Glossary of Terms

Apprenticeship terms you need to know

Apprentice: An individual who is employed to learn an apprenticeable occupation and is registered with a sponsor in an approved apprenticeship program according to RCW 49.04 and these rules.

Apprenticeable occupation: A skilled trade(s) or craft(s), which has been recognized by the United States Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship, Training, Employer, and Labor Services (OATELS) or the WSATC and meets the criteria established in WAC 296-05.

Apprenticeship agreement: A written agreement between an apprentice and either the apprentice's employer(s), or an apprenticeship committee acting as agent for employer(s), containing the terms and conditions of the employment and training of the apprentice.

Apprenticeship committee: A quasi-public entity approved by the WSATC to perform apprenticeship and training services for employers and employees.

Apprenticeship program: A plan for administering an apprenticeship agreement(s). The plan must contain all terms and conditions for the qualification, recruitment, selection, employment and training of apprentices, including such matters as the requirement for a written apprenticeship agreement.

Apprenticeship Training, Employer and Labor Services (ATELS): Federal apprenticeship agency that oversees federal apprenticeship program registration and standard changes and approvals.

Approved: Approved by the WSATC or a person or entity authorized by the WSATC to do so.

CFR: The Code of Federal Regulations.

Cancellation: The termination of the registration or approval status of a program at the request of the supervisor or sponsor. Cancellation also refers to the termination of an apprenticeship agreement at the request of the apprentice, supervisor, or sponsor.

Certificate of completion: A record of the successful completion of a term of apprenticeship (see WAC 296-05-003) (

Certification: Written approval by the WSATC of:

  • A set of apprenticeship standards established by an apprenticeship program sponsor and substantially conforming to the standards established by the WSATC.
  • An individual as eligible for probationary employment as an apprentice under a registered apprenticeship program.

Committee program: All apprenticeship programs as further described in WAC 296-05-011 (

Current instruction: The related/supplemental instructional content is and remains reasonably consistent with the latest trade practices, improvements, and technical advances.

Department: The Department of Labor & Industries.

Employer: Any person or organization employing an apprentice whether or not such person or organization is a party to an apprenticeship agreement with the apprentice. "Employer" includes both union and open shop employers.

Individual agreement: A written agreement between an apprentice and/or trainee and either the apprentice's employer or an apprenticeship committee acting as agent for the employer.

Industry wide standards: The current, acceptable trade practices, including technological advancements that are being used in the different trades.

Joint: Indicates a program that is jointly sponsored by a group of employers and a labor organization with a collective bargaining agreement. It is administered by employer and employee representatives from an apprenticeship and training committee composed equally from management and labor.

Journey level: An individual who has sufficient skills and knowledge of a trade, craft, or occupation, either through formal apprenticeship training or through practical on-the-job work experience, to be recognized by a state or federal registration agency and/or an industry as being fully qualified to perform the work of the trade, craft, or occupation. Practical experience must be equal to or greater than the term of apprenticeship.

Non-joint: Indicates a program where there is no labor organization or collective bargaining agreement. It is sponsored by employer association(s) and administered by an apprenticeship committee composed equally from employer and employee representatives.

On-the-job training program: A program that is set up in the same manner as an apprenticeship program with any exceptions authorized by the WSATC and as further described in WAC 296-05-013 (

Petitions, requests, and correspondence: Any written business brought before the WSATC (examples may include: (1) Requests for new committees (2) Requests for revisions to the standards; and (3) Appeals).

Plant: Indicates a program for a single physical location or a group of physical locations owned by the sponsor.

Prevailing Wage: The hourly wage, usual benefits and overtime, paid in the largest city in each county to the majority of workers, laborers, and mechanics. Prevailing wages are established by the Department of Labor & Industries for each trade and occupation employed in the performance of public work. They are established separately for each county and are reflective of local wage conditions. (RCW 31.12.010 and 015) (


  • Initial: The period following the apprentice's acceptance into the program which is limited in time by these rules and during which the apprentice's appeal rights are impaired.
  • Disciplinary: A time assessed when the apprentice's progress is not satisfactory. During this time the program sponsor may withhold periodic wage advancements, suspend or cancel the apprenticeship agreement, or take further disciplinary action. A disciplinary probation may only be assessed after the initial probation is completed. During the disciplinary probation, the apprentice has the right to file an appeal of the committee's action with the WSATC (as described in WAC 296-05-105). (

RCW: The Revised Code of Washington.

Registration: Maintaining the records of apprenticeship and training agreements and of training standards.

Regular quarterly meeting: A public meeting held quarterly by the WSATC as described in WAC 296-05-008. (

Related/supplemental instruction: Instruction approved by the program sponsor and taught by an instructor approved by the program sponsor. Instructors must be competent in their trade or occupation. A sponsor must review related/supplemental instruction annually to insure that it is relevant and current.

Relevant instruction: Related/supplemental instructional content that is directly required in and applicable to the performance of the apprentice's work. Relevant does not mean academic course content taught by a solely academically qualified instructor except for courses approved by the committee or specified by state law.

Secretary: The individual appointed by the director of the Department of Labor & Industries according to RCW 49.04.030. (

Sponsor: Any person, firm, association, committee, or organization operating an apprenticeship and training program and in whose name the program is registered or is to be registered.

Standards: A written agreement containing specific provisions for operation and administration of the apprenticeship program and all terms and conditions for the qualifications, recruitment, selection, employment, and training of apprentices, as further defined in WAC 296-05-015. (

Supervision: The necessary education, assistance, and control provided by a journey-level employee that is on the same job site at least 75 percent of each working day, unless otherwise approved by the WSATC.

Supervisor: The individual appointed by the director of the department according to RCW 49.04.030 who acts as the secretary of the WSATC. Where these rules indicate a duty of the supervisor or secretary of the WSATC, the supervisor may designate a Department of Labor & Industries' employee to assist in the performance of those duties subject to the supervisor's oversight and direction.

Trade: Any apprenticeable occupation defined by the apprenticeship, training, employer and labor services section of the United States Department of Labor and these rules.

Trainee: An individual registered with the supervisor according to WAC 296-05-013. (

Training agent: Employer of registered apprentices approved by the program sponsor to furnish on-the-job training to satisfy the approved apprenticeship program standards who agrees to employ registered apprentices in that work process. The training agent shall use only registered apprentices to perform the work processes of the approved program standards.

Training agreement: A written agreement between a training agent and a program sponsor that contains the provisions of the apprenticeship program applicable to the training agent and the duties of the training agent in providing on-the-job training.

WAC: The Washington Administrative Code.

WSATC: The Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council. The Council has statutory and regulatory responsibility for governing apprenticeship and training programs in the state of Washington. (RCW 49.04 and WAC 296-05) The Council's primary function is to approve and register apprenticeship and training agreements. Persons or organizations desiring to institute an apprenticeship training program must first propose their committee and standards to conform to apprenticeship laws and regulations for consideration of approval by the Council.

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