Under the Regulation Respecting the Quality of Drinking Water, any person performing or supervising work on a drinking water distribution system must possess specific competencies required in the Regulation or be in the presence of a person with these competencies.
In the construction industry, this involves, in particular, tasks related to installation, repair, and replacement of water-supply pipes (or equipment connected to them), pipe-disinfection operations, and collection of water samples following a disinfection treatment.
Workers in the construction industry may comply with the Regulation in four ways:
- By holding the water system worker certification obtained from the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ).
- By holding a diploma in one of the study programs recognized by the Québec government department responsible for the environment or one of the recognized diplomas, certificates, or attestations issued outside of Québec. Consult the department’s website to see the list of recognized programs.
- By having passed one of the recognized programs for qualification as a drinking water operator from Emploi-Québec, which alone is responsible for the issuance and renewal of other certifications related to the field of drinking water. To find out how to obtain and renew a certification issued by Emploi-Québec, please consult its website.
- By working under the supervision of a person holding recognized certification, if the worker’s situation does not correspond to one of the above options.
Workers who perform or supervise work related to water supply must always have proof of this certification in their possession and must, upon request, present it to a representative of the department responsible for the environment.
Training required for obtaining the CCQ’s water system worker certification
To enable construction workers to fulfil the regulatory requirements concerning drinking water systems, the CCQ offers the course Révision des notions pour la certification manœuvre à l'aqueduc.
This 30-hour course is for workers who already hold an occupation competency certificate (OCC) and who have the prerequisite and the eligibility conditions for the Fonds de formation des salariés de l'industrie de la construction (FISIC).
To obtain water system worker certification, workers must:
- Hold a valid occupation competency certificate (OCC);
- Pass the course Révision des notions pour la certification manœuvre à l'aqueduc, which leads to water system worker certification, within 24 months preceding the issuance or renewal of the OCC.
Eligible candidates may register for this course by:
- Using the CCQ’s online services
- Contacting the Info-perfectionnement line at 1 888 902-2222
- Sending the registration coupon, duly filled out.
It must be noted that when the notice of attendance for the course is received, candidates will have to meet the eligibility criteria of the FISIC. Registration for the course will therefore be conditional on satisfying the following criteria:
- Having a minimum of 400 hours worked and declared to the CCQ in 24 of the last 26 months
- Having at least 8,000 hours worked and declared to the CCQ in one or more occupations, including at least one hour in the last five years
- Having passed one of the following three courses: Canalisations souterraines I, Canalisations souterraines II, or Canalisations souterraines – Activité théorique, or have a minimum of 1,000 hours worked and declared to the CCQ in one or more occupations.
Criteria for obtaining and maintaining water system worker certification
Once a worker has passed the course Révision des notions pour la certification manœuvre à l'aqueduc, the “Water System Worker” certification will appear on any valid OCC.
To obtain or maintain this rating on an OCC, workers must respect the following criteria:
- Within 24 months preceding the issuance or renewal of the occupation competency certificate, have taken and passed the initial training course titled Révision des notions pour la certification manœuvre à l’aqueduc
- If more than 24 months have passed since this course was taken, the worker must have performed at least 25 hours in the position of water system worker – that is, declared by an employer under the occupation code 610 (labourer, underground conduits) in the 14 months preceding the delivery or renewal of his or her occupation competency certificate.
Hours not covered or worked outside of Québec that have not been accounted for by the CCQ must be demonstrated by the presentation of proof of wages earned (e.g., pay stubs) and a letter from the employer concerned, in order to have the rating maintained. The documents will have to be sent, at the earliest, within four weeks preceding expiry of the occupation competency certificate by one of the following means:
- By using the electronic form Pour nous joindre on the online services
- By fax or by going to one of the regional offices
Employers must declare on the monthly report all hours related to water system work under the code 610 (labourer, underground conduits) in order to ensure that their workers’ certification is maintained.
In addition, when an updating course is required, the worker will have to take and pass this course in order to maintain his or her water system worker certification. In this case, the CCQ will send the worker a notification of attendance.
Loss of certification
If the criteria for maintaining certification are not fulfilled, the worker will have to take the training course Révision des notions pour la certification manœuvre à l'aqueduc again or comply with the Regulation in one of the four ways mentioned above.
Workers who are able to demonstrate that they have performed water system work outside of Québec or outside of construction, the hours for which could not have been accounted for by the CCQ, must show these hours by presenting proof of wages earned (e.g., pay stubs) and a letter from an employer in order to obtain certification again. The documents will have to be sent, at the earliest, within four weeks preceding expiry of the occupation competency certificate by one of the following means: