Canadian plumbers standardize certification

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Certification for Canadian plumbing officials will soon be standardized to ensure consistent enforcement and quality nationwide.

The executive committee of the Plumbing Officials’ Association of British Columbia (POABC) voted and confirmed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will allow for certification examinations to be provided by the Building Officials’ Association of British Columbia (BOABC).

The exams for Canadian plumbing officials will use the International Code Council (ICC) certification process.

They were developed with the technical assistance of ICC staff, and are graded and scored by ICC, following the model used for Canada’s national building official certification that has been used since 2009.

“The Level One and Level Two Plumbing exams will be delivered in February along with BOABC examinations,” said to Richard Bushey, executive director of BOABC.

“In January, the executive committees of both associations will be meeting and planning on designing a national plumbing officials certification system through the ICC, which can be used for all of Canada.”

Initially, the examinations will be offered in B.C. under an existing agreement between BOABC and ICC.

It creates the first plumbing certification program recognized provincially in the country. The MOU calls for the BOABC to deliver POABC/ICC developed examinations three times per year.

In addition, the MOU allows for both parties to work with the ICC to develop a national plumbing certification program for Canada.

“National certification is a smart way to move public safety to the next level and ensure consistent enforcement by equally qualified inspection officials,” said ICC CEO Richard P. Weiland, in a statement. “The code council is honored to be part of this worthy initiative.”

ICC also has an agreement with the Alliance of Canadian Building Officials Association, a national body that will help promote the plumbing certification examinations throughout Canada.

Incorporated in 1986, the POABC is an association of plumbing officials and stakeholders offering training, certification services, interpretations and related services to members in five zones around the province.

BOABC is an association of more than 675 members primarily representing local government building officials and those involved in building design, construction, testing and research.