Training FAQ

National Certification

What is 'national certification'?

National certification is an award that recognises that a person has acquired knowledge, skill, and experience in an occupation and performs tasks in a satisfactory manner.

Why is national certification necessary?

First, national certification attests that the occupation is important to Bermuda's economy. Second, it reduces the risk of harm to a worker or other persons from the improper application of the materials and methodology of the occupation. Third, it attests that our workforce is developed to international standards.

How do tradespersons, consumers and the public benefit from certification?

National certification recognises that a tradesperson has met internationally recognised standards. Consequently, the workforce will perform at a higher level of proficiency and competence.

I have been working in an occupation for many years, but I do not have qualifications or a certification.  How do I obtain a 'national certificate'?

The National Training Board (NTB), which is responsible for the execution of the national certification process, will not require experienced and skilled senior tradespeople to enter into an apprenticeship.

A certificate may be granted if you establish that you have obtained the work experience necessary and can demonstrate the knowledge and skill competencies required to perform the work of your occupation in an effective manner. You must also be able to complete one or more of the following:

  • oral;
  • written; or
  • practical examinations recognised by the NTB.

If, after the assessment is completed, I am not eligible for a national certificate, what is next?

If it is deemed that you require additional training, short-course training -- typically completed in a few days or weeks -- will be provided by the National Training Section of the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) with the assistance of the Bermuda College.  However, if it is determined that you are neither sufficiently skilled, knowledgeable nor experienced, you may need to undergo technical training.

What steps are taken if an applicant submits foreign certificates?

National certification is required of all workers, including guest workers, in designated or compulsory occupations. Foreign certificates and documents may have to be assessed by an accrediting council.

Do I have to pay a fee for national certification?

Yes, pursuant to the National Occupational Certification Act 2004, Section 7, an application for the grant or renewal of a national certificate shall be as prescribed under the Government Fees Act 1965.

The fees are included in the Government Fees Amendment Regulations 2008.

The current Application Fee and Renewal Fee are $251 and the Certificate and Identification Card Replacement Fees are $49 and $34, respectively.

Apprenticeship

What is an 'apprenticeship'?

Apprenticeship is an agreement between a person who wants to learn a skill (an apprentice) and an employer who needs a skilled worker. The apprentice agrees to work for the employer in order to receive technical training and gain work experience.

How do I become an apprentice?

If you are 18-21 years of age you must have completed high school; if you are over 21 you will be accepted as a mature candidate. You must be employed in the occupational area that interests you. You may submit an application for apprenticeship at any time; however, admission to any learning institution is based on its academic/technical calendar.

What will I be paid?

While you are working as an apprentice you will receive between 40 and 90 per cent of the current journeyperson's wages. Often, your wage will increase at each stage of your development (this may vary from employer to employer). The DWD is not responsible for the negotiation of wages.

How long is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship can last from two to five years, depending on how many hours of work experience are required to be completed for your chosen trade. Once your training is completed, you must write and pass a certification exam.

How does the NTB meet employers' needs?

Developing a skilled workforce that supports economic activity in Bermuda is part of our mandate. We are providing Bermudians with practical skills that can be applied immediately in the workforce.

How does the NTB meet an employee's needs?

The National Training Section of the DWD can help you to find and fund your training in many occupations where workers are in high demand in Bermuda. Our vocational programmes meet international requirements so you can be sure that your training meets world standards.

Student Funding

The National Training Section of the DWD provides some assistance to Bermudians attending accredited learning institutions (in Bermuda and overseas). Our application process begins April 1 and ends May 30 each year. Applications can be found on our website.

Students must pay close attention to the criteria set out in the first page of the application. Late and incomplete submissions will not be considered. The award is for tuition purposes only and paid directly to the institution of learning. Payment of the award occurs at the beginning of the school year upon receipt of proof of enrolment.

If I am successful in obtaining student funding in an initial year am I eligible to receive assistance in subsequent academic years?

You may receive support for subsequent years (not to exceed four years) subject to available budget and the achievement of academic GPA of 2.7 for each semester/academic year. You must also be enrolled in 12 credit hours per semester. It is not the responsibility of the DWD to provide additional funding beyond what has originally been agreed in the award letter.

Can I apply for student funding at any time in the academic year?

No. There is generally only one 'in-take' period for student funding as mentioned above. You may apply from April 1 to May 30 of any given year. If the budget allows, the DWD may consider an 'in-take' of new submissions in January of any given year.

However, the student funding programme recognises that there are emergency situations that may arise. You must provide evidence of the circumstances in these cases before consideration is given to your submission. Funding is not provided for 'resits' or 'retakes'.

What happens if I do not maintain the required GPA of 2.7 or equivalent?

If you are unable to maintain the required academic standard your funding will be suspended. If you are able to show improvement in subsequent semesters, funding may become available to you again. However, this is subject to budget conditions.

Under what conditions will I have to reimburse the DWD/Bermuda Government?

The conditions of funding prescribe that you must reimburse the DWD under the following circumstances:

  • If you decide to discontinue your educational training in the absence of extenuating circumstances (must provide proof);
  • If you refuse a reasonable offer of employment in your area of qualification after completion of studies; or
  • If you present documents that are proven to be false.

If I have been approved for a grant, but decide to change my course of study, will I be granted subsequent funding or will I be expected to re-apply?

You must write to the DWD formally to provide a justification for the change. It is not an automatic approval despite the success of your original application. You may need to re-apply depending on the extent of change as it pertains to the skills and knowledge requirements.

How much is the student funding award?

Eligible full-time students can receive an award to assist with their tuition costs as follows:

  • National Technical and Vocational Training Award (NTVT)

The NTVT Award is a merit and needs assistance award. The award is valued at $5,000 per year based on the attainment of a minimum 2.7 GPA. Programmes must not exceed four years.

  • Technical Vocational Education Training Award (TVET)

This professional development award is provided to individuals who participate in a 'short course' programme deemed necessary to enhance a skill immediately required by industry. The maximum value is $5,000 in any given year. The coursework must not exceed 12 months.