systems 2012 exam and the General Legal/Process 2012 exam (2 exams)
At a minimum the two exams that you need to pass are: On-site Sewage Systems 2012 and General Legal/Process 2012. There are courses available to prepare you to challenge the two exams. Part 8 preparation (On-site Sewage Systems 2012) and legal process courses are not a mandatory step in the process; however, these are recommended. These courses generally run for 5 days each and will address the fundamentals of sewage system functionality, basic design considerations and Division B, Part 8 of the Ontario Building Code, and the legal processes surrounding building inspections. An example of the syllabus for the exam can be found on the Government of Ontario’s website. There are a number of course providers who deliver both on-line and in-person classes. OOWA is proud to partner with some of these course providers and maintains a list of available courses in our Events Calendar as well as our monthly On-Track Bulletin – one of many OOWA Membership benefits.
If you would like to conduct other types of designs (plumbing, HVAC, etc.), then you would need to pass those associated Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) exams.
Step 3: Book Your Exam Dates and Locations
Humber College administers all Ontario Building Code exams. Visit their website to see the exam fees, an exam schedule and register for your exams. Note that exams can only be booked a minimum of 21 days in advance. Exams are conducted on-line and can be written at home, the office, or at a nearby college. Be sure your computer has the required audio and video capabilities to complete the exam. The QuARTS system will send you an email notification when your exam results are available.
Step 4: Register with MMAH and Pay Registration Fees
To register with MMAH, you must create a One-key account. One-key is a unique electronic credential that allows you to communicate securely with online Government services. One-key is used for other services and registrations in Ontario so be sure that you do not already have an account. The following fees must be paid in One-key for your initial registration and to renew your license every year.
Fees for designers or design firms (18.104.22.168 of Div. C) are provided online.
Allow a few days for processing after you register before checking the status.
Suggested Step 5: Join the Industry Association
The Ontario Onsite Wastewater Association advocates to the Government on behalf of professionals in the onsite wastewater industry and represents our members with our organizational partners. Because OOWA sits at tables where individuals cannot, there is power in our numbers. As our membership grows, our ability to improve the industry for our members increases. Show your clients that you are an engaged and current professional by becoming a member of the Association. Set yourself apart from your competitors. Join us.
For more information on the Ontario Building Code visit the Government of Ontario’s OBC webpage or Contact Us page.
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