Ministry of Labour   +265(0)1 773 277
Republic of Malawi







Trade Testing Centers (all correspondences should be addressed to:

  • The Chief Trade Testing Officer, Lilongwe Trade Testing Centre P.O. Box 1286,Lilongwe. Phone 01724160. Fax: 01724160.

         Situated along the Lilongwe-Blantyre M1 road, behind Water Board Tanks at Biwi Triangle, Opposite Petroda Filling Station.

  • Blantyre Trade Testing Centre, P.O. Box 30075, Chichiri, Blantyre 3. Phone 01879466. Fax: 01888430. Situated at Ginnery Corner along the Johnston Road to ESCOM powerhouse, opposite Blantyre Road Traffic Offices.
  • Mzuzu Trade Testing Centre,P.O. Box 20140, Luwinga Mzuzu 2. Phone 01320955. Fax 01320955. Situated in Luwinga Township along the Mzuzu – Karonga  road (M 1) opposite  Petroda Filling Station in Luwinga.

Mission Statement

To assess and certify skilled craft persons in various prescribed trades and grades.


High skill standards


  • To assess, award and certify tradesmen in vocational skills.
  • To Empower the youth in entrepreneurship skills for self and formal employment
  • To maintain skills standards and reduce industrial skills gaps.


The need for the craft persons started in 1950s under colonial power when the Ministry of Health, Nyasaland Railways and Public Works Department maintained departmental Trade Tests.  Tradesmen were not given any certificates but promotion because of on-the-job training.  The only problem with the set up was that when an artisan wanted to move from one department to another or private sector, the other departments were not recognizing departmental qualifications.  There was limited mobility of labour. Thisled to the establishment of Trade Test Scheme which became operational in 1956.

Trade Test was mandated to assess and certify those formally, informally and less privileged skilled craft persons in various trades at Grade 3, Grade 2 and Grade 1 levels. What prompted the introduction of the three levels was that Trade Unions petitioned employers for the unfair treatment of unskilled workers who were not properly rewarded. As a solution to the problem, stakeholders in respective industries formulated standards and attached a wage rate to each level of the qualification. Ministry of Labour was identified to undertake that function through the Trade Testing Department.

Since the inception of National Trade Test in 1956, Trade Test had its offices in Blantyre city located in the southern region of Malawi. However, due to increased demand for assessment and certification of the skilled workforce, one centre could not cope for the whole country, hence, there was need for another centre. In 1976 a second Centre was opened in Lilongwe, the central region of Malawi. The Centre was to cater for the Central and Northern regions of the country. Yet again, it became imperative that Lilongwe Centre could not sustain the pressure due to the ever-increasing demand for recognition of achieved competencies and skills by the artisans. So in 1985, a third centre was established in the northern region to deal with the demand in that part of the country.


Examination fees: Grade 3 = K5,000.00, Grade 2 = K7,500.00, Grade 1 = K10,000.00.

Fees payment should be done at Trade Testing Centres only.

Certificate replacement fees: Grade 3 = K8,000.00, Grade 2 = K10,000.00, Grade 1 = K12,000.00

Application form

Certificate replacement form

Eligibility and requirements: Applicants at Grade 3 level are required to submit two colour passport size photographs (sizes 35mm by 45mm) which are most recent. A candidate is not allowed to apply for a higher grade e.g. Grade 2 and Grade 1 before passing at a lower grade e.g. grade 3 and Grade 2 respectively.

A candidate who fails in an examination is eligible to retake the test after six months. A candidate who passes in an examination at a lower grade is eligible to sit for the subsequent grade ONLY after one year. This gives space for industrial practice.

Current Activities

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