Apprentice

Apprentice

To work in the construction industry in Quebec, a person has to obtain the appropriate competency certificate. The specific conditions for obtaining an apprentice competency certificate (CCA) vary depending on the type of apprentice candidate. Read the general conditions, then learn about the specific conditions below.

Types of apprentice candidates:

  • Candidates with a diploma (Diplôme d'études professionnelles);
  • Journeyman candidates;
  • Candidates without a diploma;
  • Employer candidates.

General conditions for obtaining an apprentice competency certificate

With the exception of employer candidates, candidates must fill out the form “Application for registration or modification of identification file or choice of union association”, which assembles all the information needed to open their file and allows them to designate the union association that they want to join.

In all cases, candidates must:

Once the application is approved, the competency certificate is sent by mail. However, depending on the circumstances, the CCQ may issue a temporary right-to-work so that the candidate has quicker access to the site. The right-to-work is valid only for a limited period, according to the situation.

  • Journeyman Candidate
  • Candidate with a Diploma
  • Employer Candidate
  • Candidate Without a Diploma

A holder of a competency certificate-journeyman who wishes to start or continue apprenticeship in another trade may obtain a competency certificate-apprentice (CCA) for this trade. A holder of a competency certificate-journeyman limited to specialties in a trade may continue apprenticeship in another specialty or, if applicable, in all tasks in his or her trade.

If you hold a journeyman competency certificate and want to apply for an apprentice competency certificate, you must complete the form “Application for registration or modification of identification file or choice of union association" and mail it to the following address, accompanied by all copies of the required supporting documents:

Commission de la construction du Québec
c/o Application to obtain an apprentice competency certificate
CP 2030
Succursale Chabanel
Montréal, Québec, H2N 0C4

Candidates can also go in person to a regional office of the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) with all their documents.

People who become apprentices in Quebec can have their training and work experience recognized in order to be properly classified in their apprenticeship. Click here for more information.

To obtain a apprentice competency certificate, candidates with a diploma of vocational studies (DEP) recognized by the CCQ in the trade referred to in the application must contact a regional office of the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) and must: 

  • Candidates who have had their diploma for less than 90 days must supply one of the following documents:
    • Provisional attestation of training (original)
    • Achievement Record with mention of DEP (copy accepted)
    • Statement of competencies with mention of DEP (copy accepted)
    • DEP (diploma of vocational studies) (copy accepted)
  • For candidates who have graduated from a college studies program, supply the original of a college studies report card 
  • Present a guarantee of employment from an employer registered with the CCQ for at least 150 hours within a period of not more than three consecutive months
  • For women who wish to take advantage of the special measures for women, present their original birth certificate

An employer who applies for a competency certificate must be an individual (sole proprietorship) or designated representative. To obtain a competency certificate-journeyman (CCJ), this person must qualify in a trade under the same conditions as an employee.

Competency certificate-apprentice or -occupation

To obtain a competency certificate, the duly completed form “Registration or Modification of the Designated Representative” (or the “Designation of a representative” section of the “Registration of a Company” form during the original registration of the business), as well as all copies of required supporting documents, must be mailed to the following address:

Commission de la construction du Québec
c/o Application to obtain an apprentice competency certificate 
CP 2030
Succursale Chabanel
Montréal, Québec, H2N 0C4

Candidates can also go in person to a regional office of the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) with all their documents.

People who become apprentices in Quebec can have their training and work experience recognized in order to be properly classified in their apprenticeship. Click here for more information.

People without diplomas are eligible to obtain an apprentice competency certificate (ACC) in a given trade only if the state of the labour pool allows it.

When the labour pool is “open”, a person without a diploma who fulfills the general conditions can obtain a competency certificate if they meet the following requirements.

Guarantee of employment

To obtain an apprentice competency certificate, candidates without a diploma must have a place reserved by an employer during a labour pool opening by contacting the Info-pénurie line at 1 877 973-6874. By reserving a place, the employer guarantees the candidate 150 hours of work over a three-month period. (If you are a woman, see the measures in force that apply to you).

Proof of studies

  • You must provide proof that you have the prerequisites of the program leading to a Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS) in the trade for which the application is being submitted.
    • If you do not have the prerequisites of the program leading to a Diploma of Vocational Studies (DVS) in the trade for which the application is being submitted, you can get an exemption from holding a competency certificate and you must undertake to complete these prerequisites within a year.
  • The form “Application for registration or modification of identification file or choice of union association" and all copies of the required supporting documents must be mailed to the following address:

Commission de la construction du Québec
c/o Application to obtain an apprentice competency certificate 
CP 2030
Succursale Chabanel
Montréal, Québec, H2N 0C4

Candidates can also go in person to a regional office of the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) with all their documents.

