Frequently Asked Questions - Boiler Plant Operating Permits


A plant is defined as a boiler, or assembly of boilers (and any ancillary vessels) connected to a common heating, steam, or power system through a single header. A plant can be as small as a single boiler or can be made up of an array of pressure equipment on a premise.
Owners of boiler plants that are fifth class and above, as well as oil well boiler plants, need to register their plants and obtain a plant operating permit. To determine the classification of your plant, click here.

Pressure plants (plants that only have pressure vessels attached, and no other boilers or types of equipment) do not require a plant operating permit.

Yes, provided the plant qualifies. You will be required to register and obtain a plant operating permit, even if you are already classified as a general supervision or risk-assessed plant.

Technical Safety BC is aligning its permitting practices with other provincial jurisdictions. As such, we require the registration of a plant as a whole operating system (e.g., a single large boiler, or an array of multiple small boilers). This will confirm and classify its use and assignment of certified operators. The plant operating permit records the size, assembly, configuration, and staffing, accurately confirming and displaying your compliance to BC’s regulatory requirements.

By obtaining a plant operating permit, you will gain confirmation of compliance, understand required operator qualifications, and enable more effective safety oversight. This also facilitates more efficient tracking of power engineer’s professional work experience (firing time) and linkage to the plants they operate.

Yes, the operating permits for plants are in addition to operating permits for regulated equipment, such as boilers, pressure vessels, heat exchangers, and refrigeration units. Single, large boilers qualifying as plants will require both an operating permit and a plant operating permit.

Through the online registration process, your plant type and classification will be determined. Before starting the process, please check the plant type classification here to determine if your plant needs to be registered.

Technical Safety BC will also confirm the accuracy of your plant classification as part of the application process.

All plants must be registered by October 1, 2019. Failure to comply may result in enforcement action, including monetary penalties.

To register a plant and obtain a plant operating permit, plant owners are required to define the configuration and makeup of their plant, including the boilers and header connections on each site. They need to identify the certified power engineer or operator, and designate them as responsible for plant supervision.

The online application process will take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on the size and intricacies of your plant. After you submit your application, we will assess the information to ensure compliance. The time we will require to review your application and issue the plant operating permit will depend upon the completeness, accuracy, and complexity of the application, as well as the number of applications currently being processed.

Plants can only be registered online through your Technical Safety BC online account. Sign up here to register for an account.

If a qualified plant has not applied for a plant operating permit by October 1, 2019, it will be deemed non-compliant as per the Regulations. Enforcement action may be considered.

In addition, plants submitting their registration after October 1, 2019 are immediately subject to payment of the annual plant operating permit fee.

There is an annual fee for the Plant Operating Permit based on the class of the plant. Fees will not be applied to any permit application up to and including October 1, 2019. For those permits, fees will only be applied on renewal in October 2020.

For permit applications after October 1, 2019, fees will be payable immediately. Annual renewal is required.

Plants commissioned after and operating since October 2, 2017 are required to immediately register for a plant operating permit to meet the compliance obligations of the Regulation.