Trade Harmonization

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (NSAA) is an active participant on harmonization initiatives at the national level and in the Atlantic region to provide greater consistency in apprenticeship training and improve apprentice mobility across the country.

The core challenge is that provinces and territories across Canada are separately responsible for apprenticeship training, resulting in 13 different systems. The approach is to collaborate with other jurisdictions to harmonize key elements of the systems.

Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project

The Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project (AAHP) was created to align the rules, processes and standards for apprenticeship in the four Atlantic provinces. This regional initiative will result in more consistency and efficiency in the way people enter the trades and work toward certification. The Atlantic Apprenticeship Council (AAC) has the oversight for the AAHP.

Project Objectives

  • Meet industry demand for a skilled workforce.
  • Maximize access to training (in both official languages, as appropriate by jurisdiction) to meet the needs of employers, apprentices and trade qualifiers.
  • Facilitate labour mobility and create a better training and working experience for apprentices.
  • Maximize operational efficiencies.
  • Maximize employer and apprentice awareness and engagement.
  • Develop a shared information technology (IT) system.

The trades selected for harmonization are chosen based on criteria including, but not limited to, trade mobility, demand/volume, related trades that can be harmonized at the same time, the age of curriculum standards and industry endorsement.

As well as harmonizing standards (e.g., curriculum, logbooks and exams) in the identified trades, the Atlantic provinces will implement common policies and processes to increase consistency in apprenticeship training and certification requirements. A shared IT system will assist harmonization; enhance reporting capabilities; and enhance online functions and services for employers, apprentices and training providers.

A steering committee and several sub-committees consisting of representatives of the Atlantic Workforce Partnership Secretariat staff and jurisdictional apprenticeship/board authorities have been working to develop common policies, processes and standards to harmonize apprenticeship training and certification requirements within Atlantic Canada. As well, Atlantic Trade Advisory Committees (ATACs) consisting of industry and training representatives have and continue to be active in guiding the work of the project.

Atlantic Trade Advisory Committees (ATACS)

Information about the trades for which ATACs have been established to date; a list of members; the ATAC Terms of Reference; and the products being developed (e.g., curriculum standards, logbooks and examinations).

Associated Documents

National Apprenticeship Harmonization Initiative

The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) is responsible for the Red Seal Program. The CCDA has also undertaken a Harmonization Initiative, which aims to substantively align apprenticeship across Canada. CCDA has identified the following harmonization priorities:

  • Use the Red Seal trade name.
  • Consistent number of training levels.
  • Consistent total trade hours (standard of 1800 hours per level).
  • More consistent technical training.
  • Goal: Harmonize all Red Seal trades

Consultation Process

The national harmonization initiative involves discussions and consultations with industry stakeholders connected to the respective trade. For each Red Seal trade, industry is engaged at the national and provincial/territorial levels to consult on recommendations for harmonization. This consultation takes the form of meetings, webinars, correspondence and website updates.

As new trades are selected for harmonization, interested employers, industry representatives and apprenticeship training providers will have the opportunity to participate in further discussion around the sequencing of technical training content through national webinars.

For a list of the trades that are being nationally harmonized, please check the Red Seal website.

Associated Documents