About the National Occupational Analyses (NOA)

Structure of Analysis

To facilitate understanding of the occupation, the work performed by tradespersons is divided into the following categories:

  • Blocks: the largest division within the analysis that is comprised of a distinct set of trade activities
  • Tasks: distinct actions that describe the activities within a block
  • Sub-Tasks: distinct actions that describe the activities within a task
  • Key Competencies: activities that a person should be able to do in order to be considered ‘competent’ in the trade

The analysis also provides the following information:

  • Safety: a recognition of how safety-conscious attitudes and work practices are crucial for a healthy, safe and accident-free work environment.
  • Scope of the Trade: an overview of the major activities covered by the trade as well as the work environment, employment options, hazards specific to the trade, key attributes of workers in the trade, overlaps with other trades and areas of specialization
  • Occupational Observations: overview of general trade trends in terms of changing technologies, work techniques, and products and materials
  • Essential Skills: summaries of the requirements in each of the nine essential skills (Reading, Document Use, Writing, Oral Communication, Numeracy, Thinking Skills, Working with Others, Digital Technology and Continuous Learning) taken from the trade’s Essential Skills Profile
  • Trends: specific trends affecting the work in each block of the NOA
  • Related Components: a list of products, items, materials and other elements relevant to the block
  • Tools and Equipment: categories of tools and equipment used to perform all tasks in the block; these tools and equipment are listed in Appendix A
  • Context: information to clarify the intent and meaning of each individual task
  • Required Knowledge: the elements of knowledge that an individual must acquire to adequately perform a task

Each NOA also contains these appendices:

  • Tools and Equipment: a list of tools and equipment used in this trade
  • Glossary: definitions or explanations of selected technical terms used in the analysis
  • Acronyms: a list of acronyms used in the analysis with their full name
  • Block and Task Weighting: the block and task percentages submitted by each jurisdiction, and the national averages of these percentages; these national averages determine the number of questions for each block and task in the Interprovincial examination
  • Pie Chart: a graph which depicts the national percentages of exam questions assigned to blocks
  • Task Profile Chart: a chart that outlines the blocks, tasks and sub-tasks of this analysis

Development and Validation of Analysis

Development of Analysis

A draft analysis is developed by a committee of industry experts in the field led by a team of facilitators from ESDC. This draft analysis breaks down all the tasks performed in the occupation and describes the knowledge and key competencies required for a tradesperson to demonstrate proficiency in the trade.

Draft Review

The NOA development team then forwards a copy of the draft analysis and its translation to provincial and territorial authorities for a review of its content and structure. The recommendations received are assessed and incorporated into the analysis.

Validation and Weighting

The provinces and territories are also asked to validate and weight the task and sub-task activities identified in the NOA. Participating jurisdictions consult with industry to indicate whether or not an activity is performed in their jurisdiction (validation) and if so, they are asked to identify how much importance it should be given for certification purposes (weighting). They examine the blocks, tasks and sub-tasks of the analysis as follows:

Blocks: Each jurisdiction assigns a percentage of questions to each block for an examination that would cover the entire trade.

Tasks: Each jurisdiction assigns a percentage of exam questions to each task within a block.

Sub-Tasks: Each jurisdiction indicates, with a YES or a NO, whether or not each sub-task is performed by skilled workers within the occupation in its jurisdiction.

The results of this exercise are submitted to the NOA development team who then analyzes the data and incorporates it into the document. The NOA provides the individual jurisdictional validation results as well as the national averages of all responses. The national averages for block and task weighting guide the Interprovincial Red Seal Examination plan for the trade.

This method for the validation of the NOA also identifies common core sub-tasks across Canada for the occupation. If at least 70% of the responding jurisdictions perform a sub-task, it shall be considered common core. Interprovincial Red Seal Examinations are based on the common core sub-tasks identified through this validation process.

Definitions for Validation and Weighting

YES: sub-task performed by qualified workers in the occupation in a specific jurisdiction

NO: sub-task not performed by qualified workers in the occupation in a specific jurisdiction

NV: analysis Not Validated by a province/territory

ND: trade Not Designated in a province/territory

NOT COMMON CORE (NCC): sub-task, task or block performed by less than 70% of responding jurisdictions; these will not be tested by the Interprovincial Red Seal Examination for the trade

NATIONAL AVERAGE %: average percentage of questions assigned to each block and task in Interprovincial Red Seal Examination for the trade

Provincial/Territorial Abbreviations

Please note that for the abbreviations for the provinces and territories we use the Canada Post standard.

AB - Alberta

BC - British Columbia

MB - Manitoba

NB - New Brunswick

NL - Newfoundland and Labrador

NT - Northwest Territories

NS - Nova Scotia

NU - Nunavut

PE - Prince Edward Island

ON - Ontario

QC - Quebec

SK - Saskatchewan

YT - Yukon