Frequently Asked Questions

Interprovincial Labour Mobility

Q. Why are changes to improve the labour mobility of Canadians being made now when the Red Seal already allows skilled tradespersons to work anywhere in Canada? 
A. Canada's First Ministers decided in summer, 2008 to amend Chapter 7 of the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) to grant all Canadian workers who have credentials in a province or territory the kind of labour mobility that Red Seal holders have enjoyed since 1958. The Chapter 7 changes therefore mean all workers will have the opportunity to have their qualifications recognized by all provinces and territories - whether they are in the trades, professions or occupations.
Q. What has changed with respect to the skilled trades?
A. The previous Chapter 7 of the Agreement on Internal Trade recognized the Red Seal Program as the "primary vehicle" for labour mobility in the regulated trades. 
This meant that a certified journeyperson with a Red Seal endorsement was provided automatic recognition to work in any province or territory whereas a person certified in a Red Seal trade without the Red Seal endorsement or a person certified in a non - Red Seal trade could be subject to a skills assessment prior to being certified to practice the same trade in another jurisdiction.
The amended Chapter 7 provides for the recognition of skilled trades workers with or without a Red Seal endorsement on their certificates. For the Red Seal and the non Red Seal trades, the amended Chapter 7 provides recognition of certified workers without the Red Seal endorsement as long as the scope of practice is equivalent.
Q. When did this come into effect?
A. All Governments agreed to implement the revised Chapter 7 on April 1st, 2009.
Q. How do the changes affect the Red Seal Program?
A. The implementation of the new Chapter 7 does not change any of the benefits that Red Seal holders have acquired over the past 50 years. The amended Chapter 7 aims to facilitate the movement between provinces and territories of workers qualified in trades that are not covered by the Red Seal Program.
Q. Why would I bother to get the Red Seal if it's not required to work in another province?
A. In the amended Chapter 7 text, the Red Seal is the only credential that grants a worker automatic recognition in each and every province and territory in Canada where that occupation is regulated. 
For 50 years, the Red Seal endorsement has reflected training and certification to a common interprovincial standard that is developed and recognized by industry. The Red Seal endorsement is widely recognized and respected by industry as a standard of excellence.
That's why, in certain work environments, the Red Seal allows for better employment opportunities and provides a competitive hiring advantage. The Red Seal is also a symbol of professional pride. Ninety percent of all registered journeypersons in Canada work in designated Red Seal trades. And finally, for many, the Red Seal is seen as a standard of excellence that provides assurance of quality workmanship.
Q. Why might an employer prefer hiring someone with a Red Seal endorsement?
A. In a Canadian labour market where all certificates of competency recognized by all jurisdictions are deemed equal under the AIT, the Red Seal provides assurance and certainty that an employee is qualified to a standard of knowledge and competency that has been defined by industry and vetted through a rigorous process with industry input from coast to coast.
Q. As an employer, does the AIT restrict who I can hire?
A. No.

Obtaining a Red Seal

Q: I am currently a tradesperson and have only recently heard about the Red Seal endorsement. How can I get my Red Seal?
A: Training and certification of skilled workers in Canada are responsibilities delegated to each of the thirteen provinces and territories. As such, qualifying criteria may vary somewhat such that the specific details must be obtained from the province or territory in which you plan to work. For more information, please contact the apprenticeship office in the relevant jurisdiction.
Q: I will be taking the Red Seal examination shortly and I was wondering if any resource materials are available to help me prepare for the exam.
A: You can obtain a copy of the National Occupational Analysis (NOA) for the Red Seal trade in question which will provide you with an exhaustive list of tasks and sub-tasks that a fully competent journeyperson in that trade would be expected to know. Questions asked on the Red Seal examinations are restricted to the scope of the tasks and sub-tasks identified within the NOA and expected to be performed by a completing apprentice.
For each Red Seal trade, an exam counselling sheet is also available providing the average percentage of the total number of questions on an interprovincial examination, assigned to assess each block of tasks presented in the analysis. Practice questions are also available on this site for some Red Seal trades.

Coming to Canada

Q: I am a certified tradesperson and am planning to move to Canada shortly. Will my work experience allow me to work in my trade when I arrive?
A: Training and certification of skilled workers in Canada are responsibilities delegated to each of the thirteen provinces and territories. As such, it would be useful to know within which jurisdiction you plan on settling, in which case you should direct your specific question to the apprenticeship office for the province or territory in which you plan to work. The National Occupational Analysis is a good document to compare out of Canada trade experience against tasks performed in the trade in Canada.
Q: Who should I contact to obtain information on immigration procedures?
A: Contact the Canadian embassy or consulate nearest you or visit the Canadian Representation Abroad Website. to find out the exact location of the Canadian mission nearest you. You can also visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site or the Going to Canada portal.


Q: Why is my trade not a Red Seal trade?
A: For a trade to be designated Red Seal, a significant number of provinces and territories should already have it independently designated for apprenticeship training and certification. It is the industry's responsibility to submit a request for the designation of a trade under the Red Seal Program. A jurisdiction will only consider a trade for designation if an extensive industry base exists, thereby supporting the need for training. Another consideration would be the commonality of skill sets across the country. National standards, which define the scope of the trade, can only be developed and ratified by jurisdictions if the skills for a specific occupation are generally consistent among the provinces and territories.
For more information on how a trade is designated, visit the Industry section.
Q: How can I obtain permission to use the Red Seal logo?
A: The use of the Red Seal logo is guided by strict criteria established by the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship. You must contact the Red Seal Secretariat to present a request.

For more information

Q: Who should I contact to obtain more information on the Red Seal Program?
A: If you are inquiring from within Canada, or you know which province or territory you will be working when you arrive in Canada, direct your questions to the apprenticeship office for that jurisdiction. For general information about the Red Seal Program you can also contact the Red Seal Secretariat at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada as follows:

Red Seal Secretariat
140 Promenade du Portage
Phase IV; 5th Floor
Ottawa/Gatineau K1A 0J9

Phone: 1-877-599-6933
Fax: 819-994-0202

Q: Who should I contact to obtain more information on apprenticeship grants?
For enquiries regarding the apprenticeship grants or to find out the status of your application, please contact Service Canada at the following toll free number: 1-866-742-3644.
Q: Who should I contact to obtain more information on apprenticeship training programs?
A: Please visit the provincial/territorial apprenticeship Web site or contact the apprenticeship office of the province or territory in which you plan to train.
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