Red Seal NOA video transcript

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program was established more than 50 years ago to provide greater mobility across Canada for skilled tradespeople. Today, those involved in industry know that the Red Seal Program marks a standard of excellence in the skilled trades—a standard that is recognized across Canada.

Most trade stakeholders also know that National Occupational Analyses (or NOAs) and Interprovincial Red Seal Examinations are the core products of the Red Seal Program. NOAs are the national standards for Red Seal trades. Interprovincial examinations are based on these standards and are used by provinces and territories as the final assessment before issuing a Red Seal endorsement.

Less well known, however, is the close and critical partnership between industry and the federal, provincial, and territorial governments that drives the development of both the NOAs and Red Seal examinations.

Here’s one example: Governments in each province and territory work collaboratively with industry to nominate trade experts to participate in workshops to develop Red Seal standards and examinations.

Simply put, this partnership between industry and government is the engine that drives the Red Seal Program.

A closer look at the Red Seal Program’s National Occupational Analyses reinforces the point.

To ensure that Red Seal standards closely reflect the requirements of today’s workplace, the NOA for each trade is updated on a regular basis. This rigorous process includes extensive input from industry representatives to carefully identify:

The development process to collect this information begins with a comprehensive workshop that brings together industry subject matter experts from across the country.  These are “on-the-tools” experts who work in the trade every day… You can’t find a better source of accurate and current information.

Following the workshop, each NOA is thoroughly reviewed for accuracy and completeness by even more experts across the country, through provincial and territorial trade committees as well as national stakeholder groups.

The NOA development process, from start to finish, requires pan-Canadian consultation to ensure that the NOA covers the entire scope of the trade as practiced across the country.

When completed, NOAs are used by:

Because industry is constantly evolving, so does the Red Seal – with innovations such as competency statements, integration of essential skills, and more efficient validation processes.

How does an NOA come together? Think of a complex factory.

The Red Seal Program is a longstanding success largely because dedicated skilled trades experts from across the country have been proud to volunteer in the NOA factory.

The NOA development process takes approximately 12 months and consists of a number of important phases:

Throughout the process, input comes from trade experts at work in the provinces and territories and from national groups.
In some cases, an industry review process allows the NOA to be updated in less time. Whichever process is used, however, the goal remains the same: to convene with trade experts and gather up-to-date information on practices and trends, ensuring that Red Seal standards remain current in each of the program’s designated trades.
Development activities are posted on the Red Seal Web site. NOAs are also available to the general public through this Web site.

Once the NOA is complete, it will initiate the development of a trade’s Interprovincial Red Seal examination and will serve as its base document.

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program is an excellent example of teamwork between industry and governments —where a rigorous and methodical approach to developing standards ensures that our skilled tradespeople are of the highest calibre, clear across Canada.

For more information on the Red Seal Program visit

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