Changes due to COVID-19

In response to the pandemic and health restrictions, some situations require a flexible, risk-based approach to carry out timely and effective permitting and inspections. This approach has been key in responding to the urgent need for temporary health facilities, such as:

  • converting restaurant drive-thrus into testing drive-thrus:
  • turning hotels or convention centres into isolation or medical facilities

To further support this flexibility related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ministerial Order TCS:003/20 has been issued to temporarily suspend or modify a selection of requirements under the Safety Codes Act under the authority of recent amendments to the Act.

The temporary changes include:

  • an optional modified permit form and supportive guidelines to expedite permitting for temporary pandemic-related health facilities,
  • ability to modify or suspend permit requirements for other types of temporary facility construction or operations (provided the permit cannot be reasonably obtained as a result of the pandemic and does not pose serious danger to people or property).

The ministerial order is retroactive to March 17, 2020, the date the COVID-19 public health state of emergency was declared. The order will remain in place for 60 days, unless otherwise terminated by the Minister.

More information on the optional modified permit form and guide for temporary facilities for COVID-19 are available from the Safety Codes Council.


All building, electrical, gas, plumbing, private sewage disposal and petroleum tank projects that fall under the Safety Codes Act, must meet the requirements of the provincial law.

Primary responsibility for safety codes compliance rests with the owner of the building or installation in question.

When a permit is required

The Safety Codes Act requires you have appropriate permit(s) before:

  • selling
  • constructing
  • controlling
  • operating
  • supervising
  • undertaking any process or activity

What permits provide

You can expect the following once you have obtained a permit:

  • access to expert advice before costly mistakes are made
  • record of having done your due diligence to comply with the codes and standards
  • informs the jurisdiction with the responsibility for administering the Safety Codes Act that the project is taking place
  • additional oversight at the early stages of a project through services such as plans or design review
  • an inspection by a trained and certified safety codes officer

Where to get a permit

Permits are available through municipalities that are accredited to administer the Safety Codes Act, and agencies that provide inspection services on behalf of the province in non-accredited municipalities.

Administering services

Alberta’s safety codes system relies on municipalities or agencies to administer and/or provide services under the Safety Codes Act.

Accredited municipalities and regional services commissions provide services directly to Albertans or contract services to inspection agencies.

An accredited agency provides services in non-accredited areas of the province under the oversight of the Alberta Safety Codes Authority (ASCA), which is a division of the Safety Codes Council.

For more information about permits, visit the Safety Codes Council website.


Connect with Municipal Affairs:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-644-1010 (within Canada and the United States)
Toll free: 1-866-421-6929 (within Canada)