Glossary of Terms

Apprenticeship training and trade certification system is legislated in Ontario. Historically, one legislation, the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act (TQAA) 1964 applied to all trades. The Ontario government has recently undertaken an initiative to reform the apprenticeship system. The goals of the apprenticeship reform initiative include:

The highlight of these reforms is the new Apprenticeship and Certification Act (ACA) 1998, the first new piece of apprenticeship legislation since the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act (TQAA) was introduced in 1964. This new ACA legislation came into effect in January 2000 and applies to the service, automotive, and manufacturing/industrial sectors, representing approximately 100 trades. At the request of the construction sector, the TQAA continues to apply to the all construction trades, approximately 30 in total.

The two different legislations have resulted in two different models. The focus of the new legislation, ACA, is on the conditions and nature of the training. The ACA emphasizes the completion of skills sets as prescribed by industry representatives of the particular trades. In this respect, the new legislation is viewed as a competency-based model which differs from the time-based model of the TQAA. The following highlights the differences between the two models:

Competency-Based Model:

Time-Based Model:

Under both legislations, serving an apprenticeship has varying designations.


Compulsory Trades

Restricted Trades

Voluntary (TQAA) or Non-Restricted (ACA) Trades Designations

Certificates are issued at the completion of apprenticeship training and are as follows:

Certificate of Apprenticeship (College Diploma)

Certificate of Qualification

You should also become familiar with the following common trade terms:



Term Term Definition
Compulsory Trade Restricted Trade to work in a trade licensed under "restricted" or "compulsory", one must be a registered apprentice or journeyperson
Voluntary Trade Non-Restricted Trade refers to trades that do not require being a registered apprentice or licensed journeyperson
Contract of Apprenticeship Registered Training Agreement an agreement registered under which the employer or sponsor agrees to train and instruct the apprentice
Provincial Advisory Committees Industry Committees comprised of industry representatives who advise the Minister with respect to apprenticeship programs