Why introduce a Province-wide licensing system?

Until 2005 there was no uniform provincial system to licence electrical contractors or master electricians, resulting in a lack of consistent oversight of electrical safety, education and training for those in the electrical contracting industry.

Several municipalities licensed electrical contractors on the basis of the contractor being or employing a master electrician. These municipalities recognized each of the others licences through their participation in the Electrical Contractors Registration Agency (ECRA) reciprocal recognition program. ECRA is the registration body for master electricians and electrical contractors and is responsible for administering a pre-master’s course and the associated examinations of master electricians.

Other municipalities licensed electrical contractors and possibly master electricians to their own unique standards, and some municipalities had no local business licensing requirements at all.

This disparity between municipalities caused duplication and added costs for industry and confusion for consumers. Potential gaps in public safety and consumer protection arise because work may be performed to different standards across the province.

What are the benefits of a provincial licensing system

Among its many benefits, the new system streamlines and integrates the electrical contractor and master electrician licensing with other regulatory processes such as inspections and compliance activities related to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. Its objective is to improve public safety and eliminate duplication by creating a consistent and recognizable framework of licensing and enforcement across Ontario. It also removes the burden on electrical contractors to obtain multiple municipal business licences to work in different areas of the province, while addressing elements of the underground economy in the electrical contracting sector.
Towards Provincial Licensing – Industry Steering Committee Report
Letters of SupportElectrical Trade Symposium – Executive Summary

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