How do I get my trade experience recognized in Ontario?

You need a Certificate of Qualification to work in regulated trades in Ontario. Each trade has a different certification requirement.

Check out the Skilled Trades Ontario's list of skilled trades to learn which require a Certificate of Qualification.

If You Do Not Have Several Years of Experience

If you do not have at least 2 to 3 years of experience in the trade you would like to work in, you may need to do an apprenticeship.

You can learn how to get a Certificate of Qualification in a specific trade at your local Employment Ontario apprenticeship office. At that office, you can make an appointment with a Training Consultant to discuss an apprenticeship.

If You Have Several Years of Experience

If you have several years of experience in the trade you want to work in, you must apply for a Certificate of Qualification.

If your trade experience is not from working in Ontario, you will first have to pass a Trade Equivalency Assessment (TEA) provided by the Skilled Trades Ontario. The Skilled Trades Ontario created a TEA application guide that you must follow.

The guide outlines 4 steps in the TEA process:

Step 1

Get a TEA and Membership Application form.

Step 2

Review the Training Standard for the trade you want to join. The Training Standards are divided into 4 sectors:

Step 3

Prepare your application and supporting documents. These include:

  • A TEA and Membership application form.
  • Assessment fee. Different trades require different fees.
  • A copy of your government-issued photo identification, such as your driver’s licence, passport or Ontario Photo Card.
  • Evidence of experience and skills. For information about how to prove your experience read Section 4. Evidence of experience and skills, from the TEA application guide.
  • A completed Competency Analysis Profile (CAP) if your industry requires one.
  • If available: copies of trade certificates, diplomas, or licences.
  • If available: copies of official school transcripts from your training. You should also provide a detailed list of the subjects covered in each course and the length of each course.

Step 4

Once you have everything above, submit the documents to Ontario College of Trades by mail, fax or email. Send copies of documents instead of the original when you can as you may not get the documents you submitted back.

If your documents are not in English or French, you must get them translated and signed by an official translator who has seen the originals. For assistance, contact the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO).

There are more steps to follow if you are approved or not approved by the Ontario College of Trades. If you are not approved you will receive a reason for why you were not approved. You can appeal the decision of the College by contacting them directly and requesting a reassessment. If you were not approved because the documents you sent them were not accepted you will have 40 days to submit additional documents.

Once you have an approved TEA you will then be allowed to take a Certificate of Qualification exam. The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development administers this exam.

For More Information

Last updated: January 26, 2023 4006202