Frequently Asked Questions About Licensing Requirements
1. I want to install on-site systems in Ontario,
do I have to have a license?
2. I want to design on-site systems in Ontario, do I have to have a license?
3. How do I obtain a Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) to install or design on-site systems in Ontario?
4. Is there a course that will help me pass the licensing exam?
5. Are there any other requirements beyond obtaining a BCIN to design or install on-site systems in Ontario?
6. How do I find out if my designer or installer is licensed in Ontario?
Yes, in order to install on-site systems in Ontario, you must obtain a license, called a Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) from the Ministry of Municipal Housing & Affairs (MMAH) as well as pass the appropriate licensing exam - see question 3 to find out how to obtain the license. You may however, install and repair your own on-site system without a BCIN, although you will still require a permit and inspections from the Part 8 delivery agency.
It should be noted that installers may design systems that they themselves will be installing with the installer's license. However, if an installer designs a system for a third party, then the designing installer will require a license to design on-site sewage systems (see next question).
Yes, since 2005 all persons practising any part of the Ontario Building Code must obtain a license, called a Building Code Identification Number (BCIN). This includes designers of on-site systems, as well as inspectors for Part 8 delivery agencies and installers. Professional engineers and architects are exempt from the licensing requirements.
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 centres 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.
To become a licensed installer, an applicant must successfully write the "On-site Sewage Systems" Technical Exam. 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:
- Apply for a Building Code Identification Number if you don't already have one. This can be done online here. For those who prefer to fill out a paper form, click here.
- Check the online exam schedule and choose your preferred date and location to write your exam.
- Register to write your exam. You may register online, by phone, email or via a paper registration form. Go here for more details.
- 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%.
- You will be advised via email of your exam results within 14 days.
- Register yourself and your business - see Q5.
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!
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 Qualification & Registration web page at MMAH.
If you are an installer, register your business by filing the On-Site Sewage System Installer Application for Registration form.
If you are a third-party designer, register your business by filing the Designer Firm Application for Registration form.
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 Ontario Building Code's Qualification & Registration web page and follow the QuARTs link at the bottom the page, or click here go directly to the Registry.