Ontario Qualifications Framework (OQF)

4 – Certificate of Qualification


The qualification categories distinguish between levels of knowledge based on a continuum ranging from the mastery of particular, established bodies of knowledge and skills to levels at the frontiers of knowledge where new knowledge is created and established assumptions and methods are challenged. Each qualification may be seen as a reference point along that continuum. The descriptions of each qualification outline its purpose, typical admission requirements and typical duration.

Overall Program Design and Outcome Emphasis
Programs require the successful completion of the qualification/certification examination for a trade or occupation.
A holder is qualified to be employed in a specific trade or occupation.
A holder of the Ontario Certificate of Qualification with a Red Seal is qualified to practice a specific trade or occupation in participating Canadian jurisdictions.

Preparation for Employment and Further Study
To ensure individual's preparedness to be employed in specific skilled trade or occupation.

Typical Duration

Admission Requirements
Demonstration of equivalent experience in a trade or occupation including meeting the performance objectives as defined in the training standard recommended by industry.

Service provided by ministry Employment Ontario examination centres. The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities issues the certificate.

Qualification Awarded
Ontario Certificate of Qualification


This section outlines the generic competencies that the holder of each qualification is expected to be able to demonstrate, with a focus on knowledge and skills transferable to the workplace or useful for further study. The descriptors indicate the different categories of competencies, which vary in nature and degree depending on the qualification. The capacity to work creatively and autonomously is required at all levels but in contexts that range from fixed routines to those characterized by ambiguity and uncertainty.

Depth and Breadth of Knowledge
The skill and knowledge requirements for successful performance in a trade or occupation as defined in provincial or national training/occupational standards.

Conceptual & Methodological Awareness/ Research and Scholarship

  1. Performance of defined competencies with associated knowledge is usually within a range of broader related activities involving known routines, methods and procedures, and analyzing and evaluating situations to determine a course of action;
  2. Knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in their field that enable the individual to:
    1. Evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches and techniques to solving problems using known routines, methods and procedures of the trade or occupation;
    2. Solve practice-related problems using ideas and techniques common to the trade or occupation;
    3. Conceptualize and implement innovative approaches to situations;
    4. Select, adapt and transfer skills and knowledge to varying occupational settings.

Communication Skills
The ability to communicate accurately and reliably the work or performance required including analysis, the techniques utilized and the end result.

Application of Knowledge
The ability to:

  1. Analyze and evaluate situations to determine and execute a course of action;
  2. Apply skills and knowledge across a variety of contexts with some complexity in the extent and choice of options available.

Professional Capacity/Autonomy
The ability to demonstrate:

  1. A range of complex or non-routine activities involving individual responsibility or autonomy;
  2. Technical advice and leadership in resolution of specific problems;
  3. Personal responsibility and autonomy to initiate and perform technical operations;
  4. Working with others including planning, performance and evaluation of tasks
  5. Discretion and judgement;
  6. Ability to manage their own professional development.

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge
An understanding of the limits of their own knowledge and skill level and an appreciation of the methods and techniques that they are not qualified to employ.