I don’t have a valid certificate, but I do have experience. Can this experience be used to meet the practical exam experience requirement?
Yes. Because participation in the Ontario Drinking Water and Wastewater Operator Certification program is voluntary for operators working in First Nation drinking water systems, experience gained by un-certified operators will be recognized.
Can I take the practical exam even though I am not a certified operator?
Yes. If you operate a First Nations drinking water system you do not need to have a certificate to be eligible as long as you meet the experience and education requirements.
What should the letter of support say?
A template letter will be provided with the application package to provide suggested wording for the letter of support.
The letter should indicate an understanding that the operator would be conditionally certified through the practical exam, and that permission is given for an assessor to administer the exam within the First Nation community and drinking water system.
Can I take a practical exam more than one level above my current certificate?
Yes. The practical exam program allows operators to take any level of exam up to the level of the highest class system they operate, as long as the operator can meet the experience and education requirements needed to take the practical exam. For example, a class 1 operator working in a Class 3 system, can take the class 3 practical exam.
Except in special circumstances, an operator can only take one practical examination. After that, to upgrade to a higher class certificate, the operator must take the written exam.
How do I prepare for a practical certification exam?
You will receive information on how to prepare for your exam with your application package.
The exam will be based on:
- The equipment, processes and procedures used at your system
- Basic scientific principles all operators should know
- Public health principles all operators should know
Tips to prepare for a practical certification exam:
- Review equipment manuals, standard operating procedures, system schematics and emergency plans.
- Practice your sampling and laboratory testing techniques for the types of sampling and testing performed by operators in your system.
- Review the drinking water standards and objectives used at your system.
- Review provincial and / or federal publications that apply or are used at your system.
- Review your copy of the Entry Level Course for Drinking Water Operators.
- Review training manuals from other courses you have taken in the past.
How long is a practical certification exam mark valid for?
The exam mark is valid for five years.
I have taken a practical exam to get my certificate and I would now like to upgrade to a higher class certificate. Can I take another practical examination for the higher class certificate?
No, except in special circumstances, an operator can only take one practical examination. To upgrade to a higher-class certificate, an operator that became certified through a practical examination must take all future exams in the written format.
If I get a conditional water treatment certificate through the practical exam, do I also hold a water distribution certificate?
No, conditional certificates are not transferrable to other types of systems. The conditional water treatment certificate will only be valid at the treatment systems where you work.
If you need a distribution certificate, you can apply to take the water distribution practical examination and the water treatment examination as long as both can be taken within 1-2 days of each other. The two examinations will be scheduled on two separate days during the assessor’s visit to your community.