Assessment 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 bodies or provincial governments may not accept your qualifications or your experience.

Qualifications assessments can help you determine how well you meet the standards for your 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.

Assessments for regulated occupations 

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 professions 

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

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Regulated 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 obtain accreditation in more than 50 trades, but not every trade requires accreditation.

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

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

See regulated professions or regulated trades to:

  • download fact sheets about regulated occupations
  • 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.

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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):

Telephone: 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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