What are the Trade Definitions?

Updated for 2019, the Alberta Construction Trade Definitions are a complete list of inclusions and exclusions pertaining to scopes of work for trades in Alberta. The definitions are used during the tendering process and to help coordinate job site activities. They specify which contractor is responsible for specific areas of work.

Construction associations across Alberta endorse adoption of the 2019 ACA Trade Definitions as a best practice. Tender authorities, design consultants, specification writers, contractors, and suppliers all benefit from using and citing the Trade Definitions. Together, we can reduce confusion, errors, RFIs, and disputes – and set a standard for more consistent and compliant bids in Alberta. 

The 2019 Trade Definitions represent a comprehensive update to reflect current technology and business practice, and are the consensus result of input from many industry volunteers. The Definitions are not a tendering system – rather, they are a guideline. The allocation of work amongst trades on any given project remains the responsibility of the tender authority and general contractor.

All member companies and trade associations may request changes to any or all trade definitions by providing their request in writing to the Alberta Construction Association or the Edmonton Construction Association, care of the Trade Definitions Committee, before December 1st of each year. The request must include the change, reason for the change and the effect on the other scopes. The Trade Definitions Committee will review and rule on all requests. Changes to the definitions will be finalized and published on March 1st each year.




Moving the Industry Forward

“There is no question that the Alberta Construction Trade Definitions are a significant step forward in attaining industry best practices. Suppliers and subcontractors now have greater assurance of competing on a level playing field. General contractors are assured of completed bids that cover the entire scope of the project. Owners benefit because they can compare ‘apples-to-apples’ compliant bids on clear definitions. In the end, everyone wins.”

­— Ken Gibson, Alberta Construction Association


Find Your Scope


Read the definitions online and download the document to reference anywhere, at anytime. Search for your desired scope to find all of the inclusions and exclusions pertaining to it. See the up-to-date Trade Definitions below.


The Trade Definitions Committee prepared updates updates for the 2019 edition.  For clarity of comparison, updates are indicated in green and deletions are indicated in red.

Download the PDF (updates highlighted)