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New opportunity for Heavy Duty Equipment Technicians to receive Red Seal certification

On , In College News

FORT ST. JOHN – Red Seal certification is the gold standard for trades people, an indication of skill by hiring employers, and the accepted credential across Canada.

But until now, the only way for skilled trades people to receive the Red Seal was to prove the time they have worked in the trade and successfully complete a written exam.

Now, through an initiative being piloted in Fort St. John and several other locations in British Columbia, there is an alternative – an enhanced assessment that allows heavy duty mechanics to demonstrate their skills and better ensures only competent individuals get certified.

The Industry Training Authority and the Transportation Career Development Association (transCDA) are offering assessments at the Fort St. John Campus of Northern Lights College in March. Challengers will have the opportunity to gain certification through a variety of practical assessments of their skills and knowledge.

The assessments are part of the Trades Certification for Challengers pilot program geared towards individuals who have years of experience in industry, but gained their skills outside the formal Canadian Apprenticeship system or face other barriers to certification.

A trained assessor will use a variety of assessment tools to build a picture of competency, and the employer is assured that someone with certification is competent in the trade.

Even those who do not achieve Red Seal certification on their first attempt will benefit. They will be given credit for the competencies they have attained – such as engines, brakes or electrical – and will get guidance on how they can gain more experience to fill gaps in skills and knowledge that have been identified during the assessment process.

Applications are being accepted until Feb. 15. For more information, or an application form, click on or email

Funding for the initiative is provided by the Industry Training Authority, through the Canada-BC Labour Market Agreement.