Education FAQs

For Code courses, participants are asked to bring a copy of the provincially adopted National Building Code of Canada, a calculator, pen, pencil, eraser and note paper. For non-Code courses, participants are not required to bring the Code.

All of the NBBOA core courses use facilitators, which are intended to lead the participants through the course material and to facilitate class discussion. Instructors teach course material and are expected to know all the answers. While the facilitators are familiar with the course content, they are not necessarily expected to “have all the answers” and will look to the participants to participate in class discussion to come up with various possible solutions.

The NBBOA is always interested in expanding its pool of course facilitators. All facilitators are required to successfully complete a certified facilitation course. If you are interested, please email the Education Committee Chairperson.

It is not required to take the courses in any particular order; however, participants are encouraged to take the courses in order because they may find the courses more challenging if they take advanced level courses before having a solid foundation of basic courses first. It also tends to slow the course down if participants are not familiar with material covered in less advanced courses. The curriculum is provided in Appendix G of the Education Committee policies (posted on this website) and lists the courses in the order suggested by the Education Committee.

The fee for the two “House” courses includes an additional fee of $125 for the use and administration of International Code Council (ICC) exams. These are standardized exams which are marked by the ICC and when the results is returned to the participant, feedback is attached about areas of strength and areas for improvement.

The International Code Council is a non-profit membership association, incorporated in the USA, dedicated worldwide to public safety in the built environment through the development, maintenance and promotion of codes and standards, and enhancement of professionalism in code administration. To further this purpose, the ICC assists affiliated organizations with the development, validation, and administration of code enforcement related certification courses and exams. The NBBOA has a relationship with the ICC through its partnership with the Alliance of Canadian Building Officials Association. ICC’s National Building Code course exam questions were developed by a series of subject matter experts, including building officials across Canada.

For Code courses, participants should bring a copy of the Provincially adopted National Building Code of Canada, a calculator (non-programmable), pen, pencil and eraser. You are not permitted to bring in notes, course manual, programmable calculators, and personal communication devices (blackberry, cell phone, I Phone, I Pad etc.).

The 2 hour time limit is standard across the country and adherence to strict time limits is a condition of the agreement between the NBBOA and the Alliance of Canadian Building Officials Association (ACBOA) to ensure the NBBOA has an accredited program that is recognized across the country. For ICC exams, a detailed exam outline is provided to participants with the course material. This outline specifies the sections of the code that the exam questions will relate to. Exam outlines can also be made available to participants for non ICC exams upon request. These outlines are provided and encouraged to be used to help participants prepare themselves for the 2 hour open book exam.

With the volume of material covered in a week, it is challenging for participants to digest the information in 4-5 days and be adequately prepared to write the exam and be successful. For this reason, we are encouraging participants to return to their workplaces to put into practice what they’ve learning in the course, take time to let the information digest, and to review and ask questions on concepts they find challenging. It is found that this approach helps participants to retain the information on a more long-term basis, and avoids the pitfalls of cramming for an exam, only to begin to forget the information once the exam is over. It also helps participants to successfully pass the course.

Typically, participants are provided with their exam result within 30 days of writing the exam.

No, participants will be provided a “pass” or “fail” result. This policy is based on sound adult education learning principles. Pass or fail test results are given to discourage participants or others from coming to incorrect conclusions that a higher score on an exam equates to a better employee, smarter person, or anything other than proficiency of job related tasks. The purpose of our type of exams is to measure competency of job related tasks. As the NBBOA moves towards utilizing courses developed by the International Code Council, participants will be provided with their result (“pass” or “fail”) and feedback about areas of strength and areas for improvement.

An individual who does not pass an exam can complete one rewrite exam without taking the course over. An individual who wants to do a rewrite must complete the rewrite application form and submit the required fee within four (4) months of the completion of the course. The NBBOA will contact the individual with the date, time and location for the rewrite within 60 days of receiving the completed application and fee.

If an individual does not pass the rewrite, he/she will be required to take the course over again at the next available date it is offered in order to get credit for the course.

Typically, participants are sent a Certificate of successful course completion within 6 weeks of completing the course.

For many courses, individuals can choose to “challenge the exam”. This means that they can opt to write the exam without having to take the course. An individual who wants to challenge an exam must complete the application form (attached to policy document posted on the website) and submit the required fee. Once the application and fee is received, the applicant will be notified of the next available testing dates. If the individual does not pass the challenge exam, he/she will be required to attend the course the next time it is offered and pass the exam. An individual will not be able to rewrite the challenge exam.

An individual can challenge all core curriculum courses, with the exception of “Legal Processes and Responsibilities”, “Communication Skills for Building Officials”, and “Barrier Free Design”.

The fee for a challenge exam is the same as the course fee, mostly to encourage participants to take the course and benefit from all that is gained through class discussion, participation, review of case studies, and learning from other participants. Although the fee is the same, there is still cost savings for the participant or employer when time away from the office and travel expenses (food, accommodations, mileage) are considered.