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Contractor Licensing

Guideline to the Duties and Responsibilities of Licensed Electrical Contractors (LECs) and Designated Master Electricians (DMEs)

The “Guideline to the Duties and Responsibilities of Licensed Electrical Contractors (LECs) and Designated Master Electricians (DMEs)” is a plain language guide to the obligations of LECs and DMEs as defined in the licensing regulation.  Note that there are no new requirements in the Guideline – it is simply an explanation of existing laws.

Guideline to the Duties and Responsibilities of Licensed Electrical Contractors (LECs) and Designated Master Electricians (DMEs)










Guideline to the Duties and Responsibilities of Licensed Electrical Contractors (LECs) and Designated Master Electricians (DMEs)

The members of the Electrical Contractor Registration Agency (ECRA) identified a need for a resource that explains in plain language the responsibilities of LECs and MEs as defined in Ontario Regulation 570/05 Licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians.

The purpose of this Guideline is to assist businesses and individuals to understand and comply with their licensing obligations arising from the Regulation. Unless exempted, any contracting business that offers or performs electrical work in Ontario must be licensed by ESA. Similarly, any person who plans on assuming the responsibilities established in the Regulation for overseeing the electrical work carried out on behalf of an electrical contractor must be licensed by ESA as a Master Electrician and be designated by the electrical contracting business.

The release of this document marks the culmination of major effort and collaboration between ESA and ECRA.  ESA sincerely appreciates the commitment and hard work of the ECRA members.  We would also like to thank the electrical contractors who took the time to submit feedback on multiple drafts of the Guideline.




Contractor Licensing Regulation Background

Since 2001, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and the electrical contracting sector have been working together to develop a provincial licensing framework proposal to address concerns with the current licensing scheme of electrical contractors and master electricians throughout the province of Ontario.

The 2003 Provincial Auditor's Report noted electrical safety concerns and recommended that the Ministry of Consumer Services and the ESA work with stakeholders to develop consistent provincial standards for ongoing licensing and training of electricians to improve public safety.

In late 2004 the Government of Ontario amended the Electricity Act, 1998, with the passage of Bill 70, to enable the establishment of a statutory framework for province-wide licensing of electrical contractors and master electricians in the compulsory electrical trades, to be administered by the ESA.

Ministry of Consumer Services News ReleaseAs of January 1, 2007 no person shall operate an Electrical Contracting Business in Ontario without first obtaining an Electrical Contractor Licence issues by ECRA/ESA.

As of January 1, 2007 no person shall assume the responsibility of a Designated Master Electrician for the carrying out of electrical work on behalf of an Electrical Contractor without first obtaining a Master Electrician Licence issues by ECRA/ESA.


Ontario Regulation 89/99 designates ESA as the responsible authority for purposes of administering Part VIII of the Electricity Act, 1998.

Bill 70 provides legislative changes to Part VIII, Section 113 of the Electricity Act, giving ESA the authority to establish and enforce a province-wide licensing system for electrical contractors, master electricians and electricians.

Bill 152 Ministry of Government Services Consumer Protection and Service Modernization Act, 2006. This will allow the ESA to go after unlicensed contractors doing potentially unsafe work in people's homes or businesses. The proposed changes in this bill will give the ESA stronger enforcement powers to actively pursue individuals and businesses that falsely hold themselves out to be electrical contractors.


Ontario Regulation 570/05, Licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians which sets out the requirements for Provincial Licensing was approved by the Ontario Government on November 2, 2005. This regulation comes into force beginning July 1, 2006.

Ontario Regulation 187/09, Appeal Of Director's Decision On Licences Under Part VIII Of The Electricity Act, 1998.

Licensing Regulation O. Reg 570/05 has been amended to include 434A Powerline Technicians