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Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change

Well Drilling Certificate of Qualification

Who Needs This Certificate of Qualification?
  Anyone who wants to hold themselves out as a well driller on any property which they themselves do not own or lease.
Issuing Department / Agency:

Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change

Where can you get further information?
    Any Regional or District Office of Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change
Application Forms & Process:

You can get an application form for this Certificate by downloading a form or by contacting the Central Regional Office as listed above. After completing the form, submit it and the appropriate fee to the above address. Applicants for this certification must meet certain requirements, please see Additional Information below.

The applicant must contact Nova Scotia Groundwater (NSGWA) to arrange training and the exam. Oral examinations are available to those who require them. The exam pass mark is 70% in order to qualify for the next steps in certification. If all requirements are met and the examination is passed, the applicant will then be required to perform a field test.

Failure of the exam requires waiting a minimum of 90 days from the date of the original exam to re-write the exam. The rewrite is not the same as the original exam. If the applicant is not successful in the field test, they must wait a minimum of 6 months from the date of the original field test for a re-test.

Applications which have had no follow up in 12 months will expire.

If you are certified in another jurisdiction as a Well Digger and are interested in becoming certified in Nova Scotia, please contact your local regional office to apply for reciprocity.

Expiry & Renewal:

This certificate is valid until December 31 of the year in which it is issued. It must be renewed annually. A renewal notice will be sent out prior to expiration to all current certificate holders. A renewal form can be downloaded by clicking here.

Price: (No tax is charged)

New Application & Renewal Fees:

  • $350.00 for one driller and one machine
  • $145.75 for each additional machine

Please make cheque or money order payable to the Minister of Finance.

Related Requirements:

In preparation for the exam, study material can be obtained from the Nova Scotia Ground Water Association. For re-certification each driller must collect 100 Continuing Education Points (CEP) over a four year period in order to remain qualified to hold a certificate of qualification. See Nova Scotia Ground Water Association website for details.

Applicant must provide valid Commercial Liability Insurance.

Registration with the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stocks Companies, if applicable.

Additional Information:

The applicant must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Have at least 4000 hours of work experience in operating a well drilling machine while under the supervision of a certified well driller;
  • Successfully complete a written test of competence in well drilling and demonstrate a working knowledge of the Well Construction Regulations;
  • Successfully complete a field test to demonstrate practical knowledge of well construction; and
  • Submit the appropriate fee as indicated above.

For a list of certified well drillers, please click

Requests for accommodation can be emailed to

Legislative Authority:
  Environment Act, Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1994-95, Chapter 1, Well Construction Regulations.

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