Credit for prior learning and Red Seal information

Credit for Prior Work Experience or Learning

Maybe you’ve been working in a trade for a long time but never got your trade qualification. Or maybe you’re qualified in a trade outside B.C. or in another country.

There are three ways that your previous work experience might help you get your certification more quickly:

  • Canadian trades training can be recognized towards your apprenticeship.
  • Relevant previous work experience may be counted as credit towards your apprenticeship hours.
  • And work experience – in Canada or abroad – may qualify you to write a “challenge” exam to earn your B.C. trades qualification.

Work experience and training from outside British Columbia

If you trained or worked outside of Canada:

  • ITA does not recognize any certifications, training or tickets granted outside of Canada.
  • But we can assess your work experience to see if you qualify to challenge a B.C. or Red Seal trade exam. (See Challenge Certification below.)

If you trained or worked in another Canadian province or territory:

  • ITA may grant credits for Canadian training in Red Seal trades.
  • We can also assess your work experience to see if you qualify to challenge a B.C. or Red Seal trade exam. (See Challenge Certification below.)

Getting credit for Canadian training towards a Red Seal trade:

When you fill out your B.C. Apprentice and Sponsor Registration Form, make sure you tell us where else you’ve trained towards a Red Seal trade. We will follow up with the apprenticeship agency in that province, and we’ll send a transcript of any applicable credit to you and your sponsor.

Getting credit for relevant work experience:

Previous work experience – anywhere in the world – may count for credit towards your apprenticeship hours.

Talk to your sponsor. If they agree that your previous experience was relevant to your current apprenticeship, they have the authority to endorse those hours and have some or all of them added to your credit hours.

Challenge Certification: putting your experience to the test

Challenge certification is a process that can be used to evaluate your experience and determine if your skill levels are sufficient to meet the program standards required for B.C. certification in your trade.

If you have extensive experience in a trade – in B.C. or elsewhere – you may be able to write a challenge exam to obtain a British Columbia or Red Seal trades qualification.

To successfully challenge an ITA trade credential you need:

  • Proof that you have worked sufficient hours in the trade (usually 1.5 times the required number of apprenticeship hours)
  • A passing grade of 70 per cent or more on the multiple choice challenge exam

Learn more about ITA’s challenge certification process.

Meet some of the challengers and see the paths they took to get their trade certification.

Questions? Contact ITA Customer Service:

Phone 778-328-8700
Fax 778-328-8701
Toll Free 1-866-660-6011 (in B.C.)