Training and Exam Information

Training

Online & In-class Training Instructions, Accommodations, Special Needs Online & In-class Training Instructions, Accommodations, Special Needs

Training

Each year that you are an apprentice, you should participate in technical training. It is important to register as soon as possible, as seats are limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Training may be available in-class or online.

In-class Training

  1. Review the training schedule and select the applicable level of training.
  2. Meet with your employer to discuss training dates and selection(s).
  3. Complete the Technical Training Enrolment Form
    • Your employer must approve you to attend technical training.
    • Choose an alternate class/date for selected training, if available.
  4. Submit your Technical Training Enrolment Form to the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency (may be submitted online or via mail or walk-in).
  5. Once you are registered to attend in-class technical training (assigned a seat), you will receive a course scheduling package 4 to 6 weeks prior to the commencement of training. If you do not receive a course scheduling package, please contact your Industry Training Consultant.
  6. On the first day of class, you must bring the following:
    • confirmation letter (included in your course scheduling package)
    • completed client information update sheet (included in your course scheduling package)
    • up-to-date logbook
    • textbook/materials fee (if applicable)
    • personal protective equipment (safety glasses and safety footwear for shop access and lab assignments)
  7. Participants are responsible for purchasing textbooks and other resource materials.
  8. Some apprenticeship trades require apprentices to write and pass a mandatory ‘level’ exam at the completion of their level of technical training before they can progress. There is no fee for these exams and usually apprentices write at regularly scheduled exam sessions. If you are uncertain if your trade requires mandatory level exams, speak to your Industry Training Consultant (or review the training sessions offered for your trade in the training schedule).

Online Training

  1. You can access online technical training from home, work or wherever an internet connection is available. Apprentices who access online technical training are expected to complete one group of training courses per year.
  2. Advise your Industry Training Consultant that you wish to access online training. They will forward a Training Plan to NSCC Online Learning and provide you with a copy.
  3. Register for training in one of two ways:
    1. Walk-in registration - Visit your local campus of the Nova Scotia Community College.
    2. Phone-in registration - Admissions Centre hours are Monday to Thursday (8:00 am to 6:00 pm) and Friday (8:00 am to 4:00 pm):
      Halifax Metro: 491-4911

      Outside Metro: 1-866-679-6722

  4. Once you register for courses on NSCC Online Learning, you will need:
    • A copy of your current Training Plan (from your Industry Training Consultant)
    • Apprenticeship client number (200 #)
    • Social Insurance Number
    • Applicable payment (Cash, Cheque, Debit, Visa, MasterCard or American Express)
    • E-mail address. If you do not have an e-mail address, contact the Virtual Campus for information on setting up a free account:

      Halifax Metro: 491-6774
      Outside Metro (toll free): 1-877-491-6774

  5. Once you have been registered, you will receive an email with a User ID and password, along with course access information.
  6. Participants are responsible for purchasing textbooks and other resource materials. However, apprentices are NOT required to purchase computer equipment to participate in online education. Terminals are available in the libraries of NSCC campuses throughout Nova Scotia, as well as in community CAP sites.
  7. Some apprenticeship trades require apprentices to write and pass a mandatory ‘level’ exam at the completion of their level of online technical training before they can progress. There is no fee for these exams and usually apprentices write at regularly scheduled exam sessions. If you are uncertain if your trade requires mandatory level exams, speak to your Industry Training Consultant.
  8. If you would like a face-to-face orientation, call one of the following numbers to arrange an appointment:

    Halifax Metro: 491-6774
    Outside Metro (toll free): 1-877-491-6774

Accommodations and Special Needs

The Agency is committed to providing apprentices who have a documented disability or require special accommodation with reasonable, equitable and safe accessibility to programs and services offered in the apprenticeship training program.

The Agency can arrange to have reasonable and appropriate accommodation provided for apprentices if there is sufficient time for planning and implementation. Therefore, early identification is required.

If you have any concerns about your potential for success in apprenticeship technical training (e.g., require the services of a translator, need to have an exam administered to you orally, etc.) please contact your Industry Training Consultant for a confidential meeting prior to attending training.

Essential Skills & Other Resources Essential Skills & Other Resources

Essential Skills Resources

Essential skills such as as reading text, document use and math are needed for work, learning and life. The Apprenticeship Agency has introduced several new learning options, which include the development of a learning plan, an informal assessment and access to training and supports (e.g. tutoring) to assist apprentices in the technical portion of their training. For more information, contact the Industry Training Consultant in your trade/region.

