Become a Licensed Builder/Vendor

Competency Requirements

A builder or vendor applying for a licence as a first-time applicant must meet the competency requirements put in place under section 38 of the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017 (NHCLA).

All first-time applicants for a licence must demonstrate the following technical and business competencies as a prerequisite for licensing:

  1. Business Planning and Management
  2. Financial Planning and Management
  3. Project Management and Supervision
  4. Legal Issues in Housing
  5. Customer Service and Tarion Requirements
  6. Building Codes *
  7. Construction Technology *

*Not required for vendor-only licence applications

The required competencies may be held by one person, or collectively held by a group of people such as principals, directors or officers, or employees within the organization.

Competency Requirements for Type C or D Condominium Builders and Vendors

Builders and vendors of Type C/D condominiums may be exempt from completing six of the seven competency courses provided the required competencies are held by one or more consultants or contractors with professional qualifications in the area of the competency. These consultants must be on retainer or otherwise under contract with the vendor or builder for the duration of the condominium project. Type C condominiums have construction elements built to both Parts 3 and 9 of the Ontario Building Code (e.g. Part 9 condominium townhomes built over a concrete parking garage) while Type D projects are complex buildings built only to Part 3 of the Ontario Building Code (e.g. mid-rise and high-rise buildings).

All builders and vendor-builders must possess the Customer Service and Tarion Requirements competency regardless of project type. Customer service is fundamental to all interactions with new home buyers throughout the new home customer journey. This competency must be held by at least one person who is an owner, principal, officer, director or employee of the applicant.

Meeting Competency Requirements

Competency requirements can be met in two ways:

  1. Course Completion

    A person or group of people (principals, directors, officers or employee) within the organization must successfully complete HCRA-approved courses, achieving a passing grade of at least 70% for each required competency. Before submitting the application for licensing, applicants need to contact the course provider(s) and ask them to forward their statement of achievement (or similar verification of successful course completion) directly to the HCRA.
  2. Course Exemptions and Equivalencies

    The HCRA Registrar may exempt an applicant from having to complete courses based on one or more of: the applicant’s experience in the industry, a professional designation, or completion of similar education.

Education Providers for Approved Courses

The following courses and providers are approved by the Registrar as meeting competency requirements. These same education providers support qualification requirements under the ONHWPA.

Training OntarioMMI Professional ServicesbuildABILITY
Business Planning & Management
Financial Planning & Management
Project Management & Supervision
Legal Issues in Housing
Building Codes in Ontario
Construction Technology
Customer Service & Tarion Requirements

*Due to COVID-19, all courses are conducted online with online assessments.

Competency Course Exemption Process

As noted above, the Registrar may exempt a potential applicant from having to complete some of the mandatory courses based on experience, designation or similar education. Alternatively, the Registrar may grant an exemption from having to complete one or more of the required courses based on an assessment of previous work experience or education. In order to achieve an exemption from the Registrar, the potential applicant must apply to the HCRA. Details on how to apply are outlined below.

Pathways for Exemption:

  1. Course Equivalency

    The potential applicant demonstrates successful completion of at least one of the following:
    1. A substantially similar course recognized by another Canadian regulator or warranty authority which meets the same learning objectives and substantive content as the mandatory courses in Ontario
    2. A challenge exam to a required course may be completed through Algonquin College.
  2. Prior Learning Assessment

    The potential applicant demonstrates meeting the learning objectives and substantive content of the mandatory courses through five or more years of work experience, courses, workshops or other modes of learning.

  3. Exemption for Certain Professionals

    An exemption may be granted to an applicant with a professional designation or a completed program of study in the area of the competency from a recognized Canadian post-secondary education provider, association or institute. This exemption would typically be considered for individuals who have completed degrees or diplomas in business and finance, law, building sciences, engineering and architecture.

    Where the competency involves technical expertise in residential construction, the person must satisfy the Registrar that their field of practice or study is comparable to the technical aspects of the Ontario new home construction industry.

    Examples of fields of practice or study that may satisfy one or more competencies include: a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Licensed Engineer or Architect, registered with the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT), Project Management Professional Certification (PMP), Bachelor of Technology (BTech), Lawyer, Building Code Designer qualification (BCIN -Building Code Identification Number).

Pre-qualification Survey

To assist new applicants in determining what competency courses may be required, the first step in the process is to complete the Pre-qualification Survey and submit it to the HCRA, by email or by mail, along with the applicant’s resume. There is no fee for this service.

  1. Email
    competency_info@hcraontario.ca
  2. Mail
    Home Construction Regulatory Authority
    Licensing and Customer Service Department
    40 Sheppard Ave. W, Suite 400
    Toronto, ON M2N 6K9

HCRA staff will advise the potential applicant what additional information is required in order to assess experience or course equivalencies and will provide any required forms that need to be completed.

Note:

  • Providing a false statement in an application is an offence under the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017.
  • Failure to submit a completed application (fees and supporting documents included) will result in delays. Applications will not be assessed until complete.

Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Checks

First-time applicants are responsible for providing the results of a Criminal Record and Judicial Matter check as part of the licensing application process with the HCRA. Applicants may choose to use the HCRA’s third-party provider or provide the results of a check completed by a municipal police service or the Ontario Provincial Police.

If the applicant is a corporation or partnership, the corporation or partnership is responsible for providing the results of a Criminal Record and Judicial Matter check for each of their directors and officers and partners, as applicable.

The HCRA will not accept Criminal Record and Judicial Matter checks that are more than six months old. If the third-party provider is not used, the report must be included for an application to be complete and must be the original copy, stamped and signed.

If an applicant has a criminal record, it does not mean the application will be refused. The Registrar will consider a range of factors including the relevance of the conduct to licensing, how much time has passed since the conduct, whether the conduct is part of a pattern of behaviour, and steps taken to redress the impact of the conduct. The Registrar will also consider the circumstances of each individual matter in assessing the results of a Criminal Record and Judicial Matter Check.

Interested Persons

As part of the application process, the HCRA will review information about individuals and corporations involved with your business

An interested person is a person who may not be the applicant, an officer

or director, but who nonetheless exercises influence or control over the operation of the applicant or licensee. The interested person’s influence may be the result of direct or indirect financial controls. It is important to note that an interested person does not necessarily need to have any formal ownership position or financial arrangement with a licensee. The key point is that the person may be exercising control over the applicant or licensee.

First time applicants and renewal applicants will be asked to identify interested persons on their application forms. They are also obliged to notify the HCRA Registrar of changes to the information provided. At the time of application for a licence or renewal, interested persons are not required to undergo a Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check. The HCRA Registrar may, however, determine that additional information is required about one or more identified interested persons.

The application form also includes a declaration by the applicant about past and present conduct and financial responsibility of identified interested persons. This includes whether the interested persons have currently or previously been registered with Tarion under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act or licensed with the HCRA under the New Home Construction Licensing Act, 2017.

It is important to disclose all interested persons. Failure to do so might be considered as an honesty and integrity issue by the HCRA Registrar.