Building Environmental Systems Operator Class II (Accelerated Stream) for Internationally Trained Individuals

Seneca College Certificate



Bridging to Alternative Careers in Building Operations and Facilities Management (BES™) Operator Class II (Accelerated Stream) for Internationally Trained Individuals provides specialized training and professional networks to help you break into the Ontario job market and launch your professional career in Building Operations & Maintenance industry in the shortest time possible.

This certificate program is recognized by the Toronto Building Managers and Operators Association (TBMOA) and will equip you with the skills & knowledge to operate and maintain complex buildings of any size efficiently, economically, and sustainably.

The Bridging to Alternative Careers in Building Operations and Facilities Management (BES™) Operator Class II (Accelerated Stream) for Internationally Trained Individuals certificate program will provide students with an understanding of the interrelated complexities of building environmental systems such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting and electrical power supply. Students will also learn about the required codes and by-laws that regulate commercial, office, institutional and residential buildings in Canada - all of which require a trained professional to operate.


  • Expert Employment Consultants
  • Opportunities for Professional Accreditation
  • Top Industry Instructors
  • Training Subsidies and Financial Aid Options
  • Intensive Career Search Training
  • Opportunities to Secure Paid Employment
  • Professional Mentorship Opportunities
  • Access to Seneca's Employer Network


Start your application


Those interested in our bridging programs are welcome to attend our free information session. To register for an upcoming information session, please contact us at or call 416-491-5050 ext.77337.


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Funded By:

Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development

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Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.

Career Opportunities

The Bridging to Alternative Careers in Building Operations and Facilities Management (BES™) Operator Class II (Accelerated Stream) for Internationally Trained Individuals certificate program builds on your existing international education and experience to equip you to work as a BES™ Certified Building Operator.

This program has been designed to provide graduates with the knowledge and skills to operate and maintain complex buildings of any size efficiently, economically, and sustainably.

Dedicated, experienced staff, including job developers, employment consultants, and industry experts will help you on your path to secure professional employment by connecting you with employers and helping you to maximize these opportunities through personalized coaching.


Building Operator

Building Mechanic

Building Technician

Building Manager

Facilities Manager

Maintenance Technician

Maintenance Manager







Black & McDonald



and many more!

Entry Requirements

In order to apply to the Bridging to Alternative Careers in Building Operations and Facilities Management (BES™) Operator Class II (Accelerated Stream) for Internationally Trained Individuals certificate program, you must demonstrate the following:

  • Relevant Degree or Diploma from an accredited Institution outside of Canada
  • Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Assessment Level 7
  • Presently unemployed or underemployed
  • Permanent Resident, Canadian Citizen, or Convention Refugee who is eligible to work in Ontario

How to Determine if You are the Right Fit for the BES™ Program:

  • You are mechanically and technically inclined
  • You have a background in engineering (particularly mechanical, electrical, or civil), construction, facilities management, the trades, or a related field
  • You enjoy problem solving and troubleshooting complex issues
  • You like fixing things and understanding how things work
  • You have an interest in sustainability and energy efficiency
  • You enjoy interacting with others, particularly clients and customers

International students, temporary foreign workers, and individuals lacking post-secondary credentials are not eligible for this program.

Application Process

Applications are being accepted on an ongoing basis & spaces are limited. Apply Today!

To apply for Seneca's Bridging Programs, you will be required to complete and email the following documents to

Application Form:
Please answer every question on the Application Form in full and to the best of your ability.

Letter of Interest / Cover Letter:
Your letter of interest should be 1 page single spaced (maximum) and address the following questions:

  • Why are your interested in the BES™ Program?
  • What do you hope to gain from your participation in the BES™ Program?
  • Why do you think you are a good candidate for the BES™ Program?

Your resume must be detailed and updated (2 full pages is ideal, 3 pages maximum in 11 or 12 point font). It must be in a chronological format, beginning with your current or most recent employment. Please be sure to include the following:

  • All employment that you have held, whether in your field or not, with clear bullet point explanations of your responsibilities and accomplishments
  • All academic qualifications (exact names of degrees, certificates, diplomas, etc), including any education completed in Canada, with dates
  • Professional memberships, licenses, designations, certifications, etc
  • Any professional training or skills upgrading that you have completed in or outside of Canada including names of institutions and dates attended.

