BC's Indigenous Public Post-Secondary Institute

Carpentry Level 1

Program Delivery Location: Merritt
Credential: Certificate
Format: Full-Time

Carpentry Level 1


Carpenters build and repair a vast array of structures made of wood, wood substitutes, and other materials. Many work for construction companies, contractors, and maintenance departments, while others are self-employed. Carpenter is a nationally designated trade under the Inter-provincial Red Seal program. Carpenters assemble and erect forms for concrete, wood, and metal frame construction and use plans and instruments to prepare for excavating and shoring. In addition, they direct concrete placement and install exterior and interior finish materials such as siding, doors, windows, and cabinets on smaller projects.

Carpenter Level 1 is designed to support apprentices registered with the Industry Training Authority (ITA) to continue their apprenticeship pathway in preparation for writing their Interprovincial Red Seal Exam.


The program was prepared with the advice and assistance of the ITA and its associates. The industry has identified general competency areas and associated learning tasks. Upon successful completion of this program, students should be able to:

  • apply safe work practices in the shop and on work sites;

  • use construction drawings and specifications;

  • interpret building codes and bylaws;

  • operate and maintain hand tools, portable power tools, and stationary power tools properly and safely;

  • use levelling instruments and equipment;

  • use ladders, scaffolds, rigging, and hoisting equipment properly and safely;

  • build concrete formwork, place and finish concrete;

  • describe wood frame construction and select framing materials;

  • build floors, stairs, decks, and exterior structures; and

  • describe the forces acting on a building.

Activities and Design

This program provides students with the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge to continue their apprentice carpenter pathway. The program builds on the apprentice’s knowledge and skills in the construction industry, including tools and equipment, survey instruments and equipment, wood frame construction, concrete formwork, and building science. The focus is on enhancing the apprentice’s practical skills for the construction workplace.

Upon successfully completing this program, graduates will receive Level 1 technical training credit and accumulate hours of credit towards completing the ITA’s Carpenter apprenticeship program.

Program Duration

The Carpenter Level 1 program is 7-weeks (210 hours) in length.


Theoretical concepts may be evaluated by written exams, assignments, case studies, presentations, or the completion of a journal. Practical performance is assessed by instructor observations of students in work experience and field situations and is based on final evaluations. The Trades Training Grade Scale applies to NVIT Foundation and Apprenticeship programs outlined by the ITA.

Certification of Level 1 is awarded upon successful completion of 210 technical training hours and a minimum of 70% achieved in the technical training.


Students receive an NVIT Carpenter Level 1 certificate upon successfully completing the program.

Additionally, individuals who complete the Carpentry Level 1 program, with a minimum of 70% in the technical training, will receive the following credits toward completion of the ITA Carpenter apprenticeship program:

  • Technical Training: Level 1

  • Work-Based Training: Accumulative hours

Entrance Requirements

  • Registered as a Carpenter Apprentice with the ITA

  • Education recommendation: Grade 10 (Grade 12 preferred); English 10 or English-language proficiency; Math 10; Science 10.

  • Be in good physical health


NVIT works with the Industry Training Authority, Okanagan College, and partnering communities and school districts.

Certificate Completion Plan

This 7-week (210 hours) program enhances the apprentice’s understanding of all aspects of the Carpentry trade, both theoretical and practical. Students will improve their skills in safely operating hand tools, power tools, and other equipment used by carpenters. The program’s focus will be on further developing and applying practical skills for the residential construction workplace. 

The 210 hours that make up the program are broken down as follows:

Course Competencies

Safe Work Practices



This module introduces the learner to safe work practices in a shop and construction site, recognizing hazards, selecting, and using personal protective equipment, and fall protection.


Documentation and Organizational Skills



This module introduces the learner to types of drawings, how to interpret and extract information, and how to use drawing instruments to create working drawings. Students will also be introduced to building codes, bylaws for residential application, warranties, the Homeowners' Protection Office, and how to plan and organize projects.


Tools and Equipment



This module introduces construction apprentices to the proper selection, use, and maintenance of hand tools, portable power tools, and stationary power tools concerning finished work, construction drawings, and specifications.


Survey Instruments and Equipment



This module introduces the construction apprentice to the use of optical levels.


Access, Rigging, and Hoisting Equipment



This module introduces the learner to different types, safe uses, and maintenance of ladders, scaffolds, temporary access structures, and hoisting equipment.


Site Layout



This module introduces the learner to layout, excavation, grading procedures, and batter boards.


Concrete Formwork



This module introduces the learner to concrete, placing concrete, concrete framework systems, the construction of footing, wall and column forms, slabs-on-grade, and reinforcing bars in concrete.


Wood Frame Construction



This module introduces the learner to the systems, terminology of wood frame construction, standard sizes, species and grades of wood for framing, fasteners and hardware for wood framing, understanding deck systems, and building of floors, support systems, stairs, and handrails.


Building Science



This module introduces the learner to forces acting on a building.




210 hours

The instructor will outline achievement criteria for those competencies that require a practical component. The purpose is to reinforce the theory and provide a method for evaluating the learner's ability to apply the theory to practice. The instructor will ensure these performances are observable and measurable and reflect the described skills as required by a journeyperson. The conditions under which these performances will be observed and measured will be made clear to the learner through the evaluation criteria. The learners will be given the level of expectation of success.


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