License Requirements

Quebec Contractor License Requirements

The La Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec (CMMTQ) is a Quebec provincial contractor association. It is a highly regulated body monitoring trades from contracting to plumbing in Montreal to Quebec City, and beyond. The CMMTQ intends to protect the safety of Quebec residents,

The CMMQ signed a labour mobility agreement with Ontario in 2006. This agreement forced Ontario to adopt stricter monitoring and certification regulations to match those in Quebec. Quebec's system discourages the Underground Economy, and takes a fairer approach to tradespeople training and skill standardization.

In Quebec, those who participate in compulsory trades are obligated to follow strict rules around trade certification. Anyone who does not comply with the regulated standards can be severely penalized and fined. If you witness non-compliance of the compulsory qualifications law of Quebec, report it here or here (for workers).

It is important to note that Certificates of Qualification are not the same thing as provincial licenses. Make sure that your contractor is both certified and licensed before you decide to hire them!

Education and Certification

There are certain trades that are regulated by the province in order to keep consumers safe. In order to work in Quebec, tradespeople in compulsory trades must obtain the proper certifications. Moreover, employers must make sure that their employees are properly certified. Some trades are certified and regulated by the CCQ (Commission de la construction du Quebec), others are certified by Employi-Quebec, or the RBQ (Régie du bâtiment Quebec).

Competency certificates for construction related trades are typically issued by the CCQ. Employi—Quebec issues competency certificates for "outside of construction" trades. RBQ licenses are usually issued to business owners of construction companies. Click here for more.

Compulsory tradespeople must first be a registered apprentice. As an apprentice, the student will learn in-class and in-field skills for their trade. After they complete all necessary training, they must write a final examination. If they pass the exam, they will be given their Certificate of Qualification (C of Q).  

The Red Seal is an additional voluntary certification. The Red Seal allows tradespeople to work across the country if they pass the standardized exam. Only those who hold a C of Q from Employi-Quebec or the CCQ can take the exam. You can find Red Seal applicable trades here (in Annexe 3).

Equivalent Certificates

Employi-Quebec will recognize Journeypersons who hold valid competency certificates given to them by the CCQ . That Journeyperson would not need further certificates from Emploi-Quebec if they work in non-construction fields. These certificate fields include:

  • Pipe fitting (heating systems)
  • Electrician
  • Pipe fitting (plumbing)
  • Refrigeration mechanic

However, if the individual does not have any certificates, they must apply to Employi-Quebec to obtain the correct certificates, which are generally recognized by CCQ.

No Certification Necessary

Depending on the position, a person may not need certification in order to work with some standard procedures that fall within a given field. For example, repairs and maintenance carried out by the employees of a non-construction employer are considered non-construction-industry work. As a result, these employees do not need a C of Q to do that maintenance work. The same goes for homeowners who carry out their own renovations. Homeowners who opt to do their own renovations will not benefit from any protection provided by the RBQ in case something goes wrong.  Licensed businesses registered with the RBQ qualify homeowners for RBQ protection.

However, if a person is in the construction industry, and their position involves working with industrial, or professional procedures (pressurized vessels, natural or propane gas), that person needs a C of Q.

Certificate of Equivalence as a C of Q

Those who are not recognized by Employi-Quebec as certified Journeypersons, but have sufficient experience and training in a given field, may receive a C of Q without further requirements. However, they must provide sufficient documentations of their experience. A Journeyperson must be certified in order to work in Quebec.

The Trades

Compulsory trades require tradespeople to obtain the proper certifications, permits, and licensing. Quebec compulsory trades that are relevant to home improvement include:

Electrician (must be licensed)

All electricians need a C of Q. A Master Electrician (those who work as an electrical contractor, and employs apprentices/Journeypersons) must obtain a license. Additionally, contractors who specialize in electrical work must be evaluated by the CMMTQ. The CMMTQ will qualify them, and give them their license as well.  New electricians to the province, and to the trade must apply to the Corporation of Master Electricians of Quebec (Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec) (CMEQ) for their electrical contractor's licence as well as a mandatory membership in the corporation.

Gas Fitters (must be licensed)

In Quebec, Gas fitters must be licensed, have their C of Q (or be a registered apprentice), and hold a CCQ occupation card. Gas Fitters are accredited by the RBQ.

General Contractor (must be licensed)

A general contractor must be licensed, and have a C of Q (or be a registered apprentice with supervision from a licensed contractor), whether the contractor does residential or commercial work. They must be able to present their RBQ license to the employer/homeowner before beginning any project. Homeowners in Quebec are advised to ask their contractors to see their RBQ license before the start of a project. Obtaining an RBQ license requires additional skill, safety, and project management knowledge testing.

A licensed contractor can subcontract, bid on, and carry out construction work. It is important to note that there are several types of general contractor subclasses, with respective licenses. Sublicenses restrict the type of work a contractor can do (e.g.: only electrical contractors can perform electrical installations, none of the staff they employ can do this).

Plumbing (must be licensed)

A plumber must carry a Quebec license, and have a C of Q (or be a registered apprentice). All plumbers must apply to the Corporation of Master Pipe Mechanics of Quebec (Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec) (CMMTQ) to obtain their contractor's/owner-builder's license, and their mandatory membership in the corporation. One tip that can help homeowners to ensure that their plumber is licensed is to look out for is the CMMTQ logo on their vehicle. This logo may indicate the plumber is indeed properly licenced. Finally, a plumbing contractor's license and membership must be renewed annually.

Refrigeration Mechanic (must be licensed)

Refrigeration mechanics include air conditioning mechanics. Both of these groups must have their C of Q issued by Employi-Quebec. Additionally, they must be licensed.

Permits

It is advised that you check with your municipality about necessary permits, as these are governed under bylaws. Obtaining a building permit is mandatory, depending on the nature of the work being done. Your municipality informs the RBQ about the work being done once the permit is issued. Only licensed specialists can obtain permits for work related to electricity, gas-fitting, and petroleum equipment.

Changes to Licensing Requirements

Because licensing requirements change, it is important that you check with both your provincial and municipal office to verify if any updates have been made, or if additional licenses or permits are required.

If you understand that there are additional or updated licensing requirements, or restrictions or laws pertaining to skilled trades performed in Quebec, feel free to comment in the forum below

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