Challenge A Trade Certification Exam

If you have extensive experience working in a designated trade but have never been certified, you can apply to challenge certification in the trade.

Being approved to challenge means that individuals who meet the criteria for a trade will not be required to go through the full apprenticeship program. Instead, they will be allowed to become certified by writing and passing the final exam(s).

The requirements to challenge are different for each trade. Each requires

      • a minimum number of hours of related work experience, and
      • evidence that you have worked in the full scope of the trade.

After applying to challenge, The ITA will review your work history, talk to your employers and determine if you have the necessary experience to challenge the certification. If your application to challenge the designated trade’s exam is approved, you will be allowed to schedule and attempt the  certification exam(s). Upon successfully completing the exam(s) you will receive a certificate of completion for the Trade.

If you successfully challenged a Red Seal or Non-Red Seal trade program administered through the ITA, you may be entitled to a B.C. training tax credit (certification tax credit). See below for Tax Credit/Grant information.

Who would write the Challenge Exam?

Someone who:

    • has industry experience.
    • may or may not have formal education.
    • wants to add Certificate of Qualification to their resume.
    • wants to be a sponsor for an Apprentice.

Who would Apply for Sign-Off Authority?

Someone who:

    • has industry experience.
    • may or may not have formal education.
    • wants to be a sponsor for an Apprentice.
    • is not interested in taking the exam required for challenging the certification.
    • is not ready to take the exam within a few months of challenge application approval but does not want to delay becoming a sponsor.

Those who are approved for Sign-Off Authority have one year to elevate their application to a certification challenge and take the exam. If you wish to take this step contact the ITA within one year of Sign-Off approval to arrange an exam.

This 1 year limit does not affect sponsoring apprentices with sign-off authority; only elevating your application status to challenge the certification. After one year if someone with sign-off authority wishes to challenge the exam they must submit a new and complete challenge application.

Contact ITA Customer Service for any assistance

Certification Challenge & Sign-Off Authority Steps for Each Trade 

Arborist Technician

Climbing Arborist

Red Seal Landscape Horticulturist

Landscape Horticulturist Exam Study Resources

Utility Arborist

Certification Challenge Tax Credits

For further information visit the ITA’s page How to apply to challenge an ITA Certification Exam.

Arborist Technician Certification Challenge or Sign-Off Authority Application & Steps

  • Holders of a CofQ as an Utility Arborist are entitled to write the Arborist Technician Exam; contact the ITA to apply to take the Arborist Technician Exam.
  • For Sign-Off Authority or Challenging the certification, you must submit the ‘Application – Certificate Challenge’ and an ‘Employer Declaration’ and/or a ‘Statutory Declaration’.
  • You must show a minimum of 2,400 proven work based hours in your declaration form(s).
  • Send completed application forms to ITA, with all supporting documents

Application for Sign-Off Authority does not require the following steps for scheduling and writing the exam.

 

Steps to write the Climbing Arborist Challenge Exam

  • You must submit the ‘Application Certificate Challenge’ and an ‘Employer Declaration’ and/or a ‘Statutory Declaration’.
  • Provide above application showing a minimum of 2,700 climbing proven work based hours.  Hours cannot overlap with hours claimed for Arborist Technician
  • An Arborist Technician Certificate of Qualification is a mandatory prerequisite for Climbing Arborist application
  • A fee of $120 is due to ITA to write your challenge exam
  • Send completed application forms to ITA, with all supporting documents
  • To help you study, you can review the Program Outline
  • Download the Exam Weighting Chart
  • Passing grade is 70% or higher. You will have the option to re-write the exam if you do not receive 70% or higher
  • The Climbing Arborist Manual is available in the HortEducation.ca store if you require it.
  • Upon passing the challenge exam, complete and return the Climbing Arborist practical assessment application form; then Contact HortEducation.ca to schedule the practical assessment.
  • There is a fee of $600 payable to HortEducationBC to cover the costs of the practical assessment

 

Steps to write the Red Seal Landscape Challenge Exam

  1. You must submit the ‘Application – Certificate Challenge’, and an ‘Employer Declaration’ and/or a ‘Statutory Declaration’
  2. Provide above application showing a minimum of 7,920 proven work based hours.

Completion of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association’s national Landscape Horticulture Certification Program’s Certified Landscape Horticulturist Technician designation qualifies as 1,000 work based hours credit towards the Red Seal Landscape Horticulturist CofQ. Note* This was previously Certified Landscape Technician (CLT) in Ornamental Maintenance plus one other module. If you obtained this designation before the change you can still use this as credit towards your hours requirement.

