Boiler Plant Operating Permit

As per Section 62.1 of the Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel & Refrigeration Safety Regulationboiler plant owners in BC are required to obtain a boiler plant operating permit (regardless of whether it is designated as a "special plant" or not) for the following plant types:

  • first, second, third, fourth and fifth class plants
  • oil well plant

By understanding the connected set of boiler equipment as a system, Technical Safety BC can better assess areas of risk and clarify plant classification and staffing requirements with owners, users, and individuals who oversee plant operations.

Boiler plant operating permits will help those who operate plants:

  • gain confirmation of compliance,
  • gain knowledge of required operator qualifications,
  • more effectively oversee their regulated boiler equipment, and
  • track a power engineers' firing time (hours of professional work) in the plants they operate.

Determining the classification of a boiler plant

A boiler plant can consist of a single boiler unit or a number of boiler units and is classified by the type and total capacity of the boilers that are connected to the same header.

Header: A central piping system that all boiler units connect to. Click here for a more technical description, including plant classification examples.

Boiler capacity: The heating surface area of the boiler in square meters (m2). This can be found on the boiler nameplate.

To help determine the plant class, please see our Plant Classification by Plant Type Table or refer to the Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation for detailed definitions. 

Low Pressure Thermal Fluid Plants

Prior to March 2010, the Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation prescribed staffing requirements for low pressure thermal fluid plants with boiler capacities over 150 m², regardless of the amount of modern automated technology and safety control systems that the plant utilized.

As of March 1, 2010 the regulation prescribing staffing levels in these types of plants was eliminated, provided that the plant has an approved automated control system that:

  • monitors the plant and its systems - including all systems related to automated operation - and automatically alters the operation of the plant, including during start up and shut down, to ensure it is operating safely;
  • is designed so that any failure of the automated control system itself will cause the plant to go to a predetermined safe state; and
  • has been registered by Technical Safety BC's provincial safety manager in accordance with section 84.1 of the boiler regulation.

All of the above -- plus the design, commissioning programs, functional testing programs and maintenance programs -- must be approved by a professional engineer.

This change provides a choice to owners of low pressure thermal fluid plants as to how they will control their risks. Owners can choose the traditional approach of designing and installing systems that will be staffed in accordance with the boiler regulation, or mitigate future operating costs by investing in modern control technology.

Please refer to the following Technical Safety BC Directives for additional information:

How to apply for a plant operating permit

Applications for boiler plant operating permits must be received by October 1, 2019.

While information is required for all plants on a site, a plant operating permit will be issued for the highest plant classification per site.

STEP 1: Login to your online account.
Please ensure your account and equipment information is up to date online before beginning the application process.
If you do not have an online account, please register for one here.

STEP 2: Follow the steps detailed in our guide to apply for a boiler plant operating permit.

Boiler plant operating permit fees

The consultation on proposed boiler plant operating permit fees is now open until May 3, 2019. Please see our fee consultation page for more information and to provide feedback.

Date of application Fees
Until and including October 1, 2019 NO FEES until renewal in 2020
After October 1, 2019 As per relevant class (see proposed fees)



If you would like additional information regarding boiler plant operating permits, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us at or 1 866 566 7233.

Was this page useful to you?