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Trades in Canada have three levels of certification.

1. Uncertified

2. Provincial 

3. Inter-Provincial (Red Seal)

An uncertified trades person in Canada is someone that has been practicing that trade for many years and just has never completed the official schooling. It could also be someone like an Australian coming over and practicing on the Australian trade papers and not converting to the Canadian.

The provincial is obtained through the apprectiship program that each province offers and at the end of the program you are a certified trade for that province.

The inter-provincial or Red Seal as it is known is what you gain if you are looking to work in another province that you dont have provincial trade papers for.

There are plenty of places around that will hire uncertified trades people due to the way the trades program is set up. Or they may add a clause into your work contract that you must obtain your Red Seal certification by a certain date.


If you are an Aussie that has trade papers back home they are pretty much worthless here (to an extent). In most work places you would be classified as uncertified.

Whats the difference? From experience,  the pay.

Getting certified or obtaining your Red Seal varies from province to province. Contact the certification authority for the province you will be residing in to see what the process entails and what supporting documents you will need to bring with you. 

A run down of how the process works in British Columbia is as follows ...

1. Speak with the ITA (Industry Training Authority) to gain the appropriate documentation

2. Get in touch with your old employer back home. You will need them to verify hours worked within that trade / industry

3. Send the documents back to ITA, pay your fees.

4. ITA will then complete their checks. Old employer contact information will have to be submitted with the application as the ITA may contact your previous employer to verify the hours

5. Once the ITA is satisfied with the outcome they will allow you to sit the Red Seal Exam

6. Book in your selected date, place and time

7. Once your exam has been marked you will be notified via email, along with your exam marks. If you have passed a certificate will be on its way in the mail. If you have failed you will be allowed to resit the test within a timeframe. 


Alberta | Apprenticeship and Industry Training |

British Columbia | Industry Training Authority |

Manitoba | Apprenticeship Manitoba |

New Brunswick | Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification Branch |

Newfoundland and Labrador | Apprenticeship and Trades Certification Division |

Northwest Territories | Apprenticeship, Trades and Occupations |

Nova Scotia | Apprenticeship Training and Skill Development |

Nunavut | Apprenticeship, Trade and Occupations Certification |

Ontario | Ontario College of Trades |

Prince Edward Island | Apprenticeship Section |

Quebec | Centre administratif de la qualification professionnelle |

Saskatchewan | Apprenticeship & Trade Certification Commission |

Yukon | Apprenticeship Training |

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