Drinking Water and Wastewater Exam Accommodations


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 inadvertently 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

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 would be able to read or understand operating procedures or safety instructions as required for the job of an operator. 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 with significant health and safety implications.

The Program Administrator shall take every reasonable step to accommodate the request for the date of the exam offered/requested. Requests for accommodation made after the deadline for an exam 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 resource requirements (staffing, rooms, 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 may not 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 and/or exam date.

No additional materials, such as a dictionary or other information sources which are not provided with the exam and which give an applicant an advantage over other applicants may be used.

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

Linguistic Accommodation:

 Written exams are available in both official languages (English and French).

The Ministry understands that some individuals whose primary language is French may prefer to write the exam in English as a result of the technical training they have received being primarily in English. If an individual attempts to write the exam in English and is not successful, they may request an English oral re-write, provided that the reason for the request is that their written English comprehension was a barrier to successful completion of the exam.  This accommodation does not apply to persons whose primary language is not English or French.

A letter of support for this request must be provided by the employer.

Updated: February 2023
Published: February 2023