Trade Harmonization

The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) is responsible for the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program. The CCDA has also undertaken a Harmonization Initiative, which aims to substantively align apprenticeship across Canada.

The CCDA has identified the following harmonization priorities:

  • use of the Red Seal trade name,
  • a consistent number of training levels/periods,
  • a consistent total trade hours (standard of 1800 hours per level), and
  • more substantively aligned technical training in the apprenticeship programs.

The CCDA's goal is to harmonize 30 Red Seal trades by 2020 through five phases. Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training is an active participant in this important Initiative. 

Phase 1 - First 10 Red Seal Trades selected for Harmonization

Strong industry and stakeholder engagement has resulted in significant progress in harmonizing the first 10 Red Seal trades. Harmonization recommendations are complete. Changes are being implemented in most jurisdictions by the September 2016 training year.

Carpenter

  • Alberta will adopt the Red Seal trade name “Carpenter”,
  • technical training will be offered in 4 periods/levels, and
  • the total number of apprenticeship hours will be 7200 hours (1800 hours per period/level).

The current Alberta carpenter course outline aligns with the harmonized standard.

Welder

  • Alberta will adopt the Red Seal trade name “Welder”,
  • technical training will be offered in 3 period/levels, and
  • the total number of apprenticeship hours will be 5400 hours (1800 hours per period/level).

While the current Alberta welder course outline aligns with the harmonized standard there is a variation -

  • GMAW, FCAW, MCAW is taught in the welder and wire process operator common first period training. SMAW is taught in the second and third periods of the welder apprenticeship program.

For apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to Alberta:

  • this variation is not expected to have any impact on apprentices who chose to transfer their apprenticeship to Alberta.

For apprentices transferring their Alberta apprenticeship to another province:

  • second and third period Alberta apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to another province will be expected to complete any theory/practical self-study in SMAW not covered in Alberta prior to attending second or third period technical training in the other province.

Metal Fabricator (Fitter)

  • Alberta will adopt the Red Seal trade name “Metal Fabricator (Fitter)”, replacing Structural Steel and Plate Fitter,
  • technical training will be offered in 3 period/levels, and
  • the total number of apprenticeship hours will be 5400 hours (1800 hours per period/level).

While the current Alberta Metal Fabricator (Fitter) course outline aligns with the harmonized standard there is a variation -

GMAW, FCAW, MCAW is  taught in the Metal Fabricator (Fitter) second and third period training, whereas the harmonized standard prescribes it in first and second period training.

For apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to Alberta:

  • this variation is not expected to have any impact on apprentices who chose to transfer their apprenticeship to Alberta.

For apprentices transferring their Alberta apprenticeship to another province:

  • second and third period Alberta apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to another province will be expected to complete any theory/practical self-study in GMAW, FCAW, MCAW not covered in Alberta prior to attending second or third period technical training in the other province.

Ironworker

Ironworker (Generalist):

  • Alberta is in the process of de-designating the generalist branch of Ironworker and will not be undergoing harmonization. This de-designation will not affect apprentices currently in the program. 

Ironworker (Structural/Ornamental):

  • Alberta will adopt the Red Seal trade name “Ironworker (Structural/Ornamental)”,
  • technical training will be offered in 3 period/levels, and
  • the total number of apprenticeship hours will be 5400 hours (1800 hours per period/level).

The current Alberta Ironworker-Structural/ Ornamental course outline aligns with the harmonized standard.

Ironworker (Reinforcing):

  • Alberta will adopt the Red Seal trade name “Ironworker (Reinforcing)”,
  • technical training will be offered in 2 period/levels, and
  • the total number of training hours be 3600 hours (1800 hours per period/level).

The current Alberta Ironworker-Reinforcing course outline aligns with the harmonized standard.

Ironworker (Metal Building Systems Erector)

  • Alberta will adopt the Red Seal trade name “Ironworker (Metal Building Systems Erector)”,
  • technical training will be offered in 2 period/levels, and
  • the total number of training hours be 3600 hours (1800 hours per period/level).

