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#197943 01/02/11 10:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 33
wacked Offline OP
I was wondering if the classes of electrician in Alberta are equivalent to the BC classes. I recently noted the job postings in Alberta having as a requirement a 1st class
electricians certificate. Is this equal to a class "A" electrican in B.C. How does the red seal come into this and why can't the provinces get on the same page definition wise????

Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 613
Both electricians must have a red seal.
this is a messy subject and a source of some frustration. All Canadian Provinces were supposed to adjust their systems to recognize the red seal from any Canadian Province but only Albert and BC actually got it done, or at least mostly done. I understand the Federal Government is now forcing the provinces to get on line so a red seal is truly portable and recognized across the nation including PQ
In BC there are 3 classes of FSR (Field Safety Representatives) A, B, and c. In Alberta I believe there is only 2 ( master and ?).
The FSR is a person who is a journeyman electrician (red Seal) that has some post journeyman experience, code training, and work experience at various voltages and energies. So a C FSR can take permits for work up to 200 amps, 120/240 volts single phase. B FSR can sign permits up to 750 volts 3 phase, any energy level. An A FSR can take permits over 750 volts.
Then there is a contractor's licence which must also be in place to take a permit. It is possible for a contractor to not even be an electrician but he must employ an FSR at the work level he wishes to contract at.

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 33
wacked Offline OP
At the moment I am class "B" FSR. I don't know where this qualification would fit into with the Alberta system.
Can a class "B" B.C. apply for employment as a Alberta Master Electrician?
Or...Is a class "B" just able to work on single phase installations in Alberta?
Another question.. With the compulsory FSR education requirement coming on line in the next year or so. I was wondering if anybody knows if a distance education version of this will be offered? I do know Selkirk College in B.C. offers a full blown code coarse but nothing shorter.

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 29
Originally Posted by mikesh
I understand the Federal Government is now forcing the provinces to get on line so a red seal is truly portable and recognized across the nation including PQ

Quite frankly I don't really ever seeing this happen. There are just too many differences in the licensing structures of the provinces and territories.

I can see the provinces making an equivalency chart of sorts at best, but take a look at Ontario for example. You don't need to be an electrician to be a Master. There are exemptions for others without licenses to do electrical work...

When I first wrote 20 + years ago, the red seal was something like 90%, but nobody even bother with it because it did not mean anything. I believe that it is 70% now, but basically still does not mean anything...

I was recently debating about writing for my red seal, but really, I don't see the need for it until it all get sorted out. It has been this way for 20+ years, I don't see it changing soon, especially with federal intervention.


Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 183
wacked, the thing to remember with the FSR qualification is that relates to permits. So your B FSR means you can pull a permit and be responsible for work of any ampacity up to 750 volts. Even with no FSR qualification you can still perform electrical work to the limits of your TQ, you just cant pull the permit. So in Alberta you should be able to perform electrical work to the limit of your TQ without their equivalent of an FSR qualification. If you want to become a contractor then that is a different story. Contact Alberta Municipal Affairs, here is the link to their Master Electrician qualification.


Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 613
I am only speaking of the work a qualified person is recognized as being Qualified to do. So if Ontario has a red seal qualification and an electrician must have obtained that level then the red seal should be recognized in all provinces. Now the permits issue is not necessarily the same. A contractor is not necessarily an electrician or even qualified to do electrical work of any kind. The guys doing the electrical work for the contractor must in most places be qualified and a red seal is supposed to be an inter-provincially recognized training for electrical work in all provinces. No one who has a red seal in any province should have to take a course or add "other" training before he can apply for a job in another province. That is federally mandated but as I said only implemented between Alberta and BC. The rest of the provinces are slowly complying but were supposed to have done it inter-provincially by now through agreements and at the provincial level. Now the Feds have to shove it down their throats. I think since AB and BC have already made formal agreements that the rest of the country will eventually adopt those or very similar agreements. I hope.

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