Qualification recognition and certification

People from across Canada and all over the world come to Alberta seeking new opportunities and a new way of life. Many businesses in Alberta are doing well and are looking for workers with the skills and knowledge to help our province continue to grow and prosper. However, Alberta employers, professional regulatory authorities or provincial governments may not recognize your qualifications or your experience.

Qualifications assessments can help internationally trained and educated workers determine how well they meet the standards for entry into an occupation in Alberta. An assessment involves comparing your qualifications to similar qualifications in Alberta and Canada. Qualifications can include your training, work experience and education.

Qualification recognition for regulated occupations and trades

Each province in Canada is responsible for setting the standards, education and training requirements for occupations and trades. As a result, there are different standards across Canada. In Alberta, regulated occupations have legal requirements or restrictions in place to protect the public.

Regulated occupations 

Regulated occupations have legal requirements or restrictions with regard to licensing, certification or registration. They are professions (e.g. forester, lawyer, nurse, teacher) and trades (e.g. electrician, heavy equipment technician, plumber, welder) that are controlled by law to protect the public.

In Alberta, there are different types of legislation or regulations governing regulated occupations. In some regulated occupations, you must be registered with the appropriate professional regulatory organization or, in a trade, with Apprenticeship and Industry Training. In other regulated occupations, you must be registered if you perform restricted activities or use a protected title.

In some regulated occupations, you must be registered with the appropriate professional regulatory authority. This organization may conduct its own qualifications assessments. It may also require you to have your qualifications assessed by an assessment service.

Visit OCCinfo to

  • find out whether your occupation is regulated in Alberta
  • get more information and brief fact sheets about each regulated occupation
  • review certification and registration requirements for employment in Alberta
  • learn how to become accredited to work in regulated occupations in Alberta

Certification and Registration Requirements for Employment in Alberta (CERTinfo) also provides information and brief fact sheets about each regulated occupation.

What is labour mobility?

Labour mobility allows Canadian workers in regulated occupations to work anywhere in Canada without further education, training or testing. You may qualify for labour mobility if you have been certified and/or licensed in a regulated occupation in another province or territory. This means that you may be able to register and be licensed to work in Alberta.

Contact the Alberta Labour Mobility Unit if:

  • you are certified and/or licensed in a regulated occupation elsewhere in Canada
    and
  • you are having difficulty getting your certification recognized in that regulated occupation in Alberta

Email: EI.LabourMobility@gov.ab.ca
Telephone: 780-644-4306

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Compulsory trades

Some kinds of skilled manual or mechanical work are known as trades. In a regulated trade, you must be certified.

In Alberta, you can get certification in more than 50 trades, but not every trade requires certification.

Visit Tradesecrets, the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website, to learn about:

  • fees
  • exams
  • particular trades
  • the registration process
  • work experience requirements

Visit TradeSecrets for a list of compulsory and optional trades in Alberta (PDF).

Note:
If you are certified as a tradesperson in any province or territory in Canada, you can work in Alberta’s compulsory trades. You will need to show your employer your provincial trade certification or Red Seal certification.

Contact the Alberta Labour Mobility Unit if you are having difficulty getting your provincial trade certification recognized in a compulsory trade in Alberta.

Email: EI.LabourMobility@gov.ab.ca
Telephone: 780-644-4306

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Qualification Certificate Program

The Alberta Qualification Certificate Program lets tradespeople prove that their skills and experience meet the Alberta standards. Those who meet industry-established competencies in an Alberta-designated trade or occupation are eligible to challenge the Qualification Certificate exam(s). Those who successfully pass the exam(s) receive an Alberta Qualification Certificate or an Alberta Occupational Certificate.

For more information on the Qualification Certificate Program, contact Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT):

Phone: 780-422-4266 in Edmonton
Toll-free: 1-800-661-3753 elsewhere in Alberta

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International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)

The International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) is a Government of Alberta service. It does assessments and issues certificates that show how educational credentials from other countries compare to educational standards in Canada.

When you apply for a job in Alberta, the employer may use an IQAS assessment to help them understand your educational credentials. You can include an IQAS assessment certificate with your resumé with your application. An IQAS assessment does not automatically lead to a job, but it can help you demonstrate your qualifications to an Alberta employer.

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Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) evaluates the skills and knowledge people gain outside a formal learning environment. It considers learning through:

  • non-credit courses
  • on-the-job training
  • professional workshops
  • individual life and work experience

The assessment determines how such informal learning should apply toward:

  • receiving credit in a post-secondary program
  • meeting regulated occupational requirements

A PLAR assessment may include one or more of the following:

  • written challenge exam
  • oral exam or interview
  • performance assessment
  • product assessment
  • portfolio assessment

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