Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS) Guide, 2014

Concepts used by the Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS)

Designated trades
Each of the 13 provinces and territories determines which trades are apprenticeable and/or certifiable within their jurisdiction. These are referred to as designated trades. The jurisdictions also determine which of the designated trades require the successful passing of a skills assessment examination in order to work unsupervised in the trade. There is considerable variation between the jurisdictions as to which trades are apprenticeable and/or certifiable. Data from this survey includes only those trades that are designated in at least one province or territory.

Registered apprentices are persons who are in a supervised work training program in an apprenticeable trade within their provincial or territorial jurisdiction. The apprentice must be registered with the appropriate governing body (usually a Ministry of Education or Labour or a trade specific industry governing body) in order to complete the training.

Trade Qualifiers or Trade Challengers are persons who have worked in a specific trade for a number of years, without necessarily having ever been an apprentice, and have chosen to write the required skills assessment examination in their trade.

"Total Registrations" in apprenticeship programs is the count of any registrations that occurred during the reporting period (from January 1 2014 to December 31 2014) within the 13 jurisdictions.

Total registrations = Already registered + New registrations + Reinstatements

  • Already registered - the number of registrations carried forward from the previous year
  • New registrations – new entrants to any apprenticeship program that occurred during the 12 month reporting period
  • Reinstatements - registrations by people who had left an apprenticeship program in a specific trade in a previous year and had returned to the same apprenticeship program during the reporting period

Red Seal and non-Red Seal Programs
The Red Seal Program sets common standards to assess the skills of tradespersons across Canada in specific trades, referred to as the "Red Seal" trades. Tradespersons who meet the Red Seal standards, through examination, receive a Red Seal endorsement on their provincial/territorial trade certificates.

Non-Red Seal trades do not have interprovincial standards. Many non-Red Seal trades do not have an examination requirement in order to work in the trade.

In some jurisdictions certificates are issued to registered apprentices who have completed their hours of supervised on-the-job training and in all jurisdictions they are issued to apprentices and trade qualifiers who have passed a skills assessment examination in their trade.

Certification terminology
There are jurisdictional differences in the names of certificates awarded. They may include

Certificate of Apprenticeship
Diploma of Qualification
Certificate of Qualification
Journeyperson's Certificate

Certificat d'aptitude
Certificat de compagnon
Certificat de compétence
Diplôme d'apprentissage


Federal, provincial and territorial changes pertinent to the interpretation of RAIS data

1 Starting in 2003, a change occurred in the reporting of Newfoundland and Labrador's information concerning newly registered apprentices and cancellations/suspensions.

2 Changes in Prince Edward Island's information system, starting with the reporting of 2005, may affect historical comparisons. Prince Edward Island made some adjustments and revisions, at the end of 2006, to their database which accounts for the change in the carry-over of registered apprentices at the beginning of 2007. In 2007, an increase in new registrations is to some extent related to a demand for skilled workers outside of the province. In 2008, technical issues with the Prince Edward Island's information system and reporting of data since the redesign of the Registered Apprenticeship Information System survey caused a number of apprentices not to be reported.

3 Revisions have been made to the Quebec 1991 to 2005 data, which also change the previous Canada totals.

4 As of 2008, the portion of total Quebec trade information coming from Emploi-Quebec is no longer being provided in aggregated form. The data from the province of Quebec includes all trades with the exception of the Automotive sector.

5 In Ontario, differences may occur in the carry-over totals of active apprentices from 2006 to 2007. This is a result of the preparation and conversion of client data to Ontario's new relational database system in late 2006 and in the process a clean-up of inactive clients occurred and adjusted the active total of registered apprentices and their carry-over into 2007.

6 Minor trade code revisions, in 2006, to Manitoba.

7 For 2008, Alberta incorrectly included the industrial warehousing trade with the Partsperson and Partsperson (material) trades and also excluded the Construction craft worker trade. A distinct feature of the Rig technician trade is that individuals may be registered as apprentices in the trade, however their certificates are granted as trade qualifiers (challengers).

8 Revisions have been made to the British Columbia 2005 data, which also change the previous Canada totals for 2005.

9 Prior to 1999, Nunavut was part of the Northwest Territories.

10 In 2008, Alberta reported a large number of discontinued apprentices, which was a result of them implementing a series of cancellations and suspensions of inactive apprentices.

11 New Quebec legislation introduced in 2008 and 2009, relating to Emploi-Quebec sector trades, have resulted in some changes in the reporting of registered apprenticeship registrations.

12 An adjustment has been made to the Joiner trade in British Columbia, to include the trade in the Iinterior finishing major trade group, rather than in the previous Carpenters major trade group.

13 The Emploi-Québec 2010 data includes revised trade programs where some of the trades have been segmented into several levels. The segmenting of trade programs into levels creates a situation for possible multiple registrations and completions by a single individual apprentice, where previously only one registration and completion existed for this individual.

14 The Electronics technician (Consumer Products) trade was de-designated as a Red Seal trade in 2011.

15 The Gasfitter - Class A and Gasfitter - Class B trades were designated as Red Seal trades in 2012.

16 Changes in provincial regulations governing drinking water related trades currently reported by Emploi-Québec, have resulted in program changes, as well as the transferring of responsibility of some of these trades to the Conseil de la construction du Québec.

17 Since 2013, Ontario's data comes from two different sources. The registration data continues to be reported by the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities. The certification data is now being reported by the Ontario College of Trades which governs the certification of all apprentices and journeypersons. A cleanup of the database was performed in order to facilitate this transition which has resulted in some discrepancies in the carry-over from 2012. The impact of these changes are also felt in 2014.

18 In 2013, a regulatory change came into effect which affects both Ornamental ironworkers and Structural steel erectors under the jurisdiction of the Conseil de la construction du Québec. Workers in these two trades are now considered to be Ironworkers.

19 In 2013, changes were made to the Automotive Service Technician trades in British Columbia. Apprentices no longer have to complete mandatory work-based training hours at each program level before progressing to the next level of technical training. The impact of these changes are also felt in 2014.

20 Certificates in the Steamfitter/Pipefitter trade under the Conseil de la construction du Québec, also include Plumbers.

21 The Heavy Equipment Operator (Dozer), Heavy Equipment Operator (Excavator) and Heavy Equipment Operator (Tractor-Loader-Backhoe) trades were designated as Red Seal trades in 2014.

22 Since 2013, Building/Construction Metalworker has been coded to Metal Workers (other) instead of being included in the Other category.