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 Building Code.

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 (BCIN).


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 required);
• The designer in the second firm is qualified in that area of practice; and
• 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 category.


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 Systems”.

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 qualified?

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 information from:
• Building Code website at www.obc.mah.gov.on.ca.
• Email codeinfo@mah.gov.on.ca
• Call the Building and Development Branch at (416) 585-6666
• Fax the Building and Development Branch at (416) 585-7531

 

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