Water and wastewater operator certification

Regulated water and wastewater facilities in Alberta must have certified operators.


The Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Program was developed to ensure proper operation and maintenance of water and wastewater facilities, and to protect the health of citizens and the environment. In line with that mandate the Operator Certification Program with its stakeholders devised a strategic plan that will result in timely updates to the program.

Important dates

  • July 1, 2024 – Current year renewal period opens.
  • July 2024 – Release of updated ‘Need to Know’.
  • December 31, 2024 – Current year renewal deadline.
  • 2024 to 2025 – Certification Schedule.


The Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act requires that specified water and wastewater facilities in Alberta have certified operators to supervise and/or carry out day-to-day operations. Each facility's operating approval specifies the certified operator requirements.

Policies and guidelines


The Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Program has 5 levels of certification:

  • Small Systems, Level I, Level II, Level III and Level IV.
  • Each level of certification has different education, training, experience, and examination requirements.
  • The certification program requires operators have post-secondary education to meet the requirements for Levels III and IV certification.
  • Substitutions of applicable approved experience or Continuing Education Units (CEU) can be used to gain the equivalent of post-secondary education.
  • Education requirements

    To qualify for writing certification exams, applicants must meet minimum education, experience and training requirements for each level. See the Water and Wastewater Operators’ Certification Guidelines

    Other than for Small Systems certification, the minimum requirement is completion of Grade 12. If you did not complete Grade 12, you can obtain a high school equivalency diploma.

  • Transcripts

    • Transcripts submitted prior to applications for certification must show completion of Grade 12.
    • If you completed high school in Alberta, you can order high school transcripts through Alberta Education.
    • Contact your local department of education if you completed high school in another province or state.
    • Information on assessing education received from outside Canada is available through the International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS).
  • Mandatory training requirements

    Mandatory training is required for Small Systems certification and Level I certification. Please check the approved CEU course list under resources in Compliance365 for eligible MELT courses.

  • Operating experience

    Operating experience is defined as the time spent working at a water or wastewater facility in satisfactory performance of operation duties or in supervision of persons performing operation duties.

    Partial credit toward operating experience requirements may be approved by Environment and Protected Areas (EPA) for other related experience. Examples of “related experience” may include work in maintenance, laboratories, different water or wastewater utilities, different certification categories, other related occupations, or trades. A clear outline of how the experience is related will be required.

    Partial credit may be approved by EPA for non-Canadian operating experience. Applicants are required to provide appropriately documented support (HR letters, employer references and more) of their overseas operations as deemed necessary by EPA.

Certification exam

To qualify for writing certification exams the applicant must meet minimum education, experience, and training requirements for each level. Substitutions, with limitations, are allowed for both experience and education in Levels II, III and IV. See Water and Wastewater Operators' Certification Guidelines for further details.

  • A minimum of 3 months must elapse between writing and passing one level of certification exam and applying to write the next level of certification.
  • Operators may qualify for certification at one level above the class of the facility where operating.
  • DRC experience begins after obtaining Level II certification.

All certification exams will be approved or denied with the decision communicated approximately 2 weeks prior to the opening of the on-line exam window. Check your C365 operator portal during this time for updates.

Once approved, a follow-up email from AMP/PSI will be sent within a couple of business days with instructions on how to schedule and pay for an exam. Once an exam window opens, it will remain open for 60 days so an operator can schedule and write their exam at one of the testing locations across the province.

If an examinee misses the scheduled date, contact us, you will be placed into the next testing window, if that is your desire. A confirmation email will also be sent from AMP/PSI closer to the beginning of the next testing window date.

Exam periods and application cut off dates can be found by clicking Certification Calendar, under important dates.

If you are not yet able to meet the requirements for Level I certification but would like to challenge the Level I exam and you are a resident of Alberta, go to our exam provider to create an account and schedule your exam.

Successfully challenging the exam does not guarantee certification. Operators are still required to meet all conditions for certification found in the Water and Wastewater Operators' Certification Guidelines within 3 years of successfully passing the exam.

After meeting the employment criteria, request a C365 Operator Certification Portal account. Send us an email with your legal name, a personal email address (non work) and the name of your current employer.

  • Fees

    An online exam fee will be applied when scheduling your exam. Paid directly to the exam provider in US dollars.

  • Exam accommodations

    Applicants may request an examination accommodation for a documented disability.

    Accommodation requests need to be submitted and approved prior to the exam for:

    • extended time
    • distraction-free rooms
    • physical prompts (such as for individuals with hearing impairments)
    • permission to bring and take medications during the exam (for example, for individuals with diabetes who must monitor their blood sugar and administer insulin)
  • Exam rewrites

    If a candidate does not pass a certification exam, they can apply for re-examination. The exams used for rewrites follow the same format as the standardized exams.

    The following restrictions apply:

    • a candidate can rewrite the exam at least 4 months, but not more than one year, after the unsuccessful attempt
    • should a candidate be unsuccessful after their third attempt at an exam, they must obtain at least 5 relevant CEUs prior to re-applying

Certification renewal

The Water and Wastewater Operator Certificate of Qualification must be renewed every 3 years to ensure that the operator continues to meet certification program requirements.

  • Current year renewal period starts on July 1.
  • Current year renewal deadline December 31.
  • Discipline specific CEU requirements apply (refer to Water and Wastewater Operator Guidelines) All CEUs must be obtained in the renewal period.
  • Renewal fee paid through your C365 operator portal.

Operators are responsible for maintaining proof of completion of their education, continuing education units, employment and upload the required documentation in Compliance 365 for approval before applying for certification or renewal.

Certificate reactivation

If a Water and Wastewater Certificate expires and it is later required, this triggers a reactivation. The requirements outlined in the s must be met to reactivate a certificate.

Operators pay a non-refundable fee of $130 for each discipline reactivated beginning July 1, 2021.

Failure to renew certification will result in the certificate becoming inactive. If a Water and Wastewater Certificate expires and it is later required, this triggers a reactivation. The requirements outlined in the Water and Wastewater Operators’ Certification Guidelines must be met to reactivate a certificate.

  • Reactivation is possible if employed in a classified water or wastewater facility.
  • Reactivation fee applies to each certificate held.

Continuing Education Units (CEU)

An operator may apply for CEU evaluation in C365 of any course they do not already see listed under training. A training provider may also submit courses for CEU evaluation, contact [email protected] to activate an account in the Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Portal.

Policy for Continuing Education Unit Evaluation and Credit

One CEU) is defined as 10 contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction.

  • An approved operator training course of 36 contact hours = 3.6 CEUs.
  • Courses less than 3 hours in duration will not be considered for CEUs.  


Alberta is required to issue the same type and level of drinking water and wastewater certificates issued in other provinces and territories if the certificate is in good standing.

Certificates will be issued at a comparable level, without examination, to any person who holds valid operator certification from another province or equivalent certifying authority, operating in an Alberta Water or Wastewater facility requiring certified operators.

Operator certification portal

Water and Wastewater Operators are required to have an account in the Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Portal, known as Compliance365, to apply for certification exams, renewals, training or course CEUs and reciprocity.

To request an account, if you are not yet a certified operator in Alberta and want to become certified, or transfer your certification from another province by reciprocity, contact us. 

Provide your legal name, a personal email address, the name of your current employer and a copy of your official job description.

  • Activate your account as soon as you receive your activation link.
  • It is the responsibility of the operators to maintain their personal account in Compliance 365.
  • Must be employed in an Alberta Water or Wastewater facility to get an account.

Contractor form

Attach all forms to your application in the Operator Certification Portal.



Connect with the Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Program:

Email: [email protected]