Certification and Training

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 operate to supervise a Special Steam-Powered Traction Engine up to a 250 kW capacity. With the proper testing, a variance can be applied which will allow operation or supervision up to 500 kW capacity.

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 of which at least 50% must be under live steam and the remainder can be maintenance activities.
  • Pass the ABSA written examination.
  • Pass the ABSA practical examination.

Steam 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.

Our next course will be held on March 24 – 25 / 2018 at the the Coyote Flats Pioneer Village in Picture Butte, Alberta from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm both days. You can download the registration form from the following link, print it out, and mail it in with your registration fee of $180. If you would like more information, send a note to “Course Registrations” from the Contact page.

Click here to download the 2018 Picture Butte course registration form.

Practical Testing

The HBAA in conjunction with ABSA has put a practical 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 issue a renewal for your certificate.

If you are an HBAA member and already hold a Special Steam-Powered Traction Engine Operator Certificate of Competency that you wish to renew, go to our Contact page, select “Certification Exams” from the drop down, and send us a note.

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.