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In Ontario, there are 23 trades designated as compulsory. To legally work in a compulsory trade, you must hold a Certificate of Qualification or Provisional Certificate of Qualification issued by Skilled Trades Ontario or be registered as an apprentice with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and hold a Registered Training Agreement. Your information must appear in the Skilled Trades Ontario Public Register.

All compulsory trades have certifying exams. A Certificate of Qualification in a compulsory trade will expire and needs to be renewed at a determined date.

Learn more about each compulsory trade.

  • Exemptions related to the practice of compulsory trades

    Group Exemption
    • Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP)
    • Participants in Ministry-approved pre-apprenticeship programs

    Individuals in this group who are practicing a compulsory trade:

    • do not have to hold a Registered Training Agreement to practice that trade legally in Ontario; and,
    • their information will not appear on the Skilled Trades Ontario Public Register.

    Permanent employees of industrial plant

    Individuals in this group:

    • are exempt from the requirement to hold a Registered Training Agreement, Provisional Certificate of Qualification or Certificate of Qualification in order to engage in the practice of a compulsory trade so long as they are working within the plant and its premises; and,
    • their information will not appear on the Skilled Trades Ontario Public Register.

    The exemption does NOT extend to maintenance and repair work on vehicles registered for use on a highway under the Highway Traffic Act.

    Holders of valid equivalent Certificates of Qualification issued by the Province of Quebec OR registered apprentices in the Province of Quebec in any of the following six trades:

    1. Electrician – Construction and Maintenance
    2. Hoisting Engineer – Mobile Crane Operator 1
    3. Plumber
    4. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Systems Mechanic
    5. Sheet Metal Worker
    6. Steamfitter

    Individuals in this group:

    • are exempt from the requirement to hold a Registered Training Agreement, Provisional Certificate of Qualification or Certificate of Qualification issued by Skilled Trades Ontario in order to engage in the practice of a compulsory trade, and
    • their information will not appear on the Skilled Trades Ontario Public Register.
    Individuals who have completed a Ministry-approved course on the removal and replacement of wheels and rims Individuals in this group are exempt from the requirement to hold a Registered Training Agreement, Provisional Certificate of Qualification or Certificate of Qualification to the extent that they are removing or replacing wheels and rims on motor coaches, heavy trucks or truck-trailers.
    • Individuals who hold a valid Ontario Class A or D driver’s licence with air brake endorsement and who have completed a Ministry-approved program on the inspection and adjustment of the air chamber push rod stroke of an air braking system
    • Individuals who hold a valid driver’s license from another Canadian province or territory or state in the United States and are authorized in the jurisdiction which issued the driver’s licence to inspect/adjust air braking system’s air chamber push rod stroke
    Individuals in this group are exempt from the requirement to hold a Registered Training Agreement, Provisional Certificate of Qualification or Certificate of Qualification in order to inspect or adjust the air chamber push rod stroke (the slack adjustment) of the air braking system of the heavy truck or truck-trailer of which they are the driver.
    Individuals who have completed a Ministry-approved course on the installation, removal, maintenance and testing of water meters Individuals in this group are exempt from the requirement to hold a Registered Training Agreement, Provisional Certificate of Qualification or
    Certificate of Qualification in order to install, remove, maintain and test water meters that have an inlet and outlet of 25 millimeters or less.