Integration into the trade of crane operator

Although the favoured route for becoming a crane operator remains the diploma of vocational studies (diplôme d’études professionnelles, or DEP) in crane operation, it is possible for a person who does not hold a DEP to access this trade by following an on-the-job training plan (OTP), combined with an integration exam, by the following avenues:

Aside from the general terms of obtaining an apprentice competency certificate and the requirements related to the profiles listed above, candidates who do not hold a diploma in the trade of crane operator must fulfil the specific following conditions:

  • Obtain a letter of commitment (in French only) from an employer to follow the training plan within the employer's company company or a letter of commitment (in French only) to offer the OTP to the employee or designated representative. 

  • Flow the OTP

Consult the table on the changes with regards to the trade of crane operator.

On-the-job training plan (OTP)

All candidates without a diploma in the trade of crane operator who obtain a first apprentice competency certificate, valid for four months, must take the OTP, which concludes with an exam for integration to apprenticeship for the trade of crane operator.

Components of the OTP

  • Participating in the on-the-job practical section, under the supervision of a journeyman crane operator, lasting 150 hours over a period of at most three consecutive months. A Guide de l'apprenti (apprentice’s guide) and a Trousse du compagnon (journeyman’s toolkit) will support the apprentice in completion of the on-the-job practical section
  • Passing the eight-hour online theoretical section (Tableaux de charge and Signalisation, gréage, levage et manutention à l’aide d’une grue modules)
  • Registering for and passing an integration exam before the apprentice competency certificate expires.
    • The passing grade is 80% and the exam cannot be taken again
    • An information sheet is available
    • The candidate must pay the $100 fee at time of registration
    • Once the exam has been passed, a new apprentice competency certificate, valid for 12 months, will be issued, and, as in all other trades, the candidate will be subject to an annual training obligation of a minimum of 30 hours of training recognized by the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) until the completion of his or her on-site apprenticeship.


Investing in the OTP for the trade of crane operator is a serious step, for both the employer and the worker.

A candidate who does not perform 150 hours of work spread over three consecutive months or who does not complete the OTP within the prescribed time cannot retake the OTP or register for the integration exam. Therefore, if this person wishes to become an apprentice for the trade of crane operator once again, he or she will have to complete the DEP in crane operation and present proof that he or she has passed the program.

* Children of employers cannot be exempted from holding an apprentice competency certificate for the trade of crane operator. They must fill out a Application for an apprentice crane operator competency certificate - employer's child and must pass the OTP. They do not have to wait for a favourable labour pool to integrate into the trade of crane operator, but such integration will be possible only with the first issuance of their apprentice crane operator competency certificate as the child of an employer.