Managing Safety Risks: Licensing and Certification
Licensing and Certification
Technical Safety BC issues licences to contractors and contracting companies who install, operate, and maintain regulated equipment. We issue certificates of qualification to individuals working on regulated equipment. Together, they provide the public with assurances that certain standards of knowledge and proficiency are being maintained around regulated work.
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent health and safety guidelines caused a drop in new licences in 2020. All technologies were affected, but none so much as Amusement Devices, which experienced an 88% decrease in new licences, signalling a severe blow to the industry. In the latter half of 2020, as industries began to recover from the initial hurdles of the pandemic, licencing for all technologies began to recover, though none recovered fully in 2020.
The only exception to this summary is Passenger Ropeways. Although Passenger Ropeways had 0 new licences in 2020, this does not indicate a deviation from the norm, as Passenger Ropeways does not frequently issue licences.
As with licences, COVID-19 had a significant impact on certifications in 2020, with recovery beginning in the latter half of the year. There was a decrease in new certificates across technologies, with one outlier being the pressure welder certification.
In 2020, British Columbia adopted a new, nationally recognized pressure welder certification program. Previously, pressure welders did not require a certificate to work. The introduction of this new program required all current pressure welders to make the transition to certification by December 2020, which led to a 156% increase in new certificates for Boilers, Pressure Vessels, Refrigeration as a whole. Notably, all other certificates within Boilers, Pressure Vessels, and Refrigeration saw a decrease in numbers.
For all certificates (with the exception of pressure welders), office closures and smaller exam sittings meant fewer applicants could complete their exams on schedule. In order to accommodate the situation, Technical Safety BC introduced online exams in July, so that exam applicants could get certified while still following provincial health guidelines. As we move into 2021 we continue to improve the process so that more clients can earn certifications remotely.
The pandemic negatively impacted a number of industries in BC, which in turn influenced 2020’s certification numbers. For example, the long pause in construction work impacted the number of Elevating Devices certificates issued over the spring and summer. As construction picked up at the end of the year, there was a sharp increase in Personnel Hoist Operator and Car Switch Operator certificates, indicating a path to recovery for the workforce.
Note: Railways and Alternative Safety Approaches do not have licences or certificates of qualification and are not reflected in this chart.