What is an Occupational Standard?

The Red Seal model has historically been based on the development of National Occupational Analyses (NOA) that support the development of multiple-choice examinations. A new Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS) was introduced in 2015 and is taking the place of the NOA.

The new Red Seal Occupational Standards support greater consistency in learning resources (both in-class and on-the-job training); provide tools and supports for assessment; and allow for increased industry involvement in standards development. The new model places increased emphasis on apprenticeship training and skills assessment with industry-defined learning objectives, outcomes and performance criteria.

Please note that it takes time for Red Seal Occupational Standards to be developed. NOA will continue to be used as the occupational standard for trades that do not yet have a RSOS developed.

Here are three reasons why you should get to know the occupational standard for your trade:

  1. Each RSOS or NOA sets the standard for a Red Seal trade.
  2. Red Seal examinations are based on the Red Seal Standard.
  3. Provincial and territorial apprenticeship systems use Red Seal Standards to design their training programs.

In short, the Red Seal Standard outlines everything that a tradesperson needs to know about their trade. This includes:

  • trade activities (tasks and sub-tasks)
  • skills and knowledge requirements
  • summary of essential skills
  • safety information
  • trends affecting the trade
  • technical terms
  • names of tools and equipment
  • acronyms

Additionally, for the RSOS:

  • learning objectives and outcomes
  • industry expected performance