If you have extensive experience working in a trade (in B.C. or elsewhere) but have never been certified in Canada, you can apply to challenge certification in your trade. Holders of a Certificate of Qualification inside/outside of BC who wish to write the Red Seal exam need to submit an exam application form.
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).
The requirements to challenge are different for each trade. To learn the requirements for your trade, read the Trades Program Profile.
Each trade requires a minimum number of hours of related work experience plus evidence that you have worked in the full scope of the trade. After you apply to challenge, we will review your work history, talk to your employers and determine if you have the necessary experience to challenge the certification.
Here is the process for challenging a certification or level exam:
Step 1 - Apply
For certification exams, download the instructions and print the application package from the Trade Programs list. These forms will tell you what work experience is required to challenge your trade certification. For level exams, see this list of level exams available for challenge and please submit the Level Exam Application Form.
Note that some trades also have other requirements such as a practical exam. Read the Program Profile to confirm the challenge requirements for your trade. Contact us if you need help.
Note: Incomplete applications will not be processed and will be returned to you.
Step 2 – Verify Application
ITA will review your application package, and the results will be emailed to you. Processing time is approximately 6-8 weeks. If you have work experience outside of Canada, it may take longer.
Step 3 – Approved to Challenge?
After you receive approval from ITA, proceed to Step 4.
If ITA does not approve your application, advice will be provided.
Step 4 – Complete Challenge Requirements
Schedule and write your standard level exam(s) or the certification written exam(s).
Schedule and complete your practical assessment (if applicable).
Learn more about exams.
Step 5 – Receive Credentials
You will receive your credentials when you have met all of your trade challenge requirements.