Electrical FSR Certification Renewal: Questions and Answers

General Questions

All FSRs need to renew their certificate of qualification by July 31, 2019 and every three years at a cost of $100.

Upon renewal of their certificate of qualification, FSRs will receive a security-enhanced wallet card and a digital copy of their wall certificate. The wallet card is the primary piece of identification that grants FSRs access to Technical Safety BC services and validates their identity during assessments.

Starting in 2021, FSRs will be required to demonstrate that they have updated their knowledge by either:

  1. successfully completing an online assessment through Technical Safety BC on the Act, codes and regulations; or
  2. completing up to eight hours of training (determined by scope of work), over the previous three years, on the latest code, regulations and regulatory notices through Technical Safety BC or a Technical Safety BC-approved course.

Finally, Technical Safety BC is introducing a new designation of BC Master Electrician - FSR A, B or C. This designation will be granted to individuals who have a qualification as a construction or industrial electrician and are certified as FSR class A, B or C.

The changes to the FSR program are part of a greater vision for the certification and licensing programs that Technical Safety BC oversees. These enhancements are intended to create more consistency across technologies, further enhance the value of the certificates of qualification we offer and improve safety outcomes by ensuring that individuals who perform regulated work are knowledgeable about the most current code and can easily sent important safety information.

Renewal requirements are already in place for individuals who hold certificates as gas fitters, elevating devices mechanics, and power engineers.

We have done a review of the FSR program and consulted with industry stakeholders. The adjustments we are implementing now simplify the certification renewal requirements and are responsive to the feedback we received.

FSRs are a cornerstone of the electrical safety system as they are professionals and experts in electrical codes and regulations. They perform an important function for the public, their employers, contractors and/or equipment owners by assessing and declaring that electrical work is safe and complies with existing safety codes, standards, acts and regulations.

Technical Safety BC is making improvements to the FSR program to strengthen the integrity of the system and ensure all current FSRs can demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of codes, standards, acts and regulations. The Safety Standards Act and the Canadian Electrical Code are important standards for electrical safety. Changes are made to the electrical code every three years and integrate current knowledge of safety risks, hazards and new technologies within the electrical industry.

Requiring FSRs to renew their certificate is part of the mechanism that we use to ensure these professionals are staying up-to-date on their knowledge. It is also a mechanism that you see in many trades including gasfitters, elevating device mechanics and, as of October 2017, power engineers. Elevating device mechanics are also required to complete knowledge updates every three years.

Doctors, lawyers, nurses and professional engineers are only some of the professions that also require their members to complete professional development requirements to maintain their professional designation status.

The program changes mean that only those FSRs who are actively practicing within BC and who have up-to-date knowledge will remain certified. This will help create a more level playing field among FSRs and create additional value for their certification.

Further, it will provide current and future employers, clients and the general public with assurance that FSRs have the necessary up-to-date knowledge of the Act, codes and regulations to effectively perform regulated work. By renewing and providing Technical Safety BC with current contact information, FSRs will receive current safety and regulatory information critical for their work in a simple and timely manner.

Through the renewal process, Technical Safety BC will gain a more accurate understanding of the number of certified individuals currently working in BC. This will assist with labour market planning and determining where skill shortages exist.

Yes, if you have a contractor’s licence and FSR certificate you will need to renew both your licence and your certificate. Your contractor’s licence is your business licence to operate, and your FSR certificate allows you, as an individual, to make declarations for regulated work on behalf of your business.

Your certificate will expire on the first day of your birth month in 2021, regardless of when you renew it before July 31, 2019. Choosing the first day of your birth month instead of your exact birth date was done to protect your personal information.

Certificate Renewals

FSRs who renew their certificate of qualification before the deadline of July 31, 2019, and continue to renew their certification every three years will not be required to write an exam to renew their certificate. FSRs who let their certification expire and wait beyond the next renewal cycle may be required to complete an exam as part of the certificate reinstatement process.

The requirements and deadlines are as follows:

1st Renewal - July 31, 2019

  • Renew certificate
  • Pay the $100 fee

2nd Renewal - certificate holder's birth month in 2021

  • Renew certificate
  • Pay the $100 fee, subject to any subsequent fee increases
  • Provide documentation of successful completion of up to eight hours of training or Technical Safety BC online assessment

FSRs that do not meet the renewal requirements, and subsequently fail to renew their certificate within the three years, will be required to recertify. They will also not be able to be named on licences or permits, submit declarations of compliance, or request inspections.

