Certification and Training

First-Time Certification

To supervise the operation of a heritage boiler in Alberta, you must be certified by the Government of Alberta through the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA). ABSA, in conjunction with the HBAA, has created an operator’s certificate specifically for heritage boilers. This certificate will allow a person to supervise or operate a Special Steam-Powered Traction Engine.

Special Steam-Powered Traction Engine Operator Certificate of Competency

Full information from ABSA regarding the certificate can be found by clicking on the above link, but here is a summary of the certification process:

  • Complete the HBAA training course.
  • Obtain at least 100 hours of experience.
  • Pass the ABSA written examination.
  • Pass the ABSA practical examination.

Certificates are valid for two years from the date of issue. To maintain your certificate, you must retake the ABSA practical examination before the expiry date. See below for information on how to do that.

Traction Engine Operator Training Course

Successful completion of this course is mandated as part of the process to obtaining a Special Steam–Powered Traction Engine Operator Certificate of Competency from ABSA. The course consists of two days of classroom instruction (theory only) and you must pass the written examination to move on in obtaining your certification.

We do not currently have a training course scheduled. The next most likely time frame is the Spring of 2020 but we may offer one in the Fall of 2019 if there is enough interest. If you would like more information or to put your name on a waiting list, send a note to “Course Registrations” from the Contact page.

Re-Certification Testing

The HBAA in conjunction with ABSA has put a testing program in place to perform re-certification testing for HBAA members that already hold a Special Steam-Powered Traction Engine Operator Certificate of Competency. We have three members around the province who are approved to perform re-certification tests. We will arrange for a testing session for any HBAA member wishing to renew their certificate where one of our observers will score your abilities and submit the results to ABSA on your behalf. Assuming you passed the test, ABSA will then process your renewal.

HBAA Members

If you are an HBAA member and already hold a Special Steam-Powered Traction Engine Operator Certificate of Competency that you wish to renew, please download the application form, open it with the Adobe Reader, and follow the instructions at the bottom to send it in.

Click here to download the Application for Practical Testing form.

Non-HBAA Members

If you are not an HBAA member, or if you do not already hold a Special Steam-Powered Traction Engine Operator Certificate of Competency, you must apply for the practical test through ABSA. Visit their website by clicking here.

If you would like more information, go to our Contact page, select “Practical Testing” from the drop down, and send us a note.