Work Experience May Count!

Be recognized for the skills you have!

RAC is a process Quebec has in place that assesses the skills you have learned through your job, hobby or volunteering, to get the official diploma you deserve!


What is RAC?

Recognition of Acquired Competencies (RAC). ‘Competencies’ . . . a fancy way of saying the ability to do something successfully or efficiently.

RAC is a process that makes it possible to be assessed on your existing skills for the purpose of gaining official recognition of the competencies you’ve acquired through life and work experience. Basically, what you have already learned on the job, through a hobby, or from volunteering. This process allows Quebec residents the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in a program that we offer in our school board and match the skills to the requirements in the trade’s program of study. With each successful recognition you get closer to your diploma!

Click here to watch a quick video about RAC

How does the RAC Process work?

You should not have to redo, in a formal educational setting, any learning you may have already acquired on the job or through life experience.

Together with a content specialist from your trade, we’ll discover what you already know and what is the best way to develop any missing elements based on the program of study from your trade.

Once we have created your plan, you will work with your content specialists to complete activities while they observe and assess your skills. If you are missing a skill or need a review, your content specialist can provide you with tutorials, reading material, or exercises to complete on your own time.

The ideal RAC Candidate (that’s you!) is self-motivated and can learn independently.

What experience counts? How much experience do I need? What if I don’t know everything?

Your experience can come from anywhere! Perhaps you learned on the job, from a parent, or are self-taught. RAC’s not too concerned with how you learned, we just want to make sure you get the recognition you deserve.

One of the tools we have is a self-assessment document. This document lists every skill we will be assessing, with choices to rate your skills. In conjunction with an interview, we will use your self-assessment to discover what you already know and where you need support.

To qualify for RAC you do need to have enough experience in your trade that our content specialists will not be teaching you the basics of our program. Together we will decide if RAC is right for you.

Still not sure? Contact Nadia and she’ll put you on the right “RAC” pathway.

How do I apply?

Step 1 – Apply through our website.

Select your program, choose the RAC option out of the group start dates available. All documents can be uploaded to this site. (Birth Certificate, Proof of Address, Education Transcripts)

Step 2 – Welcome!
Your RAC advisor (that’s me! Nadia Matalucci) will talk to you about RAC and the Candidate (that’s you!) will share what experience you have and why you would like to participate in the RAC process.

Step 3 –  Complete your application file.
RAC has a few specific documents requests:

Resume (CV) This CV can be as detailed as you like. We require a general idea of your work history and what your tasks were. Volunteer experience could count as well.
Letter of Intent

This letter gives a good overview as to why you want to participate in the RAC process.


It can be as simple as; ‘To whom it may concern, I would like to join RAC because ________________. I have experience in __________________ for __________________ years. Thank you.’

Letter of Reference This letter can come from any employer or client that worked with you in your trade. The letter must include how long you worked together and what your tasks were.
Cards or Certifications

Do you have your ASP or First Aid card? Do you have any special certificates?


We’ll add pictures of these to your file.

Portfolio (if applicable) Do you have pictures of projects you’ve created? We’ll add them to your file too.
Self-Assessment form This is a self-assessment package that will be sent to you and once completed, you must return.


Step 4 – Validation Interview
Once all of your documents are in order, we’ll schedule an interview. This interview will include the Content Specialist (a person with a wealth of experience in your field), the RAC Advisor (that’s me! Amanda Lemay, and the Candidate (that’s you!). Together we will discuss your experiences and review your Self-Assessment package. Through this discussion we’ll decide which options are the best for each competency that you will be assessed in to earn your diploma.

1. Assessment Straight to assessment. You are confident that you are competent in the skills in question.
2. Partial Training You need some support. This could come in the way of short demonstrations, reviews, exercises, tutorial videos, reading materials, etc. Once you are prepared, you will be assessed.
3. Full Training You need to be taught. Sometimes key skills are missing and require more training than can be provided through independent learning. If that is the case, we will work together to find the best solution for you.


Step 5 – The RAC process officially begins!
You and your Content Specialist will work together to complete your plan. The RAC process is designed for those who are independent and self-motivated. The speed in which you complete your reviews and assessments will be driven by your determination and motivation.

Step 6 – Earn your diploma and get paid what you’re worth!
Each assessment that recognizes your competence will appear on your official Ministry transcript as a success and will accumulate to your diploma. Nowhere on your official documents will it mention that you participated in the RAC process. You will have the same diploma as students who took the traditional route.

How much does RAC cost?

Nothing! There are no application or registration costs for RAC. The only cost may be an exercise book or a specialty tool, if necessary to support your learning. For example, the Content Specialist may recommend that a Secretarial Candidate with limited Excel experience purchase an exercise book used in our traditional program, to support their learning.

How long does RAC take vs. taking the full program?

RAC is driven by the Candidate (that’s you), and your level of experience and motivation. There are no set start or end dates for RAC. The difference is that the RAC process uses adult-specific assessment methods which take into account how you learned, and the self-taught practical nature of your learning. This gives you an opportunity to prove that you have acquired these competencies during activities or situations in your trade.

If you have a wide variety of experience in the trade and are motivated, the process may take half the time of the traditional program. We work together at your pace, to meet your needs.

Where, when, and how does RAC happen?

Where: RAC assessments can be done in one of our three Centers or at your place of work. This will depend on your needs, and the space and equipment available.

Nova Career Centre


Chateauguay, QC

Programs with facilities:


Auto Mechanics


Institutional and Home Care Assistance

Residential & Commercial Drafting

Secretarial Studies



Ormstown, QC

Programs with facilities:



Institutional and Home Care Assistance

Residential & Commercial Drafting

Secretarial Studies



Huntingdon, QC

Programs with facilities:



When: RAC works with the your availability, and at your pace. We offer online partial trainings (where applicable), as well as evening and Saturday availabilities for in-person assessments and meetings.
All assessments must be completed in person.

How are my skills recognized?

Assessments of your skills can happen a number of ways. We can visit you work or job site, or an appointment will be scheduled at one of our centers. Because we are assessing your competence (ability to complete a skill accurately and efficiently) you can be given a situational problem to solve, or an activity to complete. While you work, your content specialist will assess your abilities. If you are successful and show competence, you get your recognition. If you are unable to complete the task, you will be given a review and re-assessed at another time on only the skills you did not demonstrate correctly. There is no failure in RAC, only identification of where you will need to focus your learning.

What kind of diploma do I get?

At the end of the RAC process you will receive the same certification from the program as a traditional student. All recognitions of competencies are submitted as “successes” and are recorded on your official Quebec Ministry of Education transcript. Nowhere in your documentation will it indicate that you used the RAC process to obtain your certification.

What if I was in the full program but I never finished?

If you left the program to seek employment in your field and have since been growing your skills, RAC may be the perfect way to be recognized in the competencies you are missing to acquire your diploma. Don’t forget, employees who have their official certification often earn more money!

I’m new to Quebec, can I apply for RAC?

Are you a Canadian citizen from outside of Quebec: To meet the requirements of RAC you must live in Quebec for a minimum of 3 months before registration can be submitted. Proof of residency for this time will be required.

Are you new to Canada: Welcome! For immigrants to Canada, a document that proves Canadian citizenship or a permanent residency card, and a Quebec Selection Certificate or other permits are required.

I have more questions!

Contact me! We’ll figure it out together.

Nadia Matalucci
450-691-1440 ext.513

Questions about RAC? Contact our RAC advisor. They will get back to you as soon as possible!

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