Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan

November 30, 2009 11:04 ET

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments Speed Up Foreign Credential Recognition for Newcomers to Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 30, 2009) - Under the new Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, 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. The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and Co-Chair of the Forum of Labour Market Ministers, and the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, today endorsed a new framework to enhance foreign qualification recognition for internationally trained workers.

The Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications is part of the Government of Canada's strategy to have the best educated, most skilled and most flexible workforce in the world. Recognizing foreign credentials is part of the strategy, and foreign qualification recognition is the process of verifying that knowledge, skills, work experience and education obtained in another country are comparable to the standards established for Canadian professionals and tradespersons.

"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 Finley. "Ensuring that foreign credentials and qualifications are assessed and recognized in a timely manner will enable newcomers to maximize their talents."

Minister Finley and Minister Kenney thanked the Forum of Labour Market Ministers, consisting of federal, provincial and territorial representatives, for its work on the Framework.

"This framework is another important step in paving the road to success for Ontario's newcomers," said the Honourable Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. "This builds on the plan our government already has in place to help newcomers get licensed in their field and get jobs."

The Framework follows the Government of Canada's commitment in the 2008 Speech from the Throne to "work with the provinces to make the recognition of foreign credentials a priority, attract top international students to Canada and increase the uptake of immigrant settlement programs."

The Framework states that governments across Canada will work towards better pre-arrival services, assessments that are fair, transparent, consistent and timely across Canada, and improved workforce participation services for newcomers. These services will help internationally trained workers put their training and knowledge to work sooner.

"A priority of this government has been to make our immigration system more competitive globally and more responsive to Canada's needs," said Minister Kenney. "This framework complements initiatives such as the Action Plan for Faster Immigration, as they make our immigration system better meet the needs of our labour market. We want newcomers to be able to use their skills and work to their full potential. It's good for them and good for the Canadian economy."

Minister Finley and Minister Kenney also met with community leaders in the Greater Toronto Area to discuss foreign credential recognition and its place in Canada's economic recovery. In particular, the discussion highlighted the commitments made by the Government of Canada to improve the process for newcomers to get their education, skills and experience
assessed and recognized.

The Economic Action Plan committed $50 million to work with the provinces and territories to address barriers to credential recognition in Canada. This investment will do four things:

- Develop the principles of timeliness, transparency, fairness and predictability that the federal, provincial and territorial governments set out to guide the process;

- Develop standards for the timely handling of requests;

- Identify the priority occupations for developing recognition standards; and

- Help people who want to come to Canada start the assessment process before they arrive.

The Foreign Credential Recognition Program and the Foreign Credentials Referral Office are the key federal initiatives in place to support pan-Canadian implementation of the Framework.

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

The Framework is available on the Human Resources and Skills Development Canada Web site at

For more information about foreign qualification recognition, call 1 800 O-Canada, visit or drop by your local Service Canada Centre.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


To help internationally trained workers find jobs in their career of choice, Canada's Economic Action Plan is investing $50 million over two years to make the process of assessing and recognizing foreign qualifications more efficient.

In January 2009, the First Ministers agreed that the timely assessment and recognition of foreign qualifications was a priority. The Forum of Labour Market Ministers was given the task of developing a pan-Canadian framework and implementation plan for foreign qualification recognition.

The objective of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications is to articulate a new joint national vision, guiding principles and desired outcomes for improving the assessment and recognition of newcomers' qualifications.

The framework will initially be implemented in the following eight occupations by December 31, 2010:

- Architects

- Engineers

- Financial Auditors and Accountants

- Medical Laboratory Technologists

- Occupational Therapists

- Pharmacists

- Physiotherapists

- Registered Nurses.

During the next phase of implementation ending December 2012, the framework will be implemented in the following six occupations:

- Dentists

- Engineering Technicians

- Licensed Practical Nurses

- Medical Radiation Technologists

- Physicians

- Teachers (K-12)

Governments will work with regulatory bodies, post-secondary institutions and other key partners to implement the framework.

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:

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Finley
    Michelle Bakos
    Press Secretary
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    Office of Minister Chan
    Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
    Caralie D'Souza
    Press Secretary