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Risk-based Oversight (RBO)

RBO guidebook coverRBO Guidebook

ESA has developed a Guidebook to help you understand all aspects of RBO, including 

  • Benefits & Eligibility
  • Programs
  • Scheduling
  • Performance Management


Download the RBO Guidebook



RBO Survey

ESA conducted a survey with Licensed Electrical Contractors (LECs) to gauge familiarity and perceptions towards Risk-based Oversight (RBO). The survey results are included in the report below.

risk-based oversight LEC survey results

RBO Survey Results



RBO Overview

What is Risk-based Oversight (RBO)?

ESA will move to a risk-based approach for electrical wiring in early 2020. This means ESA will spend more effort on high-risk electrical wiring work, and less effort on low-risk work, without compromising safety. Risk-based Oversight means that ESA will use risk criteria to determine what wiring work requires a site visit. Permits will have a risk level assigned to it based on:

  • who does the installation work
  • what the installation is
  • where the installation is

It is recommneded that all high-risk work receives a site visit, and medium and low-risk work will be subject to selective site visits. For example, for every five notifications considered low-risk, an ESA Inspector will visit one notification, and for every two medium-risk notifications, an ESA Inspector will visit one notification. Every high-risk notification will receive a visit.

RBO Factsheet

Why is ESA moving to a Risk Based Approach?

We know you would like it to be easier to do business with us. We believe selective inspection and a risk based approach can help address your scheduling concerns as it creates opportunities for ESA to keep you better informed as to when an inspector will or won’t be coming to visit a site. This also means ESA will be able to focus on the work that poses the greatest safety risk to Ontarians, including the investigation of work done by unlicensed contractors.


When will I see this in the field?

We anticipate that Risk-based Oversight will be in field in early 2020. We’re still determining how it could work and testing certain parts of the risk-based approach. We’ve also gathered information from LECs across the province in Town Hall meetings to determine how this change could potentially affect their businesses and to ensure the rollout is as smooth as possible.


Stakeholder Events

2020 RBO & Wiring Fees Consultation

ESA launched a stakeholder consultation on wiring fees under Risk-based Oversight (RBO) and other updates to fees charged for notifications to do work under the Ontario Electrical Safety Code when RBO goes live in early 2020. 

Learn more about the Consultation


Fall 2019 Regional Contractor Meetings

In fall 2019, ESA held Regional Contractor Meetings across Ontario. Included in the meeting presentation was an update on RBO - the presentation is below.

RBO Regional Contractor Meeting presentation


Fall 2018 Town Halls: Results 

In Fall 2018, ESA held 16 Risk-based Oversight Town Halls to speak with LECs about ESA’s move to Risk-based Oversight (RBO), the proposed RBO fee model, and any decisions that have been made about RBO to date.

The report below consolidates the feedback ESA received from contractors at these town halls; it also provides results from a survey completed by town hall participants.

RBO Fall town hall report

Here is a short video that reviews how RBO works and answers questions that LECs asked during the first round of RBO Town Halls:

This is the town hall presentation that outlines decisions made about RBO and a proposed fee model:

RBO Presentation − Fall 2018


Spring 2018 Town Halls: Results 

ESA held town hall consultations around the province to talk with LECs about ESA’s move to a risk based approach (called Risk-based Oversight or “RBO”)” for electrical wiring by 2020. A video of the town hall presentation and  a report that summarizes the LEC feedback from the town halls is available below.  The report captures the themes and comments ESA received from contractors over 15 RBO town halls and provides results from a survey filled out by town hall participants. 


  risk-based oversight presentation          risk based oversight townhall report

RBO Information Webinar for Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) and Municipalities

On March 28, ESA held an RBO webinar for LDCs, followed by a webinar for municipalities on March 29. The one hour-long webinars introduced RBO and ESA’s plans for implementation, followed by a Q&A session.

Learn more about the webinar for LDCs

Learn more about the webinar for municipalities