Amusement devices: classifications and licence requirements

Amusement devices: classifications and licence requirements

Amusement devices (like roller coasters, Ferris wheels and bouncy castles at carnivals, fairs and exhibitions) need to be licensed under the Amusement Devices Safety Act. You also need a Certificate of Competency to operate amusement devices. The Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration oversees the operation of amusement devices.

Mechanics

You need a Certificate of Competency (Restricted Amusement Device Mechanic) to operate inflatable amusement devices. You need a Certificate of Competency (Amusement Device Mechanic) to operate amusement devices that are not inflatable. As part of the certification process, you need to successfully complete:

  • required regulated hours under the Amusement Devices Safety Act and Amusement Devices General Regulations (practical experience)
  • amusement device training course (only required for Restricted Amusement Device Mechanic (Inflatables) certification)
  • amusement device mechanic exam (only required for Restricted Amusement Device Mechanic (Inflatables) certification)

Classification levels (certificate and licence)

Classification Certificate Type of amusement devices
Restricted Amusement Device Mechanic (Inflatables) Certificate of Competency Inflatable amusement devices (like bouncy castles)
Amusement Device Mechanic Certificate of Competency Non-inflatable amusement devices (like roller coasters and Ferris wheels)

Application process

Once you meet all the requirements for the certification process, you can apply for a Certificate of Competency (Restricted Amusement Device Mechanic) or a Certificate of Competency (Amusement Device Mechanic) to operate an amusement device in Nova Scotia.

Application form: Application for Amusement Device Mechanic Certificate (PDF)

Exams

You don't need to take an exam to apply for a Certificate of Competency (Amusement Device Mechanic) to operate amusement devices that are non-inflatable.

You need to pass a Restricted Amusement Device Mechanic (Inflatables) exam before you can apply for a Certificate of Competency (Restricted Amusement Device Mechanic) to operate inflatable amusement devices.

You need to review the amusement device training course to prepare for the exam. To pass, you need to get at least 70% on the exam. If you don't pass the exam, you can take the exam again anytime within 1 week.

The Restricted Amusement Device Mechanic (Inflatables) exam is available online. You need to take the exam on your own (with no help from others and no resource materials). When you're ready, you need to complete the exam within 2 hours. You should get the test results right away.

Training course: Restricted Amusement Device Mechanic (Inflatables) Training (PDF)

Online exam: Restricted Amusement Device Mechanic (Inflatables) Exam

Recognition of international credentials

Applicants from outside Canada may need to complete a prior learning assessment if they don't meet the practical experience requirements.

Transfer of qualification

You can apply to transfer your credentials from another Canadian jurisdiction if you have a Certificate of Competency that's equivalent to the classification level you want to transfer to. You may need to have your credentials recognized and provide documentation issued by the jurisdiction you're transferring from.

Application form: Application for Amusement Device Mechanic Certificate / Application for Transfer of Certification (PDF)

Application review process

It should take 2 weeks for the Technical Safety Amusements Section to review your application. International and transfer applications can take up to 5 weeks to review. It can take longer if more information is needed or if your form hasn't been filled in correctly.

If your application is approved, you receive your Certificate of Competency by mail. International and transfer applicants receive a Certificate of Competency by mail.

Fees

There is no cost for the training course, exam, certificate or renewal.

Renewal

You need to renew your Certificate of Competency every 3 years. You should get a renewal notice by mail before the renewal date. It's your responsibility to renew on time.

Address change

You need to notify Technical Safety Amusements Section of any changes to your civic address or mailing address. Send your address updates to .

Businesses (owners)

You need an Inflatable Amusement Device Licence for each inflatable amusement device you operate. And you need an Amusement Device Licence for each non-inflatable amusement device that you operate. You also need to:

  • employ a mechanic with a Certificate of Competency (Restricted Amusement Device Mechanic) to operate inflatable amusement devices
  • complete an inspection checklist for inflatable amusement devices, if applicable
  • employ a mechanic with a Certificate of Competency (Amusement Device Mechanic) to operate non-inflatable amusement devices
  • provide proof of at least $1 million liability insurance coverage
  • have non-inflatable amusement devices inspected by the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration before the first use and at the beginning of each season

You also need to also need to follow safety requirements in the Amusement Devices Safety Act, Amusement Devices General Regulations and CSA-Z267 Safety Code for Amusement Rides and Devices.

Device classification levels (licence)

Licence Type of amusement devices
Inflatable Amusement Device Licence Inflatable amusement devices (like bouncy castles)
Amusement Device Licence Non-inflatable amusement devices (like roller coasters and Ferris wheels)

Application process

Once you meet all the requirements for the licensing process, you can apply for an Inflatable Amusement Device Licence or an Amusement Device Licence to operate an amusement device in Nova Scotia. You need to apply separately for each amusement device (each device needs a separate licence).

For the Inflatable Amusement Device Licence, a certified Restricted Amusement Device Mechanic (Inflatables) also needs to complete an inspection checklist as part of the application process.

Application form: Licence Application / Registration Form for an Amusement Device (PDF)

Checklist: Inflatable Amusement Device - Inspection Checklist (PDF)

Application review process

It should take 2 weeks for the Technical Safety Amusements Section to review your application. Transfer applications can take up to 5 weeks to review. It can take longer if more information is needed or if your form hasn't been filled in correctly.

