NTB Campaign

 

Frequently Asked Questions for the National Training Board (Designation of Occupations) Regulations 2008 Concerning National Certification   

1. What is national certification?

National certification is an award that recognizes a person has acquired knowledge, skill, and experience in an occupation and performs the tasks in a satisfactory manner. 

2. Why is national certification necessary?

First, national certification attests that the occupation is important to Bermuda’s economy. Second, it will reduce the risk of harm to a worker or other persons from the improper application of materials and methodology of the occupation. It attests that our workforce is developed to international standards.

3. What are the benefits of national certification?

  • Greater worker and public safety
  • Increased worker mobility
  • Tradespersons will have the distinction of title, ‘nationally certified’
  • Consumer satisfaction
  • A motivated and competitive workforce
  • Increased productivity

4. How do tradespersons, consumers and the public benefit from certification?

National Certification recognizes that a tradesman has met internationally recognized standards. Therefore, the workforce will perform at a higher level of proficiency and competence.

5.The term ‘designated occupation’ is in the National Occupational Certification Act 2004. What is a designated occupation?

A designated occupation is an occupation that requires compulsory certification. Only a certified tradesman can work in a designated occupation.

6. What are the occupations which will require national certification?

On December 31st, 2009 persons working as auto service technicians, electricians and welders are required to hold national certificates. Other occupations will follow in the near future.

7. Who is eligible to be granted a national certificate?

A person who has successfully completed an apprenticeship or training program; holds an equivalent certificate; who has met the standards; demonstrated the work experience to be eligible to challenge an examination or completed an examination(s) recognized by the Board may be eligible to be granted a certificate.

8. Has a provision been made for those who may not able to take an examination?

Yes, the Regulations provide an exemption from examination.

9. At present, I am not nationally certified. Does this mean that I can not work in the three occupations while my application for national certification is being considered?

You can continue to work in the occupation while your application is being considered.

Also, if you are an approved apprentice, trainee or student, you can work in the occupation.

If you want a certificate from an overseas jurisdiction to be recognized, you can carry out the work under the same conditions as an apprentice while the application is being considered. However, you do not have to be an apprentice, or do the work of an apprentice; you are not required to be paid the wage of an apprentice or be subject to the supervision of an apprentice. It does mean that your work is subject to the condition of certified tradespersons oversight.

An applicant for national certification who is training in an overseas jurisdiction, recognized by the Board, works under the same conditions and subject to the same supervision as that of an apprentice

However, if an applicant for national certification is not seeking to have a certificate recognized and he is not training in an overseas jurisdiction, he has to work under the same conditions and subject to the same supervision as that of an apprentice.

10. Is there a transition plan to ensure that those working in the occupations can acquire national certification?

Yes, the NTB ‘Program of Transition’ will ensure a seamless transition with ample time. Auto service technician, welder and electrician tradespersons have twenty-two months to acquire their national certificates. The deadline is December 31st, 2009.  If you hold an equivalent approved certificate provided by a foreign jurisdiction, the NTB will grant you a national certificate.  Current apprentices and trainees will continue their training until the training is successfully completed, and they will be granted national certificates.

11. I have been working in an occupation for many years, but I do not have qualifications or a certificate. How do I obtain a national certificate?

The NTB will not require experienced and skilled senior tradesmen to enter into an apprenticeship.

A certificate my be granted if the applicants establish that they have obtained the work experience necessary and can demonstrate their knowledge and skill competencies required to perform the work of the occupation in an effective manner. Also the tradespersons must be able to complete one or more oral, written or practical examinations recognized by the Board. Because an exemption from examinations is provided, in the absence of an examination, if the Board is satisfied that the applicant is sufficiently skilled, knowledgeable and experienced, the person is granted a certificate.

12. Oral, written and practical examinations were mentioned as a means to determine if a tradesman is eligible for national certification. How is this done?

Local skilled and experienced tradespersons who do not hold qualifications and seeking national certification may undergo Prior Learning Assessment Recognition (PLAR). The PLAR process is a friendly and proven method of assessing skills and knowledge acquired through life experience. The assessment methods include proficiency examinations, standardized tests, skill demonstrations, simulations, portfolios and interviews. The NTB has a PLAR specialist on staff.

13. If after the assessment is completed, and I am not eligible for a national certificate, what is next?

If it is deemed that an applicant requires additional training, short-course training, typically completed in a few days or weeks will be provided by the NTB. However, if it is determined that an applicant is neither sufficiently skilled, knowledgeable nor experienced, the applicant may need to undergo technical training.

14.What does the certification application procedure consist of?

Tradespersons in the three designated occupations of auto service technician, welder and electrician will register with the NTB commencing August 15th, 2007. NTB staff at the Board’s National Occupational Certification Centre at Jamita House on Reid Street will assist the tradespersons with the registration forms. Next application forms will be completed. The applications will be vetted for accuracy, and qualification documents will be vetted for validity. If the applicant’s assessment has met the requirements, the certificate is granted under the Minister’s signature.

15.What steps are taken if an applicant submits foreign certificates?

National certification is required of all workers, including guest workers, in designated or compulsory occupations. Therefore, foreign certificates and documents may have to be assessed by an accrediting council. For this purpose, the NTB will retain the services of the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT). ACTT will assess the validity of foreign certificates and documents.  This process should be completed in just a few days.

16. How long is the national certificate valid?

The national certification is valid for a period of five years. It is renewable before expiration, subject to additional training if required.

17. The deadline for all tradespersons working without national certification as auto service technician, electrician and welder is December 31st, 2009. Is there a penalty for persons working in the designated occupations without a national certificate?

Yes, the penalty is a fine not exceeding $10,000.00

18. Do I have to pay a fee for national certification?

Yes, pursuant to the National Occupational Certification Act 2004, Section 7, an application for the grant or renewal of a national certificate shall be as prescribed under the Government Fees Act 1965.

The NTB is seeking to have the certification fees included in the Government Fees Amendment Regulations 2008.

The Application Fee and the Renewal Fee every five years are $225.00, and the Certificate and Identification Card Replacement Fees are $45.00 and $30.00, respectively.

19.Can I expect more information concerning national certification?

Yes, the NTB has launched a public education and information campaign. The campaign consists of advertisements in the print and electronics media, pamphlets, luncheon talks and town hall meetings for auto service technician, electrician and welder tradespersons.  

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