Why Using a Certified Plumber In Toronto Matters

Plumbing Certification Requirements in Ontario

In Ontario, plumbing is a regulated trade, and certification is compulsory. It is regulated to ensure that plumbing practice is safe and risk-free. The legislation regulating plumbers is the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act (1981). This law says that in Ontario it is illegal for anyone other than an apprentice, a holder of a valid provisional certificate, or the holder of a valid licence called a Certificate of Qualification (C of Q) to do any of the work of a plumber. Trade certification for plumbers is available through Workplace Training Branch Apprenticeship offices of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU).

To become a certified plumber in Ontario you must do one of the following:

  • Complete a five-year apprenticeship (approximately 9,000 hours, including 720 hours of post-secondary in-school training). Apprenticeship includes on-the-job training (about 90 per cent of the apprenticeship) and some in-school training (about 10 per cent of the apprenticeship). Apprenticeship is a training agreement between a person who wants to learn a skilled trade and an employer who needs a skilled worker. An apprentice earns wages while working and learning the skills necessary to become a qualified tradesperson or journeyperson.


  • Provide documents that prove that you have the training and experience from another country that meets the requirements of the trade in Ontario.

When you have done this, you must also:

  • apply for the Certificate of Qualification (this is called the “C of Q”) and receive a provisional certificate;
  • pay the required fees; and write and pass the Certificate of Qualification exam.

Competencies Required to Practice Plumbing in Ontario

Before you can receive government certification, you must complete training that covers the competencies listed in Apprenticeship Training Standards – Plumbers. This document lists in detail all the skills that plumbers must be able to demonstrate to be eligible to write the Certificate of Qualification exam. In Ontario, an employer who trains an apprentice signs off on each of the following competencies during an apprenticeship:

  • protect self and others
  • communicate
  • read, interpret, create and maintain drawings and specifications
  • design systems
  • plan and prepare for projects
  • install pipe, fittings, valves and supports
  • install piping systems
  • install fixtures
  • install equipment
  • install devices
  • test systems
  • commission and activate systems
  • perform rigging and hoisting
  • service and maintain mechanical systems