How do I get my Red Seal?
One question we hear often is “How do I get my Red Seal?” The answer is fairly straight forward with small variations due to varying definitions of what an Inter-Provincial IP Trade Ticket or Red Seal License is. In the early 1950’s the Canadian provinces started to turn their attention to the standardization of apprenticeship programs in Canada but also to the licensing of the people holding trades qualifications.
The education of apprenticeships falls under a provincial jurisdiction in Canada, and education is delivered slightly differently in each province be it Alberta, BC, Ontario, or the Maritimes. In order to reduce the complexity of developing materials, testing Apprentices and Journeypersons the provinces decided to try to standardize the process. By developing Inter-Provincial standards together the provinces are able to develop one set of curriculum, tests and standards. There may be slight differences between each province but the standards developed ensure that apprentices are trained safely, to the highest standards and generally have the same knowledge and skills.
For experienced trades people who hold a Canadian Provincial Trade Ticket, that was issued in a province before it tested for and recognized the Inter-Provincial standard, the process could be as simple as asking the Apprenticeship Board/ or Ministry of Education to review your credentials and grant you a certificate to work in that province. Alberta will grant an equivalency card for a Heavy Equipment Technician from Ontario for $60. http://tradesecrets.alberta.ca/experiencedworkers/equivalency-program/ .
To receive a certificate that displays the Inter-Provincial Red Seal, that will easily allow you to work in any province, you will likely have to complete a Challenge Certificate and write the Qualification Exam. For between $150 (BC) and $480 (Saskatchewan) you will be able to sit the IP exam.
We often hear from trades people wanting to take the Red Seal exam in other countries. Although this has happened before, at this time no Canadian Inter-Provincial exams are being given outside of Canada. There are some programs in Ireland or the UK that may be recognized in Alberta or the odd employer that recognizes a South African “Red Seal”. These will not be recognized by every province, safety authorities or all employers and new immigrants to Canada need to contact their Provincial Apprenticeship Authority and ask them the best route to receive an Inter-Provincial Red Seal in their designated trade.