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Vocational Qualification

Vocational qualification programs are designed to favour manpower development. They allow people to achieve full proficiency in their trades, as practised in the workplace.

The programs take into account the real-life labour market situation and are carried out in collaboration with industry representatives.

1. Differences between compulsory and voluntary qualification

Compulsory qualification

To practise a regulated trade, you are legally obliged to be qualified.

To be qualified to practise a regulated trade, you have to hold an apprenticeship card or a certificate of qualification.

The regulations governing these trades are aimed at protecting the health and safety of workers and the public.

See the Compulsory Qualification page.

Voluntary qualification

Voluntary qualification applies to non-regulated trades. Participation in voluntary-qualification programs is optional.

Voluntary-qualification programs allow workers to develop their skills in a given trade and obtain a certificate of qualification or an attestation of competency.

See the Voluntary Qualification page.

Red Seal

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program enables greater mobility for skilled workers in various trades recognized across Canada.

See the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program page.

2. How to find out about the qualification requirements for a specific trade

Consult the information sheet on the trade that interests you for information about:

  • the compulsory or voluntary qualification program and/or Red Seal Program
  • the required skills and conditions for practising the trade
  • the other provinces' criteria for recognizing qualification in the trade
  • workplace apprenticeship programs for the trade
  • pertinent documents (apprenticeship guide and booklet, etc.)
  • the documents you need to in order to prepare for the compulsory qualification program and Red Seal Program