Nova Scotia Skills Competitions

The Nova Scotia Skills Competition provides opportunities for youth to explore skilled trades and technologies, enhance their skills, and strive for excellence in a chosen field.

For 2021 we are adapting the competition experience! The Nova Scotia Skills Competition will be presented as a combination of virtual and in-person competitions and challenges. We will continue to adapt to the global pandemic to ensure our programming remains inclusive and safe for all our competitors and volunteers!

Registration

We are so excited to see you show off your skills, please follow the link below to our registration form.

Registration Opens January 11, 2021

Contest Descriptions

Skills Canada Nova Scotia annual host competitions for both high school and post-secondary level students and apprentices. Each contest is tailored to a specific industry, and competitors are challenged to perform tasks against students from around the province. To learn more about contest descriptions applicable for you, please choose one of the options below.

Rules & Regulations


Secondary (Junior & Senior High School)

Secondary level competitors must meet the following criteria in the current school year:

  1. a)  Attend a public or private recognized secondary institute, or be enrolled in a registered home school program through the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DOEECD);
    b)  Be between 13 and 21 years of age on January 1 of the year of the Competition. Competitors are responsible for verifying this information, if requested. 
  2. c)  Have been earning junior or senior high school credits any time during the current academic year (September to June);
    d)  Be registered as a competitor with Skills Canada – Nova Scotia;
    e)  Possess Canadian citizenship or Landed Immigrant status and be a resident of Nova Scotia. Competitors are responsible for verifying this information, if requested;
    f)  Have completed and submitted a signed release form by a parent or guardian if under the age of 19.

Post-Secondary

Post-Secondary competitors must meet the following criteria in the current school year:

Be enrolled in a community college, university, private school OR be a registered apprentice with the Department of Labour and Advanced Education (Apprenticeship Agency);
b)  Be registered as a competitor with Skills Canada – Nova Scotia;
c)  The competitor cannot be a certified journey-person;
d)  Possess Canadian citizenship or Permanent Resident (Landed Immigrant) status and be a resident of Nova Scotia. Competitors are responsible for verifying this information if requested;
e)  Have been earning post-secondary credits in a sector relevant to the one in which they wish to compete (i.e. to compete in carpentry, the student would be earning credits in any construction-related trade) at any time during the academic school year (September to June);
f)  All competitors must be able to show either current apprenticeship status and/or proof of enrollment in a post-secondary institution upon request of the Provincial Technical Committee  (PTC) or Skills Canada – Nova Scotia.

Each contest area has a limited number of registration vacancies. Registrations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. However, an objective of the Nova Scotia Skills Competition is to be representative of all regions of Nova Scotia. As a result, registrants from different regions will take priority. If there are several registrants from the same region, some may be placed on the waitlist in the order in which they registered.

There may also be some contest areas which require completion of a qualifying competition conducted by the Provincial Technical Committee or instructors of a particular course. The contest description will outline any specific qualifying contest information.

If a student arrives on the day of Competition and is not registered with Skills Canada – Nova Scotia as a competitor, they may or may not be permitted to compete based on the discretion of the Provincial Technical Committee. Those who are waitlisted are encouraged to check in at registration on the day of the Competition, in the event that there are no-shows.

Competitors may compete in more than one contest area at the Nova Scotia Skills Competition with the following stipulations:

  1. a)  The competitor must indicate their first choice contest area. If competitor is registered for other contest areas, it is understood that new participants will take priority over their registration.
  2. b) If a competitor wins a gold medal in more than one contest area, and is eligible to advance on to the Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC) for more than one contest area, the competitor can choose which contest area they would like to compete in at the SCNC. The silver medalist for the other contest area(s) would be offered the opportunity to advance to the SCNC, if eligible. 
  3. c) Registration fees will be charged for each contest area that a competitor registers in.

A non-refundable registration fee of $40 per competitor, per contest area, is required for entrance to the Nova Scotia Skills Competition. This fee is required to compete, and provides registration packages for competitors, contest materials, lunch for competitors and awards. This fee must be paid at the time of acceptance into the contest area in order for a competitor’s place to be confirmed, and will not be reimbursed for cancellations and no-shows.

