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Frequently Asked Questions

Red Seal Exam
Red Seal Exam
red seal exam
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Q. How long does it take to complete an apprenticeship program?

A. All apprenticeship programs start by completing a college program that may range from 2-4 yrs and completion of  anywhere from 4000 hours to over 8000 hours in length accumulated through working in your field. Please contact any trades colleges or the ministry of training department for the trade you are interested in for the exact numbers.


Q. What is a journeyperson?

A. A journeyperson is someone who has acquired the knowledge and skills in a trade and has been issued a Certificate of Qualification as attested to by a provincial or territorial authority.


Q. What is a trade qualifier?

A. A trade qualifier is an individual with extensive practical work experience who applies and is approved to challenge the certification examination in a designated trade.


Q. What is NOA?

A. The Red Seal National Occupational Analysis (NOA) is a document that lists all the tasks performed in the occupation and describes the knowledge, skills and abilities required to demonstrate competence in the trade. This document is the basis for the Inter-provincial Standards Red Seal examination.


Q. How is the NOA used to prepare for the exam?

A. The percentage of questions on each area of an NOA can be found in Appendix E of the NOA. The percentage of questions listed in the National Average column reflects the percentage of exam questions from the corresponding Occupational Skills block. A list of all sub‐tasks can be found in Appendix F of the NOA. This chart is a simple visual tool of all the Blocks, Tasks, and Sub-tasks in the NOA. It can be used as a handy checklist to help compare what you know with what you will be tested on the exam. 


Q. What is a Certificate of Qualification (C of Q)?

A. The Certificate of Qualification is a document issued by the province to a person who has met the standards of the trade and the provisions of the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act and General Regulations, by writing and passing the certification examination for that specific trade. A Red Seal endorsement will be affixed to the certificate of qualification for the person who successfully challenges an Inter-provincial Standards Red Seal examination. The Certificate of Qualification, along with an identification card, confirms the person has demonstrated his or her competence in a specific trade and has met all of the requirements for journeyperson certification. By obtaining a Certificate of Qualification, you will become a journeyperson and be recognized as a professional in your trade.


Q. What are the benefits of a Red Seal endorsement?

A. Red Seal endorsement is recognized by employers as a standard of excellence and indicates that the certificate holder has met the Inter-provincial knowledge, skills and work experience and competency standards established by industry. This credential facilitates mobility based on a recognized industry standard of competency within a company, between like companies, across different sectors, and throughout Canada. 


Q. Why do I need a Certification of Qualification?

A. Getting your Inter-Provincial Red Seal Certification has to be the most beneficial accomplishment to achieve as a trades person. It gives you the opportunity to work for bigger and better companies, higher wages and better positions. Many trades’ people have been asked to leave certain job sites or are not allowed to enter due to not having their proper certification. Having your Red Seal endorsement allows you to work on any job site and anywhere across Canada. Labor statistics expect there will be an increase in demand for all trades people due to the large numbers retiring. This will create good job opportunity for qualified trades people as manufacturers and corporations are beginning to only accept certified professionals as they have already begun, making it much more difficult to find and secure a job.


Q. What are the pre-requisites to becoming an apprentice?

A. In order to obtain your Certificate of Apprenticeship, to be competitive as a job-seeker you should preferably complete grade 12 or equivalent, with secondary school senior credits in Math, English and Science. Enrolment in cooperative education or OYAP in the construction sector or drafting would be an asset. You must be 16 years of age or over and a minimum grade 10 education in Canada (or proven Canadian equivalency) is required.

Strong math and communication skills are essential.


Q. How often do you update your Q&A?

A. Our team is constantly updating our information due to new technology and techniques that are continually being developed.


Q. How do I obtain a Certificate of Qualification?

A. Once apprentices have completed the required schooling and work experience, they may write the Certificate of Qualification examination through the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities. A provincial C of Q and inter-provincial or "Red-Seal" certificate will be granted to those scoring 70% or above. 


Q. Can I use my Red Seal certificate anywhere across Canada?

A. A. Your “Red Seal” endorsed Certificate of Qualification as a journeyperson in your trade is recognized throughout Canada. This endorsement allows the holder to work anywhere in Canada where the trade is designated without having to write further examinations. Many companies in the U.S. are also recognizing this qualification.


Q. Can I start my apprenticeship before finishing high school or during?

A. High School Apprenticeship Program (HSAP):

Begin your apprenticeship training in high school. A minimum age of 16 years in required.


Q. If you do not hold a high school diploma, you can also qualify as an Access Program Trainee-formerly Mature Student?

A. If you are experienced in the trade, but do not hold a Certificate of Qualification, you may become a certified journeyperson based on years of proven industry experience and successful completion of the Red Seal Examination. A Trades Qualification Application and trade specific work experience form must be submitted. Trades professionals whose entrance readiness is less than that required, must take appropriate upgrading. Prior Learning Recognition and Assessment may be required.



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