About the Book

In an effort to make this book a flexible resource for trainers and learners, the following features are included:

  • An introduction outlining the high-level goal of the Competency, and a list of objectives reflecting the skills and knowledge a person would need to achieve to fulfill this goal.
  • Discrete Learning Tasks designed to help a person achieve these objectives
  • Self-tests at the end of each Learning Task, designed to informally test for understanding.
  • A reminder at the end of each Competency to complete a Competency test. Individual trainers are expected to determine the requirements for this test, as required.
  • Throughout the textbook, there may also be links and/or references to other resources that learners will need to access, some of which are only available online.
  • Notes, cautions, and warnings are identified by special symbols. A list of those symbols is provided below.

Second Edition Changes

In the Winter of 2020, work was done to revise and add content to this book that aligns both with the advancements in technology and the changing face of the skilled trades industry. These changes are predominantly focused on content in B2 through B4 and reflect the ongoing diversification of the trades, with a focus on the use of inclusive language in the text. In addition, this second edition provides more in-depth resources with regard to harassment, conflict resolution, employment-seeking strategies, mentorship, and effective communication skills. In addition, test material in the book was expanded upon to reflect the incorporation of the updated content.

History of the Trades Access Common Core Resources

The concept of identifying and creating resources for skills that are common to many trades has a long history in the Province of British Columbia. This collection of Trades Access Common Core (TACC) resources was adapted from the 15 Trades Common Core line modules co-published by the Industry Training and Apprenticeship Commission (ITAC) and the Centre for Curriculum Transfer and Technology (C2T2) in 2000-2002. Those modules were revisions of the original Common Core portion of the TRAC modules prepared by the Province of British Columbia Ministry of Post-Secondary Education in 1986. The TACC resources are still in use by a number of trades programs today and, with the permission from the Industry Training Authority (ITA), have been utilized in this project.

These open resources have been updated and realigned to match many of the line and competency titles found in the Province of BC’s trades apprenticeship program outlines. A review was carried out to analyze the provincial program outlines of a number of trades, with the intent of finding common entry-level learning tasks that could be assembled into this package. This analysis provided the template for the outline used to update the existing modules. Many images found in ITA apprentice training modules were also incorporated into these resources to create books that are similar to what students will see when they continue their chosen trades training. The project team has also taken many new photographs for this project, which are available for use in other trades training resources.

The following list of lines and competencies was generated with the goal of creating an entry-level trades training resource, while still offering the flexibility for lines to be used as stand-alone books. This flexibility—in addition to the textbook content being openly licensed—allows these resources to be used within other contexts as well. For example, instructors or institutions may incorporate these resources into foundation-level trades training programming or within an online learning management system (LMS).

  • Line A – Safe Work Practices
    • A-1 Control Workplace Hazards
    • A-2 Describe WorkSafeBC Regulations
    • A-3 Handle Hazardous Materials Safely
    • A-4 Describe Personal Safety Practices
    • A-5 Describe Fire Safety
  • Line B – Employability Skills
    • B-1 Apply Study and Learning Skills
    • B-2 Describe Expectations and Responsibilities of Employers and Employees
    • B-3 Use Interpersonal Communication Skills
    • B-4 Describe the Apprenticeship System
  • Line C –Tools and Equipment
    • C-1 Describe Common Hand Tools and Their Uses
    • C-2 Describe Common Power Tools and Their Uses
    • C-3 Describe Rigging and Hoisting Equipment
    • C-4 Describe Ladders and Platforms
  • Line D – Organizational Skills
    • D-1 Solve Trades Mathematical Problems
    • D-2 Apply Science Concepts to Trades Applications
    • D-3 Read Drawings and Specifications
    • D-4 Use Codes, Regulations, and Standards
    • D-5 Use Manufacturer and Supplier Documentation
    • D-6 Plan Projects
  • Line E – Electrical Fundamentals
    • E-1 Describe the Basic Principles of Electricity
    • E-2 Identify Common Circuit Components and Their Symbols
    • E-3 Explain Wiring Connections
    • E-4 Use Multimeters

Safety Advisory

Be advised that references to the Workers’ Compensation Board of British Columbia safety regulations contained within these materials do not/may not reflect the most recent Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. The current Standards and Regulation in BC can be obtained at from the WorkSafeBC website.

Please note that it is always the responsibility of any person using these materials to inform themself about the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation pertaining to their area of work.


The materials in the Trades Access Common Core open textbook are for use by students and instructional staff and have been compiled from sources believed to be reliable and to represent best current opinions on these subjects. These manuals are intended to serve as a starting point for good practices and may not specify all minimum legal standards. No warranty, guarantee, or representation is made by BCcampus as to the accuracy or sufficiency of the information contained in these publications. These manuals are intended to provide basic guidelines for trade practices. Do not assume, therefore, that all necessary warnings and safety precautionary measures are contained in this module and that other or additional measures may not be required.

Symbols Legend

Important icon. Important: This icon highlights important information.

Poisonous icon. Poisonous: This icon is a reminder for a potentially toxic/poisonous situation.

Resources icon. Resources: The resource icon highlights any required or optional resources.

Flammable icon. Flammable: This icon is a reminder for a potentially flammable situation.

Self-test icon. Self-test: This icon reminds you to complete a self-test.

Explosive icon. Explosive: This icon is a reminder for a possibly explosive situation.

Safety gear icon. Safety gear: The safety gear icon is an important reminder to use protective equipment.

Electric shock icon. Electric shock: This icon is a reminder for potential electric shock.


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