Experienced Tradespersons

Trades Qualifiers - Approved to Challenge

Congratulations on being approved to challenge the certification exam in your trade. By now, you should have received an approval letter with information about learning supports as well as an exam application. Once approved, you have one year to successfully write your examination.

When you are ready to write the certification exam download the exam schedule and select the time and place that you would like to write. Exams are first come, first served so we ask that you select two dates on the application form.

Learn more about exams.

If you do not successfully complete your exam within one year of the approval date you will need to re-apply. Re-applying means that you will have to submit a completely new application, including you credentials, employer letters, work experience form and assessment fee.


There are many resources to help you prepare for your exam. Preparing for the exam will help you be successful and so read through all applicable information.


There are booklists attached the trade profile, use this information to help prepare for your exam.

Learn more in the Trade Profiles.

Trades Qualification Learning Supports Guide

The Trades Qualification Learning Supports Guide was developed to help you prepare to write the Interprovincial/Provincial Certification exam in your designated trade. This document is designed for Trades Qualifiers who have been approved to challenge the exam. It provides relevant and meaningful information that can be used when preparing to write the exam such as strategies for writing multiple-choice exams, a comprehensive study guide, developing a learning plan, non-accredited TQ upgrading courses and learning resources (textbooks, CD’s, learning modules, online texts, question banks, etc).

This resource outlines strategies for studying, writing certification exams, preparing a learning plan and accessing resources.

Learn more in the Trades Qualification Learning Supports Guide.

Vocabulary Cards

No matter how much time you spend studying principles and techniques, you will have difficulty understanding the questions if the words used on the exam are not in your vocabulary. A broad vocabulary is essential to doing well on the certification exam, since you are more likely to understand what the question is asking of you and what the possible answers will be.

You can improve your chances of passing the exam if you use the vocabulary cards for your trade area. The vocabulary cards were developed as a quick reference guide linking the English term to a graphic image. The focus of the word selection was on both technical and non-technical words. The technical words have:

    • Corresponding photo
    • Phonetic English as an additional language pronunciation
    • The definition
    • Context
    • Related words and expressions

The non-technical words are equally important for the internationally experienced tradesperson or immigrant apprentice to learn.

Certification exam questions are written simply and clearly, influenced slightly by trade specific language. Build up your vocabulary as much as possible. Write down words you have not come across in your work and become familiar with them. Read trade journals, textbooks (which often have glossaries and tool lists) and the occupational analysis available on the Red Seal web page for your trade.

Learn more about vocabulary cards for Hairstylist or Esthetician.

Essential Skills Drop-In Centre for Trades

Essential skills are skills that help you to perform the tasks required by your trade and other activities of daily life. They provide the foundation for learning other skills and make it easier for you to adapt to workplace change. If you need assistance with essential skills, be sure to visit the drop-in centre and upgrade your skills.

Learn more about essential skills.