Syllabus - ORFA Certified Ice Technician (CIT) Recertification 2015

IMPORTANT: The following syllabus outlines recommended reading for CITs registered in either (a) the one-day, classroom-based CIT recertification course, or (b) registered to write the challenge exam. It is STRONGLY recommended that participants prepare themselves accordingly prior to attending the classroom course or writing the challenge exam. Any questions, or concerns, please contact the ORFA at (416) 426-7062,

Since the Ontario Recreation Facilities Association Inc. (ORFA) introduced the Certified Ice Technician (CIT) professional designation in 1997, the employment landscape associated with ice arena operations has significantly changed. Many employers now demand the CIT as an entry level qualification, while others accept the CIT as strengthening an application for higher supervisory duties. Regardless of the use of the CIT by its holder, it must not be lost that the professional designation is in fact a personal professional accomplishment and as such, it must be maintained by the holder.

The expectations of, and demands on, ice technicians to make strategic contributions to the organizational success of these environments continues to increase. Implementing the operational best practices gained from the original training while remaining up to date has never been more important.

Continuing professional development is an essential component of ORFA’s designation framework. The objective of the continuing professional development requirement is to ensure that members who have earned ORFA professional designations participate in ongoing professional development activities. Continuing professional development represents a commitment to continuous learning in a profession affected by economic, social, business and legislative changes. The ORFA simplifies the process by regularly sharing with members in good standing changes, updates or improved best practices to the industry through alerts, legislative updates, industry leading guideline documents, E-News and a Facility Forum magazine. This approach is designed as a self-directed professional development format. A member can simply stay in tune by taking the time to review the shared information. If additional clarification is required the member can feel free to contact the ORFA, or participate in the online discussion board, Facility Forum Corner Facility Forum Corner allows for open interaction with other industry practitioners on timely or emerging topics.

Recertification Learning Objectives and Modules
The key learning objectives of the recertification process are to ensure that the CIT holder has retained core information from participation in the original three CIT courses, and proved that they have remained up to-date and current with changes within the recreation industry since last recertifying.

This syllabus consists of four modules outlining recommended advanced reading and study:

Module One – CIT Administration and Management
Module Two – Basic Refrigeration
Module Three – Ice Making and Painting Technologies
Module Four – Ice Maintenance and Equipment Operations.

MODULE ONE – CIT Administration and Management
Today’s CIT has a growing responsibility to assist in the daily administration and management of the refrigeration plant room, ice sheet and facility structure. Regardless of the size of the operation some administrative and management obligations remains the same. An ice arena is a workplace and as such is governed by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The Internal Responsibility System (IRS) continues to promote that health and safety is in fact every workers responsibility. A noted upsurge in inspection by governing authorities with an increase in accountability for non-compliance at all levels of worker responsibility confirms the fact that all workplace parties have a role.

Changes to the OHSA in July of 2014 requires that all workers obtain a basic understanding to OHSA roles and responsibilities. The Ministry of Labour created and makes available a simplified on-line training program to help ensure compliance. However, this training does not replace any recommended industry health and safety training. In the case of recreation, the ORFA recommends that all workers within our industry receive the ORFA/Public Services Health and Safety Association Legal Awareness I training. For more information, please visit

All workplaces must have and post a variety of information. All workers must be familiar with the content of each document. They include, but are not limited to:

Required Postings, Legislation

  • Occupational Health and Safety Policy, OHSA 25 (2)(k)
  • Workplace Violence & Harassment Policy, OHSA 32.0.1 (2)
  • OHSA and Regulations, OHSA 25(2)(i)
  • “Health & Safety at Work: Prevention Starts Here”, OHSA 25(2)(i)
  • Guide to the OHSA, OHSA 25(2)(i)
  • Guide to the JHSC, OHSA 25(2)(i)
  • Name of HSR or JHSC Members, OHSA 9(32)
  • MSDS information/binders, OHSA 38(5)
  • In case of Injury Poster (Form 82), R.1101 1(1)(b)(i)
  • First Aid Certificates, WSIA
  • Fire Plan, Fire Code R. 454
  • Ministry of Labour Orders, OHSA 57(10)
  • Employment Standards Poster, OHSA 25 (3.1)
  • Emergency Services & Numbers, WSIA

Ministry of Environment Regulation 347
Recreation facilities are being pressured to be “good environmental stewards” by controlling the waste generated through their general operations, programs and services. Items (eg. light bulbs, unused paint, ballasts, and batteries) that were once hauled to landfill may now need to be disposed of in a more appropriate manner. The Environmental Protection Act (provincial) R.R.O 1990 Regulation 347 and Reg. 326/03 are the primary pieces of documentation that guides all workplaces in waste management responsibilities. Both documents are further supported by the Ministry of Environment “Registration Guidance Manual for Generators of Liquid Industrial and Waste” (2009). Managing compressor waste oils from cradle to grave is a legal obligation to be met. As such, every recreation plant room will need to be registered as a waste generator.

An expectation of recertification is that all CITs will also have and maintain the following minimum training:

  • First Aid
  • Confined space awareness
  • Slip, trip and falls
  • Working at heights
  • Workplace violence and harassment
  • Electrical safety
  • Working alone
  • Environmental compliance.

