Drinking Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Exam Accommodations

On this page

  1. Purpose
  2. Context
  3. Ministry policy


To inform operators and water quality analysts (WQA) on the policies regarding exam accommodations.


The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Ontario Regulation 191/11: Integrated Accessibility Standards, establish standards for accommodating persons with disabilities. This guideline provides guidance on accommodation for certification exams based on the Act and Regulation. For the purposes of this guideline, two types of accommodations are considered: persons who have a disability as defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act; and persons seeking an accommodation due to linguistic issues.

Ministry policy

Accommodation made under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act:

As a general principle, the Program Administrator will consider exam accommodations which will provide the applicant an equal opportunity to write an exam in an environment consistent to the needs of their disability.

Accommodations which are not required to meet the needs of the disability, and which would give an applicant an advantage which others would not enjoy will not be considered.

Typical types of accommodation considered:

  • Oral exam
  • Exam read through an electronic device
  • Duration of exam
  • Physical set up
  • Other accommodations considered based on the situation

Requests based on the ability to comprehend written text will be considered, with the understanding that the ability to read is a fundamental requirement of an operator to help ensure their ability to carry out their duties with a view to protect public health and the natural environment. 

If an applicant would like to request accommodation for an exam sitting, the Program Administrator will need to review a qualified physician’s letter which specifies the need for accommodation and indicates that the applicant is able to read or understand operating procedures or safety instructions as required for the job of an operator. 

The Program Administrator shall take every reasonable step to accommodate the request for the date of the exam offered/requested. Accommodation requests made after the deadline to submit an exam registration application may need to be rescheduled to a later date. In the case of oral exams or other accommodations requiring changes in the administration of the scheduled exam session, an alternative date may be chosen based on the availability of resources needed (e.g., invigilator, exam room, equipment etc.).

Oral exams must be provided by an individual who meets the exam invigilation requirements and must be chosen by the Program Administrator. Oral exam invigilators cannot provide any additional information that is not part of the exam.

The use of electronic reading devices will only be permitted if the equipment and the hosting organization complies with the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks’ security requirements. No paper or digital copy of an exam may be made, maintained or stored by any organization.

Accommodations which could result in the disruption of other examinees may be scheduled in a separate room with a separate invigilator and/or exam date.

No additional materials, such as a dictionary or other information sources which are not provided with the exam are permitted. Such materials would give an applicant an unfair advantage over other individuals writing an exam.

If additional time is required, the maximum time allowed is 4 hours and will be determined prior to the exam based on the need for the accommodation.

Updated: November 2023
Published: February 2023