How to Obtain Your Certificate of Qualification

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You need a Certificate of Qualification to work in some trades in Ontario. Each trade has different certification requirements. Depending on the trade, you might need a 2-5 year apprenticeship (training), proof of equivalent work experience and/or take a test. You can find out how to get a certificate in a particular trade at your local apprenticeship office. At that office, you can make an appointment with a Training Consultant.

The training consultant may ask you to bring the following documents to your first meeting:

  • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN);
  • Letters from current or past employers, dated and written on company letterhead, showing the company name and address, the exact dates of your employment, the number of hours that you worked, your title, and a complete description of your job duties. If you cannot get a letter, prepare a statutory declaration. A statutory declaration is an official document in which you declare in writing certain facts to be true. It must be notarized by a notary public. A statutory declaration for qualifications assessment purposes should state the dates of employment, job title, and job description;
  • Trade certificates, diplomas, or licences; and
  • Official school transcripts from your training, if available. You should also provide a detailed list of the subjects covered in each course and the length of each course. If these documents are not in English or French, bring a translation that is signed by a notary public or a lawyer.

If your documents are not in English or French, you must get them translated and signed by an official translator who has seen the originals. For assistance, contact the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO) at 1-800-234-5030. The training consultant will use these documents to compare your work experience to the requirements for certification in your trade in Ontario:

  • If the training consultant decides that your experience is the same as the experience required of an apprentice in Ontario, you can write the Certificate of Qualification exam without an apprenticeship. Then, you will complete an application for the Certificate of Qualification.
  • If the training consultant decides that your documented experience is not the same as an apprenticeship in Ontario, you will need more training and work experience as a tradesperson. You will need to find an employer who will agree to enter into an apprenticeship agreement with you. Or you might decide to take a tradesperson course that includes on-the-job training and an apprenticeship agreement. The training consultant does not help you to find these employers.

If your qualifications are sufficient, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities will issue a temporary licence. These licences are valid for 90 days until you pass the written Certificate of Qualification exam. To pass the written exam, you need a mark of 70% or higher.

We recommend that you contact a settlement agency in your area to help you before you visit the apprenticeship office. Proving that you have the necessary experience in your trade is not easy. There are agencies that can help you to ensure that you are fully prepared for a meeting with a training consultant.

Find a settlement agency or employment help program in Services Near Me.