Other Resources and Supports


Individual Learning Modules (ILMs)

Alberta’s Ministry of Advanced Education and its apprenticeship training providers have developed Individual Learning Modules (ILMs) for the trades, in both English and French, for purchase.

High School Completion for Adults

Through the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL), you can obtain a high school diploma while you are training as an apprentice by attending either an adult high school or a Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC).

The diploma requires the successful completion of twelve credits. These credits can be earned through adult high school grades 11 and 12 credits or the NSCC Adult Learning Program (ALP 4).

If you meet the eligibility requirements, the diploma is tuition-free! However, there may be registration fees and book costs.

For more information please contact Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning at 1-877-466-7725 or visit novascotia.ca/adult-learning

Exams

Exam Preparation, FAQs & Welder

FAQs [Exams, Calculators] FAQs [Exams, Calculators]

 1. What is a level exam?

Some apprenticeship trades require apprentices to write and pass a mandatory ‘level’ exam at the completion of their level of technical training before they can progress. There is no fee for these exams and usually apprentices write at regularly scheduled exam sessions. If you are uncertain if your trade requires mandatory level exams, speak to your Industry Training Consultant (or review the training sessions offered for your trade in the training schedule). Click HERE for more information about level exams.

 2. What is a certification exam?

Upon completion of the apprenticeship program (including on-the-job hours, technical training and competency in workplace practical skills), apprentices are eligible to write a certification exam. If the apprentice receives a mark of 70% or greater, they receive both a Certificate of Qualification and a Certificate of Apprenticeship and become a certified journeyperson. If the trade is a Red Seal trade, the certification exam is a Red Seal exam. If an apprentice receives a passing mark, they will receive the Red Seal endorsement on their Certificate of Qualification. This endorsement is a recognized standard in jurisdictions across Canada, one that employers look for as an indication of skills and competency.

Note: If you have significant experience working hands-on in a trade and can prove that your skills & work experience meet the standards set for a certified skilled tradesperson in Nova Scotia, you may be able to apply under the Trade Qualifier Program for approval to write the certification exam. Click HERE for more information.

 3. Are you eligible to write an exam?

You must contact the Apprenticeship Industry Training Consultant in your trade/region to determine your eligibility to write a certification or level exam. Once your eligibility has been confirmed, you will be asked to submit an exam application indicating a ‘preferred’ exam date and location (a listing of all exam sessions is included in the Exam Schedule).

 4. How do you apply to write an exam?

If you are eligible to write, please ensure you review the guidelines on the bottom of your exam application. Your application, along with the applicable fee, must be received at the Halifax Office of the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency prior to the “apply before” date indicated for the requested exam session. Applications received after the application deadline will be processed for the next available exam sitting.

A confirmation letter will be sent to you 10 days prior to the exam date. Do not attend an exam sitting without this written confirmation.

 5. What happens if you cannot write the exam on your scheduled date?

If you are unable to write the exam on your scheduled exam date, you must notify the Agency as soon as possible. Contact your Industry Training Consultant, or call the Halifax Office at (902) 424-5651 (or toll free in Nova Scotia at 1-800-494-5651). An exam may be rescheduled only once without penalty. If you fail to provide notice of withdrawal at least 24 hours in advance, you will be considered a no-show and your exam fee will not be refunded.

 6. What should you bring to the exam sitting?

  • Your confirmation letter
  • Your photo ID (e.g. driver's license, passport, apprenticeship ID card)
  • A watch so that you can pace yourself
  • Do not bring any electronic devices, including cell phones and calculators, to the exam sitting. All personal items (backpacks, bags, code books, text books, etc.) are also not permitted in the examination room. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency will not be responsible for the loss of these items - clients leaving cell phones, calculators, back packs, etc. do so at their own risk and clients are requested to not bring these items.

The Agency provides everything else you need for your exam, including pencils, calculators, scrap paper and code books (if applicable).

 You should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the exam.

 7. In addition to calculators, what does the Agency supply at the exam sitting?

At exam sittings, the Agency supplies items that you need for your exam, including pencils, scrap paper, code books (if applicable) and a calculator - model Casio FX-260. Personal calculators, cell phones and all other electronic devices will not be permitted in the exam room. The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency will not be responsible for the loss of these items - clients leaving calculators, cell phones, etc. do so at their own risk.

