Partsperson National Occupational Analysis (NOA)

The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) recognizes this National Occupational Analysis (NOA) as the national standard for the occupation of Partsperson.

Occupational Analyses Series

Disponible en français sous le titre : Préposé/préposée aux pièces

NOC: 1472

Designation Year: 1991

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Red Seal Exam Self-Assessment Guide – Parts Technician

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General Information


“Partsperson” is this trade’s official Red Seal occupational title approved by the CCDA. This analysis covers tasks performed by partspersons whose occupational title has been identified by some provinces and territories of Canada under the following names:














Parts Technician

x x

Parts Technician - Parts



x x x x x x x   x x

Partsperson Level 3


Partspersons perform ordering, warehousing, inventory control and sales of parts. Their duties also include identifying parts and equipment, searching for parts, shipping and receiving parts, providing customer service and advice, and maintaining records.

The partsperson trade services a range of industries including motive power, appliance, heavy duty equipment and natural resources. For example, partspersons work in areas such as automotive service, commercial transport, small engine repair, aeronautics, agricultural equipment, marine equipment, electrical warehousing, plumbing and heating warehousing, refrigeration, stores facilities, tool cribs and parts recycling. They may work at either wholesale or retail levels or with end users. They may work with a broad range of aftermarket parts or on a more narrow scale, supplying parts for a particular make of vehicle or product. The work environment for partspersons is generally indoors in a warehouse and at a service counter. Some partspeople may perform or arrange deliveries of parts to their customers. Partspersons generally work in teams that include service staff, sales staff and service technicians.

Although the activities performed by a partsperson are similar for all industries in which they work, the product knowledge required is dramatically different. Therefore, they require an upto- date knowledge of the industry as well as technical knowledge and the ability to describe parts and their applications to customers. It should be noted however, that the scope of this trade does not include the ability to apply this knowledge to diagnosing or repairing mechanical, electronic or other types of problems.

The computer and parts catalogues, both written and electronic, are the most important tools for the partsperson. Databases, online catalogues, inventory control systems, and digital media are necessary for ordering and organizing parts and for retrieving information. Extensive use of electronic catalogues requires partspersons to be precise in the use of terminology within specific industry sectors in order to locate correct parts in the catalogues.

As with all trades, safety is important to partspersons. Hazards include operating large equipment such as lift trucks and handling hazardous materials.

Key attributes for people entering this trade are: excellent interpersonal and customer service skills, computer application skills, problem solving skills, mathematical skills, manual dexterity and mechanical aptitude. Physical considerations for this occupation include a considerable amount of time standing, walking and lifting. This trade appeals to service-oriented people. This career offers stable employment not highly affected by seasonal employment trends.

Experienced partspersons may move into other positions such as sales representative, purchasing representative, parts department manager, store manager or store owner.

Occupational Observations

Well-developed computer skills are a necessity for partspersons today. Technological advances continue to be made in the areas of computerized inventory control, online parts catalogues (web applications), online ordering (e-commerce) and wireless tracking devices. These applications have increased in functionality and have become more user-friendly. Technological advances have greatly facilitated the sharing of information to the point where it is virtually instantaneous.

The enforcement of safety regulations has become standard practice throughout the industry. Environmental regulations and zoning bylaws have become more stringent and are being enforced in the areas of storage, transportation and disposal of hazardous or dangerous goods. Partspersons must continue to be resourceful in meeting the obligations and challenges presented by these regulations and bylaws.

Training and continuous technical upgrading are necessary for partpersons to keep up-to-date on new products and technology as well as to address legislative safety and environmental requirements. Training is offered either online, on-site or through video conferencing.

Essential Skills Summary

Essential skills are needed for work, learning and life. They provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace change.

Through extensive research, the Government of Canada and other national and international agencies have identified and validated nine essential skills. These skills are used in nearly every occupation and throughout daily life in different ways.