CLB Assessment:
You will need to provide proof of completion of a Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment at a minimum Level 7. CLB Assessments should be obtained within the last 12 months from the date of application to be valid. CLB Assessments accepted by the BES Program include the following:

  • CLBA
  • WLA

CLB Assessments are free for Permanent Residents, Convention Refugees and Canadian Citizens. For more information and to book an appointment, please contact the YMCA at 416-928-9622 or visit the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks for a list of Assessment Centres in Ontario.

Immigration Status:
You will be required to submit a copy of one of the following: Citizenship Card, Canadian Passport, Permanent Resident Card, or Proof of Refugee Status.

Copies of Academic Qualifications:
Please provide a photocopy of all of your academic credentials in your submission, including any diploma(s), degree(s) and/or certificate(s).

Credential Assessment:
If you are accepted into the program, you will be asked to provide the results of a credential assessment from an approved agency. If you have these available at time of submission, please include a copy of these results in your application. For more information on approved credential assessment services, please visit Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials.

Please be advised that there is considerable demand for this program and due to the limited number of seats, selection of students follows a competitive process and shortlisted candidates will be invited meet with program staff to assess if they are a right fit for the program.


Start your application

Our fast-tracked curriculum includes the following courses:

Building Systems - A Practical Overview

This course provides an introduction to, and an overview of building systems, enabling students to relate to the operation of a building in a safe, energy efficient and environmentally conscious manner.


The Heating course of the Building Environmental Systems program is designed to prepare students to operate heating systems in buildings in a safe, energy efficient, and environmentally conscious manner.

Air Conditioning

The Air Conditioning and Refrigeration course is designed to prepare students to operate air-conditioning and refrigeration systems in buildings in a safe, energy efficient, economical and environmentally conscious manner.

Air Handling

The Air Handling course (incorporating waste management) is designed to prepare students to operate air handling systems in a safe, energy efficient, and environmentally conscious manner as well as to manage waste in a safe, efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly manner.


This course covers the design, operation and maintenance of electrical systems in buildings. Topics include the application of Ohm's Law, the components of electrical distribution systems in buildings, their operation and their maintenance. Students also learn how to calculate utility charges and to reduce electrical loads. Safety and energy efficiency are emphasized in this subject.


This course covers the key concepts of commercial building pneumatic HVAC controls.

Water Treatment

This course covers the key concepts of the field of water treatment as applied to the protection and operation of building systems to provide the best use of energy for conservation and safety practices.

Advanced Career Management for Building Operators

This course is designed to introduce self-marketing techniques to international professionals seeking employment. Students will prepare a career development campaign including sample resumes and cover letter and will also engage in practice interviews and follow-up techniques. The focus is industry-specific to their fields with emphasis on integrating Canadian industry knowledge with international experience and skills.

Communication Skills for the Canadian Workplace

This course is designed for internationally trained professionals who wish to improve their oral and written communication skills in the Canadian workplace as Building Operators. Students learn how to manipulate language and functional skills to communicate effectively. Students practice speaking, listening, reading, and writing in a variety of common formal and informal workplace situations. Emphasis is placed on language development, Canadian workplace etiquette, and cultural influences in professional communication.

Occupational Health & Safety for Building Operators

This course introduces the student to health and safety law in Ontario and their rights and responsibilities as a worker in the province. One of the main emphasis in health and safety is prevention, and workers should be aware of the legislation that is designed to protect them and ensure that workplaces are a healthy and safe environment for everyone. In order to protect oneself and those around them, workers should be knowledgeable about the different types of potential hazards that exist in the workplace and have a general understanding of the types of controls that can be put in place to eliminate and/or reduce hazards to a safe level.

Building Environmental Systems Practicum & Lab

This course provides hands-on exposure to equipment and systems used in the field of Building Operations. Students will be prepared to use diagnostic and troubleshooting skills in the work environment. Tours of Seneca College building systems and facilities will be included so that participants better understand the breadth of the field of Building Environmental Systems.


