Renewing Your Certificate or Licence


Certificates and licences issued in Ontario are generally valid for a period of three years. If at the end of this period you would like to continue to hold the same class of certificate or licence, you are required to meet specific experience and training requirements, and you must apply to renew them. There are different requirements for drinking water certificates and wastewater licences.

As an operator, you are responsible for ensuring you renew your certificates and licences before they expire. If you continue to operate while holding an expired certificate or licence, you are out of compliance. As a reminder, courtesy renewal notifications are mailed to operators three months prior to a certificate or licence expiring. If you do not receive your renewal notice, you are still responsible for renewing your certificate and licence on time.

Renewal applications will only be processed within 3 months of the expiry of the current certificate or licence.

Chart showing steps to renew your licence or certicate

To renew an existing certificate or licence, you must:

  • meet the experience requirements;
  • meet the training requirements applicable to your type of certification;
  • complete and submit the appropriate application along with the fee and supporting documentation.

All Class 1 – 4 drinking water certificates require the following to have been obtained within the last three years:

  1. a minimum of three months of valid operational or related experience;
  2. successful completion of the Mandatory Certificate Renewal Course; and,
  3. completion of the set number of Director Approved Continuing Education Units (CEUs), and on-the-job practical training.

The amount of training you are required to complete over the three year period is based on the highest class of drinking water facility you operate, not the certificate you are renewing. For example, if you are renewing your Class 2 Water Distribution certificate, but you also work in a Class 4 Water Treatment subsystem, your renewal requirements will be based on a Class 4 certificate. If you hold multiple certificates, training will only be checked for one of the certificates. Your renewal notification will indicate whether training is required to be submitted with your application.

If you plan on renewing a drinking water certificate, start by finding the highest class of drinking water facility you operate in the table below (regardless of the type) to see what your renewal requirements are.

Highest Class of Drinking Water Facility Operated
Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4 Limited WQA
Director Approved CEUs 2.1 3.6 4.2 4.2 2.1 2.1
On-the-Job Hours 69 69 78 108 39 39
Total 90 105 120 150 60 60

Additionally, every drinking water operator must complete the Mandatory Certificate Renewal Course within each renewal period. This course is coordinated by the Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) and is available in two formats: classroom and correspondence. The course content is changed every three years, and is meant to ensure that all operators are kept up to date on emerging issues within the industry. This course will count as part of the Director Approved CEU requirements as 0.7 continuing education units (CEUs) or 7 hours. For information on how to register for this course please visit the WCWC web site at www.wcwc.ca. Information is also available in the Detailed Guidance Documents section below.

Director Approved CEUs: only courses on the Director Approved Course Listing may be used to meet the requirements for Director Approved CEU training. Copies of your certificates of completion for these courses must be submitted along with your renewal application. Wastewater training cannot be used to renew drinking water certificates.

On-the-Job Training: on-the-job training must be documented and verified by your manager or supervisor if it is to be included in your renewal application. This can be done on the training record supplied with the application form, or on a signed training log, record or letter from your employer or training provider. If you do not have enough on-the-job training, you may substitute excess Director Approved CEU training to meet the requirements. Please note that 0.1 Director Approved CEU = 1 hour of on-the-job training.

If you are unsure that you meet the training requirements to renew your drinking water certificate, please visit the Detailed Guidance Documents section below for more information on what can be accepted.

All wastewater licences require valid operational or related experience obtained in the last five years.

You do not need to submit records of completed training with your wastewater licence renewal application, however, owners shall ensure all operators employed in the facility are given 40 hours of training every year. Records of the training must be kept by the owner.

Completed training that is used to renew a drinking water certificate may be used to meet the 40 hours of training required for wastewater licences.

As drinking water and wastewater OITs fall under different regulations, there are different renewal requirements for each type. Please see the appropriate tab below for more information.

Drinking Water OITs Wastewater OITs

The renewal requirements for your drinking water OIT certificate will depend on whether you currently hold a regular or temporary certificate.

Regular OITs Regular drinking water OIT certificates expire after 16 months unless you complete the Entry Level Course (ELC) through the Walkerton Clean Water Centre. Once completed, you may submit a copy of your course completion certificate to the OWWCO office and your drinking water OIT certificate will be amended to three years from the original date of issuance (an additional 20 months from the expiry date).

Within this three year period it is expected that you will complete the requirements to upgrade to a Class 1 certificate.

If at the expiry of your Water Treatment or Water Distribution and Supply OIT certificate(s) you know you are not able to upgrade to a Class 1, you may be eligible to request a one-time three year certificate renewal from the ministry. Contact us for further information on how to proceed with your request.