CITs who wish to enhance their understanding of administrative/managerial responsibilities are encouraged to consider working towards ORFA’s Certified Recreation Facilities professional designation. To qualify for the CRFP designation you must:

  • hold “Individual Membership” in the ORFA
  • have Grade 12 education
  • have five years full-time recreation industry work experience
  • have completed the following ORFA-approved courses with a minimum 60% passing grade:
  • Legal I and Legal II
  • Leadership Skills for Recreation Facility Managers*
  • Events Planning and Management
  • Advanced Recreation Facilities Business Management I* 

Topics to include:
Module 1: Asset Management and Operational and Capital Needs Planning
Module 2: Strategic Planning and Management
Module 3: Project Management
Module 4: Budgeting and Financial Management, Project Funding
Module 5: Policy and Procedure Development and Implementation

  • Advanced Recreation Facilities Business Management II**

Topics to include:
Module 6: Communications, Social Media, Report Writing, Incident and Accident Reports
Module 7: Purchasing, Supply Management, Logistics
Module 8: Revenue Generation, Business Development, Strategic Partnerships
Module 9: Customer Service and Patron Relations
Module 10: Human Resources Management, Union and Non-Union Work Places

Please review the following ORFA resources:


MODULE TWO – Basic Refrigeration
The original information provided in the ORFA Basic Refrigeration course materials, specific to the refrigeration cycle, equipment and controls remains the same. However, the course has significantly changed in content as it focuses on an enhanced overview of applicable legislative responsibilities associated with safe ice arena refrigeration operations. Resources to the recertification process will include:

The successful completion of any theoretical presentation on the dynamics of refrigeration must be accompanied with workplace specific training to be considered complete. Many operators have not been provided with this necessary element and as such their training is in fact considered incomplete. Proving ongoing competency of individuals who are granted the privilege of access to an ice arena refrigeration plant room will include the understanding and compliance to a variety of set regulatory obligations and a solid understanding of the cycle of refrigeration, safety control, equipment identification and utilization of operational documents and log books. Workplace-specific training must be designed to meet the training needs in individual workplaces. The results of a workplace hazard assessment conducted by the employer determines the training needs. Employers are encouraged to conduct the assessment in consultation with the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC).

Basic Refrigeration Manual Review: In preparation for the final examination it is recommended that all candidates review the following pages in the ORFA Refrigeration Manual Ice Rink Applications (2nd Printing 2008).

  • Page 6-7 - Latent Heat to Latent Heat of Vaporization
  • Page 14 – Thermodynamics Review Chart
  • Pages 21- 27 – Basic Principles of Refrigeration to Brine Mixtures

Please review the following ORFA resources:


MODULE THREE – Ice Making & Painting Technologies
Ice making and painting techniques remain primarily the same. The most significant advancements include the Jet Ice Paint stick. The paint stick is designed to allow one technician to accurately apply lines and circles on the ice surface. The Paint Stick design is light-weight, offers the flexibility to adjust the liquid paint flow and, best of all, allows the technician to stand upright during the application process.

In-ice logo materials are the next most significant improvement. Digital in-ice logos
are created by using state-of-the-art large format digital printers to provide superior print quality. Jet ice textile are reusable fabric with excellent water transfer properties for ease of installation, fabric colour blends well into ice, excellent image quality. They are available in panel sizes up to 10' wide to minimize the number of joints.

Recent changes to ice markings at the professional level have yet to filter down to the community rinks. ORFA will continue to monitor and advise its members accordingly.

The previous Canadian Standards Association Guideline for Spectator Safety in Indoor Arenas that set standards for spectator netting no longer is available from CSA. CSA has recognized the ORFA Boards and Glass document as the recognized best practice for spectator safety in ice.
Please review the following ORFA resources:


MODULE FOUR – Ice Maintenance and Equipment Operations
Ice resurfacing equipment has continued to be fairly consistent over the past few years. Zamboni has updated their equipment offering to include both the 560AC and 552 Electric models. Resurfice continues to offer the Millennium and Ice Bear models as their flag ship equipment. Recently, Resurfice showcased their new electric magnetic blade option. It has yet to be formally released as an option for Resurfice equipment. Joe Johnston Ltd. offers the Engo ice resurfacer in Ontario. Electric (battery) technology continues to increase as a choice for powering ice resurfacing equipment.

Currently, the ORFA is monitoring several different water-degassing devices. We do not have a formal opinion on this technology. We invite members to share their experiences on the Facility Forum Corner at

The ORFA does recognize an increase in the use of laser technology in controlling arena ice depth.

Toxic arena air continues to make headlines throughout North America. The ORFA will continue to apply pressure to adopt the recommended operational best practices as outlined in the ORFA Guidelines for Indoor Air Quality in Arenas (Updated) document.

Please review the following ORFA resources:


Examination Preparedness
Certified Ice Technicians that continue to understand and apply the original information and best practices and who have reviewed the recommended resources should now be adequately prepared to write their recertification examination.