OHS Mining certificates

OHS Mining certificates

Workers at Alberta mine sites who handle, prepare, fire, burn or destroy explosives, or handle misfires, must hold valid mining certificates.

Requirement of Approval Letter or Equivalent Documents from Blaster’s Permit/Certificate Applicants

Effective May 1, 2018, Alberta Labour will require all applicants applying for non-mining blaster’s permits or a mining blaster’s certificates or renewing their previously issued permits/certificates to submit either an approval letter issued by Natural Resources Canada or an equivalent document as per Federal Explosives Regulations 2013, along with their applications. These changes have been made in order to harmonize the province of Alberta’s practices with those of other Canadian jurisdictions.

Section 176 of Explosives Regulations, 2013 (Federal) requires:

176 (1) An individual who applies for a licence, permit or certificate or for the renewal of one must include with their application proof that they have an approval letter or equivalent document.

  • An approval letter is issued by Chief Inspector of Explosives, Natural Resources Canada
  • The equivalent documents are:
    (a) a permis général issued under Quebec’s An Act respecting explosives, as amended from time to time;
    (b) a FAST card (free and secure trade card) issued by the Canada Border Services Agency;
    (c) a NEXUS card issued by the Canada Border Services Agency; or
    (d) a Firearms Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) issued under the Firearms Act.
  • For more information on requirements, please follow the link below;
  • For information on applying for an approval letter, please follow the link below;

This requirement is in place since 2013 in federal jurisdiction and other jurisdictions such as BC and Energy Safety Canada (formerly ENFORM) have already implemented it successfully.


Workers in the underground coal mines in the role of Underground coal mine Foreman, Underground coal mine Manager and or Underground coal mine electrical superintendent must also hold valid mining certificates.

Parts 3 & 4 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation lay out the rules and fees for mining certification.

Download the Mining Certification Poster (PDF, 295 KB)

Dates to remember

Friday, March 30, 2018: Deadline for receipt of applications to write exam

May 15 & 16, 2018: Next round of mining exams

Exam location: Edmonton, Alberta

Types of mining certification

Workers can apply to take exams for the following mining certificates. Click on each certificate to see work experience requirements:

In addition, a Director of Inspection may grant:

Provisional certificates

Eligible workers may get a provisional certificate that's valid for up to 18 months, and only at the mine specified on the certificate.

Equivalency certificates

Alberta recognizes equivalent, valid certificates from other Canadian jurisdictions. Certified applicants from other provinces must apply for equivalent certification in Alberta.


To obtain a valid, government-issued mining certificate, you must:

  • meet the work experience requirements
  • hold a valid Standard First Aid Certificate
  • have no safety OHS violations attached to your personnel record
  • pass a mining exam

Expiry of certificates

  • Mining certificate: valid for up to 5 years
  • Provisional mining certificate: valid for up to 18 months
  • Equivalency certificate: valid until expiry date of original submitted certificate

How to apply

Step 1. Check dates

Check 'Dates to remember' above for application deadlines and exam dates.

Step 2. Apply for certification exam

  1. Get an examination package. You can either:

    1. Download and print the application form:

      Application for Certification Examinations form (PDF, 93 KB)


    2. Contact:

      Occupational Health and Safety, Mining Unit
      J.G. O'Donoghue Building
      Main Floor, 7000 - 113 Street
      Edmonton, Alberta T6H 5T6
      Tel: 780–422–5948
      Fax: 780–427–0999
      E-mail: OHS.Mining@gov.ab.ca

  2. Fill out form by hand.
  3. Remember to:
    • indicate the type of certification required
    • indicate your preferred location for writing the exam
    • sign the declaration
    • attach all supporting documents, including a valid First Aid Certificate, resume and employer letter
    • include application fee or provide email address for online payment
    • note that incomplete forms will be returned
  1. Submit completed form.
  2. You can submit it – along with supporting documents – in person or by mail, fax or email to:
  3. Mail / In person
    Alberta Labour
    Occupational Health and Safety, Mining Unit
    J.G. O'Donoghue Building
    Main Floor, 7000 - 113 Street
    Edmonton, Alberta T6H 5T6
  4. Email
  5. Fax

Step 3. Receive Letter of Authority

  • if your application is accepted, a Letter of Authority will be sent to your personal address as entered on the application form
  • this letter will state the date, time and location of your mining certification exam
  • you'll be asked to present this letter at your exam

Step 4. Prepare for the exam

Before writing the exam, candidates must read:

Step 5. Write the exam

  • on the date of your exam, go to the location stated on the Letter of Authority
  • bring your Letter of Authority and photo ID
  • plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the exam starts
  • review the Conduct at an Examination document provided by the presiding examiner

Step 6. After the exam

  • your exam will be reviewed
  • the pass mark for each paper is 70%
  • the Director of Inspection for Mines will send a letter to your personal address (as entered on the application form) notifying you of the results within approximately one month of the exam
  • if your exam results qualify, your mining certificate will be included in the letter
  • you must post your original, valid mining certificate at your work site while a mining operation is in progress

Fee schedule

Payment method
Fees can be paid by credit card, personal cheque or money order.

Fee 1: Application processing fee – $50
Applicants must pay a standard processing fee to apply for any examination.

Fee 2: Paper fee
In addition to the application processing fee of $50, accepted candidates must pay the following fees before they take their exam:

Certification Paper
Underground Mine Manager Legislation
Gases, Shot Firing & Explosives
Ventilation: Theory & Practice
Surveying, Leveling & Geology
Underground Mine Foreman Legislation
Underground Mine Electrical Superintendent Legislation
& Practical
Underground / Surface Mine Blaster Legislation
& Practical
Modified: 2018-05-17
PID: 14565

Contact OHS Mining

Occupational Health and Safety
Mining Unit
J.G. O'Donoghue Building
Main Floor, 7000 - 113 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6H 5T6

Tel: 780–422–5948
Fax: 780–427–0999
E-mail: OHS.Mining@gov.ab.ca