Plumbing and Piping Trades Foundation Harmonized Certificate

Launch your trades career with training to qualify you to become a plumber, steamfitter/pipefitter or sprinkler fitter. Earn your level 1 technical training credit and work-based training hours toward your Interprovincial (Red Seal) certification when you register as an apprentice. Hone your skills in NIC’s trades shop and expand your knowledge in the classroom and computer lab. Graduate with practical and theoretical knowledge of workplace safety, piping tools and equipment and important job-site documents. Qualify for jobs across Canada. This program will be offered effective January 2020.

 This program is currently not available to international applicants.
Where: Comox Valley
Starts: February
Length: 24 weeks
Delivery: On-campus and Digital (Blended)

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Not only do you get to learn so much about the trade in class, but you get hundreds of hours of hands-on work with the tools and equipment that is used in the field. Our teacher, Rob Hughes, was very patient with us and really helped us throughout the course. All in all, it was a great learning experience.

Zach Doehler, Plumbing & Piping Foundation student

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Program Requirements

  • PFH-100 Safe Work Practices in the Piping Trades
  • PFH-101 Occupational Skills in the Piping Trades
  • PFH-102 Piping Tools
  • PFH-103 Piping Equipment
  • PFH-104 Residential Plumber
  • PFH-105 Steamfitter & Pipefitter
  • PFH-106 Sprinkler Fitter
  • PFH-107 Applied Mathematics and Science for the Piping Trades
  • PFH-108 Construction Drawings and Specifications in the Piping Trades
  • PFH-109 Cutting and Welding Tools
  • PFH-110 Piping Components
  • PFH-111 Electrical Concepts in the Piping Trades
  • *OFA-001 WHMIS 2015
  • *OFA-010 Occupational First Aid Level 1

*Note: Students not having current, valid First Aid and WHMIS certification are required to take these courses to meet program requirements. Separate fees will be charged for First Aid and WHMIS.

**Note: Based on availability of placements with industry, Trades Foundation students may have an opportunity to participate in an optional Work Experience: WXT-100 Work Experience – Trades Foundation.

***Note: In this program, students may participate in field trips to industry specific locations.

Completion Requirements

  • Students will be required to achieve a minimum C in each course to pass the program.  Student will be required to pass all industry certificate courses to achieve program completion requirements.
  • You must complete 100% of the program at NIC.

Admission Requirements

  1. C in English 10; or C in two of Composition 10, Creative Writing 10, Literary Studies 10, New Media 10, Spoken Language 10, English First Peoples Writing 10, English First Peoples Literary Studies 10, English First Peoples New Media 10, and English First Peoples Spoken Language 10; or C in NIC ENG-035; or C+ in Communications 12, or C+ in ESL-062 and ESL-065; or successful NIC assessment testing in English.
  2.  C in one of Principles of Math 10, Apprenticeship & Workplace Math 10, Workplace Math 10, Foundations of Math & Pre-Calculus 10, Applications of Math 11, NIC MAT-029, or successful NIC assessment testing in math.
  3. High School graduation is preferred provided the applicant meets or exceeds the stated prerequisites.

Upgrade with us to meet prerequisites

Upgrade your English, math and science courses for entry into the program of your choice. Succeed with the help of NIC’s supportive instructors. Courses are flexible and start several times a year so you can learn at your own pace. We offer daytime and evening options. Learn more

International Language Requirements

If you are applying as an international student, you must meet NIC international admission requirements.

To Be Successful

  • You are encouraged to contact the instructor for an in-person or telephone interview. The purpose of the interview is to provide advice, answer questions about the program and discuss various career fields and choices.
  • Many employers require Grade 12 completion as an employment standard. If you do not meet this requirement we encourage you to contact an educational advisor to discuss upgrading or Grade 12 completion options offered at NIC. In addition to the stated prerequisites secondary school equivalent courses in math, science, physics and drafting are considered an asset.
  • The most important key to success is the desire to become a quality trades person. The traditional values of hard work, reliability, positive attitude and the desire to do quality work are essential to succeed in the program.
  • Trades programs require good hand-eye coordination, good binocular vision, strong abilities in spatial and mechanical reasoning along with good math and communication skills.
  • There is also an expectation of physical activities such as lifting, working on ladders and scaffolding or in confined spaces and under various weather conditions.
  • You will be required to stay focused for prolonged periods.
  • The math pre-test link is a review exercise and can be used as an indicator of your current math skills. Should you find you need further support please contact our student services department about upgrading classes.

Accessible Learning

Making education accessible for those with a documented disability is a key priority for NIC. We offer a wide range of services, supports and resources for students. For more information visit: Accessible Learning Services.

Nick Charette

Nick Charette


Trades & Apprenticeships

RSE Journeyman Plumber (Camosun College 2004)

B Level Gasfitter (Camosun College 2004) 

BCWWA Backflow Certification Instructor/ installer  (BCWWA 2003)  

Subjects: Plumbing Apprenticeship, Plumbing Appr Harmonized, Plumbing & Piping Fndtn Hrmnzd
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4051
Campbell River Campus 250-923-9700

Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes

Program Highlights

The Plumbing and Piping Trades Foundation Harmonized certificate combines practical, hands-on training in the workshop with theoretical knowledge from the classroom and computer lab.

Gain important knowledge of workplace safety, piping tools and equipment, applied math and science for the piping trades and jobsite documents.

This program allows you to complete your Level 1 technical training credit as well as 375 work-based hours in your chosen piping trade of Plumber, Steamfitter/Pipefitter or Sprinkler Fitter upon entering an apprenticeship.

In addition, you will receive Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHIMIS) certifications as well as Occupational First Aid Level 1.

Career Opportunities

In recent years, graduates have found employment in several related trades areas, including refrigeration, plumbing, fire sprinklers and the oil and gas sector.

This program aligns with the Industry Training Authority’s Pan-Canadian Harmonization Initiative, which aims to make apprenticeship training across Red Seal trades consistent across Canada.

Supply List

Students are responsible for having the following basic supplies:

 Personal Protection Equipment

  • Steel-toed boots or shoes
  • Safety Glasses – CSA-approved
  • Gloves
  • Coveralls
  • Work wear
  • Hard hat

Classroom Supplies

  • tape measure (25-foot imperial and eight-metre metric)
  • metric conversion calculator, EL520-WBBK or EL-520X recommended
  • pencils, hi-liter, binder and notepaper
  • drafting equipment: available at the NIC bookstore:
    • set square – 30/60/90 degree, Staedtler 964 10-60
    • scale ruler, Imperial, Architects, Staedtler 987 18-31
    • scale ruler, Metric, Staedtler 987 18-SI
    • drawing compass, 559-02
    • good quality white eraser
    • mechanical pencils: .3mm in 6H lead; .5mm in 2H and 4H lead; .9mm in 2H lead


In addition, NIC is pleased to make shop tools available to students in exchange for a $200 refundable tool deposit, which is not included in your tuition. It will be returned at the end of the term if all tools and tags are returned in an acceptable condition. Tools will not be distributed without proof of payment from the Registration office.

Tuition & Costs Estimate

Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies, NIC appointed uniforms, or field trips not included in these estimates.

While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur. For more information, visit our tuition page.

Domestic Fees

Tuition $2,399
NISU Fees $110
Lab Fees $95
Books $1,225
Learner Resource $127
Health and Dental $275
Total $4,231

Students are automatically enrolled in the mandatory Health and Dental Benefit plan ($275).

Find out if this program is eligible for Student Aid BC funding.

This program is tuition refund Category 1.