College of Trades

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    New Regulation Extends Terms For OCoT Trade Board Members and Adjudicators see more

    The Minister of Labour has made a regulation that allows certain members of Ontario College of Trades’ Trade Boards and Roster of Adjudicators to be eligible to serve beyond their mandated six consecutive year maximum terms.

    Among the duties of Trade Boards are the following:

    • Supporting the development of apprenticeship training standards, curriculum standards, examinations and other related training and certification material, and making recommendations to the Divisional Board;
    • Considering advice and recommendations from employers, journeypersons and apprentices who work in the trade or group of trades represented by the Trade Board;
    • Identifying trends, emerging technologies, opportunities, challenges, and other issues;
    • Advocating for high standards in the delivery of apprenticeship programs;
    • Promoting apprenticeship as a method of acquiring skills for trades.

    The duties of the Roster of Adjudicators include:

    • Serving and protecting the public interest in carrying out journeyperson to apprentice ratio reviews;
    • Participating on review panels to make determinations on the ratio of journeypersons to apprentices in certain trades;
    • Advising the College’s Board of Governors of the decisions of the review panel, and providing written reasons  for those decisions

    Members of Trade Boards and the Roster of Adjudicators who are eligible are those who were appointed in 2012 who will reach six consecutive years of service on a Trade Board or the Roster of Adjudicators between February 14, 2018, and September 30, 2018. 

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    New Ontario Apprenticeship Strategy Released see more

    The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development released the province’s apprenticeship strategy titled “A Stronger Apprenticeship System for Ontario” on February 7, 2018.  The strategy was developed after broad, province-wide consultation through   working sessions that involved more than 1,000 people.

    The strategy is a multi-year plan built on five “essential pillars and future state goals” each one with a suite of short and long tern initiatives.  These pillars are:

    • Promote Apprenticeship
    • Support and retain apprentices
    • Engage and support employers and sponsors
    • Increase participation of underrepresented groups
    • Update the apprenticeship system through digital enhancement

    It seems the consultation process yielded very few ideas and recommendations that haven’t been voiced before so the strategy isn’t a major overhaul of the current system, just tinkering around the edges mostly.  Among the most notable elements are the following:

    • Review the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) and propose recommendations to support clear pathways and better transitions from secondary school into apprenticeship.
    • Develop marketing and outreach activities targeted to students, guidance counsellors, parents, and underrepresented groups, with initial emphasis on making these groups more aware of careers in the skilled trades and in-demand trades, and of the related educational requirements
    • Expand the use of employer consortium (group sponsorship) models throughout the province to support the participation of small and medium businesses in apprenticeship training.
    • Support the expansion of experiential learning related to the skilled trades for elementary and secondary students and adult learners.
    • Develop recommendations to expand services to help apprentices connect to training opportunities and find an employer sponsor, as well as to help employers find apprentices.
    • Work in collaboration with apprenticeship partners to develop a customer service strategy that provides exceptional, end-to-end customer service to apprentices and employers. The strategy will include identifying service priorities and performance indicators.
    • Make it easier for apprentices to access their in-class learning, with a standard wait-time for training, online training options and support for apprentices in rural and remote communities.
    • Launch regional sectoral hiring and training strategies that can help address skills and labour shortages, meet inclusive hiring priorities, improve completion rates, and create clearer and easier pathways to trades certification.
    • Streamline and simplify the apprenticeship application process, making registering and becoming a member of the Ontario College of Trades a one-step process.

    Various partnership initiatives with the Ontario College of Trades are identified several times in the document.  This could signal a new era of high cooperation between OCoT and MAESD.  The strategy is aligned in many ways with OCoT’s recently released 2018 business plan which should result in a de-emphasis on its function as an enforcer and more on its apprenticeship promotion and program research and development role. 

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    Stakeholders laud Gritziotis move to OCOT see more

    Daily Commercial News - Industry stakeholders are applauding the recent announcement that Ontario’s chief prevention officer (CPO) George Gritziotis will become the new registrar and CEO of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) and are hopeful he will make changes to move the College forward.

    "I'm really sad to see George leave but I'm really happy to see where he's gone," Ontario Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn told the Daily Commercial News.

    "There's only a handful of people that I think could fill that role and hit the ground running and George is clearly one of them."

    During his tenure as CPO, Flynn said Gritziotis moved the health and safety file forward, in particular, working to reduce fatalities and implementing the working at heights program.

    According to Flynn, he "brought together labour and business in a way that perhaps they hadn't worked together before.

    "The College of Trades is an organization that has yet to reach its full potential and there's a lot of good reasons for that. One of them is it's only five years old," explained Flynn.

    Read more.

