Acknowledgements

The Prevention Office of the Ontario Ministry of Labour thanks the members of the Working at Heights Training Program Standard Development Group, the Workplace Safety Insurance Board Certification Review Committee and the High-Hazard Working Group for their time and expertise in developing this Training Provider Standard.

The members of the Working at Heights Training Program Standard Development Group included representation from:

  • International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
  • C&C Enterprises Electrical Construction
  • Ironworkers District Council of Ontario
  • Loblaw Companies Limited
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • Unifor
  • Dufferin Construction
  • United Food and Commercial Workers
  • IPEX Management
  • Sproule Speciality Roofing
  • Power Workers’ Union
  • Clifford Masonry

Special thanks and acknowledgement to the members of the High Hazard Training Working Group for establishing the framework used in the development of the Working at Heights Training Provider Standard:

This Working at Heights Training Provider Standard outlines the requirements for training providers seeking the approval of the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) to deliver an approved working at heights training program.

This training program standard will be reviewed at least every five years.

CPO approval is granted to those training providers that meet the Working at Heights Training Provider Standard after a successful assessment and review with respect to the delivery of an approved working at heights training program. While reasonable efforts are made to ensure that the criteria of the Working at Heights Training Provider Standard are maintained by training providers, responsibility resides with employers, to ensure compliance with training requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. In determining what rights or obligations a party may have under the legislation, reference should always be made to the official version of the Act and the regulations.

Scope

Section 7.1 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) provides the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) the authority to establish standards for training programs required under the OHSA and its regulations, and to approve training programs which meet those standards.

Section 7.2 of the OHSA provides the CPO with the authority to establish standards which must be met in order for a training provider to be approved to deliver one or more approved training programs.

The Working at Heights Training Provider Standard outlines the requirements that must be met by training providers who are seeking approval by the CPO to deliver an approved working at heights training program. It should be read in conjunction with the Working at Heights Training Program Standard, which sets out the requirements for an approved program. Working at heights training programs which contain eLearning components must also meet the CPO’s eLearning Instructional Design Guidelines.

In order to be approved by the CPO to deliver an approved working at heights training program, training providers must be able to demonstrate they meet both the Working at Heights Program and Provider standards.

1. Introduction

This Working at Heights Training Provider Standard sets out the requirements that must be met by training providers seeking approval by the Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) to deliver an approved working at heights training program.

This Working at Heights Training Provider Standard applies to all individuals, sole proprietors, corporations or not-for-profit organizations who will seek to be approved as a training provider by the CPO to provide an approved working at heights training program that meets the Working at Heights Training Program Standard.

In order to comply with other OHSA or regulatory requirements, employers shall supplement any training program that meets the requirements of the Working at Heights Training Program Standard with additional information, instruction or training in workplace-specific policies and procedures and workplace-specific equipment or hazards related to working at heights.

Employers must continue to ensure that the training requirements in the OHSA and its regulations are complied with.

2. Purpose

The purpose of the Working at Heights Training Provider Standard is to establish a mandatory minimum standard for high quality and consistent delivery of approved working at heights training programs in the Province of Ontario.

The goal of the Working at Heights Training Provider Standard is to improve working at heights training delivery in Ontario in order to:

  1. Ensure that workers who are exposed to the hazard of falling from heights receive high quality and consistent training;
  2. Strengthen workplace safety culture by elevating the profile and importance of preventing falls from heights; and
  3. Reduce the number of fall-from-heights incidents, injuries and fatalities.

3. Training provider requirements

The Working at Heights Training Provider Standard establishes requirements for those seeking to be approved training providers of an approved working at heights training program.

3.1 Legislative and insurance requirements

Training providers must comply with all relevant provincial workplace legislation, including, but not limited to, Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, Occupational Health and Safety Act, Employment Standards Act, 2000, Labour Relations Act, 1995 and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005.

In addition, training providers must have all necessary and appropriate commercial liability or errors and omissions insurance that a prudent person, carrying out activities similar to those of the approved training provider would maintain.

3.2 Advance course materials

Training providers must ensure the following course materials are provided to the learners prior to delivering the approved training program.

Course materials are to include:

  1. the purpose, format, and content of the approved training program, including the type and methods of evaluation and requirements to successfully complete the program;
  2. the process whereby the learner can comment on the training they receive;
  3. all costs involved for successful completion of the approved course; and
  4. requirements for personal protective equipment or other equipment that is to be brought by the learner, if necessary.

3.3 Learning needs

To ensure the learning experience meets the specific needs of learners, training providers must:

  1. oversee the learner registration process;
  2. request information about learners’ learning needs; and
  3. request information about learners’ specific learning accommodation needs, if any.

