ABSA’s Education & Certification Department administers Alberta’s province-wide power engineers certification program.
The power engineers certification program is intended to ensure that Power Engineers and Building Operators meet provincial standards for the safe and proper operation of power plants, heating plants, and thermal liquid heating systems. This page lists the Power Engineering Certifications that ABSA administers, and outlines the requirements for obtaining and maintaining certification.
|Terminology: In the documents on this website, certificates are referred to by a variety of names. For example, the same certificate might be called:|
Operators Certificate of Competency
- Supervision Certificate of Competency
- Power Engineers Certification
The important things to note are:
- the level of certificate (example: 4th Class Power Engineers Certificate)
- any limitation on authorized scope of practice and special restrictions contained in the certificate (e.g. Special Boiler Operators Certificate of Competency is limited to 250 kW power plant at a specific site).
There are two types of certification in Alberta, standardized and non-standardized, as explained below.
Standardized Certificates are certificates recognized by all Standardization of Power Engineers Examination Committee (SOPEEC) jurisdictions. Standardized Certificates are identifiable by a red SOPEEC seal.
Each certificate entitles the holder to supervise specific types of equipment in specific operating conditions. From lowest to highest with respect to plant capacity and job responsibility, Standardized Certificates include:
- 5th Class Power Engineer’s Certificate of Competency
- 4th Class Power Engineer’s Certificate of Competency
- 3rd Class Power Engineer’s Certificate of Competency
- 2nd Class Power Engineer’s Certificate of Competency
- 1st Class Power Engineer’s Certificate of Competency
The Government of Alberta has delegated to ABSA the administration and enforcement of pressure equipment safety under the Alberta Safety Codes Act and the Power Engineers Regulation.
Under this delegation, the Chief Inspector and Administrator, Pressure Equipment Safety, may issue Variances, Directives and Interpretations to the Regulations regarding pressure equipment in Alberta.
Power Engineers Regulation (AR 85/2003) is available from the Alberta Queens Printer. Information in this regulation includes, but is not limited to:
- definitions of supervisory duties (shift engineer, etc.)
- plant supervision requirements
- information on the different classes of Power Engineers Certification
- the allowable duties for the holder of each type of Power Engineers Certificate
- certification requirements for each class of Power Engineers Certificate
- information on Temporary Certificates, Out-of-Province Equivalencies, Duplicate Certificates, and certificate renewals
- information on calculating boiler ratings
For interpretations of the Power Engineers Regulation, see Information Bulletin IB03-008 Rev. 2, dated July 5, 2006 and Information Bulletin IB05-007, dated December 16, 2005.
- file number
- type of certificate held
- certificate expiry date
Note that this directory will contain only valid certifications.
Individuals holding expired certificates will not be listed in the directory.
ABSA endeavors to maintain accurate, reliable, and current information on certification. If you have any questions about the Alberta Certified Power Engineers Online Directory, please contact ABSA’s Examinations Department:
- 433-0281 ext. 3324 within Edmonton
- toll free: 1-888-454-Exam (1-888-454-3926) if outside Edmonton
ABSA has developed an internet website that will allow Power Engineers and In-Service Inspectors access to their information that is securely stored with ABSA.
To obtain your internet access you will need to provide a current email address when you apply for an examination. Once your application has been processed, a start-up PIN will be sent to the email address you provided. Log-in.
When you first access the site, you will be required to change your PIN and select from a set of security pictures. Your ID, PIN and security picture choice will be required every time you sign on to the information pages. It is your responsibility to keep logon information confidential.
You will be able to see your personal information, exams taken, results achieved, scheduled examination dates, certificates held and certificate expiry date. You will be able to submit changes to your personal information. Changes to your name or date of birth will still need additional verification, with copies of appropriate certification provided to the ABSA office. You can also renew your certificate and apply for examinations.
Please note that once you have activated your account online, you will ONLY receive certificates, receipts and renewal cards via the postal service. All other notifications will be sent electronically to the email address we have on file.
If you have trouble logging in, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Examination Results and Scheduling Notifications
When you have online access sign-on, you will be able to obtain the result and scheduling letters online. You will be notified by email that your account has updated information and ABSA will not be mailing out notification of examinations or results.
