ABSA (Alberta Boilers Safety Association) is the pressure equipment safety authority for Alberta. ABSA administers Alberta’s pressure equipment safety programs under the Safety Codes Act, and has the authority to enforce pressure equipment safety as set out in the legislation.


What Are ABSA’s Key Activities?

ABSA’s key activities include:

  • reviewing, accepting, and registering pressure equipment designs
  • reviewing, accepting, and registering construction procedures that relate to pressure equipment
  • issuing certificate of inspection permits for pressure equipment before the equipment is placed into service
  • ensuring that regular inspections of in-service pressure equipment are conducted
  • keeping records for pressure equipment that has been registered for use, or manufactured, in Alberta
  • examining, certifying, and registering Pressure Welders and Welding Examiners
  • examining, certifying, and registering Power Engineers
  • examining, certifying, and registering Pressure Equipment Inspectors
  • investigating accidents or unsafe conditions that involve pressure equipment
  • authorizing and monitoring, through quality management systems, organizations that have been permitted to conduct some of the activities subject to the Regulations
  • conducting safety education and training.

Is ABSA Part Of The Government?

ABSA is a regulatory authority, but is not a direct part of the Government.

In 1995, the Government of Alberta moved the administration of pressure equipment safety programs from a government department to a “Delegated Administrative Organization,” namely, ABSA. Registered under the Societies Act as a not-for-profit organization, ABSA obtains its authority from the Boilers Delegated Administration Regulation. The Minister of Municipal Affairs appointed ABSA’s Chief Inspector as Technical Administrator for pressure equipment safety. ABSA provides pressure equipment safety program services, under the direction of a Board of Directors that represents both the pressure equipment industry and the public.

Most government boiler inspectors continued their work as safety codes officers with the new organization, ensuring that this pool of expertise and experience would not be lost. These people formed the core of ABSA and their commitment to safety remains the driving force behind the work that ABSA does.

ABSA is self-supporting, financing its operations through fees paid by the pressure equipment industry and users of ABSA’s services. We are responsible to the Government, our program delivery is regularly audited by Alberta Municipal Affairs, and our Annual Report and Three-Year Business Plan are tabled in the Legislature. The fees for ABSA’s services are set by the Board of Directors, and are approved by the Minister of Municipal Affairs (see Fee Schedule).

Who Are ABSA’s Partners In Pressure Equipment Safety?

The key to ABSA’s effective delivery of pressure equipment safety programs is our strong partnership with industry and a number of organizations (listed below) that work toward essentially the same goals.

Minister Of Municipal Affairs

The Minister establishes public safety policy through the legislative and regulatory process, and administers, delegates and audits the programs that support public safety.

Alberta Municipal Affairs

On behalf of the Minister, Alberta Municipal Affairs (AMA) facilitates a public safety system (including pressure equipment safety) in the Province, and plays a key role in promoting safe communities and workplaces.

Safety Codes Council

The Safety Codes Council (SCC) provides a mechanism for stakeholders’ participation in the development and delivery of Alberta’s safety system. The Safety Codes Council acts as a liaison between the Minister and persons or organizations interested in safety matters covered by the Safety Codes Act.

Pressure Equipment sub-council

The Pressure Equipment sub-council (PESC), a part of the Safety Codes Council, is made up of volunteer stakeholder representatives from the pressure equipment industry, educational institutions, and workforce associations. The PESC:

  • reviews compliance with the Safety Codes Act, provincial regulations, and national and international standards
  • reviews, formulates, and recommends changes to codes, standards, and regulations
  • establishes competency requirements for safety codes officers
  • hears and rules upon appeals of orders written by safety codes officers
  • provides advice and other support to the Minister.

Other Partners

The pressure equipment industry is inter provincial and international in nature.

ABSA works with, and relies upon, a variety of other organizations, including standards-writing organizations, other pressure-equipment jurisdictions nationally and internationally, and jurisdictional organizations such as the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors.

Standards developed by standards-writing organizations including the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), are adopted as part of Alberta’s legislation.

What is the Relationship Between ABSA, the Safety Codes Council, and the  Pressure Equipment sub-council?

As a partner for promoting pressure equipment safety, ABSA works closely with the Safety Codes Council.

The Safety Codes Council (SCC) was established in the 1993 to carry out the duties defined in the Safety Codes Act (SCA). The Alberta Government, with advice of the Safety Codes Council, sets the requirements for pressure equipment safety in the Safety Codes Act and Regulations.

The Safety Codes Council coordinates the development of safety codes and standards for Alberta’s safety system. It assists all discipline sub-councils in developing safety codes that promote uniform, province-wide safety standards and practices

As one of the ten sub-councils that make up the Safety Codes Council, the Pressure Equipment sub-council (PESC) is responsible for reviewing compliance and recommending code, standard, and regulation changes to the SCC.

Last Modified: 6/2/2023 9:47:12 PM