January 2, 2019: Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Portal launched.

October 1, 2019: Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Program’s 5 year Strategic Plan released.

January 2, 2020: Level I exam applications now opened to all suitable candidates in Alberta.

January 2, 2020: Key Policy updates to the Operator Certification Guidelines.

Overview

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 5 year Strategic Plan that will result in timely updates to the program. The report can be found at: Water and Wastewater Operator Certification 5 year Strategic Plan.

Legislation

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

Operator certification portal

Water and Wastewater Operators are required to have an account in the Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Portal to apply for certification exams, renewals, training/course Continuing Education Units (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, please contact us with your legal name, a personal email address and the name of your current employer to: waterandwastewateroperatorcert@gov.ab.ca.

Instructions for logging in and using the portal are provided through:

  • email
  • the help button for instructional videos

Please activate your account as soon as you receive your activation link.

Certification

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

  • Small Systems
  • Level I
  • Level II
  • Level III
  • Level IV

Each level of certification has different education, training, experience and examination requirements.

For information on Small Systems, Level I and Level II certification training, visit Alberta Water and Wastewater Operators Association (AWWOA).

Education requirements

To qualify for writing certification exams, applicants must meet minimum education, experience and training requirements for each level.

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.

For more information, read the Water and Wastewater Operators’ Certification Guidelines.

Transcripts

Transcripts submitted with 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).

CEUs

The certification program requires that operators have post-secondary education, or equivalent, to meet the requirements for Levels III and IV certification. Substitutions of applicable approved experience or CEUs can be used to gain the equivalent of post-secondary education.

See the Policy for Continuing Education Unit Evaluation and Credit (PDF, 240 KB).

See the Policy for Approving Courses to Meet the Entry Level Training Requirement (PDF, 380 KB).

It is the responsibility of certified operators to keep track of their training. Operators are responsible for maintaining proof of completion of their continuous education requirements, submitting the required documentation and having it approved in Compliance 365 before applying for certification or renewal.

As referenced in the above policy, Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) will not recognize CEUs or Award CEUs for the following:

  • Mass media programs (Webcast/Video/DVD/Webinars) that are not part of an educational program
  • On-the-job training, apprenticeships and work experience
  • Association nomination and elections sessions
  • Work related staff and committee meetings
  • Association business meetings and reports
  • Self-directed study without course completion/verification
  • Assigned reading and study time (homework) associated with any training program
  • Tours
  • Report writing
  • Trade shows
  • Product demonstrations (any length)

Course providers

To apply to have a course evaluated, please email waterandwastewateroperatorcert@gov.ab.ca to activate an account in the Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Portal.

Mandatory training requirements

Mandatory entry level training is only required for Small Systems certification and Level I certification. The following organizations offer training that fulfils the mandatory entry level training requirement:

For more information, read the Water and Wastewater Operators’ Certification Guidelines.

Certified operators

Certification exam

For Operators and trainees meeting the certification requirements:

  • All must have a Compliance365 account created to apply for exams with AEP.
  • All profiles must be complete before applications can be submitted.
  • Supervisors must verify all experiences.
  • Certification Advisory Committee meets to advise on applications.
  • All Certification Exams will be approved/denied with the decision communicated approximately 2 weeks prior to the opening of the on-line exam window. Please check your 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 up, it will remain open for 30 days so an operator can schedule their exam at one of the testing locations across the province (Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Lloydminster, Grande Prairie, Lac La Biche, Fort McMurray).

Yearly Exam Window Schedule (days may vary slightly year to year):

  • January 13
  • March 9
  • May 15
  • July 15
  • September 16
  • November 12

For Operators and trainees not meeting the certification requirements:

  • 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, you will need to contact our exam provider, AMP/PSI, for this provision at: AMP/PSI Candidate Information.
  • Successfully challenging the exam does not constitute certification. You 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 an account to the Operator Certification Portal by sending an email with your legal name, a personal email address and the name of your current employer to: waterandwastewateroperatorcert@gov.ab.ca.

Fees

The online exam fee is $97.00 USD for each exam, paid directly to the exam provider.

Renewal fees are currently being reviewed. Should renewal fees be implemented, they must be paid every 3 years upon renewal beginning 2020.

Exam accommodations

Applicants may request an examination accommodation (PDF, 30 KB) for a documented disability.

Exam rewrites

If a candidate does not pass a certification exam, they can apply for re-examination. 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 (or subsequent) attempt at an exam, they must apply for re-examination showing the acquisition of at least 5 relevant CEUs since the last unsuccessful exam attempt

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.

Operators may be charged a fee for renewing beginning 2020.

Failure to renew certification will result in the certificate becoming inactive. Conditional certificates are not renewable.

For more information on renewal requirements, see:

Contractor forms

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Contact

For more information on the Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Program, email waterandwastewateroperatorcert@gov.ab.ca.