Get the Red Seal | Certification

About The Red Seal

The Red Seal program was established to provide greater mobility across Canada for skilled workers. Through the program, both apprentices who have completed their training and certified journeypersons are able to obtain a Red Seal endorsement on their Certificate of Qualification by successfully completing a Red Seal Examination.

The Red Seal endorsement is a recognized standard in jurisdictions across Canada, one that employers look for as an indication of skills and competency. Once you obtain the Red Seal endorsement, you can work anywhere in Canada without further training or examination. Individuals in the categories below may be eligible to apply to challenge the Red Seal Exam or apply for provincial certification.

Red Seal

Get the Red Seal | Nova Scotia CQ

Apprenticeship Route Apprenticeship Route

The Apprenticeship route requires an employer. Whether you have significant, some or even no prior work experience or formal trades training, apprenticeship training is an excellent option to consider. To begin an apprenticeship program, you must find an employer willing to hire you and agree to have you registered as an apprentice.

Most apprenticeship programs take three to four years to complete (time may be reduced if credit is awarded for prior work experience and training). As an apprentice, you will learn the skills of the trade under the supervision of a certified journeyperson and accumulate the required on-the-job hours in your place of employment. As well, you will attend technical (in-school) training on an annual basis.

Based on your prior work experience and training, you may be eligible to receive advanced standing in the apprenticeship program (up to and including credit for all of the required on-the-job hours and exemption from technical training). Challenge exams may be required to determine your placement within the program.

 Please note: Completing an apprenticeship program may be the best option if you have significant work experience and training, but feel you are not ready to write the certification exam. It can provide you with the opportunity to work in your trade and have access to subsidized technical training, if required, before you write the certification exam. If you have any questions, please contact the Agency and ask to speak to an Industry Training Consultant in your trade/region. *Please note: In most trades, the Certification Exam is the Red Seal Exam.

Trade Qualifier Route [Significant Work Experience] Trade Qualifier Route [Significant Work Experience]

Section 30 of the General Regulations of the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act makes provision for persons other than registered apprentices to be examined for certification. If you have significant experience working hands-on in a trade and can prove that your skills and work experience meet the standards set for a certified skilled tradesperson in Nova Scotia, you may be able to apply under the Trade Qualification Program for approval to write the certification examination.

To qualify to write the certification exam you must:

  • Read the Guidelines and Process document
  • Schedule an interview with an Industry Training Consultant with the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
  • Provide documented evidence of your work experience in the trade
  • Provide documented evidence of support from two qualified references who are able to attest to your competence in the trade
  • Complete application form w/ non-refundable fee ($CAD):  SUBMIT ONLINE OR  SUBMIT VIA MAIL

 Please note: Completing an apprenticeship program may be the best option if you have significant work experience and training, but feel you are not ready to write the certification exam. It can provide you with the opportunity to work in your trade and have access to subsidized technical training, if required, before you write the certification exam. If you have any questions, please contact the Agency and ask to speak to an Industry Training Consultant in your trade/region. *Please note: In most trades, the Certification Exam is the Red Seal Exam.

Credentials: Provincial CQ | Equivalency Card Credentials: Provincial CQ | Equivalency Card

TO GET YOUR RED SEAL Red Seal

  • If you have a Nova Scotia Certificate of Qualification (CQ), complete and submit the Exam Application.
  • If you have a CQ from another Canadian jurisdiction, contact the jurisdiction to make arrangements to write the Red Seal Exam there. (In certain circumstances, the originating jurisdiction may approve you to write the Red Seal Exam in Nova Scotia. Please discuss this option with the apprenticeship authority in that jurisdiction.)

IF YOU ALREADY HAVE THE RED SEAL Red Seal

If you have a CQ from Nova Scotia or another jurisdiction in Canada with the Red Seal, there is no requirement to obtain the Nova Scotia Equivalency Card UNLESS you are a Construction Electrician who wishes to obtain an electrical wiring permit (the card will not bear the Red Seal).

IF YOU NEED AN NS EQUIVALENCY CARD

If you have a CQ from Nova Scotia or another jurisdiction in Canada without the Red Seal, you can apply for a Nova Scotia Equivalency Card using the form below. This is required if you wish to work in Nova Scotia in a compulsory certified trade, including Blaster. It is also required for Red Seal Construction Electricians who wish to obtain an electrical wiring permit (the card will not bear the Red Seal).

  • SUBMIT ONLINE: Complete and submit the form online. Payment requires a valid debit or credit card - VISA, MasterCard or American Express.
  • SUBMIT VIA MAIL: Electronically-fill the form, then print and submit via mail or walk-in. Payments are accepted at all offices, and include debit/credit; certified/business cheques; or money orders made payable to the “Minister of Finance”. NOT accepted: American Express, cash and personal cheques.
Credentials: Military [QL5] Credentials: Military [QL5]

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency will approve applicants who have achieved a QL5 certification, in the approved military trades below, to write the equivalent Red Seal Exam.

  • Before you complete the exam application form, review the approved military trades below.
  • Where a military trade correlates with more than one Red Seal trade, applicants must choose which Red Seal trade most correlates with their experience and write the appropriate Red Seal examination. Multiple Red Seal certifications against a single military trade is not an option.
  • If your trade is in the approved list, complete the Exam Application:  SUBMIT ONLINE OR  SUBMIT VIA MAIL
  • If you have any questions, please contact the agency and ask to speak with the Industry Training Consultant in your trade/region.

Approved Military Trades

Military TradeEquivalent Red Seal Trade
Construction TechnicianCarpenter
CookCook
Electrical Distribution TechnicianConstruction Electrician
Electrical Technician (formerly Marine Electrician)Industrial Electrician
Marine Engineering TechnicianIndustrial Mechanic (Millwright) or
Machinist
Material TechnicianWelder (Clients must successfully complete the Welder practical exam before they are eligible to write the Red Seal Exam.)
Plumbing and Heating TechnicianOil Heat System Technician or
Plumber
Refrigeration and Mechanical TechnicianRefrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic
Vehicle TechnicianAutomotive Service Technician or
Heavy Duty Equipment Technician or
Truck and Transport Mechanic
Credentials: Landscape Horticulturists Credentials: Landscape Horticulturists
  • Landscape Horticulturists with extensive experience can apply to write the Red Seal exam as a trade qualifier. For more information on the trade qualifier process, open the Trade Qualifiers widget above.
  • Landscape Horticulturists with a combination of experience AND a recognized certification(s): You can apply, below, for a provincial Certificate of Qualification if you can provide proof of 6,000 hrs of hands-on work experience in the trade, and hold the following four certificates from the Landscape Industry Certified Tech program:
    1. Hardscape Installation
    2. Softscape Installation
    3. Turf Maintenance
    4. Ornamental Maintenance
    • SUBMIT ONLINE: Complete and submit the form online. Payment requires a valid debit or credit card - VISA, MasterCard or American Express.
    • SUBMIT VIA MAIL: Electronically-fill the form, then print and submit via mail or walk-in. Payments are accepted at all offices, and include debit/credit; certified/business cheques; or money orders made payable to the “Minister of Finance”. NOT accepted: American Express, cash and personal cheques.