If you are an experienced skilled tradesperson whose skills, knowledge and experience may be equivalent to a Certificate of Apprenticeship in Ontario, you have the option of applying for a Trade Equivalency Assessment. It is illegal to work in a regulated trade without being approved by the government to do so. (Take a look at "Types of Trades" to learn more about regulated and non-regulated trades.) An Employment Counsellor can help you understand these steps, as well as help you look for additional resources or sources of funding that may be available to help with these steps. They can help you in exploring other options too.
You should know that in order to begin working, the full process of the Trade Equivalency Assessment will cost a minimum of $502.85 (this figure includes all of the costs listed in the steps below, and was current as of Dec 2017). It will also take a fair amount of time, as it includes multiple steps, forms, and waiting periods.
Be sure to check with the College of Trades for the most up-to-date information, available here: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/trade-assessment
1. Do a self-assessment
See how your skills compare to what is needed to be fully licensed in the trade, to decide if you are fully ready to submit this Trade Equivalency Assessment, or to identify gaps you may have. This is checked via a “Competency Analysis Profile (CAP)” or a “Training Standard”, available here: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/training-standards
2. Special Steps
Some trades may have an additional step, which may cost additional money and/or time. Example: Welders are now required to complete a Welder Practical Assessment, which has a 4-week waiting period for results. Check the Ontario College of Trades for more details.
3. Complete the Trade Equivalency Assessment application
There is a fee of $265.55 (incl. HST), and a waiting period of 8-10 weeks to receive the results.
- Application Guide: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/wp-content/uploads/Trade-Equivalency-Assessment-Application-Guide-7-14-2017.pdf
- Application Form: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/wp-content/uploads/TEA_Member_Application_14-7-2017_EN-1.pdf
4. Membership - Ontario College of Trades
If your Trade Equivalency Assessment is approved, you must apply to be a member with the Ontario College of Trades. As of Dec 2017, membership fees range from $67.80 - $135.60 (incl. HST) per year: http://www.collegeoftrades.ca/membership/become-a-member/classes-of-members-fees
5. Certificate of Qualification Exam
Take the Certificate of Qualification exam. If you pass the exam, you are now fully licensed to work in your trade. You have proven that you do not need to work as an apprentice first.
Cost of exam = $169.50 (incl. HST)