Certain trades are governed by regulations aimed at ensuring the safety of workers and the public. To practice a regulated trade, you need to hold a certificate of qualification.
By virtue of the Act respecting workforce vocational training and qualification:
The compulsory-qualification process generally involves three steps. You may be exempted from one or more apprenticeship program requirements if you hold a valid certificate of qualification or have pertinent training, experience or skills.
The regulatory provisions vary from one trade to another.
An apprenticeship guide and checklist are provided to apprentices when they enrol. A supervision guide is available on the web page of the qualification in question.
You can also consult the general provisions regarding the regulatory amendments of November 30, 2015 (French only). (PDF, 167 KB)
To obtain the vocational qualification you require to practise a regulated trade, you have to start by filing an application, as follows:
If you meet the criteria, Emploi-Québec will send you:
If your situation exempts you from the apprenticeship program requirements, you will be issued a certificate of qualification at this step in the procedure.
You have to apprentice with an employer. If you are not yet employed, you have to be hired by an employer in order to take the apprenticeship program.
Your employer will assign someone who holds a certificate of qualification in your trade to serve as a journeyperson.
You must carry a valid apprenticeship card at all times. In most cases, the card has to be renewed once a year.
An apprenticeship program covers the following:
Once you meet all of these requirements, Emploi-Québec will invite you to take a qualification examination at one of its centres.
Most apprenticeship programs include a qualification examination prepared and administered by Emploi-Québec.
Exams are given in the following regions : Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Capitale-Nationale, Mauricie, Estrie, Montréal, Outaouais, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Côte-Nord, Nord-du-Québec, Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Lanaudière, Laurentides, Montérégie and Centre-du-Québec.
To be eligible for the exam, you must have completed the apprenticeship program and paid the exam enrolment fee.
The exam covers the main qualification elements, especially the content of the apprenticeship guide.
You have to pass the exam to obtain a certificate of qualification.
See the Preparing for the examination page.
For additional information, contact the Centre administratif de la qualification professionnelle (CAQP) at 1-866-393-0067.
You can make a change of address at any time using the Service québécois de changement d’adresse.
Use this form to apply for reconsideration of your file if you disagree with a decision that has been rendered concerning:
Send your application to the following address:
Direction des Centres de contacts spécialisés
Service du réexamen administratif
225, rue des Forges, bureau 530
Trois-Rivières (Québec) G9A 5Z5
As part of its mandate in matters of training and vocation qualification, Emploi-Québec is responsible for applying the Act respecting workforce vocational training and qualification (CQLR, c. F-5) and its two regulations:
In the case of an offence, the Act provides for a fine of between $325 and $700 per day or part of a day during which the offence lasts.
In order to ensure that the conditions set out by law are respected, citizens, workers and employers who witness an offence a situation that does not respect the conditions set by law may report the situation to file a complaint (PDF, 180 KB) with Emploi-Québec.
Emploi-Québec studies all complaints such reports, and investigates to determine whether an offence has indeed been committed.
You have to pay the required fees to take part in an apprenticeship program, renew your apprenticeship card, enrol in the exam and, in certain cases, renew your certificate of qualification. To find out the amounts payable, see Tarification en vigueur (PDF, 141 KB) (French only).
The length of the apprenticeship varies depending on the trade. For details about a specific trade, see the List of Trades page.
In most cases you have to renew your certificate when it expires. The period of validity varies depending on the type of qualification. See the information applying to your trade.
Renewal of your certificate is not automatic. Emploi-Québec issues a notice of renewal, and you have to reply to the notice.
By renewing your certificate you retain the right to practise your trade and perform the tasks specified by regulation.
If you hold more than one certificate, you have to renew all of your certificates by the renewal date for the first certificate issued to you.
There are two possible situations:
Conditions for renewing a certificate that expired six years or less ago:
In order to obtain a certificate, persons who hold an Emploi-Québec certificate of qualification that expired six years or less ago must meet the training requirements that could be imposed on them under sections 25 and 27 of the Regulation respecting certificates of qualification and apprenticeship in electricity, pipe fitting and mechanical conveyor systems mechanics in sectors other than the construction industry (chapter F-5, r. 1) or sections 31 and 33 of the Regulation respecting certificates of qualification and apprenticeship regarding gas, stationary engines and pressure vessels (chapter F-5, r. 2).
They must contact the Centre administratif de la qualification professionnelle (CAQP) in order to renew their certificate.
Certificates are valid from the date on which they are issued until the holder’s fourth birthday following the date of issue (chapter F-5, r. 1, section 22, and chapter F-5, r. 2, section 28).
Conditions for renewing a certificate that expired more than six years ago:
Persons who hold a certificate of qualification that expired more than six years ago must pass a new qualification examination in order to obtain a certificate (RLRQ, chapter F-5, r. 1, section 26, and RLRQ, chapter F-5, r.2, section 32). If they fail the examination, they must file a new application to enrol in a program.
They may be exempted from the examination if they can show that, since the expiry of their certificate, they have:
To request this exemption, you must send a declaration describing your experience, including the start and end dates, to the Centre administratif de la qualification professionnelle (CAQP).
Most apprenticeship cards are valid for a year.
Emploi-Québec may assess and recognize your relevant work experience, diplomas and successfully completed training in order to determine the length of your apprenticeship, the qualification elements that you have to master and the courses you need to take.
In some cases, Emploi-Québec may even exempt you from compulsory training and grant you a certificate of qualification without any further requirements.
Under the Act respecting workforce vocational training and qualification, persons who practise a regulated trade and the employers who hire them are obliged to comply with the requirements for the trade.
If you are aware of a case of non-compliance, you can report it. See the Filing a complaint section.
If you are an apprentice in a trade for which Emploi-Québec grants Red Seal certification, you may be eligible for grants from the federal government during your apprenticeship and at the end of the program, once you receive your certificate of qualification from Emploi-Québec.
For general information about apprenticeship grants, contact Service Canada or a Service Canada Centre at 1-866-742-3644 or, if you are hearing impaired, 1-866-909-9757.