Error message

Deprecated function: Array and string offset access syntax with curly braces is deprecated in include_once() (line 20 of /u01/www/

Challenging Exams

If you have extensive experience working in a trade (in B.C. or elsewhere) but have never been certified in Canada, you can apply to challenge certification in your trade. Holders of a Certificate of Qualification inside/outside of BC who wish to write the Red Seal exam need to submit an exam application form.

Being approved to challenge means that individuals who meet the criteria for a trade will not be required to go through the full program.  Instead, they will be allowed to become certified by writing and passing the final exam(s).

The requirements to challenge are different for each trade.  To learn the requirements for your trade, read the Trades Program Profile.

Each trade requires a minimum number of hours of related work experience plus evidence that you have worked in the full scope of the trade.  After you apply to challenge, we will review your work history, talk to your employers and determine if you have the necessary experience to challenge the certification.

Here is the process for challenging a certification or level exam:

Step 1 - Apply

For certification exams, download the instructions and print the application package from the Trade Programs list. These forms will tell you what work experience is required to challenge your trade certification. For level exams, see this list of level exams available for challenge and please submit the Level Exam Application Form.

As of October 1, 2014 apprentices wishing to apply to challenge a level of technical training are required to provide evidence in writing of registered employer sponsor support, plus wait a minimum of 6-months if they have taken and failed a level of technical training.
The letter from the registered employer sponsor should be on the company letter head or an email from company’s address and signed by an approved staff member.   
The letter must include:
- The level of exam the registered employer sponsor is supporting the apprentice to write;
- The reason the registered employer sponsor believes the apprentice should be eligible to write the exam.

Note that some trades also have other requirements such as a practical exam.  Read the Program Profile to confirm the challenge requirements for your trade.  Contact us if you need help.

Send the completed forms to and pay the applicable application fee.

Note: Incomplete applications will not be processed and will be returned to you.

Step 2 – Verify Application

ITA will review your application package, and the results will be emailed to you.  Processing time is approximately 6-8 weeks. If you have work experience outside of Canada, it may take longer.

Step 3 – Approved to Challenge?

After you receive approval from ITA, proceed to Step 4.

If ITA does not approve your application, advice will be provided.

Step 4 – Complete Challenge Requirements

Schedule and write your standard level exam(s) or the certification written exam(s).

Schedule and complete your practical assessment (if applicable).

Learn more about exams.

Step 5 – Receive Credentials

You will receive your credentials when you have met all of your trade challenge requirements.