3. A fee of $120 is due to ITA to write your challenge exam.

4. Passing grade is 70% or higher. You will have the option to re-write the exam if you do not receive 70% or higher.

5. Send completed application forms to ITA, with all supporting documents.

 

Study Resources

  • Red Seal Prep Course for Landscape Horticulturist – Check our news and events pages for upcoming course offerings. If you would like to be notified of upcoming classes contact us to be placed on our notification list. This is a half day course that reviews common challenge areas of exam topics and helps you to prepare to write the exam. Included in the course is a prep manual. This manual can be bought individually in our online store if you are unable to attend a class.
  • The Inter-Provincial Landscape Horticulturist Exam is based on the Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS). Use the following links for IP Exam study resources
  • Information Guides: Preparing to Write an Interprovincial Red Seal Examination.
      • BC ITA Interprovincial Red Seal Exam Guide
      • Red Seal Canada Assistance to Candidates Interprovincial Red Seal Exam Preparation information guide provides study techniques which can be used to prepare for writing the Interprovincial Red Seal examinations for all Red Seal trades. Topics which are discussed in the guide are: studying for the Red Seal exam, sample Red Seal questions, and writing the Red Seal exam. ***This guide was written before program updating and makes use of the term “National Occupational Analysis (NOA)” which has been renamed to the “Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS)”
      • Red Seal Canada Landscape Horticulturist Interprovincial Program Guide (IPG) provides program information which can be used to prepare for writing the Interprovincial Red Seal examinations for the Landscape Horticulturist trade. ***This guide was written before program updating and makes use of the term “National Occupational Analysis (NOA)” which has been renamed to the “Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS)”
  • Sample questions from the Red Seal website.
  • HortEducation.ca manuals used by apprentices in training institutions are available through our online store. This is an optional study resource that addresses in detail, the topics found in the Red Seal Occupational Standard (RSOS). Please feel free to contact HortEducation.ca to discuss whether this option would be beneficial to your studies. This option is not often recommended due to the volume of material. You can request to review the manuals table of contents.

 

Red Seal logo

  • The Red Seal logo/design is used for the purpose of promoting the Red Seal as a standard of excellence for the skilled trades. Individuals, companies or organizations that wish to use the Red Seal logo for promotional items, Web sites, printed materials, etc. must contact the ITA to obtain permission for use in British Columbia and the Red Seal Secretariat for use in national promotions.

 

Steps to write the Utility Arborist Challenge Exam

NOTE: Only applicants with credentials from outside of BC will be accepted to undertake the challenge process. Only certified Utility Arborists and Utility Arborist apprentices are permitted to perform tree pruning or falling work in proximity to energized power line in BC.

 

Certification Challenge Tax Credits

If you successfully challenged a Red Seal or Non-Red Seal program administered through the ITA after January 1, 2007, you may be entitled to a B.C. training tax credit (certification tax credit).

If you obtained a Certificate of Qualification by successfully challenging a program, look up the program in the listing of eligible programs and completion requirements. Once you find your program, look for ‘graduate program’ under one of the completion levels. You can claim the tax credit associated with the completion level where you find ‘graduate program’.

Trade Tax Credit Completion Requirements Regular *Enhanced
Arborist Technician Basic Tax Credit CofQ as Arborist Technician $1000 $1500
Climbing Arborist Basic Tax Credit CofQ as Climbing Arborist $1000 $1500
Field Arborist Completion Tax Credit CofQ as Field Arborist $2000 $3000
Dairy Production Technician 1 Basic Tax Credit CofQ as Dairy Production $1000 $1500
Red Seal Landscape Horticulture Completion Tax Credit CofQ as Landscape Horticulturist $2500 $3750
Utility Arborist Basic Tax Credit CofQ as Utility Arborist $1000 $1500

*Enhanced Credits

Enhanced credits are provided with respect to First Nations individuals or persons with disabilities. Eligible First Nations individuals are those persons who are registered as an Indian under the Indian Act (Canada). Persons with disabilities are those eligible for the disability credit on their income tax return.

Basic Training Tax Credit

  • Apply in the tax year, once you have met requirements
  • ITA transcript is used as proof of meeting requirements
  • Complete Part 1 of the British Columbia Training Tax Credit (T1014) form and submit it with your T1 Income Tax Return
  • Must be claimed no later then 36 months after the end of the tax year.

Completion Tax Credit

  • Apply once you have met requirements
  • ITA transcript is used as proof of meeting requirements
  • Complete Part 2 of the British Columbia Training Tax Credit (T1014) form and submit it with your T1 Income Tax Return
  • Must be claimed no later then 36 months after the end of the tax year.