If you are a certified tradesperson in another province, can you work in B.C.?
In Canada, there are a number of agreements between jurisdictions that facilitate labour mobility for certified tradespeople. B.C. has signed three major labour mobility agreements:
- Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) between B.C. and Alberta.
- New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) amongst B.C., Alberta, and Saskatchewan.
- Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) amongst all Canadian provinces and territories.
These agreements provide mutual recognition of qualifications issued by all Canadian jurisdictions.
What does Mutual Recognition of Qualifications mean?
- The Industry Training Authority in B.C. recognizes certificates issued by jurisdictional authorities in other Canadian provinces or territories.
- Other Canadian jurisdictional authorities recognize B.C. certificates.
- Recognition applies to individuals who are certified and in good standing in their trade with the appropriate provincial or territorial authority.
- Qualified individuals have the same rights and obligations to practice the same or a substantially similar occupation in all Canadian provinces and territories without significant additional training, experience, examinations or assessment of qualifications and without meeting a residency requirement.
Rules for Mutual Recognition:
- Mutual recognition only applies if you have your full certification or license.
- Trades/occupations must be the same or very similar in both jurisdictions.
- You still must meet provincial or territorial Occupational Health and Safety requirements for your trade, which may require you to complete short courses or minor training specific to the jurisdiction.
- Regulated trades such as Electrician, Crane Operator, Security Alarm Installer, funeral trades and others may also require special licenses. (See Regulated Trades sections below.)
Different Trade Names Across Jurisdictions
Some trades go by different names across the country. It’s a good idea to check and compare the B.C. trade name with that of the issuing jurisdiction (if you’re coming to work in B.C. from elsewhere) or destination jurisdiction (if you’re going to work in another Canadian jurisdiction).
- B.C., Alberta, and Red Seal Trade Certificate names are listed in the appendix to the Letter of Agreement between AB and B.C. (119KB pdf)
Regulated Trades in other Canadian Provinces and Territories
Restrictions on the practice of trades occupations vary by province and territory, so it is best to contact the relevant jurisdictional authority to determine their requirements to practice a specific occupation.
Regulated Trades in BC
There are two types of skilled trades in BC: regulated and non-regulated trades. A number of trades are regulated in BC for consumer protection and to ensure public health and safety. This means to perform work in these occupations you must be a registered apprentice with ITA or hold a certificate of qualification, and / or be licensed by the regulatory body for that trade. Although ITA sets standards and grants certificates for the skilled trades, there are other regulatory bodies in B.C. that control licensing and determine who can legally work in the trade.
Examples of regulated trades in B.C. include, but are not limited to:
|BC Safety Authority|
|Crane Operator||WorkSafe BC|
|Funeral Director||Embalmer Business Practices and Consumer Protection Authority of BC|
Security Alarm Installer
|Ministry of Justice Policing and Security Programs|