Secteur de l’emploi
Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale

Vous êtes ici : Accueil > Developing Your Skills and Having Them RecognizedVocational Qualification > Compulsory Qualification

Compulsory Qualification

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:

  • Workers have to obtain the required certificates of qualification to perform certain regulated work.
  • Employers have to make sure that their personnel hold the certificates of qualification required by regulation.

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)

Step 1 – Enrolment

To obtain the vocational qualification you require to practise a regulated trade, you have to start by filing an application, as follows:

  1. Consult the Information Guide – Enrolment Application – Qualification Program (PDF, 864 KB).
  2. Complete the Enrolment Application – Qualification Program (PDF, 600 KB)
  3. Send your application form along with the required documents and payment to the following address:

    Centre administratif de la qualification professionnelle (CAQP)
    Case postale 100
    Victoriaville (Québec)  G6P 6S4
    1 866 393-0067 (toll-free)

If you meet the criteria, Emploi-Québec will send you:

  • an apprenticeship guide
  • an apprenticeship card
  • a Vocational Qualification Process form showing the number of hours of your apprenticeship, the required vocational training, the qualification components you need to master and any recognized experience, etc.
  • a document entitled Vocational Qualification Process — Follow-Up
  • a journeyperson’s checklist

If your situation exempts you from the apprenticeship program requirements, you will be issued a certificate of qualification at this step in the procedure.

Step 2 – Apprenticeship

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:

  • the skills you need to master under the supervision of a person who holds a certificate of qualification (a journeyperson who can confirm that you have mastered the skills described in the apprenticeship guide)
  • the number of hours of your apprenticeship under the supervision of a journeyperson
  • compulsory training outside the workplace that you need to complete successfully in order to obtain your certificate (it is up to you to find and enrol in a course at an institution that offers the necessary training)

Once you meet all of these requirements, Emploi-Québec will invite you to take a qualification examination at one of its centres.

Step 3 – Qualification examination

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.

More information

For additional information, contact the Centre administratif de la qualification professionnelle (CAQP) at 1-866-393-0067.

Make a change of address using the Internet

You can make a change of address at any time using the Service québécois de changement d’adresse.Opens external link in new window.

Applications for administrative reconsideration—decisions related to regulated qualification programs

Application for Administrative Reconsideration —Public Employment Services

Use this form to apply for reconsideration of your file if you disagree with a decision that has been rendered concerning:

  • Compulsory qualification
  • A failing grade on an examination related to compulsory qualification programs
  • Qualification related to interprovincial standards (Red Seal Program)

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

Reporting a situation that does not respect the conditions set by law - compulsory qualification

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)Opens external link in new window. 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, 188 KB) with Emploi-Québec.

Emploi-Québec studies all complaints such reports, and investigates to determine whether an offence has indeed been committed.

Questions & Answers

Do I have to pay any fees?

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, 143 KB) (French only).

How long is the apprenticeship?

The length of the apprenticeship varies depending on the trade. For details about a specific trade, see the List of Trades page.

Do I have to renew my certificate of qualification?

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.

What happens if my Emploi-Québec certificate of qualification has expired?

There are two possible situations:

Situation 1

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. 1Opens external link in new window.) 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. 2Opens external link in new window.).

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).

Situation 2

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 26Opens external link in new window., and RLRQ, chapter F-5, r.2, section 32Opens external link in new window.). 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:

  • served as a work supervisor for activities related to the certificate, without carrying out the activities themselves
  • served as a teacher or trainer in areas related to the certificate
  • carried out duties related to the qualification, in areas other than those covered by the relevant regulation

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).

How long is an apprenticeship card valid?

Most apprenticeship cards are valid for a year.

Can I obtain recognition for my experience and training?

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.

What should I do if I witness a violation of the standards for a regulated trade?

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.

Am I eligible for an apprenticeship grant?

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.

See the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program.