Occupational Certification

What is it?

Northerners are concerned about developing the right set of skills to guarantee success at work. With increased competition both in our home communities and from others moving north, skills, knowledge, and attitudes have never been more important. Occupational Certification provides an alternate route to certification for community government staff as it recognizes the skills and knowledge gained through work experience. Individuals who successfully complete the certification requirements receive a “Certificate of Competence” awarded under the NWT Apprenticeship, Trades and Occupational Certification Act and signed by the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment.

How does Certification help Community Governments?

Occupational Certification is based on standards that describe the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to perform competently in your chosen work area. Occupational standards can help community governments and staff  plan their skill development which in turn can help improve the quality of services to community residents.  The standards:

  • Identify skills, knowledge and attitudes needed for occupations;
  • Provide a means for human resource planning, leading to longer retention of staff;
  • Provide a reference to assess ability and training needs;
  • Identify and support clear career paths in community governments;
  • Increase mobility within northern communities;
  • Increase potential for advancement within community governments;
  • Improve quality of services to community residents;
  • Reduce costs for recruitment of staff by facilitating the selection of new employees; and
  • Help the effective upgrading of skills, knowledge and attitude of staff.

Certification Process

Candidates can pursue certification through one or more options:

  • On the job and in your home community;
  • School of Community Government courses where certification tests will be offered; and
  • Annual Review and Testing Sessions.

The process includes a number of steps that need to be completed including:

  • Work Experience – a candidate must have completed the required work experience before completing the certification process.  The work experience is usually two years depending on the occupation.
  • Skills Assessment Checklist – completed by the candidate and reviewed by the direct supervisor to verify competence in the skills outlined in the Occupational Analysis. The Checklist  may identify areas that require additional training prior to the candidate challenging the certification.
  • Multiple Choice Exam – 100 multiple choice questions based on information contained in the Occupational Analysis.
  • Practical Evaluations – practical exercises designed to reflect actual workplace practices.
  • Assessment of Professionalism – completed by a supervisor and is a declaration that the candidate has met the professional competencies required for the occupation.

How do I Register?

To register, please request a Registration Package from the School of Community Government and submit the Application Form and Verification of On-The-Job Experience Hours.

Application to Register as a Candidate in a Certification Process Form
Verification of On-The-Job Work Experience Hours Form

Where can I obtain Training to assist with the Certification process?

Training is not an essential component of certification. However, training opportunities are provided through the School of Community Government, to assist employees in meeting the occupational competencies for their community staff position; see annual training schedule.