Challenging Certification Exams

If you have extensive experience working in a trade but have never been certified in Canada, you may be eligible to challenge the certification in your trade.  
 
The challenge certification program provides an opportunity to have your applicable trades-related work experience, skills and knowledge assessed against the standards for certification. 
 
If you are approved to challenge, you will not be required to go through the full apprenticeship program. Instead, you will be given the opportunity to become certified by writing and passing the final exam(s).  
 
The requirements to challenge are different for each trade. To view the requirements to challenge your trade, visit the Trades Program Profile. 
 
Before you apply to challenge, please ensure you have met the following criteria: 
  • You have satisfied the minimum required hours and scope of hands-on work experience in the trade you are applying for. 
  • The references listed on your challenge application can be contacted via phone to verify your work experience. Note: references that cannot be contacted can result in your application being denied.
  • You are able to complete all program requirements (theory exam(s) and practical assessment, if applicable) within 24 months of approval of your application.

Once we receive your application, we will review your work history, talk to your employers, and determine if you have the necessary experience to challenge the certification. 

 
How to apply to challenge an ITA Certification Exam 
Step 1. 
Review the requirements to challenge the trade 
Find your trade by visiting the Trade Program List and click on your trade. 
Scroll down to the Challenge Certification/Recognize Prior Experience towards the end of the page and download the instructions, application form, and declaration forms. 
The declaration forms will outline the required hours, scope and any prior experience required to challenge the trade certification. 
Note: Some trades also have other requirements such as a practical exam. Review the Program Profile to confirm the challenge requirements for your trade. Contact us if you need help.  
Step 2.  
Fill out the required documentation  
Your application package includes the application form and declaration forms. 
The application form must be completed and signed by you. 
For each period of work experience listed, you must submit an employer declaration form completed by your direct supervisor(s). 
If you are self-employed, or have other extenuating circumstances, please review the instructions for more information. 
Step 3. 
Apply and pay fee 
Submit the completed forms to customerservice@itabc.ca, by mail or in person to 800-8100 Granville Ave, Richmond B.C. V6Y 3T6 and pay the applicable challenge application fee
Note: Incomplete applications will not be processed. 
Step 4. 
Application Verification 
We will review your application package, verify your work experience with the employer(s)/ references you provided and determine if you have the necessary experience to challenge the certification.  
Processing time is approximately 6-8 weeks. If you have work experience outside of Canada, it may take longer. 
Step 5. 
Notification of application approval or denial 
If approved: 
  • You will receive an approval notification via email from ITA. Your approval notification will outline next steps to achieve certification.  
If not approved: 
  • You will receive an email from ITA which will outline the reasons for the denial and possible steps to take to meet any outstanding challenge requirements for your trade. 
Step 6.  
Schedule and write certification exam(s) 
Once approved, you must schedule and pass your certification exam and practical assessment (if applicable) within 24 months of approval. 
You will be permitted a maximum of four (4) total writes of the certification exam. 
To schedule your written exam, contact  Customer Service to request an exam date. 
For more information on how to book your exam, please click here
Step 7.  
Receive Credentials 
Once you have met all the trade challenge requirements, a certificate will be mailed to the address we have on file. 
 
Holders of a Certificate of Qualification inside/outside of BC and holders of a military certification who wish to obtain a Red Seal Endorsement, please visit https://www.itabc.ca/holders-cofq-or-military-certification 
 
FAQ 
 
Will I have to pass a practical assessment? 
A practical assessment is not a requirement for all trades. You can check if this is a requirement by visiting the trade profile page for the trade you are challenging, or reviewing the email sent to you from ITA upon approval of your application with details on how to schedule your practical assessment. 
 
Where can I find resources to help me study for my challenge exam? 
For a list of study resources that may help you prepare for the exam, please visit https://www.itabc.ca/exam-and-study-supports 
 
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