A minimum score of 60% is required to receive any medal or eligibility for advancement to the Skills Canada National Competition. Please note that not all provincial contest areas are eligible for the Skills Canada National Competition.

Skills Canada – Nova Scotia awards gold, silver and bronze medals for each contest area. The individual or team achieving the highest score is awarded the gold medal. The individual or team achieving the second highest score is awarded the silver medal, and the third highest scoring individual or team is awarded the bronze medal. No ties are permitted. No matter what their score, all competitors attending the Competition will receive a certificate of participation from Skills Canada – Nova Scotia.

Score sheets will be verified by Skills Canada – Nova Scotia prior to the medal presentations and will not be released to anyone for any reason. Feedback forms are provided to each PTC to complete for each competitor. These will be released to the competitor. 

Competitors must adhere to the following on the day of the contest:

  • Competitors may not speak to spectators during their contest (this includes teachers and advisors);
  • Competitors may be disqualified at the judges’ and Provincial Technical Committee Chair’s discretion;
  • Translators, readers, or other assistants (hearing impaired) are permitted within the contest site only if approved by prior arrangement through Skills Canada – Nova Scotia;
  • Competitors may be excused for washroom breaks – with an escort – at the discretion of the Provincial Technical Committee Chair;
  • A lunch break will be taken at the discretion of the Provincial Technical Committee Chair;
  • Books, notes, materials and assistive devices are permitted at the discretion of the Provincial Technical Committee. These will be identified in the contest description or during the orientation session;
  • Cell phones, smart phones, PDAs and tablets must be turned off for the duration of the contest;
  • Competitors must be on time for their contest area – late arrivals may be allowed but no “make-up” time will be permitted. Penalty will be at the discretion of the Provincial Technical Committee Chair and judges;
  • Any competitor caught cheating will be removed from the contest immediately and will not be allowed to compete in the Nova Scotia Skills Competition again;
  • Competitors must wear/bring appropriate dress/safety equipment (PPE)/tools as specified in the contest description;
  • The use of alcohol, cannabis and illegal drugs is strictly prohibited.
  • All competitors must attend an orientation meeting directly before the contest begins. During this time the project will be explained with expectations, and all safety guidelines will be reviewed.

Competitors must adhere to the following in the event of a protest:

  • The conflict resolution procedure is in place to ensure all competitors are treated equally and fairly during the Nova Scotia Skills Competition.
  • Competitors are asked to submit an informal protest, either verbally or in writing to the Provincial Technical Committee Chair if they feel they have been treated unfairly.
  • Protests will only be considered if made within 20 minutes of the conclusion of the contest.
  • It is encouraged that the competitor discusses the informal protest with the Provincial Technical Committee Chair as soon as possible during the contest, so a resolution can be determined. Through discussion, the competitor and Provincial Technical Committee Chair will work to determine a resolution to the situation;
  • If a resolution cannot be found to suit both parties, the Provincial Technical Committee Chair must notify Skills Canada – Nova Scotia’s Executive Director or Competition Coordinator who will bring the issue to the attention of the Conflict Resolution Committee.

Skills Canada – Nova Scotia reserves the right to cancel a contest area, if necessary (IE: low enrollment). A full refund will be granted to those registered at the time of cancellation.

In the event of low enrolment Skills Canada – Nova Scotia may administer a skills test and determine if a competitor may represent the province at the Skills Canada National Competition.

In the event of low registration, a skills test may be administered to a competitor; the Provincial Technical Committee (PTC) will jointly develop the test. The test should examine the overall skills that the contest area was designed to achieve. Ideally it will test the skills that are identified in the national contest description for the Skills Canada National Competition. An evaluation rubric will accompany the test to allow the competitor to understand testing criteria.  The test will be administered and proctored by a third party appointed by Skills Canada – Nova Scotia (other than the competitor’s instructor).  The test may be written or hands-on or a combination of both.

