Trade Harmonization

The Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) is responsible for the Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program and has undertaken a Harmonization Initiative aimed to substantively align apprenticeship programs across Canada. Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training is an active participant in this important Initiative and program changes are at various stages of implementation. 

The CCDA's four harmonization priorities are:

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

Phase 1 - 2016 First 5 Trades 

Strong industry and stakeholder engagement resulted in significant progress in harmonizing trades. Harmonization recommendations are being implemented in most jurisdictions.

Carpenter

  • Alberta adopted the Red Seal trade name “Carpenter”.
  • Technical training is offered in 4 periods/levels.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours is 1560 per period.

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

Welder

  • Alberta adopted the Red Seal trade name “Welder”.
  • Technical training is offered in 3 period/levels.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours is 1560 per period.

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

  • GMAW, FCAW, MCAW are 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 are 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 adopted the Red Seal trade name “Metal Fabricator (Fitter)”, replacing Structural Steel and Plate Fitter.
  • Technical training is offered in 3 period/levels.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours is 1560 per period.

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

GMAW, FCAW, MCAW are 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 choose 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 de-designated the generalist branch of the Ironworker trade.  

Ironworker (Structural/Ornamental)

  • Alberta will adopt the Red Seal trade name “Ironworker (Structural/Ornamental)”.
  • Technical training is offered in 3 period/levels.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours will be 1620 per period. 

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 is offered in 2 period/levels.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours will be 1620 per period. 

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.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours will be 1620 per period. 

Crane and Hoisting Equipment Operator

Crane and Hoisting Equipment Operator / CHEO–Mobile Crane

The following 4 branches under the CHEO parent trade will be 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.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours will be 1800 hours per period.

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 are 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 are 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.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours will be 1500 hours per period.

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 are 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 are expected to complete second period technical training in the other province.

Harmonization Phases 2-6 (2017-2021)

Phase 2 - 2017 Next 7 Trades 

Harmonization recommendations are being implemented in most jurisdictions.

Heavy Equipment Technician

Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic (Off Road)

Heavy Duty Equipment Technician has been added to the following family of trades: Truck and Transport Mechanic and Agricultural Equipment Technician.

  • Alberta will maintain its current trade name “Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic (Off Road)".
  • Technical training will be maintained at 3 periods/levels.
  • The total number of on–the-job hours will be 1560 per period. 

Alberta will maintain its current course outline structure.

For apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to Alberta

  • Second and third period apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to Alberta are 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 are expected to complete second and third period technical training in the other province. For apprentices transferring to Ontario, the total training hours required is 7000 hours.

Truck and Transport Mechanic

  • Alberta will adopt the Red Seal trade name “Truck and Transport Mechanic”.
  • Technical training is maintained at 3 periods/levels.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours will be 1560 per period. 

Alberta will maintain its current course outline structure.

For apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to Alberta

  • Second and third period apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to Alberta are expected to complete any theory/practical self-study not covered in Alberta

For apprentices transferring their Alberta apprenticeship to another province

  • Second and third period Alberta apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to another province are expected to complete second and third period technical training in the other province. 

Agricultural Equipment Technician

  • Alberta adopted the Red Seal trade name “Agricultural Equipment Technician”.
  • Technical training is offered in 4 periods/levels.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours will be 1560 per period. 

Alberta will maintain its current course outline structure. 

Electrician

  • Alberta maintains its current trade name of “Electrician”.
  • Technical training is offered in 4 periods/levels.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours will be 1560 per period. 

The current Electrician course outline aligns with the harmonized standard.

  • Industrial Electrician is not a designated trade in Alberta.

Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)

  • Alberta adopted the Red Seal trade name “Industrial Mechanic (Millwright)”.
  • Technical training is offered in 4 periods/levels.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours is 1560 per period.

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

Automotive Service Technician

  • Alberta maintains its current trade name of “Automotive Service Technician”.
  • Technical training is offered in 4 periods/levels.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours will be 1560 per period. 

The current course outline aligns with the harmonized standard.

Plumber

  • Alberta maintains its trade name of “Plumber”.
  • Technical training is offered in 4 periods/levels.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours will be 1560 per period. 

The current course outline aligns with the harmonized standard. 

Steamfitter-Pipefitter

  • Alberta will adopt the Red Seal trade name” Steamfitter/Pipefitter”.
  • Technical training in Alberta is offered in 4 periods/levels.
  • The total number of on-the-job hours is 1560 per period.

Alberta maintains its current course outline structure but will look to implement a fourth period to align with the harmonized standard.

For apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to Alberta:

  • Second and third period apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to Alberta are expected to complete any theory/practical self-study not covered in Alberta

For apprentices transferring their Alberta apprenticeship to another province:

  • Second and third period Alberta apprentices transferring their apprenticeship to another province are expected to complete second and third period technical training in the other province. 

Phase 3 -  2018 Next 5 Trades

Harmonization recommendations are being implemented in most jurisdictions.

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

Phase 4 - 2019 Next 4 Trades

Harmonization recommendations are being implemented in most jurisdictions.

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

Phase 5 - 2020 Next 4 Trades

Harmonization recommendations are being implemented in most jurisdictions.

  • Cook
  • Powerline Technician
  • Auto Body Technician
  • Hairstylist

Phase 6 - 2021 Next 6 Trades

Harmonization recommendations are being implemented in most jurisdictions.

  • Instrumentation and Control Technician
  • Parts Technician
  • Bricklayer
  • Glazier
  • Motorcycle Mechanic
  • Roofer

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 self-contained modularized learning materials specifically created for select apprenticeship programs. ILMs are intended to provide provincial standardization on core competencies included in Alberta apprenticeship training and to allow flexibility of delivery by encouraging technical training providers to adopt alternative delivery strategies using these modules (e.g. distance delivery, day release, on-site delivery, etc.).

Ownership and future development of ILMs is the responsibility of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and ILMs will continue to align with the course outlines approved by the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board.

Apprentices can access ILMs online at http://ilm.nait.ca after July 1, 2019. ILMs for Sprinkler Systems Installer can only be purchased from Red Deer College.