3.4 Alternative delivery modes

For delivery modes of eLearning, blended learning and distance learning, the training provider must meet the requirements of the Working at Heights Training Program Standard. For delivery of programs with eLearning components, the CPO’s eLearning Instructional Design Guidelines must be met.

3.5 Program materials

Training providers must ensure all training program materials used for the approved working at heights training program are:

  1. legible and of good reproductive quality;
  2. available in sufficient quantity (including all learning materials, equipment and learning aids);
  3. free of bias, including but not limited to gender;
  4. free from defamatory statements, including but not limited to products and equipment ;
  5. compliant with copyright rules;
  6. appropriate for targeted learner language and literacy level; and
  7. compliant with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and its regulations, as applicable.

All training program materials must meet the requirements in the Working at Heights Training Program Standard and this Working at Heights Training Provider Standard.

3.5.1 Personal protective equipment and other equipment

Training providers must ensure all personal protective equipment and other required equipment used in the approved working at heights training program are:

  1. must comply with or exceed equipment specific National Standards of Canada / Canadian Standards Association technical standards, as applicable. The equipment must also comply with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations as applicable. The equipment must indicate the technical standard with which it complies on a decal or through other means;
  2. regularly maintained and in good working order as per manufacturer’s specifications and regulatory requirements; and
  3. clearly identified and labeled as damaged or deficient if used only for training demonstration purposes.

If learners bring their own personal protective equipment to the approved training program, it must also meet the above criteria.

In addition, all personal protective equipment and other equipment used in the approved training must meet the requirements in the Working at Heights Training Program Standard.

3.6 Learning environment

To support the transfer of learning, training providers must ensure a safe, healthy and accessible learning environment regardless of location.

3.7 Proof of training completion

3.7.1 Providing proof of completion to learners

Upon successful completion of an approved working at heights training program, training providers must provide learners and their employers, with learner consent , with a document showing successful completion that includes the following information:

  1. learner’s name;
  2. name of the approved working at heights training program,
  3. program identification number,
  4. date of successful completion,
  5. a statement that the learner has successfully achieved the learning outcomes of the approved training program,
  6. name of approved training provider,
  7. signature of the evaluator, and
  8. other information as required by the Working at Heights Training Program Standard.

3.7.2 Providing proof of completion to the Chief Prevention Officer

For learners who have successfully completed an approved working at heights training program, training providers must provide the CPO with the following information within seven business days of the date of completion, in the format required by the CPO:

  1. learner’s name,
  2. learner’s address and contact information,
  3. name of the approved training program,
  4. program identification number, if applicable,
  5. date of successful completion,
  6. name of approved training provider,
  7. provider identification number, if applicable, and
  8. other information as requested by the CPO.

3.8 Support transfer of learning

Training providers must support the transfer of learning by evaluating the learner’s successful achievement of learning outcomes in the approved training program.

The training provider must ensure that:

  1. the learner’s identity is verified,
  2. the methods of evaluation are clearly communicated so that learners understand the performance expectations and how they will be assessed,
  3. the evaluation activities are bias-free, valid, reliable, and lead to appropriate decisions regarding the learner’s achievement of learning outcomes,
  4. learners have the opportunity to receive real-time feedback on their ongoing progress and evaluation results,
  5. the instructor or the evaluator has an opportunity to review program content with learners who are struggling to meet learning objectives,
  6. instruction and evaluation activities meet learner’s language, literacy and accommodation needs, and
  7. evaluation activities are carried out in accordance with the Working at Heights Training Program Standard and this Standard.

4. Training instructor requirements

Training providers must ensure their instructors meet the requirements in this standard.

4.1 Instructor qualifications

Training providers must ensure an instructor’s qualifications are valid and current before he or she delivers an approved working at heights training program. Instructors must have the following qualifications:

  1. technical occupational health and safety knowledge and experience obtained through at least one of the following:
    1. a professional occupational health and safety designation,
    2. successful completion of at least 30 hours of occupational health and safety training over the last two years,
    3. five years of recent occupational health and safety experience;
    4. a degree, diploma, or certificate in occupational health and safety from a recognized post-secondary institution, or
    5. three continuous years of experience as a certified joint health and safety committee member
  2. combination of adult-education delivery experience and knowledge of principles obtained through at least one of the following:
    1. more than 100 hours of adult education delivery experience in the last five years,
    2. a degree, diploma, or certificate in adult-education principles from a recognized post-secondary institution,
    3. a professional training and development designation, or
    4. successful completion of an instructor training program based on adult learning principles.
  3. Knowledge of the approved working at heights training program topics obtained through at least one of the following:
    1. more than five years of recent delivery experience on the approved training program topic(s),
    2. successful completion of a train-the-trainer session for an approved training program as evaluated by the approved training provider, or
    3. successful co-facilitation of a minimum of two sessions of the approved training program as evaluated by the approved training provider

