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Proposed Regulatory Amendments for Licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians Regulation

ESA

March 7, 2024

The Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery (MPBSD) is proposing regulatory amendments to O.Reg. 570/05 (Licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians) to support the Electrical Safety Authority’s (ESA) initiative to modernize its licence renewal process for master electricians and licensed electrical contractors.

The licence renewal process for master electricians and licensed electrical contractors was a paper-based system in which licensees would mail or fax in copies of their supporting documentation. In recent years, ESA has been moving towards digitalizing and automating the renewal process. As well, ESA is looking to move towards a digital licence for master electricians that can be stored on a master electrician’s phone.

If the regulatory amendments are approved, these changes would:

1. Amend Section 15 of the Licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians regulation to:

– Remove the requirement that an application for licence renewal be made 30 days before the expiry date of the licence. The requirement that an application for renewal of an electrical contractor or master electrician licence be made no later than 30 days before the expiry date of the licence was implemented at a time when most renewal applications were submitted by mail. ESA’s licence renewal processes have since modernized to a more automated and online process and applicants can submit applications to ESA 24/7 via email or online accounts. As a result, it is no longer necessary to require licensed electrical contractors and master electricians to submit their application for licence renewal 30 days before the expiry date of the licence.

– Remove the requirement that all master electricians provide a copy of their certificate of qualifications when renewing their licence. Due to the availability of online certification registries (i.e., Skilled Trades Ontario Public Register), ESA can support a more streamlined and efficient renewal process. Master electricians would still be required to maintain their certificate of qualifications and may still be required to provide a copy if ESA cannot verify their certificate of qualifications.

– Remove the distinction between applications for renewal made before and after 14 days after the date of the licence expiry so that any licence holder applying for a renewal less than one year after the licence expiry date shall pay a late filing fee established by ESA. Currently, paying the late fee is not required if the licence renewal is submitted within 14 days of the licence’s expiry date. Removing this provision would streamline the rules around late renewal applications. If approved, all renewal applications submitted after the expiry date (but less than one year) would be required to pay a late fee along with submitting all the documentation (plus pay the renewal fee calculated from the date of the expired licence to renew their licence).

2. Remove the requirement that the master electrician licence include a recent photograph of the licence holder. Eliminating the requirement for a recent photograph would provide more flexibility for ESA, reduce burden for master electricians and align licence requirements with those enforced by other regulators in Ontario and across Canada. Removing this requirement would also facilitate the move to a digital licence.

3. Add provisions to clarify the authority of ESA Directors to request information from licensees in order to require licensees to comply with compliance audits. Routine compliance audits are conducted for every ESA licence holder to ensure they are fulfilling their licensing obligations and in response to a consumer complaint to strengthen consumer confidence. If a licensee refuses to provide the requested information, ESA Directors must initiate a time-consuming process to impose “Terms and Conditions” on a licensee’s licence to require compliance with these requests. If approved, these proposed amendments would require that, upon request from the Director, licensees must provide information to demonstrate that they are in compliance with Part VIII of the Electricity Act, 1998 and the Licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians regulation within the timeframe specified by the Director.

If these amendments are approved, the majority of the proposed changes would come into effect on July 1, 2024. However, the proposed amendment to remove the requirement that the master electrician licence include a recent photograph of the licence holder would come into effect on January 1, 2025.

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