TORONTO - A new low-rise residential sheet metal installer trade certificate is being proposed by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MTCU) to better serve the needs of the residential HVAC sector. Similar to the Residential Air Conditioning Trade, the new trade will be a separate branch of the existing Sheet Metal Worker trade, which is defined by Regulation 1077 of the Trade Qualification and Apprenticeship Act (TQAA), and will be deemed a compulsory trade. The scope of trade for the existing Sheet Metal Worker trade would remain unchanged.

The Provincial Advisory Committee (PAC) for Sheet Metal Worker was consulted by the Ministry and made recommendations regarding these changes on July 26 and Sept. 8.

The scope of the proposed new “Residential (Low Rise) Sheet Metal Installer” trade will be defined as follows:

“Only installing residential (low rise) sheet metal air handling or ventilation systems and the work done must satisfy all of the following criteria:

1.Self-contained single family dwelling such as single-detached, semi-detached, town and linked homes, consisting of wood-frame construction;

2.Low-rise residential building of four stories or less;

3.Low velocity air system with static pressure of no more than 1 inch water column (wc) and maximum airflow of 2,000 cubic feet per minute (cfm), or high velocity air system with static pressure of no more than 3 inches wc and maximum airflow of 2,500 cfm;

4.Low rise residential building that does not have any common conditioned areas;

5.Air handling or ventilation systems that do not penetrate any fire-rated separations.”

The MTCU accepted public comments on the proposed new regulation during September and October. The apprentice training program would consist of three periods, at 1,500 hours each.

As was the case for the Residential Air Conditioning trade, it is expected that existing workers with a certain amount of documented industry experience (in this case, a minimum 4,500 hours worked, validated by a letter of authorization from employer) will be allowed to apply for a temporary permit to work until they write a challenge exam (currently being finalized). Successful completion of the challenge exam would qualify them for work in residential low-rise jobs. Employees wanting to work on high-rise and/or commercial projects can choose to go back to school and finish an additional 2.5 years of apprenticeship (for a total of 5 years).

Members who wish to review the new regulation are invited to download the relevant documents at

Publication date:11/22/2010