Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan

August 26, 2010 14:00 ET

Government of Canada Helping Internationally Trained Accountants Enter the Workforce

Canada's Economic Action Plan Addresses Labour Market Challenges

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 26, 2010) - The Government of Canada is funding a project that will make it easier for internationally trained accountants to find work in their field. The Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

The Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) will receive $990,993 in Foreign Credential Recognition Program funding for its project entitled Foreign Credential Recognition National Harmonization.

"Attracting and retaining the best international talent to address existing and future labour market challenges is critical to Canada's long-term economic success," said Minister of State Moore. "Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, we invested $50 million to improve foreign credential recognition so that newcomers can put their knowledge and skills to work sooner."

CGA-Canada's project will create a national online self-assessment tool that will provide timely, fair and consistent evaluations of foreign-trained accountants' education and work experience. The Association will also work with international accounting bodies whose programs align closely with Canadian standards to develop mutual credential recognition agreements.

"We are gratified that the Government of Canada has recognized the need for this project, and delighted to have been approved to develop it," said Mr. Anthony Ariganello, President and Chief Executive Officer, CGA-Canada. "This online self-assessment tool will quickly reveal to foreign-trained accountants the steps they'll have to take to become certified as accountants in Canada. It will save them a great deal of time and guesswork, and should make it easier for them to begin working in their chosen field."

Canada's Economic Action Plan invested $50 million to work with the provinces and territories and other partners, such as employers, to address barriers to foreign credential recognition in Canada. This investment directly contributed to the development of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, which was announced in November 2009.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit


The Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications articulates a new national vision, guiding principles and desired outcomes for improving the assessment and recognition of newcomers' qualifications in cooperation with the provinces and territories.

Under the Framework, recognition of foreign credentials and experience will be streamlined for eight priority occupations, including engineers and some health care professions. This means that foreign-trained workers who submit an application to be licensed or registered to work in certain fields will be advised within one year whether their qualifications will be recognized. Otherwise, they will be advised of additional requirements or be directed to alternative occupations that would benefit from their skills and experience.

The Framework will focus on six more target occupations by December 2012, including teachers and physicians. The Framework is part of the Government of Canada's strategy to have the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world. 

With the Economic Action Plan's $50-million investment, the Government will:

  • develop the principles that will guide the process of foreign credential recognition;
  • establish standards for the timely handling of requests;
  • identify key occupations that will be the priority for developing recognition standards; and
  • help people who want to come to Canada understand what they need to know before they arrive.

Founded in 1908, the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada (CGA-Canada) sets educational standards and professional guidelines, and contributes to the setting of national and international accounting standards through professional relationships with other accounting bodies. The CGA-Canada membership comprises over 73,000 students and certified general accountants.

The Foreign Credential Recognition Program aims to improve the integration of internationally trained workers into the workforce. The Program provides funding to and works with the provinces and territories and stakeholders, including regulatory bodies, post-secondary institutions, sector councils and employers, to implement projects that facilitate the assessment and recognition of qualifications acquired in other countries.

The Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) was established in May 2007 to help internationally trained workers receive the information, path-finding and referral services, in Canada and overseas, to have their credentials assessed quickly so they can find work faster in the fields for which they have been trained. The FCRO works with federal, provincial and territorial partners, and foreign credential assessment and recognition bodies, to strengthen foreign credential recognition processes across the country. Internet services for internationally trained workers can be found on the FCRO Web site at the following address:

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office