Temporary OITs A temporary drinking water OIT certificate expires after twelve months and can be renewed a maximum of four times. To renew a temporary drinking water OIT certificate, you must complete either the Mandatory Certificate Renewal Course (MRC) or the ELC. Both courses are offered through the Walkerton Clean Water Centre.

A temporary drinking water OIT certificate will not be renewed if you worked more than four months as a drinking water operator in a seven month period, and/or if you intend to work more than four months as a drinking water operator during the next seven month period.

To renew a temporary certificate you must:

  1. Have successfully completed either the MRC (once every three years) or ELC;
  2. Complete the Drinking Water Operator-in-Training Certificate Issuing Application;
  3. Confirm you have not exceeded more than four months of operational experience in a seven month period; and
  4. Submit the application along with payment and proof that you completed the MRC or ELC.

The intention of OIT certificates and licences is to allow you to gain experience to upgrade to a Class 1 licence, however, unlike Class 1-4 licences, wastewater OITs can be renewed without any training or experience.

To renew a wastewater licence you must:

  1. complete the Wastewater Operator-in-Training Licence Renewal Form;
  2. submit the application along with payment.

Once approved, the renewed OIT licence will be valid for a period of three years.

You must submit a separate renewal form for each certificate or licence you wish to renew. Review the forms listed below to find the appropriate one for your renewal:

FORMS AND FEES FOR RENEWAL REQUESTED
Type of Certificate/Licence Drinking Water Certificate (including Limited and WQA) Wastewater Licence Wastewater OIT Licence
Issuing Form Form 2135E – Drinking Water Certificate and Wastewater Licence Renewal Application Form 2135E – Drinking Water Certificate and Wastewater Licence Renewal Application Form 2135E – Drinking Water Certificate and Wastewater Licence Renewal Application
Fees Class 1 – 4 $145 Class 1 – 4 $145 OIT $145
Limited $145
WQA $145
Late Fee $25

 

Before sending your renewal application, make sure:

  • All sections are filled out
  • All signatures are present and dated
  • Necessary documents are attached
  • Payment is included

Renewal applications take up to 21 days to process on receipt of a COMPLETE application and payment of the correct fee.  Incomplete applications may be returned.

Submit all applications to:

Ontario Water Wastewater Certification Office
302 The East Mall, Suite 600
Etobicoke, ON M9B 6C7
Fax: (416) 231-2107

Payment is required with each completed application, and can be made by Visa, MasterCard, cheque, or money order. If paying by cheque or money order, please make the payment out to the Minister of Finance.

As a drinking water or wastewater Operator-in-Training (OIT), do I need to submit training or experience?

What are Director Approved CEUs?

What is the difference between a Continuing Education Unit (CEU) and hours of training?

What is on-the-job training?

Is my employer responsible for my training?

I work in two different types of drinking water subsystems and hold two different certificates. What training requirements must I meet?

I hold both drinking water certificates and wastewater licences. How many hours of training do I need?

The following guidance documents can help you understand various aspects of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Program.

They cover different scenarios that may apply to you, e.g., if you are a trainer, were off work for an extended medical leave, etc.

Certification Guide for Operators and Water Quality Analysts of Drinking Water Systems Review this guide for information on the requirements for a drinking water operator or water quality analyst to renew.
Licensing Guide for Operators of Wastewater Facilities Review this guide for information on the requirements for a wastewater operator to renew.
Guide to Drinking Water Operator Training Requirements Read this guide for a detailed review of all the requirements to submit a renewal application.
Guideline 4.4 – Director Approved Continuing Education Guide for Training Providers This guideline details the types of training which can be considered for Director approval, as well as any limitations in place for this type of training.
Guideline 3.4 – Experience as a Drinking Water Operator This guideline outlines the experience requirements for a drinking water certificate, as well as the potential substitutions which could be made.
Guideline 3.4b – Experience as a Wastewater Operator This guideline outlines the experience requirements for a wastewater licence, as well as the potential substitutions which could be made.
Requirements for the Issuance of Drinking Water Operator and Water Quality Analyst Temporary Certificates This outlines the requirements for applying for a temporary drinking water certificate.
Drinking Water Renewal Tip Sheet Review this tip sheet for information when submitting your drinking water renewal application.
Wastewater Renewal Tip Sheet Review this tip sheet for information when submitting your wastewater renewal application.
Mandatory Renewal Course Fact Sheet for Drinking Water Operators and Water Quality Analysts A fact sheet with information on the current Mandatory Renewal Course entitled “Diligence in Drinking Water Operations” required for drinking water renewals.
Entry-Level Course for Drinking Water Operators A fact sheet with information on the Entry Level Course (ELC) required for Class 1 drinking water operators.