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Improving Ontario's Trade Classification Process

Archived Bulletin

Improving Ontario's Trade Classification Process

On April 23, 2018, changes came into effect that will set out the criteria and process for determining the classification of a trade in Ontario. 

These changes support trade classification reviews, establish conditions for registering a training agreement for apprentices, and grant authority to the Ontario College of Trades Board to prescribe academic standards for trades.

On July 1, 2018, additional changes will come into effect that will establish how existing trades may be referred to panels for a classification review and the additional criteria and process to be used by classification panels when determining a trade's classification.

Beginning in 2019, independent classification panels will conduct open and transparent reviews to determine whether a trade's classification is either voluntary or compulsory. If a trade is determined to be compulsory, panels will consider which practices are limited to that trade. Panels will then submit their determinations to the Ontario government. If required, the government would implement a panel's determination by regulation.

The academic standards for the registration of training agreements in Ontario won't change upon the effective date of the changes to the Act. Under this new authority, the Ontario College of Trades' Board can propose to make a regulation to establish new academic standards for trades. If the Board chooses to make this regulation, it will establish a process to make informed, evidence-based decisions before altering any academic standards, which will include public consultation.

Protecting employees and supporting businesses is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.


“These changes will support a strong and sustainable Ontario College of Trades. They will increase the effectiveness of the College’s regulatory functions, while continuing to give the skilled trades sector a direct role in its future.”

Kevin Flynn

Minister of Labour

“As a government, we’re focused on building a talented, adaptable workforce ready to take on the challenges of a changing economy. The Ontario College of Trades is a key partner in that work, helping us modernize apprenticeships and grow the trades sector. With the skilled trades becoming more and more in-demand, we’ll continue working with the college to supply rewarding careers, a good quality of life and a strong economy to the people of Ontario.”

Mitzie Hunter

Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development

“Guaranteeing we have an open and transparent process through independent panels—to determine trades classifications, is essential to the future growth and modernization of the skilled trades in the province. We will continue to work with government to ensure that the transfer of this responsibility from the College to the College of Trades Appointments Council and Classification Roster is implemented as smoothly as possible.”

George Gritziotis

CEO and Registrar, Ontario College of Trades

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