The final test papers and/or project will be returned to the PTC who will evaluate the test using the stated rubric. A competitor must achieve a minimum mark of 60% to advance to the Skills Canada National Competition.

The skills test must be administered and evaluated by the PTC a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the Skills Canada National Competition to allow the competitor to train. Exceptions to this timeline may be made based past performance of a competitor at a Skills Canada National Competition.

Questions & Answers for Students & Apprentices


The Nova Scotia Skills Competition is a multi-trade and technology skills competition, held annually. It brings together students and apprentices from across Nova Scotia to compete in their chosen skilled trade or technology, with bronze, silver and gold medals awarded to top competitors. Most gold medallists will advance to the Skills Canada National Competition.

You can apply online to compete by following the link: www.skillsns.ca/registration Registration opens in January and closes in March. Keep an eye on our social feeds and website for the exact dates.

There is a $40 registration fee, however we have a range of partnership agreements with NSCC, the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency and the Nova Scotia Department of Education that may mean that your fee is covered. No payment is necessary at the time of registration and if your fee is not covered, we will be in touch to let you know. 

Applying does not guarantee that you are accepted to compete. All contest areas have a limited number of spaces and allotments to fill those spaces. It’s always best to apply early! Confirmations are sent out via email one week after registration closes in March.

Confirmations are sent out via email once registration closes in March.

Yes, there are a few important steps to take to ensure you’re prepared to compete. 

  • Be sure to review the contest description to ensure you know what you’ll need to do, how you’ll be marked, what you need to bring with you vs. what will be supplied. Also review any additional documents and/or project drawings that accompany the contest description.
  • Be sure to closely review the list of equipment you are to bring with you and ensure you arrive at the competition prepared with those things. They will not be supplied. 
  • Practice! It’s important to practice before the competition so you arrive prepared, confident and ready to compete! 
  • Check and double-check the schedule and be sure to arrive 30-minutes prior to your orientation start so you have time to find parking, register with SCNS when you arrive and find the room your competition will be held in.

If you need to bring anything with you, it’ll be listed under the section, ‘What Competitors Must Supply.’ Be sure to check this section and bring any supplies listed, with you.

Questions & Answers for Teachers & Parents


It is recommended, but not required, that the child/student have a teacher or parent accompany them to the competition.

Either option works! Your child/student can complete the application form themselves, or you can do it for them. When completed a release form will automatically be sent to the parent/guardian to complete.

If you have specific technical questions about the contest, it’s best to contact the PTC Chair. Their contact information can be found at the end of the contest description. 

If you have any other questions, please contact the Competition Coordinator Bethany Poulsen at (902) 491-4640

Unfortunately, we do not have a budget available to provide training/practice materials for the provincial competition.

No, SCNS will reimburse the costs of travel to/from the competition and hotel accommodation (if eligible, certain criteria apply). If your child/student is accepted to compete, their acceptance email will contain a link to our travel form, which they can complete to receive reimbursement. If a teacher/parent incurs the cost, they can complete the form to receive reimbursement.

Yes, SCNS will cover substitute coverage costs at the current DOEECD rate.

There are a few things you can do to help them prepare: 

  • Be sure to review the contest description with them to ensure understand the project, how they’ll be marked, what they need to bring with them vs. what will be supplied and to view any additional documents and/or project drawings. 
  • Be sure to closely review the list of supplies they need to bring with them and ensure they arrive at the competition prepared with those things. 
  • Practice, practice, practice! It’s important they practice before the competition to ensure they’ll arrive prepared, confident and ready to compete!  
  • Check and double-check the schedule and be sure they arrive 30-minutes prior to their orientation start as they need to register with SCNS and find their competition room. 
  • As a parent/guardian, please don’t forget to electronically sign the ‘Release Form’ within 7 days of submitting their application form. If your child is under the age of 18, your signature is required on their form. You will receive an email with a link to electronically sign the form.

Registration confirmation emails will be sent to competitor, parent/guardian, and teacher one week after registration closes. 

Check back for Skills events!

We can’t be together this year, but we encourage you to check back soon for more updates on future events. Meanwhile, you can head on over to our resources section to test your skills.

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