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Allegations of Potential Misuse of Building Code Information Numbers (BCIN)

Allegations of Potential Misuse of Building Code Information Numbers (BCIN)

Published: 2018-03-12,  

As you know, the Building Code Act, 1992 (the Act) and the Building Code requires designers other than architects and engineers to be qualified and registered with the province.  Specifically, section 15.11 (5) of the Act states that:

Qualifications for designers

(5) A person is not eligible to engage in any of the following activities unless he, she or it has the qualifications and meets the requirements set out in the building code to be a designer:

1. Prepare a design or give other information or opinion concerning whether a building or part of a building complies with the building code, if the design, information or opinion is to be submitted to a chief building official in connection with,

                i.  an application for a permit,

Recently, allegations have come to the Ministry’s attention relating to the misuse of BCIN numbers and/or misrepresentation of designer qualifications when plans are being prepared for submission to municipalities as part of a building permit application package.

In one instance, an individual who is not qualified and registered with the Province has allegedly represented himself as a BCIN-qualified designer.  This individual has  allegedly stamped drawings intended for submission in a building permit application, and has applied a BCIN number to the plans without the knowledge or permission of the practitioner who actually holds that BCIN.  In this circumstance, the individual who is allegedly misusing the BCIN number is advertising this service online; therefore, this could be a widespread issue and not specific to one municipality.

In a second incident, it is alleged that a BCIN qualified designer may have – without authorization - placed an Engineer’s stamp on a set on plans in a building permit application.

The allegations in these matters have not been heard or considered by a court.

The Ministry takes the integrity of the building approval system very seriously, and I know that all building officials do, too.  I am sharing information with you today to give you a “heads-up” on potential areas of concern so you are aware and are looking out for activity such as this.  Both of these incidents underline the importance of building officials being diligent when reviewing applications for building permits. The Ministry is actively investigating these alleged incidents and, if it is shown offences have occurred, appropriate enforcement action could be taken.

Letter to Chief Building Officials re BCA Enforcement Issues 2018 03 09.pdf