In addition, training providers must demonstrate that approved working at heights training programs will be delivered by instructors with all the following qualifications:

  1. Knowledge about:
    1. the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations relating to working at heights,
    2. codes, standards and guidelines related to working at heights in general, and the specific equipment to be used in delivering the training program
    3. the hazards of working at heights,
    4. the hierarchy of controls as it applies to working at heights, and
    5. work access, fall prevention and personal fall protection equipment referred to in the approved training program, and the limitations of this equipment
  2. Advanced knowledge in the correct use and application of equipment referred to and used in the approved working at heights training program

In addition, for programs delivered via eLearning, blended learning or distance learning, training providers must ensure that it will be delivered by instructors with experience delivering through this mode of training and who are proficient in the use of the software, platform, or other information technology that is to be used.

4.2 Instructor delivery expectations

Effective instructors create positive learning environments, engage learners and assess the achievement of learning outcomes.

Training providers must ensure their instructors meet the following delivery expectations:

4.2.1 Create positive learning environments

Training providers must ensure that the instructor:

  1. is knowledgeable about the content of the approved working at heights training program,
  2. adheres to the instructional design of the approved working at heights training program,
  3. communicates expected learning outcomes of the approved working at heights training program,
  4. models positive attitudes towards learning,
  5. creates a safe and positive learning environment,
  6. asks learners for feedback,
  7. employs a variety of instructional techniques,
  8. uses personal protective equipment or other equipment in accordance with the legislative requirements and the approved training program,
  9. models respectful and professional behaviour, and
  10. resolves and addresses any learner’s inappropriate behaviours promptly and respectfully.

4.2.1 Engage learners

Training providers must ensure that the instructor:

  1. links course content and learning activities with learners’ knowledge and experience,
  2. links program content with learners’ workplace,
  3. asks open-ended questions;
  4. employs a variety of clarification and feedback strategies, and
  5. encourages group discussion

4.2.3 Assess learning and performance

Training providers must ensure that the instructor:

  1. communicates learning evaluation criteria,
  2. uses evaluation methods that are appropriate to learner’s language, literacy and accommodation needs,
  3. monitors and evaluates individual and group performance throughout the program delivery,
  4. assesses achievement of an approved working at heights training program’s learning outcomes in accordance with the Working at Heights Training Program Standard, and
  5. reviews incorrect answers or practices with the learners.

5. Evaluator requirements

Training providers must ensure their evaluators meet the requirements set out in this standard. An instructor may also be the evaluator.

5.1 Evaluator qualifications

The training provider must ensure that the evaluator for the approved working at heights training program must have the following qualifications:

  1. Knowledge about :
    1. the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations relating to working at heights,
    2. the specific equipment to be used for delivery of the training,
    3. the hazards of working at heights,
    4. the hierarchy of controls as it applies to working at heights, and
    5. work access, work positioning, fall prevention and personal fall protection equipment referred to in the approved working at heights training program, and the limitations of this equipment.
  2. Advanced knowledge in the correct use and application of equipment referred to and used in the approved working at heights training program.

5.2 Evaluator expectations

Training providers must ensure that the evaluator:

  1. works under the direction of the training provider and is either the instructor or a subject matter expert,
  2. uses evaluation methods that are appropriate to learner’s language, literacy and accommodation needs,
  3. assesses achievement of an approved training program’s learning outcomes in accordance with the Working at Heights Training Program Standard,
  4. reviews incorrect answers or practices with the learners,
  5. does not tell, prompt, hint, or help learners except for reasons of accommodation (such assistance must be directly requested by the learner), and
  6. upholds the integrity of the learning evaluation process.

6. Code of ethics

Training providers must adhere to high ethical standards of practice when providing approved training programs.

Training providers must, in carrying out their training operation, strive for a high level of professional and ethical conduct at all times, and specifically must:

  1. comply with all relevant provincial workplace legislation,
  2. maintain high standards of honesty, integrity, and trust,
  3. ensure that information is accurately represented, interpreted and communicated without bias,
  4. respect confidentiality of personal information,
  5. treat learners fairly and without bias,
  6. demonstrate compliant occupational health and safety practices within their own business operations,
  7. adhere to occupational health and safety principles and contribute to a positive occupational health and safety culture, and
  8. avoid real or perceived conflict of interest, including:
    1. accepting a financial or non-financial advantage or award with respect to the approved training provider’s duties over and above regular compensation for work done,
    2. giving preferential treatment to individual learners,
    3. engaging in outside activities that conflict with their training provider duties, or
    4. other actions or activities that create a real or perceived conflict of interest.

7. Administration

This section outlines the administrative requirements for all applicants and maintenance requirements for approved training providers.

7.1 Approvals process

Each application must demonstrate how the training provider meets the requirements outlined in this Working at Heights Training Provider Standard and how the training program meets the requirements outlined in the Working at Heights Training Program Standard as established by the Chief Prevention Officer.

