Frequent Questions About PVMA Certification for UTT/UTW Work

Q: What is a UTW and UTT?

A: A Utility Tree Worker is an individual who removes trees or portions of trees near power lines or other electrical equipment, not including aerial trimming in accordance with the requirements of the safety rules, while a Utility Tree Trimmer is an individual who removes trees or portions of trees near power lines or other electrical equipment including aerial trimming in accordance with the requirements of the safety rules.


Q: How much time does a person have to apply for certification or recertification after taking the UTW Safety Training Program?

A: Successful program graduates have two years to apply, with the two years beginning from December 31 of the year the course was taken. If this deadline is missed, the applicant must retake the course.


Q: How long is certification valid?

A: All certificates are valid for five years from June 30th of the year the applicant completed the PVMA/IVMAA UTW Safety Training Program, not five years from the year of certification.


Q: What does certification indicate?

A: Certification verifies that an individual received all training necessary for certification, and at the time of testing, demonstrated predetermined levels of knowledge and ability. However, certification does not guarantee the quality of an individual’s work after certification.


Q: What is certification and why is it important?

A: Certification is a combination of work experience and training. The PVMA’s training and certification program ensures workers are trained to work safely in all aspects of their work, including around electrical conductors. In Alberta, certification is a regulated requirement under the Alberta Electrical and Communication Code.


Q: If a person who took a recertification course does not apply for recertification within the two-year application period, which course would he have to retake to become certified again?

A: The recertification course.


Q: How can I become recertified if there are no recertification courses being offered?

A: Write a letter to the PVMA Certification Sub-Committee requesting extension until the next course if available. The Administrator will validate the request and extend the certification until the end of the month following the next course.


Q: Who applies for certification?

A: Most applications are from individuals wanting to work in Alberta; however, many also come from individuals interested in working for companies in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and BC. A number of major utilities outside Alberta have adopted the Alberta standard for certification and will only hire individuals with PVMA (formerly IVMAA) Certification. Regardless of where they plan to work, all applicants must meet Alberta requirements before the PVMA will certify them.


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