For individuals who have worked in a skilled trade and have significant experience, but are not a registered apprentice or certified in the trade, there is a way to become certified. This process is called Trade Qualification. Section 30 of the General Regulations of the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act allows for an individual to be examined as a Trade Qualifier for certification if they have significant experience working in a trade that is recognized in Nova Scotia and can prove that their skills and work experience meet the standards set for a certified tradesperson. To receive a Certificate of Qualification in a trade in Nova Scotia, an individual must challenge and pass (70% or greater) the certification examination.
To apply under the Trade Qualification Program for approval to write the certification examination:
- Read the Guidelines and Process document
- It would be helpful to also look at the Trade Regulations and Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS) for your trade
- Schedule an interview with an Industry Training Consultant
- 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 the application form (with a non-refundable fee in $CAD): Submit Online
Apprenticeship may be best, even for experienced Tradespersons
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. Apprenticeship can enable you to work in your trade and have access to subsidized technical training before you write the certification exam. If you have any questions, please contact the Agency and ask to speak to an Industry Training Consultant.
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
- If you have any questions, please contact the agency and ask to speak with an Industry Training Consultant.
|Approved Military Trade||Equivalent Red Seal Trade|
|Electrical Distribution Technician||Construction Electrician|
|Electrical Technician (formerly Marine Electrician)||Industrial Electrician|
|Marine Engineering Technician||Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) or
|Plumbing and Heating Technician||Oil Heat System Technician or
|Refrigeration and Mechanical Technician||Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic|
|Vehicle Technician||Automotive Service Technician or
Heavy Duty Equipment Technician or
Truck and Transport Mechanic
|**Clients must successfully complete the Welder Practical Exam before they are eligible to write the Welder Red Seal Exam.|