Regulated professions and trades

Many occupations in Canada are regulated to protect the health and safety of the public. If you plan to practise a trade or profession, or hire a tradesperson or professional to work for you, these regulations affect you. You’ll want to understand the job requirements and standards specific to your occupation, industry, and location, as well as the education and certification options that are available.

Regulated professions and trades

A regulated occupation is one that is governed by a provincial, territorial or federal authority. The majority of these occupations are in the medical, dental, construction and personal services fields (for example: registered nurses, accountants, lawyers, dentists, veterinarians electricians and plumbers). Certain entry requirements and standards of practice are used to assess your qualifications and certify, register or license you as a qualified applicant.

Requirements vary from one province or territory to another. For a regulated occupation, you must have a licence or certificate, or be registered with the regulatory body before you can legally start practising your trade or profession.

Red Seal trades

The Red Seal is the national standard of excellence for skilled trades in Canada. Common standards are developed for certain trades that are common to most provinces and territories, and used to assess the skills of tradespersons across Canada. If you work in one of these trades, the Red Seal makes it easier for you to have your skills recognized while working in multiple provinces or territories, thereby improving your mobility. Not all provinces and territories have the Red Seal designation for each trade, so be sure to consult the list for your trade.

Non-regulated professions

A non-regulated profession does not require that you have a licence, certificate or registration before you practise (for example, engineering technician or commercial planner). Most occupations fall into this category. Some occupations allow you to register with a professional body or association on a voluntary basis.

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