Etobicoke, Ontario—The Appliance Technical Institute of Canada (ATIC) has been issued a six-month suspension from providing gas technician training programs. The suspension came into effect on Oct. 31 and was implemented after the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) found that ATIC was providing the gas technician two-course (G2) without the proper accreditation.
“Proper training and certification of workers providing fuels services are essential to protecting public safety in the province,” said Sam Sadeghi, TSSA’s director of fuels safety program. A TSSA inspector discovered that the program was being taught without the proper accreditation while speaking with a student during a routine audit of the training facility. As a result, TSSA issued an order on Dec. 3, 2020, to immediately cease and desist the instruction of any component of the G2 curriculum, reports TSSA. On Dec. 15, 2020, TSSA contacted enrolled students to make them aware of the issue, provide support, and let them know the steps they needed to take to achieve appropriate certification provided to them.
Initially accredited by TSSA to provide the domestic appliance and gas technician three-course only (G3), ATIC admitted to giving the G2 course without approval by TSSA. The G2 course had been taught at ATIC without the proper approval since at least August 2020 at their main campus in Mississauga, Ont, reports TSSA.
Under the Technical Standards and Safety Act, the regulation requires that only training providers formally accredited by TSSA provide training programs that lead to a fuel industry certificate. In addition, each program that the provider teaches must be reviewed and approved by TSSA. “When unaccredited training providers deliver programs, it is a serious breach of safety laws that puts public safety at risk,” said Sadeghi.
Along with the six-month suspension, ATIC is being ordered to hire a compliance officer that will be responsible for overseeing the ATIC’s compliance. This will include curriculum, laboratory and workshop requirements, training, program content, practical evaluations, instructor qualifications, and any communication with students. The college will also be subject to regular compliance audits by a TSSA inspector.
“Unfortunately, the victims here are the students who not only lost time, they were almost led to start their careers on the wrong foot without being trained on the essential skills and meeting the regulatory requirements, and therefore putting the public at risk,” said Sadeghi.
When TSSA learned of the issue there were no students in the unaccredited program that had achieved TSSA G2 certification. All students that went through the unaccredited program and have applied to TSSA for accreditation have been put through what is called the challenge process, reports TSSA. This will allow TSSA to individually assess their skills to ensure there is no gap in skills or safety issues. The challenge process will include undergoing a practical skills assessment.