Red Seal Program

Interprovincial standard graphic


What is the Red Seal Program?

In Canada, trades training and certification are the responsibility of the provinces and territories (known as jurisdictions). The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program was established to help harmonize training and certification requirements across Canada. Over the years, the Red Seal has become the national standard of excellence for skilled trades in Canada. Trades approved for Red Seal status are called “designated Red Seal trades.” The Red Seal Program and the designation of trades as Red Seal is the responsibility of the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA).

In many cases, achieving trade certification in a Red Seal trade is equal in value to the completion of college certification in terms of trade knowledge and skill.

Red Seal endorsed tradespeople obtain easily transferrable skills, which is ideal for new workers interested in career development and industry mobility.


Provincial and Territorial Designated Trades

Jurisdictions each have their own laws about which trades are designated for apprenticeship training and certification within their borders. These are called “designated trades” and there are more than 400 across Canada. RV Service Technician trade is a designated Red Seal trade in all Provinces.


Trade Qualifiers, Former military personnel and foreign workers with prior trade experience

If you have extensive experience working in a trade but have never been certified in Canada, you can apply to challenge certification in your trade. Being approved to challenge means that individuals who meet the criteria for a trade will not be required to go through the full program.  Instead, they will be allowed to become certified by writing and passing the final exam(s).


Have you earned your QL5 in the Canadian Forces in one of the following military trades?

  • Construction Technician
  • Cook
  • Electrical Distribution Technician
  • Marine Electrician
  • Marine Engineering Technician
  • Material Technician
  • Plumbing and Heating Technician
  • Refrigeration and Mechanical Technician
  • Vehicle Technician

Take advantage of the opportunity to achieve a civilian credential with a Red Seal. The Red Seal Program and the Canadian Forces have identified select civilian and military trades that are very similar. Provincial and territorial certifying authorities can recognize the skills you have acquired and applied in the Forces for advanced standing towards civilian certification.


Essential Skills

Skills such as reading, numeracy, document use and working with others are essential for you to succeed in apprenticeship training and in the workplace.

Learn about essential skills and how they are used in the trades. Find out what essential skills you need for your trade, identify your strengths and improve your skills.


What are “Essential Skills” for the trades?

Essential Skills are skills used in all trades, in different ways and at different levels of complexity. Definitions, common tasks and examples of how each skill is used in various trades are outlined below. There are nine essential skills.

Understanding materials written in sentences or paragraphs (e.g. reports, memos, manuals).

Typical Applications

  • Scan for information or overall meaning
  • Read to understand and learn
  • Compare information from several sources or from complex and lengthy texts

Trade Examples

  • Manufacturer manuals and specifications that detail the requirements for how power will be delivered

Finding, understanding or entering information (e.g. text, symbols, numbers) in various types of documents, such as tables or forms.

Typical Applications

  • Read signs, labels or lists
  • Understand information on graphs or charts
  • Enter information in forms
  • Create or read schematic drawings

Trade Examples

  • Carpenters interpret blueprints to verify measurements and to assess mistakes or omissions

Using numbers to solve problems and complete tasks.

Typical Applications

  • Make calculations
  • Take measurements
  • Perform scheduling, budgeting or accounting
  • Interpret data
  • Make estimations

Trade Examples

  • Welders use trigonometry to calculate the diagonal distance of a piece of pipe.

Communicating by arranging words, numbers and symbols on paper or a computer screen.

Typical Applications

  • Write to organize or record information
  • Write to inform or persuade
  • Write to request information or justify a request
  • Write to summarize or compare information

Trade Examples

  • Follow a work order and prepare an inspection report detailing the deficiencies and repairs and complete sign-off sheet once the work order has been fulfilled

Using speech to exchange thoughts and information.

Typical Applications

  • Provide or obtain information
  • Greet, reassure or persuade people
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Lead discussions

Trade Examples

  • Speak with a customer to gather information on the type of vehicle they have, usage, problems experienced, explaining work to be performed, cost and timelines

with others to complete tasks

Typical Applications

  • Work jointly with a partner or helper.
  • Work as a member of a team.
  • Work independently.
  • Participate in supervisory or leadership activities.

Trade Examples

  • Industrial mechanics (millwrights) form teams with co-workers to install large pieces of equipment.

Finding and evaluating information to make informed decisions or to organize work.

Typical Applications

  • Identify and resolve problems.
  • Make decisions.
  • Find information,
  • Plan and organize job tasks.
  • Use critical thinking,
  • Use memory.

Trade Examples

  • Space is tight in an RV and getting to certain plumbing and electrical problems require some creative thinking as to how to find and access the area without removing too many components

Typical Applications

  • Use computer controlled equipment
  • Send and receive emails
  • Use spreadsheets and databases
  • Navigate the Internet
  • Use company- or trade-specific software

Trade Examples

  • Inventory management is commonly done through scanning of individual components and managed through an online database system. Submission of warranty claims is also done through an online portal.

Participating in an ongoing process of improving skills and knowledge.

Typical Applications

  • Learn on the job
  • Learn through formal training
  • Learn through self-study
  • Understand one’s own learning style
  • Find relevant learning resources

Trade Examples

  • Participating in scheduled in-house training or training offered by major product suppliers and manufacturers.

Essential Skills Self-Assessment for the Trades

Strong Essential Skills are required for success in apprenticeship training and for a career in the trades. Complete this self-assessment to learn about your Essential Skills strengths and areas for improvement. This self-assessment includes statements that describe common trades-related tasks for the nine Essential Skills.


Make a Plan and Improve your Essential Skills

Essential skills workbook for the trades 

A workbook with practical exercises to help learners practice their reading, writing, numeracy and document use skills. A full answer guide is included to help learners understand the steps to reach the right answer.

Trades Math Workbook

A workbook with practical exercises to help you practice your numeracy skills and increase your success in an apprenticeship program.