Teachers /

The Ontario College of Trades



The Ontario College of Trades (the College) is an industry-driven, professional regulatory body that protects the public by regulating and promoting the skilled trades.

One of the main responsibilities of the College is to ensure that individuals performing the skills of compulsory trades have the training and certification required to legally practice this trade in Ontario.

Thinking about transitioning from an OYAP Participant to a Registered OYAP Apprentice?



Deciding your post secondary pathway is no easy task. We are happy to hear that you have a keen and committed interest in pursuing a career in the Apprenticeship pathway.

What you need to know…

Registered Training Agreements (RTAs) are decided on a case by case basis by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills DevelopmentĀ (MAESD) Employment and Training Consultants (ETCs). ETCs are responsible for ensuring that employers are willing and able to meet the obligations of a sponsor for the purpose of an apprenticeship program and that the student is committed towards the trade/occupation and the potential of the student continuing in the trade following graduation of secondary school.

To be a successful Apprentice candidate you must meet the following criteria:

  • Meet the criteria for participating through OYAP;
  • Understand the safety regulations for the trade/occupation;
  • Is interested in the trade/occupation and is considering the trade/occupation as a career, and/or apprenticeship as a pathway;
  • Understands the commitment to the learning at the placement and the responsibilities as an OYAP student;
  • Is prepared with sufficient knowledge and skills to begin the placement;
  • Understand the Apprenticeship Training Standards that will be included with the studentā€™s Personalized Placement Learning Plan (PPLP).

The signed RTA is a legal document which outlines your responsibilities as an apprentice and the responsibilities of your employer/sponsor. The training agreement is not a contract of employment. If your employer/sponsor changes you must notify the MAESD and arrange for a new training agreement to be signed.

The Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) was created to be an industry-driven organization that will promote the trades and protect the public interest by regulating the trades in Ontario.

As of April 8, 2013, sections of the OCTA Act, 2009 will come into effect. Under OCTAA, OYAP apprentices (i.e. OYAP participants with an RTA) are required to become members of the OCOT.

However, while in OYAP a registered apprentice is exempt from:

  • Membership fees;
  • Appearing in the OCOT public register;
  • Being called before any OCOT committees on conduct and fitness to practice.

Note: These exemptions end when the OYAP apprentice completes or withdraws from OYAP.

For more information about the OCOT, please visit their website atwww.collegeoftrades.ca.

So once you have signed an RTA….what happens next?

  • On the day that the RTA is registered by MAESD the OYAP apprentice will have 90 days to register with the OCOT.
  • Upon registration with OCOT, OYAP apprentices will receive a statement of membership and a membership card in the mail. If you do not receive your statement of membership or membership card, please contact OCOT. Apprentices will also receive a wallet card from MAESD. You must carry these cards along with your OYAP wallet card with you while on the job and be prepared to present it to an Inspector if asked.
  • If new apprentices do not become members within the required time period, the RTA will be cancelled (notification will be sent to the apprentice and the sponsor).

Note: If your address, sponsor/employer, status as a secondary student or status as an apprentice changes, you MUST contact the Training Consultant from MAESD and inform the OCOT!

Once you have graduated and left secondary school some things will change!

  • When OYAP participants with an RTA graduate and leave secondary school, they will be required to pay a membership fee (on the anniversary of initial membership date) to the OCOT if they continue to have an RTA.
  • All OYAP exemptions will be lifted.
  • You will receive an offer to attend trade school. The trade school notice generally comes in the mail and will be sent approximately 3 months prior to the start date of class. You must be a graduate of secondary school before accepting an offer for trade school. Act quickly, speak with your employer first then call to reserve your seat. Instructions will come with the offer. IMPORTANT: as soon as you graduate from secondary school contact MAESD to let them know, this will ensure that you get on the list to receive a trade schooling offer.
  • There are a number of grants and tax benefits to be aware of that may assist you. Actively pursue what is available as these opportunities will sometimes be discontinued and others are introduced. For example:
    1. The Apprenticeship Incentive Grant (AIG) is available to apprentices in Red Seal trades. Qualifying apprentices receive $1000.00 after successful completion of level 1 schooling and another $1000.00 after successful completion of level 2 schooling.
    2. The Apprenticeship Completion Grant (ACG) is a $2000.00 grant that may be available to qualifying apprentices who are successful at completing apprenticeship training.