November 15, 2008
The long road to achieve Red Seal status for the landscape industry was greatly shortened in late October with the approval by the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA).

According to Joel Beatson, CLP, CAE, professional and business development manager of CNLA, the next step is for CCDA is to place the category of Landscape Horticulturist in its development schedule and begin work on validating a National Occupational Analysis (NOA). This is expected to involve using the work developed by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA).

“Once an NOA is established, Ontario will act as host province via the Ministry of Colleges, Training and Universities for exam development. This will include industry members, educators and apprenticeship specialists from each province tasked to create the item bank for the Red Seal examination,” says Beatson.

The name Landscape Horticulturist is a proposed title. It was forwarded for further discussion, but some variation of this name is expected to become the national title. This does not preclude provinces from retaining unique titles at their level.

Those working on the program feel that Red Seal status will help the industry with labour mobility, public image and youth recruitment right across Canada, all of which may, over time, help alleviate the current labour shortages. According to Sally Harvey, manager of LO’s education and development department, Red Seal will also provide opportunities for tax credits, branding possibilities and reinforce the image that the industry is a professional trade.

Beatson thanked the HRSDC, CAHRC, and the NOA development volunteers, Terry Murphy, Dr. Abate Wori Abate, Doug Muir, and Linda Jones for their efforts in making Red Seal status a reality.