Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan

September 15, 2010 11:00 ET

Government of Canada Helping Internationally Trained Dentists Enter the Labour Market

Canada's Economic Action Plan addresses labour market challenges, helps to improve quality of life

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 15, 2010) - The Government of Canada is funding a project that will help internationally trained dentists put their knowledge and skills to work sooner. The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, made the announcement today.

The Canadian Dental Regulatory Authorities Federation (CDRAF) will receive over $790,000 in Foreign Credential Recognition Program funding for its project entitled Assessment of Internationally Trained General Dentists from Non-Accredited Dental Programs.

"Our government is helping internationally educated health professionals enter the labour market to improve the quality of life of all Canadians," said Minister Finley. "Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, we are working with partners to develop a common approach to foreign credential recognition. This project contributes to a fair, efficient and timely system that will help internationally trained dentists find work in communities across Canada."

The CDRAF's project will establish a national process for the assessment of internationally trained dentists. Prior to this initiative, the majority of foreign-trained dentists, who come from non-accredited dental schools, would have been required to undertake additional training and education.

This new process will evaluate whether these individuals already have the same knowledge, skills and competencies as a graduate from an accredited Canadian dental program.

Successful completion of this assessment process will enable them to take the national examination through the National Dental Examining Board of Canada. Candidates who pass the exam can then register to practise as a dentist anywhere in Canada.

"The CDRAF is pleased to receive funding from the Foreign Credential Recognition Program to develop and implement a national assessment program for internationally trained general dentists," said Dr. Cam Witmer, President of the CDRAF. "This important initiative will establish an impartial, objective and fair process, based on nationally agreed upon standards and programs. Canada's dental regulatory authorities are committed to helping reduce barriers by registering qualified and competent internationally trained dentists in our country."

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

This project is one example of how the Framework is bringing meaningful change to the way that newcomers' qualifications are assessed and recognized by regulatory bodies in key occupations.

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

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


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, foreign credential and experience recognition will be streamlined for eight priority occupations, including 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.

The Canadian Dental Regulatory Authorities Federation provides a leadership forum where dental regulatory authorities in Canada can anticipate and respond to current regulatory challenges at the provincial, territorial, national and global levels. 

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 website at the following address:

Contact Information

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