Processing times may vary and FSRs are encouraged to renew their certificate of qualification early so there is no interruption to their status of their certification.

FSRs can renew their certification online through their certification account.

Registration for an online account allows you to view your certification status and all permits that you are currently named on, as the FSR.

Click here to register.

You can also refer a visual guide, for detailed steps to guide you through the process.

Single Certification: You are only required to renew your highest class of certificate. For example, if you hold a FSR Class A certificate of qualification then all other certifications of lower class will be closed as the FSR Class A certification scope covers all others.

Multiple Certifications: If you hold multiple certifications of restricted classes, then you may renew more than one certification. For example, if you hold two certifications - FSR Low Energy Systems and FSR Refrigeration Mechanic, then you can renew both certifications as the scopes of these certifications are independent.

See Hierarchy of the FSR Certifications.

All of our regional offices are equipped with computer kiosks accessible to clients. Client Service Representatives can also provide support to FSRs in need by helping with the registration and renewal process.

Contractors or asset holders who do not have an FSR with a valid certificate named on their licence or permit may be impacted until their FSR renews their certification or another certified FSR is named. For example, contractors will not be able to continue performing electrical work and will no longer be able to take out installation permits, while asset owners may no longer be able to continue to legally operate electrical equipment.

Technical Safety BC is not requiring FSRs to show proof of employment when they renew but they may be asked to share information about whether they are employed and by whom. This information will be used for internal tracking purposes only and subject to privacy legislation.

Please note that to renew your FSR certificate you will need to register for a Technical Safety BC online account.Click here to register.

Once registered, please use the following steps to complete your renewal:

  1. Login to your online account
  2. Click on ‘Certification’ in the left hand column
  3. Click on ‘Renew’ to the right of the certification you’d like to renew
  4. Complete and submit the Renewal Application Form for processing

If you qualify for Master Electrician designation, please provide the following:

  • Electrician trade qualification number and copy of certificate
  • Electrician Red Seal qualification number and copy of certificate
  • Master electrician qualification number and copy of certificate issued by Alberta

The following file types are acceptable for uploading copies of your documents: .png; .jpeg; .jpg; .pdf; .xls; .xlsx; .doc; .docx. A maximum of 10 documents can be uploaded and a single file cannot be more than 6 MBs in size.

Your FSR certificate of qualification may be portable across Canada, subject to the specific requirements of the jurisdiction.

Yes, even if you received your FSR certification in 2017, you will need to renew your certificate between February 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019 for it to remain valid.

However, the $100 renewal fee will be waived for individuals who received their FSR certificate of qualification between January 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018.

A Certificate of Qualification is issued to an individual, not a company. Therefore, it is the FSR's responsibility to renew their own certification. FSRs can pay renewal fees using a credit card. So, they could use a company credit card if it is an acceptable company policy or seek reimbursement from their employer if eligible.

Knowledge Update Requirements

Yes. Before FSRs renew their certificate of qualification in 2021, they will need to declare they have:

  1. successfully completed a free online Technical Safety BC code and regulations knowledge assessment. FSRs who do not successfully pass the online knowledge assessment must take the required hours of training prior to renewing in 2021; or
  2. completed training on the Safety Standards Act, codes and regulations as provided through Technical Safety BC or by taking a Technical Safety BC-approved course.

If an FSR cannot demonstrate these requirements have been met prior to renewal, their certificate will not be renewed. If their certificate is not renewed prior to the date of expiry, it will become invalid and they will need to reinstate their certificate. More information on knowledge update requirements is coming soon.

Yes; however, the required training would be proportional to the scope of work. In some cases this will mean that a full eight hours of training will not be required.

The training courses to fulfill the knowledge update requirements can be taken through Technical Safety BC or any Technical Safety BC-approved training provider. Further details on training, including a list of approved training providers, will be available in 2019.

Technical Safety BC will notify FSRs some time in 2019 when to expect approved courses to become available. We will also inform everyone in advance and provide an appropriate transition timeline if a new code adoption comes into effect prior to 2021.