The CCQ must have received the employee’s complete file within 14 working days of the employer’s registration of the guarantee of employment in order to be able to issue the competency certificate applied for. 

People who become apprentices in Quebec can have their training and work experience recognized in order to be properly classified in their apprenticeship. Click here for more information.

  • Apprenticeship

    Apprenticeship in a trade in the construction industry is calculated in terms of hours of vocational training and upgrading as well as hours of work spent practising the trade. The apprenticeship is divided into apprenticeship periods of 2,000 hours each. The number of periods varies by trade.

    People who become apprentices in Quebec can also have their training and work experience recognized in order to be properly classified in their apprenticeship. Click here for more information.

    Trade

    Apprenticeship periods

    Duration of apprenticeship
    (Number of hours)

    Heavy equipment operator
    Reinforcing steel erector
    Shovel operator

    1

    2,000

    Cement finisher
    Crane operator
    Roofer

    2

    4,000

    Boiler maker
    Bricklayer-mason
    Carpenter-joiner
    Erectormechanic (glazier)
    Heavy equipment mechanic
    Insulator
    Interior systems installer
    Ironworker
    Millwright
    Painter
    Plasterer
    Resilient flooring layer
    Tile setter
    Tinsmith

    3

    6,000

    Electrician
    Fire-protection mechanic
    Pipe fitter
    Refrigeration specialist

    4

    8,000

    Elevator mechanic

    5

    10,000


  • Apprenticeship Record Book

    When apprentices receive their competency certificate-apprentice (CCA), they also receive their apprenticeship record book. This record book enables them to follow their progress in apprenticeship in a specific trade. It contains:

    • Apprentice’s hours worked;
    • Apprenticeship hour credits;
    • Identification of the most recent employers;
    • The hours required for eligibility for the provincial qualification examination.

    When they are hired, apprentices must present their apprenticeship record book and competency certificate to the employer and, on demand, to a representative of the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ).

    When the current apprenticeship period has been completed, a new, updated apprenticeship record book is sent to apprentices. If an apprentice has not received a new apprenticeship record book within three months following the change in period, he or she must contact the CCQ’s Customer Services.

    Accumulating Hours

    Apprentices are responsible for keeping track of their hours worked.

    The hours worked indicated in their apprenticeship record book are those registered with the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) through the monthly reports made by construction employers or the hours recognized when an application is made for recognition of hours. To help apprentices check whether the hours registered with the CCQ correspond to their hours worked, a notice is sent when a minimum of 1,600 hours have been registered in their names, in their apprenticeship trade.

    Notifying the employer

    It is also the apprentices’ responsibility to notify their employer of a change in apprenticeship period when they have completed 2,000 hours of apprenticeship.

    The employer may then do the verification by checking the CCQ’s notice and the hours worked since the date of that notice.

    New Record Book

    When a current apprenticeship period has been completed, the apprentice receives a new, updated apprenticeship record book.

    If an apprentice does not receive a new record book within three months following the change of period, he or she should contact Customer Services of the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) to ask for one.

    Change of apprenticeship period

    Receiving and processing monthly reports takes about two months at the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ), leading to a delay in the updating of workers’ apprenticeship record books. The CCQ has set up a procedure for immediately recognizing a change of apprenticeship period.

    The new wage rate is applicable as soon as the period changes

    Once an apprentice has completed the 2,000 hours of work required for the current apprenticeship period, the employer must adjust the wage rate to the one for the new apprenticeship period.

    How can employers fulfil this obligation?

    • By keeping an up-to-date register of hours worked by their employees.
    • By keeping track of the hours worked by new apprentices using information gathered from these apprentices’ apprenticeship record books when they are hired.

    What are the apprentice’s obligations to the employer?

    Apprentices are responsible for keeping their employer informed about their apprenticeship hours worked. To do this, apprentices must present their employer with:

    • Their up-to-date record book, which they may obtain by registering for the CCQ’s online (Internet) services
    • The letter sent by the CCQ notifying them when they have worked more than 1,600 hours
    • Their new apprenticeship record book issued by the CCQ once training credits have been added to the apprenticeship record book.
    • The letter indicating the apprenticeship classification

    What happens if the cap of 2,000 hours has been passed and the new wage rate has not been paid?

    If the new wage rate has not been paid once the apprentice has passed the cap of 2,000 hours, the employer is required to pay the new wage retroactively.

    For the residential sector, the agreement provides, however, that retroactive payment cannot exceed 10 days if the employee did not notify his or her employer. For all the other sectors, it is provided that retroactive payment cannot exceed 20 days if the employee has not notified his or her employer.

