The Building Act introduces qualification requirements for building and plumbing officials to support the competency and professionalism of those in this occupation, and to improve consistency in how the BC Building Code is interpreted, applied, and enforced.

What are the new qualification requirements? To be qualified, local government building and plumbing officials who make decisions about whether a matter conforms to a provincial building regulation, will have to:

  1. Be a member in good standing of the Building Officials’ Association of British Columbia (BOABC);
  2. Pass exams according to the level of their responsibilities;
  3. Undertake annual continuing professional development (CPD);
  4. Be entered in the register of qualified building officials; and
  5. Pay an annual fee to the administrative authority, and submit an annual report to the registrar.

When do the qualification requirements take effect? They come into force on February 28, 2017 and take effect in two steps over a four-year transition period:

  1. On or before August 28, 2017 (i.e., within six months from February 28, 2017), building and plumbing officials will have to become members of the BOABC; and
  2. On or before February 28, 2021 (i.e., within four years from February 28, 2017), building and plumbing officials will have to pass the requisite exams for the class/scope of practice at which they work and be entered in the register of qualified building officials.  

When a building official is entered in the register, they will have to pay the annual administrative fee. The requirements for CPD and the submission of the annual report will apply after registration.

Who must be qualified? Any individual who decides whether a matter conforms to a provincial building regulation on behalf of a local government must be either qualified or exempt from the qualification requirements.

Who is exempt or temporarily exempt from the qualification requirements?

  • Those registered and licensed as an architect by the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC).
  • Those who are members of and registered as Professional Engineers with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC), or are APEGBC members holding a limited licence whose scope of practice includes consulting on building regulations.
  • Those already required to hold qualifications under the Safety Standards Act.
  • Those making decisions about the fire prevention and response matters, or fire suppression matters, listed in the Building Act General Regulation. This is a temporary exemption pending further work by the Province to develop qualifications for these matters.

Who will administer the qualification requirements? The BOABC has been selected by the Province as the administrator. Derek Townson, the Executive Director of the BOABC, has been designated the registrar of qualified building officials.

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The content on this page is periodically updated by the Province of British Columbia per the date noted on the page: March 16, 2017.