Certificate of Competency Renewals
Your renewal notification will be emailed to you and you can renew your certificate online. If you renew online, your renewal cards will be mailed out to you. If you do not wish to renew online, please submit the completed form AB-73.
Online Examination Application Information
Before you can apply online for an examination, you must have submitted the required information and received approval to write.
These are the requirements:
1. Education: you must provide course completion for the 4th and 5th class exams.
2. Experience: you need to provide ABSA with the correct level of work experience to qualify. See the Power Engineers Regulation for requirements.
3. You must hold a certificate of competency one class lower than the one applied for.
Once you have submitted your application online you will receive an email when your examination has been scheduled. You can then view and print your confirmation notification letter from within the Exams tab.
Penalty Rules: If you are under penalty due to failures, you can apply to write your examination on a date after the penalty expires. You will not be able to schedule more than 1 examination because that may place you in a penalty again.
Power Engineers Online Directory or examination scheduling
Power Engineers Regulation, certification and experience requirements
Temporary Certificates and Out of Province Transfers
Seminars and Training
As a power engineer, you have a number of responsibilities under the Safety Codes Act, Power Engineers Regulation, and other pressure equipment regulations. Some of the responsibilities of a power engineer are:
- when not holding a valid certificate of competency, shall not control, operate, supervise, or undertake any other activity to which the Safety Codes Act applies, if this Act requires that the person hold a certificate of competency to do so
- shall not use, operate, or place under pressure a boiler or pressure vessel unless a certificate of inspection permit has been issued for it
- must take reasonable actions necessary to maintain pressure equipment (power plant, heating plant, or thermal liquid heating system) in a safe condition
- shall not operate pressure equipment if under the opinion that it is unsafe to do so
- shall not operate pressure equipment contrary to the Safety Codes Act and Regulations, or contrary to any code, standard, or body of rules declared to be in force pursuant to the Act
- ensure that a log book is updated and maintained to record matters relating to the operation and maintenance of the pressure equipment. Such records shall include information on equipment operation, testing, and servicing of safety valves and other safety devices and controls, and any other matters that may affect the safety of the pressure equipment.
- do not supervise pressure equipment exceeding the scope of practice (as outlined in the following section) that your certificate of competency authorizes
- display your valid certificate of competency in a conspicuous place on the premises when working in a power plant, heating plant, or thermal liquid heating system
- renew your certificate of competency annually before the certificate expires
Scope Of Practice
Each type of Power Engineers Certification authorizes the holder to perform specific duties related to pressure equipment operation. This information is shown in table form in the Supervision Scope of Practice Tables and in section 2, 3, and 4 of the Power Engineers Regulation (AR 85/2003).
The Scope of Practice Tables can also be used to determine the certification required to work in a specific capacity (e.g. Chief Power Engineer) in a specific size and type of plant. Use of these tables for this purpose is clarified in Supervision Certificate of Competency Requirements, dated July 15, 2003.
The Scope of Practice Tables can also be used to determine the Type of Supervision (Continuous, Overall, General, etc.) that is required for a given type and capacity of plant. For clarifications on using the tables for this purpose, see Continuous, Overall, and General Supervision – Responsibilities of Power Plant Chief Power Engineer and Shift Engineer, dated July 23, 2003.
The Administrator has established a seven year time limit for Power Engineering examinations that candidates have passed and operating experience that candidates have obtained.
Examination syllabi are reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. Examinations papers required for power engineer certifications will be valid for seven years from the date an examination paper was passed. Seven years after an examination paper was passed, it can no longer be considered towards higher certification and the examination paper will have to be written again.
Regarding work experience, legislation, technology, machinery, power engineering examination and syllabi, and power plant operating processes are continually changing and improving. The validity of power engineering operating experience decreases with the passage of time and at some point becomes meaningless in the interest of public safety. Operating experience older than seven years will not be accepted for higher level of certification. To continue with certification, applicants will have to re-submit up-to-date pressure equipment work experience.
When examinations from other Canadian jurisdictions are requested to be verified, any examinations that have been passed more than seven years prior will not be accepted by ABSA.
Examinations that have been passed in Alberta, seven or more years prior, will not be verified for other Canadian jurisdictions.
This new policy will be effective on July 1, 2012.
Contact ABSA’s Education and Certification Department at 780-437-9100 for Edmonton area or outside Edmonton area at 1-888-454-3926 or email email@example.com.