To clarify Ontario’s policy and process with regard to recognizing education received in a ‘foreign’ jurisdiction. ‘Foreign’ in this context means a country where the education system has not be confirmed by Ontario to be equivalent to the education standards in Ontario.

Thus this guideline is not relevant to Canada nor the United States, as the education standards of the provinces and states respectively have been verified as equivalent to the education standards in Ontario.


In order to become an operator in Ontario, applicants from countries other than Canada or the United States must secure an operator-in-training (OIT) certificate. To secure an OIT certificate, a person must have Grade 12 or equivalent, and pass the OIT exam. (Please refer to guide Grade 12 Equivalency for Drinking Water and Wastewater Operators and Water Quality Analysts for what is considered equivalent to having Grade 12.)

Persons from Canada and the United States typically verify Grade 12 through submitting a Grade 12 certificate, and verify Grade 12 equivalency through submitting a General Educational Development (GED) certificate (CEGEP certificate if from Quebec), course transcript, program certificate or diploma.

Ministry policy

A person from a ‘foreign’ country who wishes to secure an Ontario OIT certificate must verify having Grade 12 or the equivalent by having their education assessed by a recognized educational assessment agency (e.g. the World Education Service). Names of other assessment agencies can be secured from the Certification Program Administrator, who administers Ontario’s Drinking Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Program.

The educational assessment service will determine what recognition Ontario educational institutions would assign to the education the person received.

The applicant from the ‘foreign’ country would submit the findings of the educational assessment service to the Certification Program Administrator, together with:

Where the education transcript is written in a language other than English, the person must submit a notarized translated copy of the transcript.