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    Ontario College of Trades names new Registrar & CEO see more

    Ontario College of Trades - Don Gosen, chair of the Board of Governors of the Ontario College of Trades (College)—professional regulatory body that regulates and promotes Ontario’s 156 trades in the public interest—today announced the appointment of George Gritziotis as Registrar and CEO, effective October 16, 2017.

    Gritziotis replaces outgoing College Registrar and CEO David Tsubouchi, who had announced his decision to retire this past June.

    “With George’s extensive industry and government experience he’s a natural fit to lead the College,” says Gosen, the newly elected chair of the Board.

    Gritziotis has experience working in labour management partnerships in the construction, industrial, and services sectors on human resource development issues. He’s also managed a number of national industry groups and projects on issues ranging from apprenticeship and training to labour market information.

    Read more.

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    OCOT has turned the corner, says chair see more

    Daily Commercial News - After a half decade of squabbling among Ontario’s trades, the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) has pressed the reset button and is poised to begin achieving the goals set out when it launched in 2013.

    That's the view of OCOT chair Pat Blackwood, who was interviewed as OCOT sets about drafting regulations to implement amendments to the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act approved by the Ontario legislature in December.

    OCOT is currently seeking feedback on four topics: journeyperson to apprenticeship ratios, compliance and enforcement policy, trade classification reviews and a program evaluation process.

    A consultation "road show" began Feb. 13 in Sudbury and an online consultation process was initiated Jan. 30 that will remain open until Feb. 28.

    Blackwood said he was buoyed by the reception OCOT representatives received at a January 27 forum held in Toronto, attended by 150 construction sector stakeholders.

    Read more.

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    Tsubouchi retiring as CEO of Ontario College of Trades see more

    Daily Commercial News - The board of governors of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) has announced that David Tsubouchi will be retiring as OCOT registrar and CEO upon the hiring of a replacement.

    The announcement came in a statement issued June 8.

    OCOT listed Tsubouchi's accomplishments in OCOT's first four years as including the launch of a public register that has become an imnportant source for consumers and businesses engaged in hiring workers in a compulsory trade, and being active in pointing out opportunities in the skilled trades to young people, women, new Canadians and indigenous people.

     Read more.

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    Stakeholders seek answers after OCOT shakeup see more

    Daily Commercial News - Construction industry stakeholders are parsing recent statements and asking for more information as they ponder the implications of the recent decision of the Ontario government to transfer several functions of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) to the Ministry of Labour (MOL).

    The decision was announced in a brief statement signed by two deputy ministers on May 9. Responsibility for OCOT, which was launched in 2012, has until now been a function of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU).

    Read More

  • Martin Benson posted an article
    College of Trades enforcement switched to MOL see more

    Daily Commerical News - The Ontario government has decided to transfer key functions of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) to the Ministry of Labour (MOL) from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). 

    It's a policy shift that was not hinted at in the November 2015 Tony Dean review report on OCOT nor publicized broadly in advance to stakeholders such as the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA).

    An emailed memo signed jointly by MOL acting deputy minister Sophie Dennis and MTCU deputy minister Sheldon Levy dated May 9 described the changes to government officials and industry stakeholders.

    Read More

  • Article
    COCA Update - Legislation Establishes College of Trades see more

    On May 13, 2009, the Honourable John Milloy, Minister of Training Colleges and Universities, introduced Bill 183 "An Act to revise and modernize the law related to apprenticeship training and trades qualifications and to establish the Ontario College of Trades" into the Ontario Legislature.  If passed, this legislation would establish a regulatory college that would help modernize the province's apprenticeship and skilled trades system.  The new College would also encourage more people to work in the trades and help the system better serve employers, skilled tradespeople, apprentices and consumers.

    Among the many duties of the College outlined in the Bill are the following:  1) to determine the appropriate journeyperson to apprentice ratios for trades subject to ratios; 2) to determine whether a trade should have compulsory certification status; and 3) to receive and investigate complaints against members of the College and to deal with issues of discipline, misconduct, incompetency and incapacity.

    The legislation creates a powerful Appointments Council comprised of 8 members and a Chair who are appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.  The Appointments Council is essentially in place to make appointments of all members of the various elements of the College's governance structure which includes a Board of Governors, Divisional Boards and Trade Boards.  It is also responsible for appointing individuals who can be neutral and impartial to a Roster of Adjudicators.

    It is proposed in the Bill that the College's Board of Governors will be comprised of 21 members, 4 each from the construction, motive power, industrial and service sectors with 2 of the members in each sector selected as employee representatives and 2 as employer representatives, and  5 members selected as representing the public.  The Chair of the Board is elected by the Board.

    The Bill also proposes that there be a Divisional Board for each of the 4 sectors to advise the Board on issues relating to the trades within their respective sectors.  The Divisional Boards will be composed of 5 members, 2 employee representatives from the sector, 2 employer representatives from the sector and 1 of the 4 members of the Board of Governors from the sector who will serve as the Chair.