Note: These courses are exclusive only to the Bridging to Alternative Careers in Building Operations and Facilities Management (BES™) Operator Class II (Accelerated Stream) for Internationally Trained Individuals certificate program and are designed with substantial input from industry experts and employers to increase the employability and marketability of our graduates.

Program details are subject to change without prior notice.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students are able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of all the systems and system components which make up the operation of a building
  • Discuss the design, components, purpose and operation of each of the following building systems: heating, air conditioning, air handling, electrical, HVAC controls, water treatment and one of: pipe systems, air systems, hospital building systems
  • Operate each system studied in a safe, comfortable, energy efficient and environmentally conscious manner
  • Manage waste
  • Work safely and protect the safety of building occupants
  • Perform calculations to achieve a desired outcome for a specific building system
  • Use a psychrometric chart
  • Identify factors which contribute to building safety, comfort and energy efficiency
  • Interpret and analyze charts and graphs commonly used in building operations
  • Troubleshoot and maintain building systems studied
  • Analyze large building operations from an energy efficiency perspective and create proposals to achieve more efficient utility consumption

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost for the Bridging to Alternative Careers in Building Operations and Facilities Management (BES™) Operator Class II (Accelerated Stream) for Internationally Trained Individuals certificate program is $3200.00 plus the cost of materials.

You may be eligible to have the cost of the core courses and materials covered through a range of bursaries and supports available including the Ontario Bridging Participant Assistance Program (OBPAP). Please visit the OBPAP website for more information.

Additionally, the following microloan programs are available to internationally trained professionals pursuing training, education, or certification for re-entry into their professional field:


Upon successful completion of the Bridging to Alternative Careers in Building Operations and Facilities Management (BES™) Operator Class II (Accelerated Stream) for Internationally Trained Individuals certificate program, and with the addition of 2 courses, students may upgrade their designation to BES ™ Operator Class I, the most highly recognized Building Operator Certification available.

Students may also obtain a professional designation as a System Maintenance Technician (SMT ®) with the Building Owners and Managers Institute (BOMI) and registration on the Energy Training Ontario Registry and the Inter-Provincial Facility Training Accreditation Council (IFTAC).

A note to prospective students: If you choose to obtain your Systems Maintenance Technician (SMT®) designation, BOMI waives the $1000 application fee for Seneca graduates.


"I moved to Canada from India in 2003, and like most immigrants, I went through my fair share of challenges at first. I took on several jobs just to make ends meet. I was a security guard, a custodian, and a general labourer....When I attended an information session organized by Seneca's Building Environmental System services Program and met the bridging team, I knew that Seneca was the right fit for me.... While still studying at Seneca, I applied for a general maintenance position at Runnymede Health Care Centre ....after working at Runnymede for eight months, my manager told me that he was very satisfied with my performance and work ethic, and offered me a full-time building operations position. It was one of the greatest days in my life. I had finally earned a position in the field I am most passionate about....I wouldn't be in this position if it we it weren't for the people at Seneca who guided and supported me....Seneca's BES program equipped me with the skills to understand how buildings can be operated and maintained more efficiently, and my manager at Runnymede Health Care Centre gave me the opportunity to practice those skills in the workplace..." ~ BES Bridging Alumni


"The very reason why I chose Seneca was because I wanted to grow.   I wanted to grow in the sense that I wanted to gain more knowledge in my chosen career, and to harness my talents and skills, and be part of a network, similar to my career.  My studies at Seneca have created a big impact on my career.  Because through it, that I was able to join essential seminars and workshops, meet various employers who might be interested in hiring me.  So far, I got promoted on my current job when my current employer found out that I am taking this particular program at Seneca.  The most rewarding aspect of the program would be the knowledge I gained.  Through it, I was able to find a better job, get a better pay, in a better facility, for the betterment of me and my family, all because I was rewarded by this opportunity." ~ BES Bridging Alumni

Program Contacts

Contact us via this form or using the phone number(s) below:

416-491-5050 ext.77337

Information Session

New students are invited to attend an information session.