Canadian Contractor


“RSE” designation is gaining traction

It means Red Seal Endorsement and there is a push on to see these letters get wider usage in the trades and in the public eye

I got an email from a homeowner two weeks ago, asking me what “RSE” means after a contractor’s name.

I was delighted to inform them it simply means “Red Seal Endorsement.”  

Canada’s Red Seal qualification has a pretty proud history, but only since June 2015 has there been a push from the “authorities” (in this case, the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship) to see the “RSE” acronym used more widely.

Here is a recent post from a proud RSE-holder, Paul Clement, a carpenter in Alberta.

A Red Seal should be mandatory in carpentry in Canada. Anyone who argues that it is not necessary is not a tradesman. I have heard numerous arguments that it is not required if you have the experience or time in the trade. This fable is pushed by those not willing to put the time into their craft.

I am still amazed that if I want to cut and style your hair I need to be certified but I can build you a $300,000 home with no license, no certification, no insurance and no training.

Don’t let those that don’t see the value in training and certification hold you back. The Red Seal shows a commitment to your trade, knowledge and skill. The Red Seal is only the beginning, this is a lifetime of learning and dedication. There are always new materials, new tools, new methods and ever-changing building code and municipal by-laws.

If you are intent on finishing your Red Seal and becoming a Certified Journeyman Carpenter you are entering into a trade guild that dates back centuries. Be proud of your accomplishments. Show off your projects, be proud of them and never, ever stop learning and striving to add to your skills and knowledge.

Paul Clement, RSE


Stories continue below