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.

Special Steam-powered Traction Engine Operator 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 and practical) and you must pass the written examination to move on in obtaining your certification.

We will hold our next course in the fall of 2023. If you would like to be put on a waiting list for that or subsequent courses, please 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 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 procedure document and follow the instructions. You can download the HBAA application form from the link below but you will need to go to ABSA’s website to download the AB-66e form.

Click here for the procedure on how to apply for a practical test.

Click here to download the HBAA Application for Practical Test 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.

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