A series of CCDA-endorsed tools have been developed to support apprentices in their training and to be better prepared for a career in the trades. The tools can be used independently or with the assistance of a tradesperson, trainer, employer, teacher or mentor to:

  • understand how essential skills are used in the trades;
  • learn about individual essential skills strengths and areas for improvement; and
  • improve essential skills and increase success in an apprenticeship program.

Tools are available online or for order at:

The application of these skills may be described throughout this document within the competency statements which support each subtask of the trade. The following are summaries of the requirements in each of the essential skills, taken from the essential skills profile.

Partspersons read a variety of material including manufacturers’ catalogues, service bulletins and manufacturers’ warranties to provide information to customers on products.

Partspersons cross-reference inventory lists, bills of lading and packing slips to determine if parts are in stock and to verify that all parts ordered have been received. Partspersons refer to catalogues and reference materials to locate part numbers, costs, availabilities and specifications. They also use specification tables to determine operating capacities and specifications for a variety of products.

Partspersons complete purchase orders, invoices, shipping forms, repair estimates, returned goods reports and warranty forms. They write emails to suppliers and customers regarding the status of shipments, to provide updates and to respond to requests for information.

Partpersons respond to customer inquiries about the availability of parts and products. They speak to suppliers to place, clarify and verify orders. Partspersons discuss inventories, retail displays and other matters with managers and supervisors. They may provide instructions to apprentices.

Partspersons measure parts for dimensions such as outside diameters (OD), inside diameters (ID), lengths and thicknesses. They compare measurement of parts to specifications. They estimate wear on parts and calculate the capacities, dimensions and weights of parts. Partspersons may reconcile daily sales invoices and calculate mark-ups, discounts, surcharges, and invoice amounts.

Partspersons plan and carry out tasks such as ordering, shipping and receiving parts, and entering and organizing inventory. They judge the condition of salvaged and refurbished parts and locate substitutes for parts that are no longer available. Partspersons use thinking skills to approve and reject warranty claims.

Partspersons work closely with co-workers, such as shippers and receivers, drivers, service managers and trades people, to ensure customers' needs are met. They work independently when providing services to customers, placing and responding to telephone calls, searching inventory databases and processing orders. Partspersons may integrate job tasks with coworkers when lifting heavy parts and counting inventory. They may assist with the training of new employees.

Partspersons operate point of sale equipment such as electronic cash registers, bar scanners and scales. They search organizational and manufacturers’ databases for availability, location and prices of parts. They use sales management and billing software. Partspersons use communication devices to send and receive information.

Partspersons are continuously learning in order to remain current with advances in their industry. They may read product bulletins and take courses offered by manufacturers and sector councils. They may take training provided by suppliers of specific parts. They may take training for their organization's inventory and sales software, and for other topics such as customer service and safe work practices.


The CCDA and ESDC wish to express sincere appreciation for the contribution of the many tradespersons, industrial establishments, professional associations, labour organizations, provincial and territorial government departments and agencies, and all others who contributed to this publication.

Special acknowledgement is extended by ESDC and the CCDA to the following representatives from the trade and apprenticeship bodies or national organizations that nominated them:

  • Karen Crotty - Manitoba
  • David Glode - Nova Scotia
  • Brent Kelly - Prince Edward Island
  • Gianfranco Locantore - Ontario
  • Rachel Simmons - Saskatchewan
  • Tony Tichler - Alberta
  • Willard Wilton - British Columbia
  • Angela Young - New Brunswick

This analysis was prepared by the Labour Market Integration Directorate of ESDC. The coordinating, facilitating and processing of this analysis were undertaken by employees of the NOA development team of the Trades and Apprenticeship Division. The host jurisdiction of Saskatchewan also participated in the development of this NOA.

Comments or questions about National Occupational Analyses may be forwarded to:

Trades and Apprenticeship Division
Labour Market Integration Directorate
Employment and Social Development Canada
140 Promenade du Portage, Phase IV, 6th Floor
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0J9
Email: redseal-sceaurouge@hrsdc-