When Do You Need a Licensed Technologist OAA?

The Ontario Association for Applied Architectural Sciences (OAAAS or OAA Technology Program) is a professional association representing technologists in the practice of architecture. Through this program, a qualified individual may achieve licensure by the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) as a Licensed Technologist OAA (Lic.Tech.OAA). The OAAAS program ensures individuals maintain the standards and qualifications expected of the architectural profession and the building industry, and thus ensures the public interest is protected. A Licensed Technologist OAA has the legal right to design larger restaurants, taller houses, low-rise apartment buildings, and other buildings  that no person, other than a licensed architect, may design. 

Specifically, a Licensed Technologist OAA may offer architectural services to the public within the following protected scope of work:

  • Residential occupancy up to four storeys;
  • One or two attached residential dwelling units (there is no restriction for these units to be at grade);
  • Three or more attached residential dwelling units with a maximum building areaof 600 sq.m. (there is no restriction for these units to be at grade); and
  • Restaurants up to a maximum occupant load of 100 persons within a gross area2 of 600 m2

In addition to the above types of projects, Licensed Technologists OAA can serve as trusted professionals for any architectural work available to a member of the public.  Whether or not your project legally requires a Lic.Tech.OAA, there are always significant advantages to retaining one of these highly skilled professionals with extensive training and experience.  

Please refer to the Joint Bulletin by the OAA and the Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) for a summary of the Design and General Review Requirements for Buildings in the Province of Ontario. To review the OAA Council Policy on the Licensed Technologist OAA, click here.

The Architects Act establishes legal liability for those who misrepresent themselves as Licensed Technologists OAA, or who practise architecture (or enable it) by non‐members. This liability extends to Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) (e.g. municipalities and townships) who elect to process applications in contravention of the Act.

When in doubt, do not hesitate to contact the OAA’s Office of the Registrar (officeoftheregistrar@oaa.on.ca) to confirm whether the Architects Act applies to a particular project. Staff will respond promptly to help all parties understand how to comply with their legal requirements as they relate to the Act.


As defined by the O. Reg. 332/12: BUILDING CODE (the Code), the building area is the greatest horizontal area of the building above grade within the outside surface of exterior walls or within the outside surface of exterior walls and the centre line of firewalls.

2As defined by the Code, the gross area means the total area of all floors above grade measured between the outside surfaces of exterior walls or between the outside surfaces of exterior walls and the centre line of firewalls, except that, in any occupancy other than a residential occupancy, where an access or a building service penetrates a firewall, measurements shall not be taken to the centre line of such firewall.

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