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OLMCBO Roles and Responsibilities

November 2022

Every­one has a cru­cial role when it comes to adher­ing to build­ing codes to ensure the health and safe­ty of all occu­pants. By fol­low­ing rules and reg­u­la­tions, projects can reach com­ple­tion in an orga­nized and time­ly man­ner. There are many par­ties involved in this net­work, all work­ing in har­mo­ny to bring build­ings to completion.


The Min­is­ter of Munic­i­pal Affairs and Hous­ing is respon­si­ble for the admin­is­tra­tion of the Build­ing Code Act. The Act assigns duties, author­i­ty and respon­si­bil­i­ties to the province. The province of Ontario appoints a direc­tor of hous­ing devel­op­ment and build­ings branch, and that direc­tor upholds the Build­ing Code.

The province also gov­erns the Build­ing Code Com­mis­sion (BCC) and Build­ing Mate­r­i­al Eval­u­a­tion Com­mis­sion (BMEC). The Min­is­ter of Munic­i­pal Affairs and Hous­ing has the pow­er to approve new build­ing mate­ri­als, sys­tems and designs.

Where the min­is­ter deter­mines con­struc­tion, demo­li­tion, or the Build­ing Code Act (OBC) stan­dards have not been upheld, they can con­vene inquiries into best practices. 

The Build­ing Code Act gov­erns con­struc­tion, ren­o­va­tion and change-of-use for build­ings in Ontario. The Build­ing Code Com­mis­sion holds hear­ings and resolves tech­ni­cal dis­putes between par­ties as it relates to the Ontario Build­ing Code (OBC).

Construction Industry

The BCA assigns var­i­ous roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties to every per­son and agency involved in the con­struc­tion of a build­ing. Such per­sons include the own­er, the design­ers, the builder and the manufacturers.

The BCA lists the role of every per­son who caus­es a build­ing to be con­struct­ed to ensure it is con­struct­ed in accor­dance with the BCA, the Build­ing Code and the build­ing per­mit issued; to ensure that con­struc­tion must not start before a per­mit is issued; That con­struc­tion is car­ried out only by per­sons who have the qual­i­fi­ca­tions and insur­ance, if any, as required by the BCA and the Build­ing Code

Chief Building Officials

Chief Build­ing Offi­cials also car­ry out key reg­u­la­to­ry roles roles in this process. They enforce the the BCA, OBC, relat­ed national/​international stan­dards, and also con­duct inspec­tions to ensure all par­ties are fol­low­ing rules and regulations. 

CBO’s issue per­mits, and in the case of refusals, they inform appli­ca­tions for the rea­sons of the per­mit refusal. In spe­cial cir­cum­stances, CBO’s can sus­pend con­struc­tion of a build­ing if the BCA is not com­plied with. In exten­u­at­ing sit­u­a­tions, CBO’s have the author­i­ty for a build­ing to be demol­ished or repaired.

Under the BCA, CBO’s can nul­li­fy time peri­ods when per­mits are issued or refused, they can issue con­di­tion­al per­mits for all stages of con­struc­tion, they can refer draw­ings or doc­u­ments to the Ontario Asso­ci­a­tion of Archi­tects (OAA) or the Pro­fes­sion­al Engi­neers Ontario (PEO).

Learn more

Building Inspectors

It is the role of an inspec­tor to exer­cise pow­ers and per­form duties under the BCA and the build­ing code in con­nec­tion with review­ing plans and issu­ing build­ing per­mits, inspect­ing con­struc­tion, con­duct­ing main­te­nance inspec­tions and issu­ing orders in accor­dance with the BCA (order to com­ply, not to cov­er, stop work order, unsafe build­ings) and the build­ing code. 

Inspec­tors have eyes in the field and can enter job sites with­out a war­rant. They per­form build­ing and occu­pan­cy inspec­tions as part of the build­ing per­mit process. 

Under the BCA, inspec­tors have the abil­i­ty to inves­ti­gate and enforce whether unper­mit­ted con­struc­tion is hap­pen­ing on a job site, and whether a build­ing is unsafe.

Building Owners

Build­ing own­er shall ensure that the build­ing or part of the build­ing is main­tained, repaired and eval­u­at­ed in accor­dance with this Act and the build­ing code; and ensure doc­u­ments, records and oth­er infor­ma­tion about the build­ing are kept and pro­vid­ed in accor­dance with this Act and the build­ing code.


Design­ers must sup­ply designs that meet the BCA and allow the builder to con­struct the build­ing fol­low­ing the code.

The Build­ing Code Act sec­tion 15.11 also strength­ened its lan­guage in rela­tion to who can engage in activ­i­ties with Build­ing Depart­ments to ensure these indi­vid­u­als have the tech­ni­cal knowl­edge and qual­i­fi­ca­tions in the OBC. Only a design­er who has the qual­i­fi­ca­tions and meets the require­ments set out in the build­ing code is eli­gi­ble to engage in: pre­pare a design or give oth­er infor­ma­tion or opin­ion con­cern­ing whether a build­ing or part of a build­ing com­plies with the build­ing code, if the design, infor­ma­tion or opin­ion is to be sub­mit­ted to a chief build­ing offi­cial in con­nec­tion with an appli­ca­tion for a permit.


Next in the process is the role and respon­si­bil­i­ties of design­ers and builders. 

Before work is to begin, first­ly a per­mit must be issued. Next, builders must adhere to the guide­lines of the per­mit and use prop­er build­ing tech­niques to fol­low the code and relat­ed tech­ni­cal standards.

Builders must fol­low the BCA and the OBC, com­plet­ing prop­er per­mits and doc­u­men­ta­tions to the municipality’s build­ing by-laws. This includes con­struc­tion draw­ings, site plans, deeds, and relat­ed approvals.

Per­mits must be obtained by builders pri­or to con­struc­tion, demo­li­tion or chang­ing the use of a build­ing, and a copy of the per­mit must be post­ed in clear sight on the property. 

Builders are required to adhere to plans, specs and doc­u­ments which the per­mit was issued, and any changes must be approved by the chief build­ing official.

Manufacturers, Suppliers and Retailers

Parts and sup­plies are quite lit­er­al­ly the glue that con­nects every­thing togeth­er secure­ly. The BCA requires man­u­fac­tur­ers, sup­pli­ers and retail­ers of prod­ucts to fol­low the rules out­lined in the Build­ing Code.

Acronym Guide
  • OBC: Ontario Build­ing Code
  • BCA: Build­ing Code Act
  • BCC: Build­ing Code Commission
  • CBO: Chief Build­ing Officials
  • BMEC: Build­ing Mate­r­i­al Eval­u­a­tion Commission
  • OAA: Ontario Asso­ci­a­tion of Architects
  • PEO: Pro­fes­sion­al Engi­neers Ontario