Establishing Industry Training Programs

The Industry Training Model of Education

Under the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Education Act (STAEA), the Minister of Skilled Trades and Professions (STP) may establish industry training programs (ITPs). ITPs are standardized on-the-job training programs that may include theoretical learning components. ITPs provide trainees with standardized knowledge and tangible skills required by employers.

Establishment Process

To ensure Alberta’s industry training programs support provincial workforce demands and talent development needs, the process for establishing new industry training programs is initiated and driven by industry. When an opportunity is identified to create a new industry training program, government will collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including industry or professional organizations, other government ministries and other potential stakeholders in the program (e.g., post-secondary institutions) to:

  • determine suitability as an industry training program;
  • assess professional/industry and stakeholder support; and
  • measure potential program viability.

Development and maintenance of industry training programs requires significant government and industry resources. For this reason, a four-stage process is used to assess inquiries and ensure the occupation meets the criteria of an industry training program:

Stage 1 - Consultation

  • Skilled Trades and Professions (STP) addresses inquiries from industry.
  • STP & industry explore alignment between needs of industry and STAEA's Industry Pathways to seek a mutual solution.
  • Industry may submit a proposal to move forward to Stage 2.

When a new inquiry is received, department staff will consult with the inquiring industry to explore alignment between the needs of the occupation and STAEA’s Five Pathways for Industry to seek a mutual solution. If appropriate, the industry may submit a proposal.

Stage 1 Criteria

In addition to a preliminary assessment of the criteria for Stage 2, the Registrar will consider:

  1. Whether the inquiring person(s) are able to speak on behalf of the industry;
  2. Whether the proposed industry training program aligns with government policies, priorities, and directions;
  3. Whether such a program offered through STAEA is suitable for the occupation industry has identified;
  4. Whether the department has available funding and staff capacity to support development and administration of a new industry training program; and
  5. Any other information the Registrar deems necessary for the preliminary assessment.

Stage 2 - Application

  • Comprehensive application package provided to industry.
  • STP conducts assessment of the completed application.
  • STP provides recommendation to the Minister based on criteria below.
  • Minister decides if application moves forward to Stage 3.

In Stage 2, industry is provided with a comprehensive application package to complete. The application specifies the information needed for the Minister to make an informed decision on whether the proposed program will go to the development stage.

Stage 2 Criteria

Program Suitability

  1. The proposed program must be at least six months in duration with more than 50 per cent of time spent in on-the-job learning.
  2. The knowledge, competencies, and skills required for the profession must be appropriate to be learned and taught primarily in an on-the-job environment, and the applicant must identify whether the learning outcomes are at a post-secondary level or standard of training.
  3. There should be potential for:
    • improved learning outcomes for the learners;
    • more professional opportunities for the leaners;
    • an increase in the number of individuals engaged in the occupation; and
    • improved labour market outcomes through leveraging the industry learning model.
  4. The knowledge, skills, and core competencies required for the occupation must extend beyond basic safety and workplace training outcomes.
  5. The industry must have consistency across a majority of employers regarding the skills and knowledge an industry training program graduate would need in order to successfully work in the occupation.
  6. The proposed program must align with government policies, priorities, and directions.

Industry and Stakeholder Support

  1. The applicant must demonstrate that they have provided equal opportunity to participate in a consultation regarding this application to all practitioners, employers, and other relevant stakeholders in the industry across all regions of Alberta. From this population, an appropriate sample size (as determined by STP) must participate in the consultation.
  2. The applicant’s consultation with the industry must provide evidence of support for establishing the industry training program from at least 80 per cent of consulted practitioners, employers, and other relevant stakeholders in the proposed trade.
  3. The applicant’s consultation with the industry must identify a sufficient number of individuals or organizations that are willing to provide on-the-job instruction to trainees.
  4. The applicant’s consultation with the industry must identify a sufficient number of persons who are willing to volunteer and serve in an industry advisory role to support development and maintenance of the industry training program.
  5. Any stakeholder opposition to establishment of an industry training program must be identified and considered.

Program Viability

  1. The percentage of practitioners in the field who are considered to be learning the occupation must be at least 15 per cent of the total number of practitioners working in a given year.
  2. The applicant’s consultation with industry must provide evidence that industry commits to collectively registering and permitting at least 20 individuals to participate in the training program each year for the next three years.
  3. If there will be classroom instruction, a suitable training provider must be identified and has agreed to deliver the programing.
  4. Alberta labour market stability or growth must be forecast for the occupation for the next five years or more and support Program Viability estimates 1 and 2 above.
    • Evidence of expected labour market stability must be available through a reliable source as set by STP.
  5. Any industry costs associated with delivery of industry training must be disclosed and the applying organization must provide evidence of long-term (five year) program viability.

Department staff, through the Registrar, will assess the comprehensive application for accuracy and completeness and provide a recommendation to the Minister. The Minister will provide a decision on whether the application proceeds to Stage 3 - Development. This Minister decision represents an approval in principle to allow program development to begin and is not a final decision for the occupation’s industry training program application.

Stage 3 - Development

  • Industry Advisory Working Group created and program development begins.
  • STP engages with training providers as necessary.

Once an application from has been approved in principle by the Minister, program development can begin. Department staff will collaborate with industry and any training providers to develop all relevant program materials and standards. Once complete, department staff will make updates to IT systems and information resources.

Stage 4 - Implementation

  • In consideration of the factors outlined in section 3 of the STAEA General Regulation, the Minister will decide whether to establish the industry training program
  • Once established, the industry training program may launch.

Department staff, through the Registrar, will make a recommendation to the Minister on whether the industry training program should be established under STAEA.

If the Minister’s decision is to reject the proposed program, that decision is final. An application from industry may be re-initiated no sooner than two years after the date of rejection.

An industry training program is considered officially “established” when the Minister approves the new program, in writing, through the Ministry’s establishment process.

Occupations with an approved industry training program may seek designation as a trade under STAEA. These occupations may alternatively seek licensing or recognition through other government ministries or agencies or through professional organizations.

Maintaining Status as an Industry Training Program

Sufficient support from industry representatives must be provided for development of the industry training program. If the program requirements need significant updates, and industry is unable to provide sufficient support in making the updates, the program may be considered outdated and no longer viable.

In addition, once the program has been established for five years, the average number of registered trainees over the most recent five years of the program must be at least 80. There must also be an average completion rate of 50 per cent over the most recent five years.

Annual reviews of these measures will be conducted by the Registrar and reported to the Minister. They will also be directly communicated to the relevant industry stakeholders and, if the program is a designated trade, to the Alberta Board of Skilled Trades.

Disestablishing Industry Training Programs

If viability measures or other approval criteria are no longer met, the Registrar will communicate with the relevant industry stakeholder representatives and, if the program is a designated trade, to the Alberta Board of Skilled Trades to ensure clarity regarding requirements to maintain status as an industry training program. This will allow the industry to take action on meeting requirements, if desired.

In cases when viability or other considerations or criteria continue not to be met for five consecutive years, the Registrar will initiate the process for disestablishment of the industry training program by providing a recommendation for disestablishment to the Minister.