Questions and Answers
When must a designer be qualified / registered under
the Building Code?
In general, designers that engage in the following “design
activities” are required to meet the qualification/registration
requirements under the Building Code:
Preparing a design as part of a building permit application;
Giving information or an opinion concerning whether a building or part
of a building complies with the Building Code if the information or
opinion is to be submitted to a chief building official in connection
with a building permit application; and
Preparing a written report for submission to the chief building official
based on a general review, where a general review is required by the
Qualification/registration applies to a designer’s
area of practice.
Who is required to be registered, the individual designer
or the design firm?
Subject to certain exemptions, design firms, which may
be sole proprietors and partnerships, must be registered in their area
of practice. Individuals are required to be qualified. Both the firm
and qualified individual are given a Building Code Identification Number
What is an “Other Designer”?
An “Other Designer” is a designer that undertakes
design activities and is required to be qualified, but not registered.
Subsection 2.17.5. of the Building Code sets out the requirements for
“Other Designers”. Examples include in-house designers of
certain design/build firms.
In order to be qualified as an “Other Designer”, individual
must successfully complete the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Examination Program and file qualification information with the Director
of the Building and Development Branch.
May drawings prepared by one firm be “signed off”
by another firm?
Yes. Neither the Building Code Act, 1992 nor Building
Code prevents a situation where a registered firm or qualified designer
assumes responsibility for design activities undertaken by another designer.
Drawings prepared by one designer can be “stamped”
or signed off” by a designer in another firm if:
• The second designer works for a firm registered
in the appropriate area of practice (in cases where registration is
• The designer in the second firm is qualified in that area of
• The designer is the second firm is prepared to “review
and take responsibility for the drawings.
Professional engineers and licensed architects should
consult with their respective associations to verify that the individual
circumstances are in accordance with professional standards under the
Professional Engineers Act and Architects Act, respectively.
What qualification/registration category applies to
designers responsible for buildings ancillary to houses?
Persons who design and take responsibility for the design
of buildings ancillary to houses typically qualify in the House qualification
I design all aspects of house, which qualifications
do I need?
The categories of qualification/classes of registration
required for designers that take responsibility for all aspects of the
house design, include “House”, “Plumbing – House”,
“HVAC – House” and possibly “On-site Sewage
How does a qualified and registered designer indicate
responsibility for their design activities?
The Building Code requires that qualified and registered
designers who review and take responsibility for design activities include
the following information on any documents submitted to a chief building
official or registered code agency:
• The name and Building Code Identification Number
(BCIN) of the registered firm;
• A statement that the qualified person has reviewed and taken
responsibility for the design activities;
• The name and BCIN of the qualified person; and
• The signature of the qualified person.
The provincial common building permit application form
includes fields in which the above information can be included.
How can I check if my designer / building official is
The qualification and registration status of building
practitioners, including designers and building officials, may be verified
through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s public
registry, accessible through the Qualification and Registration Tracking
System (QuARTS) at www.obc.mah.gov.on.ca.
How do I obtain further information?
You can obtain further information related to the recent
changes to the Building Code Act, 1992 and Building Code or general
• Building Code website at www.obc.mah.gov.on.ca.
• Email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Call the Building and Development Branch at (416) 585-6666
• Fax the Building and Development Branch at (416) 585-7531
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