Casio Calculator

 8. What happens when you write an exam and are unsuccessful?

Try not to be discouraged! Exams are very challenging, but use what you learned from your previous experience to help prepare for your next attempt. Everyone who challenges an exam receives a breakdown of the results they achieved in each section of the exam. Use the breakdown to identify areas where additional study will help you prepare for your next attempt.

Re-write the exam as soon as you feel confident you will pass - don’t postpone it for a lengthy period of time. You will need to obtain another exam application and pay the exam fee (if applicable) prior to the application deadline, which is approximately 1 month before the desired exam sitting date.

If you have unsuccessfully challenged an exam on two or more occassions, you are required to contact your Training Consultant to discuss completion of additional technical training.

 9. When will you find out if you passed?

Exam results will be mailed to clients within 10 working days of the exam sitting.

Practice Exams, Exam Prep Courses, Tips for Exam Writing Practice Exams, Exam Prep Courses, Tips for Exam Writing

Practice Exams, Prep Courses and Info

The Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency neither endorses nor recommends the use of the following materials. They are provided merely as a guide to known available resources.

Tips for Writing Multiple-Choice Exams

  • Read each question carefully and completely. Do not assume you know what the question is asking after you’ve read only part of it.
  • Separate long questions into smaller parts to make them easier to understand.
  • Try to answer the question without looking at the four responses, then look for the option that matches your answer.
  • As you read through the alternative options, make a note of those you know are wrong, in order to narrow your options.
  • If you are answering a question that involves calculation, it is useful to have an estimate of what the correct answer is so that once you calculate the answer, you can decide whether it seems right.
  • Draw a diagram or jot down a formula if it helps answer a question.
  • If you don’t know the answer, move on and come back later. It’s better to finish the easier questions first and come back to the more difficult ones later.
  • Manage your time - it might be helpful to determine how much time you have for each question. For instance, if the exam has 120 questions and the maximum sit time for the exam is 4 hours, then you have approximately 2 minutes per question. At the halfway point of the exam, determine if you have completed approximately half of the exam, and adjust your pace accordingly.
  • Answer all questions, even if you have to guess (you have at least a 25% chance of guessing correctly). Do not leave any question unanswered.
Occupational Standards/Analyses (RSOS, NOA, POA) Occupational Standards/Analyses (RSOS, NOA, POA)

Red Seal Exams: Occupational Standards/Analyses

Red Seal Occupational Standards (RSOSs) or National Occupational Analyses (NOAs) are available for all Red Seal trades, and provide the content upon which Red Seal exam questions are based. The NOA/RSOS for your trade is the most important resource, and a great tool to help you plan what and how to study for your exam.

RSOSs and NOAs are available on the Red Seal website.

Level and Provincial Certification Exams: Occupational Standards/Analyses

Provincial Occupational Analyses (POAs) describe the skills and knowledge needed to perform competently in the trades. They are the base documents used to develop Provincial Certification exams, and may also be used as a checklist to guide your studies.

POAs are available for the following trades:

Welder Practical Exam Welder Practical Exam

The Red Seal Welder trade was identified as a priority trade for harmonization. The purpose of harmonization is to achieve standardized training and examination processes throughout Canada. Harmonization enables industry to better respond to demand, and facilitate easier mobility for apprentices and trade qualifiers.

In September 2015, the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency mailed a letter to welder clients to inform them about the changes coming to the welder examination process, and the requirement for a new Welder Practical Examination commencing that November.

  • There is a requirement for both a PRACTICAL and a WRITTEN exam for Welder certification.
  • This is a requirement of the Red Seal Program that applies to third-year welders and trade qualifiers.
  • Third-year welders and trade qualifiers: Contact your Industry Training Consultant to register for the exam.
  • The Welder Practical Examination must be successfully completed prior to challenging the written examination. Upon successful completion of both exams, welders receive a Certificate of Qualification with the Red Seal endorsement.
  • Copy of the practical exam . The Welder Practical Exam will be administered in one session, five (5) hours in duration, at the end of technical training for level-3 apprentices. The five (5) welding processes listed in the Test Equivalency Chart will be tested.
  • Letter to welder clients informing them about the changes to the welder exam process, and the requirement for a new Welder Practical Examination commencing November 2015.