Trade Qualifiers

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:

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 TradeEquivalent Red Seal Trade
Construction TechnicianCarpenter
CookCook or
Institutional Cook*
Electrical Distribution TechnicianConstruction Electrician
Electrical Technician (formerly Marine Electrician)Industrial Electrician
Marine Engineering TechnicianIndustrial Mechanic (Millwright) or
Material TechnicianWelder**
Plumbing and Heating TechnicianOil Heat System Technician or
Refrigeration and Mechanical TechnicianRefrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic
Vehicle TechnicianAutomotive Service Technician or
Heavy Duty Equipment Technician or
Truck and Transport Mechanic

*Institutional Cook is not a Red Seal trade.

**Clients must successfully complete the Welder Practical Exam before they are eligible to write the Welder Red Seal Exam.