About the Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS)

The RSOS standard includes a number of new features in addition to those found in the NOA. Descriptions of the performance and evidence of attainment help to better define the skill requirements for the trade. Setting specific learning outcomes and learning objectives necessary to acquire the knowledge behind the trade is also an improvement. These additions will help employers deliver on-the-job training and apprenticeship training providers to develop technical training programs.

The new elements that are collected as part of RSOS development can also be used to generate a number of different tools that are geared to a variety of users. These products can be informational, training or assessment oriented:

  • Trade Profile
  • Curriculum Outline
  • Logbook;
  • On-the-job Training Guide
  • Essential Skills Poster
  • Declaration of Trade Work Experience Form
  • Red Seal Examination Preparation Guide

Structure of RSOS

For the entire occupational standard, the information in an RSOS is organized in the following categories:

  • Major Work Activities (MWA): the largest division within the standard that is comprised of a distinct set of trade activities
  • Tasks: distinct actions that describe the activities within an MWA
  • Sub-Tasks: distinct actions that describe the activities within a task
  • Skills:
    • Performance Criteria: description of the activities that are done as the sub-task is performed
    • Evidence of Attainment: proof that the activities of the sub-task meet the expected performance of a tradesperson who has reached journeyperson level
  • Knowledge:
    • Learning Outcomes: describes what should be learned relating to a sub-task while participating in technical or in-school training
    • Learning Objectives: topics to be covered during technical or in-school training in order to meet the learning outcomes for the sub-task
  • Range of Variables: Elements that provide a more in-depth description of a term used in the performance criteria, evidence of attainment, learning outcomes, or learning objectives

The analysis also provides the following information:

  • Description of the trade: An overview of the trade’s duties, work environment, job requirements, similar occupations and career progression
  • Essential Skills Summary: An overview of how each of the 9 essential skills is applied in this trade
  • Trends in the trade: Some of the trends identified by industry as being the most important for workers in this trade
  • Language Requirements: A statement of the requirements for language proficiency for working in the trade in Canada
  • Industry Expected Performance: A description of the expectations regarding the level of performance required in the trade, including information related to specific codes, regulations and standards that must be observed
  • Pie Chart: A graph which depicts the national percentages of exam questions assigned to the major work activities
  • Task Matrix and Examination Weightings: a chart which outlines graphically the major work activities, tasks and sub-tasks of this standard and their respective exam weightings

Each RSOS also contains these appendices:

  • Acronyms: a list of acronyms used in the analysis with their full name
  • 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

Development and Validation of RSOS

Development of RSOS

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

Draft Review

The draft RSOS and its translation is reviewed by industry stakeholders. The review is organized by provincial and territorial apprenticeship authorities and national stakeholder organizations. The recommendations received are assessed and incorporated into the analysis.

Validation and Weighting

Industry from each province and territory is also asked to validate and weight the trade activities identified in the RSOS. Participating jurisdictions’ apprenticeship authorities consult with industry to indicate whether or not an activity is performed in their jurisdiction (validation) and if so, they are asked to identify the relative importance it should be given for certification purposes (weighting), in terms of a percentage.

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

Validation of the RSOS identifies common core sub-tasks across Canada for the occupation. If industry in at least 70% of the responding jurisdictions performs 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: RSOS Not Validated by a province/territory
ND: trade Not Designated in a province/territory
NOT COMMON CORE (NCC): sub-task, task or MWA 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 MWA and task in Interprovincial Red Seal Examination for the trade