If your application is approved, you receive your licence and registration number by mail.

Registration number

You get a registration number when you receive your licence (each registration number is unique). You need to write the registration number on each inflatable amusement device with a permanent marker. You need to attach the registration number on each non-inflatable amusement device so that it's easy to see.

Fees

Activity Fee
Amusement Device Licence (includes initial inspection) $193.25
Amusement Device Licence renewal (includes annual inspection) $128.85
Special inspection $128.85
Inflatable Amusement Device Licence No cost
Inflatable Amusement Device Licence renewal No cost

Renewal

You need to renew your licence each year. It's your responsibility to renew on time.

Inspections

As a condition of your licence, an inspector from the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration needs to conduct an inspection before the first use of the non-inflatable amusement device and at the beginning of each season. The department may also inspect non-inflatable amusement devices at any time.

Form: Inspection Scheduler

Address and device changes

You need to notify Technical Safety Amusements Section of any changes to your civic address or mailing address. Send your address updates to . You also need to notify Technical Safety if you sell or retire any amusement devices.

Registered contractors

Safety notifications

Safety Alert: imminent danger to a safety issue, that if not addressed will likely lead to health and safety consequences.

Safety Bulletin: non-imminent danger practices or procedures, which may have a level of safety risk if not addressed as soon as possible.

Safety Directive: an interpretation or application of the act, regulations or standards of the regulation, which require action. A Directive is legally binding and must be followed by the affected parties.

Safety Notice: informative, non urgent, proactive communication on safety issue.

Safety Bulletin - Inflatable Amusement Devices (PDF) | Bulletin de sécurité - Attractions gonflables (PDF)

Wait to inflate

To protect the safety of children and other users, Inflatable Amusement devices like bouncy castles need to be licensed under the Amusement Devices Safety Act.

An inflatable amusement business is required to employ a person who holds a restricted certificate of competency for amusement devices to facilitate operations and daily inspections.

  • Section 6 of the Amusement Devices Safety Act - No person shall inspect an amusement device or structure who does not hold a certificate of competency under this Act.

The Inflatable amusement devices industry has been flourishing and continues to pop up at public events, fairs, and homes as rentals for birthday parties or other special events.

The following safety regulations and guidelines are in place on inflatable devices, like bouncy castles, set up for public functions or rented for residential parties, and are regulated in Nova Scotia by the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration, through the Amusement Devices Safety Act.

Understanding Inflatable Amusement Devices

An inflatable amusement device is an amusement ride or device designed for use that may include but not be limited to bounce, climb, slide, or interactive play. They are made of flexible fabric, kept inflated by continuous air flow by one or more blowers, and rely upon air pressure to maintain their shape. In other words, it has one or more of the following:

  • An inflated floor or surface on which patrons play, jump or bounce.
  • Flame resistant high strength materials.
  • An inflated slide.

Hosting an Event with Inflatables

If you are planning an event that will include inflatable devices, it's important that the company providing the inflatables show you the following safety documents:

  • Registration of contractors and each inflatable device with the Province of Nova Scotia. See list of registered contractors.
  • A licence issued to the owner for the current year. This licence acknowledges that the o wner of the devices understands how to operate them according to Nova Scotia safety laws and regulations.
  • All commercial inflatable rides can be identified by the Nova Scotia Amusement Device (AD) number. Look for this number, possibly located on the blower inlet tube.
  • The set up of an inflatable device must be checked by a registered inflatable mechanic. Inflatable devices must be supervised by an operator. The registered mechanic must train operators to be aware of the potential ride hazards.
  • Proof of $1,000,000 liability insurance that specifically covers operating inflatable devices.

For more details, consult the Amusement Device Checklist.

For an added layer of safety at your event

Maximum capacity by weight or number of users:

  • The manufacturer must specify the maximum capacity by weight or number of users, user height, weight, age, and other physical requirements or restrictions.
  • The manufacturer must specify the number and strength(s) of anchorage points, which adequately take into account calculations for likely or appropriate specified wind loading conditions or restrictions.

The manufacturer's specifications for inflation:

  • In the event that the manufacturer of the inflatable amusement device has not specified a maximum allowable wind speed for operations, the maximum wind speed for operations of inflatable amusement devices shall be 25 mph.
  • The operators of inflatable amusement devices must provide the appropriate number of attendants, according to a minimum specified by the manufacturer, to effectively manage and monitor activities on the inflatable device during operations.
  • Bodily contact, flips, or drop kicks by users must not be allowed on an inflatable device per manufacturer's specifications.

For owners and mechanics

1. The operation of inflatable devices requires mandatory training; this training is available online by contacting  ela@novascotia.ca

2. All inflatable amusements require a daily safety check by a certified mechanic for each day an inflatable ride is in operation. The Inflatable Amusement Device Checklist must be kept on file, along with the manufacture's manual and instructions.

3. All inflatable rides in Nova Scotia must be registered with the Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration, and receive a unique identifying Amusement device (AD) number. Inflatable Ride Registration form.

4. An annual licence is issued once the pre-season checklist is submitted along with proof of insurance to ela@novascotia.ca

For classifications and licence requirements, consult Amusement devices: classifications and licence requirements | novascotia.ca

If you need to know more, consult the Amusement Devices General Regulations, or contact us for clarification at safetybranch@novascotia.ca

Labour, Skills & Immigration - 1-800-952-2687

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