Process for Designating a New Red Seal Trade

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Value of Red Seal Trade Designation

When a trade is designated as a Red Seal Trade, candidates who meet all eligibility requirements in their province/territory may apply to write the interprovincial Red Seal examination. If successful, they receive that province/territory's certificate of qualification with a Red Seal endorsement affixed to it.

Specific benefits include:

Responsibility for Designation of a Trade as a Red Seal Trade

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program and the designation of trades as Red Seal are the responsibility of the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA). The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship is an organization comprised of:

The Council's member jurisdictions have agreed to work together to facilitate the development of a certified, competent and mobile skilled trades workforce in Canada. CCDA members are accountable to the jurisdiction they represent.

Organizing a Request for Red Seal Designation

The following represent the criteria and supporting information required by the apprenticeship authority to initiate and assess the designation of a trade as Red Seal:

  1. The trade is designated for apprenticeship and certification by apprenticeship authorities in at least five jurisdictions;
  2. The request for designation is supported by industry;
  3. The request for designation should include evidence of the following:
    1. National demand within industry for a Red Seal endorsement;
    2. The degree of commonality of the trade's scope (tasks performed) across provinces and territories.
      Note: The requesting jurisdiction must define a proposed scope of practice of the trade and there must be general agreement among supporting jurisdictions for this scope of practice.
    3. The extent to which industry (employers and employees) from participating jurisdictions are prepared to support, maintain and promote the Red Seal endorsement, if designated.
    4. Sufficient activity in the trade across jurisdictions where the trade is designated for apprenticeship. Evidence of this activity would support the development and maintenance of Red Seal standards and examinations. Note: the CCDA tracks the number of apprentices registered and writings of Red Seal examinations for each trade. Evidence of current and anticipated activity should include:
      1. Number of apprentices currently registered (at least 500)
      2. Number of current examination challengers (at least 300)
      3. Number of anticipated challengers to Red Seal endorsement

Assistance in organizing a request for designation can be provided by the CCDA Stakeholder Relations Committee.


Industry (employers and employees) identifies national support for Red Seal designation.
  • Industry approaches a provincial/territorial (p/t) apprenticeship authority to sponsor request to the CCDA (lead jurisdiction).
  • The lead jurisdiction determines that the minimum number of jurisdictions have the trade designated for apprenticeship.
  • If so, the lead jurisdiction asks all provincial/ territorial apprenticeship authorities to consult with their respective industry stakeholders.
  • The lead jurisdiction also ensures that there are consultations with interjurisdictional stakeholders.
Industry (employers and employees) provides input through their p/t apprenticeship authorities. Interjurisdictional stakeholders provide input through the Stakeholder Relations Committee.
Lead jurisdiction evaluates data against designation criteria.
Lead jurisdiction requests designation from the CCDA.
The CCDA evaluates request and makes a decision based on designation criteria.
Trade is designated Red Seal.
Red Seal standards and examinations are developed in collaboration with industry.

Questions and Answers

Q: What is the role of the CCDA in the designation of Red Seal Trades?

A: The CCDA assesses requests for designation made by its members. Upon receipt of a request, it will conduct a survey of industry across all jurisdictions to inform the request and to provide a basis for an informed decision. All CCDA decisions are consensus-based.

Q: How can industry contact the CCDA to find out more about Red Seal designation?

A: The CCDA can provide information and support to groups requesting Red Seal designation. The Stakeholder Relations Committee of the CCDA is responsible for liaising and communicating with industry. Organizations may contact the Stakeholder Relations Committee through the Red Seal Secretariat at

Q: What is a lead jurisdiction?

A: The jurisdiction is the authority that manages the industry request for designation and brings it forward to the CCDA. It is the responsibility of the lead jurisdiction to review the request against the designation criteria and communicate the request to all jurisdictions so that they can consult with their respective trade advisory committees and trade representatives. The lead jurisdiction also works with the Stakeholder Relations Committee to consult with other national stakeholders such as national associations and regulators. The lead jurisdiction compiles all the information collected for the request for designation to the CCDA.

Q: If a trade with a different name exists, but with common tasks in a number of jurisdictions, can this trade be designated Red Seal?

A: Yes, there are some Red Seal trades where the name varies across jurisdictions.

Q: Do trades that are designated provincially or territorially have to be unionized?

A: No. Provincial/territorial designation and Red Seal designation are available to trades and occupations regardless of whether their workforces are unionized, non-unionized or both.

Red Seal Designation Check List

Activity Completed
Identification of a CCDA member to sponsor the designation request (lead jurisdiction).  
Working relationship established with each provincial/ territorial apprenticeship authority where the trade is designated for apprenticeship or in the process of being designated.  
Confirmation that the trade is designated for apprenticeship in a minimum of five provinces/territories.  
Common scope of tasks in provinces/territories has been confirmed.  
Process for verifying industry (employer and employee) support has been implemented and relevant information collected.  
Evidence of demand (annual):
  1. Number of apprentices registered (at least 500 across all jurisdictions where the trade is designated for apprenticeship)
  2. Number of current examination challengers (at least 300 across all jurisdictions where the trade is designated for apprenticeship)
  3. Number of anticipated Red Seal examination challengers
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