    Advising the Divisional Board for each sector is a Trade Board made up of 2 employee representatives and 2 employer representatives from the sector appointed by the Appointments Council.

    The Board of Governors is empowered in the Bill to establish an Executive Committee, Registration Committee, Complaints Committee, Discipline Committee and Fitness to Practice Committee and to appoint the members and Chair of those Committees in accordance with the College's bylaws.  These latter 3 Committees very generally consider and investigate written complaints of various types that are lodged against College members.

    Under the provisions of the Bill, the Board of Governors may from time to time establish Review Panels to make determinations on journeyperson to apprentice ratios and on classification of trades as compulsory trades or voluntary trades.   All 3 members of a Review Panel must be selected from the Roster of Adjudicators (all members of the Roster of Adjudicators are appointed by the Appointments Council) as follows: 1 member selected by the Board of Governors; and 2 members selected by the Divisional Trade Board for the sector to which the subject trade belongs.  Decisions of a Review panel are final and not subject to appeal. 

    There are 2 classes of College membership explicitly described in the Bill: 1) Journeypersons; 2) persons who employ journeypersons or who sponsor or employ apprentices.  The process for establishing annual membership fees will be detailed in the College's bylaws.

    While COCA supports the broad purpose of the Bill, to elevate the status of the skilled trades and to promote careers in the skilled trades, we have many concerns with this 57 page Bill.  Among our concerns are the following:

    • The complexity of the College's organization structure
    • The need for and the power of the Appointments Council
    • The process for determining ratios and trade status
    • The costs of establishing and maintaining the College
    • The role of employer representatives

    We will keep you posted on further developments as Bill makes its way through the legislative process on the COCA website at and we anticipate this process will involve Legislative be Standing Committee hearings.  Stay tuned.

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  • Article
    Ontario College of Trades see more

    The Ontario College of Trades is a self-regulatory organization for the 22 compulsory and 134 voluntary trades that are recognized in the construction, industrial, motive power and service sectors in Ontario.  It is one of more than 40 industry and professional self-regulating bodies in the Province such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the College of Teachers and the College of Nurses.

    The genesis of the College dates back to May, 2007 when the Minister of Training Colleges and Universities signalled a review of compulsory trades and subsequently appointed Mr. T. E. Armstrong to lead it. After
    consultation and study, Armstrong delivered his report, dated April 28, 2008,,_May_22,_2008.pdf

    in which he recommended the creation of an industry-led,  self-regulating College of Trades.  Mr. Kevin Whittaker was then engaged to consult and make recommendations on how such a College should be
    implemented.  Whittaker’s report

    led to the introduction of the Bill 183, the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act,  2009

    which was passed by the Ontario Legislature and received Royal Assent on October 28, 2009.

    Among the objects of the College outlined in the Act are the following:

    • To establish the scope of practice for trades.
    • To promote the practice of trades.
    • To establish apprenticeship programs and other training programs for trades including training standards, curriculum standards and examinations.
    • To determine appropriate journeyperson to apprentice ratios for trades subject to ratios.
    • To determine whether a trade should have compulsory certification status.
    • To receive and investigate complaints against members of the College and to deal with issues of discipline, misconduct, incompetency and incapacity.

    COCA has been involved every step of the way. We sought the views of our membership and presented them in our submission to the Armstrong Review.  We met with Whittaker to provide him our input and we appeared at the public hearings convened by the Standing Committee on Justice Policy which was reviewing Bill 183 to provide the advice developed by our College of Trades Task Force.  Since the Bill received Royal Assent, COCA has monitored developments at the College very closely and has kept the
    membership well informed.  On April 2, 2013 COCA’s Board of Directors determined that we should adopt a new more aggressive role with regard to the College, that of a “watch dog” to monitor the affairs of the College in much the same as we scrutinize the WSIB, Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Labour.   


     COCA - The new OCOT watchdog in town - April 16, 2013 (DCN)

    Ministerial Statement on the Ontario College of Trades - February 27, 2013

    Media Coverage of OCoT

  • Article

    November 20, 2015 - Ontario Accepts Recommendations to Strengthen the Ontario College of Trades.

  • Article
    Letter to the Editor: COCA sets the record straight see more

    A letter to the Editor of the DCN from COCA President Ian Cunningham.  The article appeared in the DCN online on August 26, 2013.

  • Article
    Armstrong Report on Compulsory Certification see more

    Tim Armstrong's report to the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities on Compulsory Certification

    Adobe Acrobat Armstrong Report on Compulsory Certification
      [921,969 bytes]
      Report prepared by Tim Armstrong for the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities on Compulsory Certification.
  • Article
    MTCU names Tony Dean to review Ontario College of Trades see more

    MTCU press release naming Tony Dean to review the Ontario College of Trades dated October 23, 2014