Red Seal Program

Helmets to Hardhats Canada

Red Seal Program: A Civilian Credential for Military Trades

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program and the Canadian Forces have identified select civilian and military trades that are very similar. Provincial and territorial certifying authorities can recognize skills acquired and applied in the Forces for advanced standing towards civilian certification. If you have earned your QL5 in the Canadian Forces, learn how you can achieve a civilian credential with a Red Seal.

Learn more about the Red Seal Program . And the brochure A Civilian Credential for Military Trades .

New Research Findings - Military Tradespeople and the Red Seal


The DND/CCDA/HRSDC initiative is being conducted in partnership between the Department of National Defence (DND) / Canadian Defence Academy (CDA), the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA) and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). The overall objective of this initiative is to support the transition of retiring military tradepersons into civilian Red Seal trades.

The CDA conducted research in 2009 to study military tradespersons' awareness, interest and perception of the value, utility and potential of the Red Seal Program. The report TRANSITIONS: A Study of Military Trades Corresponding to Red Seal Civilian Trades, published by DND, presents the key findings and recommendations of this study.

It first demonstrates that the majority of respondents were aware of the Red Seal Program. However, the information they received tended to be secondhand, incomplete or inaccurate, meaning that the details of the Program itself were not well known. The majority of respondents had high interest in challenging the Red Seal exam as they felt this recognition would benefit them in terms of future job opportunities. Some respondents suggested they would be more successful if they were given the opportunity to challenge the exam as closely as possible to finishing their trade training (QL5). The majority of respondents also felt that the Red Seal would be a good Canadian Forces (CF) recruitment incentive. The recognition of the skills acquired in the CF was seen to have value; at the same time, the opportunity to receive this endorsement would not induce them to leave the CF earlier.

This report points out several recommendations to improve communication about the Red Seal, to improve challengers' success on the Red Seal Exam, and to enhance recruitment efforts by the Canadian Forces. These recommendations are being considered by the provinces and territories who administer trade certification, and by DND.

Read full report: Transitions: A Study of Military Trades Corresponding to Red Seal Civilian Trades

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