    What happens when the apprentice passes his or her qualification examination?

    The employer must pay the new journeyman wage rate starting on the date that the apprentice passes the qualification exam session, unless the collective agreement sets out specific rules regarding retroactivity, as is the case in the residential sector. However, it is the apprentice¹s responsibility to supply the employer with the letter stating that he or she has passed the exam. This letter is sent to the apprentice by the CCQ within two weeks following the date of the exam session.

    Number of apprenticeship hour credits

    Obtaining these hour credits is conditional on completing the training activity offered by  the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ). The apprentice must then contact Customer Services of the (CCQ), so that the credit to which he or she has the right is paid into the record book.

    To obtain apprenticeship hour credits for other training activities.

    A maximum number of apprenticeship hour credits per person has been set for each trade. 

    Trade Apprenticeship credits (DEP) Apprenticeship credits (maximum)
    Boiler maker 1,290 1,500
    Bricklayer-mason 900 1,500
    Carpenter-joiner 1,350 1,500
    Cement finisher 900 1,200
    Crane operator 870 1,200
    Electrician* 1,800 2,100
    Elevator mechanic 1,800 1,800
    Erector mechanic (glazier) 1,350 1,500
    Fire-protection mechanic 900 1,800
    Heavy equipment mechanic 1,500 1,500
    Heavy equipment operator 855 900
    Insulator 900 1,500
    Interior systems installer 735 1,500
    Ironworker 1230 1500
    Millwright 1,800 1,800
    Painter 900 1,500
    Pipe fitter 1,680 1,800
    Plasterer 810 1,500
    Refrigeration mechanic 1,800 1,800
    Reinforcing steel erector 735 900
    Resilient flooring layer 900 1500
    Roofer 630 1200
    Shovel operator 585 900
    Tile setter 690 1,500
    Tinsmith 1,605 1,800

    * If the holder of an apprentice electrician competency certificate has a DEP in construction electricity and obtains an Attestation of Collegial Studies (ACS - in French, AEC) or a Diploma of Collegial Studies (DCS - in French, DEC) recognized by or related to the trade, the maximum apprenticeship credit that may be applied is 2,400 hours.

    Some people who do not meet the above conditions regarding hours worked may be eligible for activities if their participation ensures that the course will take place. However, they will not receive any financial support. It should be noted that no financial support will be given to holders of a competency certificate-occupation (CCO) required to take the course Situation au regard des organismes de l'industrie de la construction.

     

  • Renewal of the apprentice competency certificate

    Once the 150-hour job guarantee has been fulfilled, the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) issues competency certificates valid for 12 months. After that, the competency certificate is renewed automatically or upon request.

    Apprentices with a diploma

    Apprentices who have graduated from a recognized vocational studies program and have worked during the 14 months preceding the expiry date of their apprentice competency certificate (ACC) will have their certificate renewed automatically free of charge.

    Otherwise, they must:

    • Pay the $100 fee, if applicable (cheque, postal money order, credit card, debit card, or cash)
    • Present a job guarantee from an employer registered with the CCQ for a duration of at least 150 hours over a period of at most three consecutive months
    • Have a valid union association choice

    Apprentices without a diploma

    Apprentices who have not graduated from a recognized vocational studies program but have worked during the 14 months preceding the expiry date of their apprentice competency certificate and who, if applicable, have met their training obligation, have their certificate renewed free of charge.

    Otherwise, they must apply within five years following the expiry of their certificate. They must:

    • Pay the $100 fee, if applicable (cheque, postal money order, credit card, debit card, or cash)
    • Have completed at least 35% of their apprenticeship
    • Present a job guarantee from an employer registered with the CCQ for a duration of at least 150 hours over a period of at most three consecutive months
    • Have a valid union association choice

    Employer apprentices

    Employer apprentices who have worked during the 14 months preceding the expiry date of their apprentice competency certificate have their certificate renewed free of charge.

    Otherwise, they must apply. They must:

    • Respect the criteria for issuance
    • Pay the $100 fee, if applicable (cheque, postal money order, credit card, debit card, or cash)

    Apprentice, journeyman in another trade

    Apprentice, journeyman in another trade, who have worked during the 14 months preceding the expiry date of their apprentice competency certificate will have their certificate renewed free of charge.

    Otherwise, they must apply. They must:

    • Pay the $100 fee, if applicable (cheque, postal money order, credit card, debit card, or cash)
    • Have a valid choice of union association
    If there were certain particular reasons for your inactivity, you may be able to renew your certificate free of charge.

    Contact Customer Services to request your renewal.

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