Technical Safety BC requires FSRs to demonstrate up-to-date knowledge of current adopted codes and standards. If the 2015 Canadian Electrical Code will continue to be the adopted code in 2021, then we will accept it, provided that training was taken through Technical Safety BC or organizations such as Electrical Inspectors’ Association of BC or British Columbia Electrical Association. If the 2018 electrical code is adopted in BC, you will be required to demonstrate knowledge of this code prior to renewal in 2021.

The knowledge update requirements will mainly be related to updates to the BC Electrical Code, Safety Standards Act, Electrical Safety Regulation, and Safety Standards General Regulation. Content is currently be developed.

Technical Safety BC will work with training providers to ensure opportunities exist for training in all parts of the province, including in remote communities and through online platforms. Technical Safety BC will provide more information on all training options as they become available.

Approved training providers will set the cost of training.

We advise speaking with your training provider and/or financial advisor on the tax implications of taking the knowledge update courses.

Technical Safety BC will be working with training providers and other industry stakeholders to establish a standard for these requirements and a process for approving new training courses. These details will be posted on the Technical Safety BC website when they are confirmed.

Yes, the regulations already support the requirement to demonstrate up-to-date knowledge relevant to an individual's class of certificate of qualification, and Technical Safety BC’s ability set the terms and conditions for individuals to maintain their certificate of qualification.

BC Master Electrician

All FSR certificate holders will continue to be FSRs. The BC Master Electrician designation distinguishes those individuals who hold a FSR class A, B, or C certificate of qualification, as well as a qualification as a construction or industrial electrician. All new training and renewal requirements will also apply to holders of the BC Master Electrician designation.

For employers, this designation better recognizes the status of these individuals to both perform regulated electrical work, as well as to oversee and validate whether electrical work is safe. In instances of non-compliance, having an individual with both qualifications onsite can be beneficial, as they can identify the non-compliance, correct any issues and then declare their work as compliant, potentially saving significant time to project schedules.

Yes, if you have an electrical trade certification and meet the knowledge update requirements to renew your FSR certification, you will be granted a BC Master Electrician designation.

Not all FSRs are trade qualified electricians. The BC Master Electrician designation will only be granted to those who have both an FSR class A, B, or C and an electrical trade certification.

If you hold a Class A or Class B FSR certification and a Canadian electrical trade credential (example: Red seal electrician), you can get the Master Electrician designation. For more details, refer here.

The designation carries the same portability as the FSR A, B or C, certificate, subject to meeting the requirements of the jurisdiction in which you intend to work.

Yes. You will receive a BC Master Electrician – FSR A, B, or C, depending on your current FSR class of certificate.

Certificate Renewal Fees

The cost to renew your FSR certificate is $100 per three-year cycle.

The $100 renewal fee per three-year cycle is based on cost recovery and covers the administrative costs associated with implementing the changes as well as maintaining the long term security and integrity of these systems. This includes establishing an online assessment pathway for meeting the knowledge update requirements as well as validating credentials for all certificate holders prior to issuing security enhanced wallet cards. It should be noted that this fee is significantly lower than other Canadian jurisdictions.

People operating outside of our safety system are dealt with separately under our compliance and enforcement program. This includes measures such as levying monetary penalties and suspending or revoking their certificate of qualification. Learn more about our compliance and enforcement program.

In terms of FSRs, this program grants certificate holders with certain privileges and powers that they can use on behalf of their employer, equipment owners or for their own company (see previous question regarding FSR benefits). This certificate is optional and does not restrict a person’s ability to continue practicing their trade with their trade certificate (e.g. a person can continue to work as an electrician as opposed to working and performing the duties of a BC Master Electrician). As such, the fee is charged to the individual holding the certificate.

Yes, each certificate will need to be renewed. Technical Safety BC is tracking performance on all certificates separately; therefore, the $100 fee for each renewal is required.

Yes, the renewal fee payment can be processed online using VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or Interac.

Within two to four weeks of the renewal application being processed, you will receive an email with the renewal fee invoice for online payment.

Once this online payment has been completed, your wallet card will be sent to you via Canada Post. Your digital wall certificate is also available online.

The online payment system accepts Interac Online payment. Click here to check which banks and credit unions accept online transactions.

The online payment system accepts pre-paid credit cards, which can be purchased from Canada Post, and most grocery and convenience stores.

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