As part of the application process, the training provider must submit a written program delivery plan, consistent with requirements in this standard and the Working at Heights Training Program Standard, which includes (but not limited to):

  1. copies of all program materials,
  2. description of the learning environment,
  3. example of a proof-of-training completion document,
  4. learning evaluation method(s) and the final assessment, and
  5. description of the qualifications of instructors and evaluators.

The training provider must also submit a written plan for quality assurance and continuous improvement.

7.2 Training records

Approved training providers must maintain and secure records for each approved working at heights training program in accordance with any applicable privacy legislation. Records must include:

  1. program delivery and completion dates, attendance list, instructor(s) and evaluator(s) for each session,
  2. learner names and contact information,
  3. employer names and contact information, as applicable,
  4. confirmation of learners’ successful completion of the approved training program’s learning outcomes, including final test results and the results of any other tests or evaluations,
  5. quality assurance and continuous improvement activities and results in accordance with the plan submitted during the application process, including feedback, complaints and follow-up action,
  6. qualifications of current and past instructors and evaluators,
  7. maintenance of current and past instructors and evaluators, and
  8. the report submitted annually to the CPO (see Maintenance of training provider approval below).

In addition to the reporting requirements in section 3.7.2, approved training providers must provide training records listed in this section to the CPO upon request.

Approved training providers must maintain the training records listed in this section for four years after creation.

7.3 Maintenance of instructor qualifications

Approved training providers must ensure that each of their instructors delivers at least two sessions per year per approved training program.

If two sessions have not been delivered, approved training providers must ensure that steps have been taken to maintain the instructor’s knowledge of the approved training program and topic.

Approved training providers must ensure their instructors keep their professional occupational health and safety and adult education knowledge and skills current.

7.4 Maintenance of training provider approval

To maintain approval, the approved training provider must submit a report annually to the CPO. The annual report will include the following information about the approved training program:

  1. a summary of any changes or revisions to the approved working at heights training program, with a declaration indicating whether the program continues to meet requirements of the Working at Heights Training Program Standard, and
  2. a summary of training sessions delivered over the previous year, including dates, number of training sessions delivered, instructor and evaluator names and number of learners per training session.

In addition, the approved training provider must:

  1. maintain a list of current and past instructors and evaluators, including their qualifications and any upgrading activities that current instructors have undertaken,
  2. establish a system to maintain instructor qualifications in accordance with the Working at Heights Training Provider Standard (see Section 7.3 above),
  3. establish a system to monitor and evaluate instructional delivery and to provide feedback to instructors for continuous improvement,
  4. establish a system to monitor and evaluate learner evaluation activities, and
  5. establish a system for removing from their roster those instructors or evaluators who demonstrate poor performance or those who are no longer working for them,
  6. comply with the CPO’s quality assurance process, including requests related to verification of approved program content and delivery.

If the approved provider makes changes to its training operation or decides to withdraw its training services or cease operation, then the training provider must notify the Ministry of Labour within 30 business days of the above changes.

The Chief Prevention Officer may revoke the approval of a training provider under certain circumstances (e.g. an approved training provider fails to comply with the requirements of the Working at Heights program and provider training standards).

Glossary of terms

Approved working at heights training program
A training program that has been determined to have met the requirements set out in the Working at Heights Training Program Standard established by the Chief Prevention Officer.
Approved working at heights training provider
A training provider who has been determined to have met the requirements set out in the Working at Heights Training Provider Standard established by the Chief Prevention Officer.
Blended learning
Describes the practice of using several training delivery mediums in a single training program. It typically refers to the combination of classroom instruction and eLearning.
Distance learning
An educational situation in which the instructor and students are separated by time, location, or both. Education or training courses are delivered to remote locations via synchronous or asynchronous instruction (ASTD definition).
eLearning (electronic learning)
A term covering a wide set of applications and processes that includes web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration.
Evaluator
A person who evaluates learners.
Face-to-face training
Usually refers to traditional classroom training, in which an instructor teaches a course to a room of training participants. The term is used synonymously with on-site training and classroom training and instructor-led training (slightly modified from ASTD definition).
Instructor
A person who delivers training programs.
Module
A unit of instruction that can be measured, evaluated for change, assembled to form complete courses, or bypassed as a whole, and usually is intended to teach one or a group of skills or areas of knowledge (slightly modified from ASTD definition).
Qualification
A skill, quality, or attribute that makes somebody suitable for a job, activity or task.
Subject matter expert
A person who has extensive knowledge and skills in a particular subject area (ASTD definition).
Training provider
An individual, sole proprietor, corporation or not-for-profit organization delivering training.
Updated: August 19, 2021
Published: November 10, 2017