Crane and Hoisting Equipment Operator

Crane and Hoisting Equipment Operator (CHEO)–Mobile Crane:

The following 4 branches under the CHEO parent trade are being merged into the single branch of CHEO - Mobile Crane Operator:

    • Mobile Crane,
    • Mobile Crane Hydraulic,
    • Mobile Crane Conventional, and
    • Mobile Crane Lattice Boom.
  • Alberta will adopt the Red Seal trade name “Mobile Crane Operator”, 
  • technical training will be offered in 3 period/levels, and
  • the total number of apprenticeship hours will be 5400 hours (1800 hours per period/level).

While the current Alberta (CHEO)–Mobile Crane course outline aligns with the harmonized standard there is a variation. Alberta will maintain its current course outline structure and will only offer technical training in periods one and three.

For apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to Alberta:

  • second and third period apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to Alberta will be expected to complete any theory/practical self-study not covered in Alberta prior to attending third period technical training in Alberta.

For apprentices transferring their Alberta apprenticeship to another province:

  • second and third period Alberta apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to another province will be expected to complete second and third period technical training in the other province. For apprentices transferring to Ontario, the total training hours required is 6000.

Crane and Hoisting Equipment Operator (CHEO)–Tower Crane:

  • Alberta will adopt the Red Seal trade name “Tower Crane Operator”,
  • technical training will be offered in 2 period/levels, and
  • the total number of training hours be 3000 hours (1500 hours per period/level).

While the current Alberta (CHEO) –Tower Crane course outline aligns with the harmonized standard there is a variation.

Alberta will maintain its current course outline structure and will only offer technical training in the first period.

For apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to Alberta:

  • apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to Alberta will be expected to complete any theory/practical self-study not covered by their province prior to receiving certification in Alberta.

For apprentices transferring their Alberta apprenticeship to another province:

  • second period Alberta apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to another province will be expected to complete second period technical training in the other province.

Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic (Off Road)

Heavy Equipment Technician (HET) -  Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic (Off Road):

  • HET - Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic (Off Road) has been moved to Phase 2.

Harmonization Phases 2-5 (2017-2020)

Phase 2 - 2017 Next 8 Trades 

Harmonization recommendations are complete. Changes are being implemented in most jurisdictions by the September 2017 training year:

  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Truck and Transport Mechanic
  • Agricultural Equipment Technician
  • Construction Electrician
  • Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic (Off Road)
  • Industrial Electrician
  • Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)
  • Plumber
  • Steamfitter/Pipefitter

Phase 3 - 2018 Next 5 Trades 

Harmonization recommendations are expected to be complete and implemented in most jurisdictions by the September 2018 training year:

  • Boilermaker
  • Sprinkler System Installer
  • Concrete Finisher
  • Landscape Horticulturist
  • Sheet Metal Worker

Phase 4 - 2019 Next 5 Trades

Harmonization recommendations are expected to be complete and implemented in most jurisdictions by the September 2019 training year:

  • Rig Technician
  • Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic
  • Insulator (Heat and Frost)
  • Machinist
  • Tool and Die Maker

Phase 5 - 2020 Next 5 Trades

Harmonization recommendations are expected to be complete and implemented in most jurisdictions - where apprenticeship training is available - by the September 2020 training year:

  • Cook
  • Powerline Technician
  • Motor Vehicle Body Repairer (Metal and Paint)
  • Automotive Painter
  • Hairstylist

The Consultation Process

The National Harmonization Initiative includes discussions and consultations with industry stakeholders connected to their respective trades. For each Red Seal trade, industry is engaged at the national and provincial/territorial levels to consult on recommendations for harmonization. Consultation takes the form of meetings, webinars, correspondence and website updates.

See also Harmonization Key Messages.

Additional Resources - Individual Learning Modules (ILMs)

ILMS are a learning resource that is provided to Alberta apprentices to support their formal instruction. These modules are intended to provide apprentices with standardized learning materials that are current, meet industry standards in Alberta and provide enhanced and flexible options in the delivery of apprenticeship technical training courses. For more information visit https://tradesecrets.alberta.ca/ILMOrder/order.asp or the Red Seal website.