Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan

December 13, 2010 10:00 ET

Government of Canada Helping Foreign-Trained Health Care Professionals Get Jobs

Canada's Economic Action Plan helps new Canadians get work in their professions

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 13, 2010) - The Government of Canada is funding four projects that will help foreign-trained health care practitioners find jobs in their area of training. The Honourable Ed Komarnicki, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, made the announcement today.

"We recognize the importance of helping foreign-trained health care professionals get jobs doing what they were trained to do," said Mr. Komarnicki. "Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, we are working with partners to develop a common approach to foreign credential recognition. Projects like these will help new Canadians put their knowledge and skills to work sooner in communities across Canada."

Four health care organizations are receiving support through the Foreign Credential Recognition Program to improve the assessment and recognition of foreign qualifications in the health care sector. The organizations are the National Alliance of Respiratory Therapy Regulatory Bodies, the Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists, the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, and the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks.

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

These projects, which are receiving a total of $2.5 million from the Government of Canada, are examples of how the Framework is bringing meaningful change to the way that newcomers' qualifications are assessed and recognized in Canada.

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

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


Organizations that are receiving support

The National Alliance of Respiratory Therapy Regulatory Bodies will receive over $1 million to establish a national process for assessing the credentials of respiratory therapists, to develop an agreement to ensure labour mobility across Canadian jurisdictions, and to explore the feasibility of a mutual recognition agreement with the United States.

The Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists will receive over $280,000 to develop national standards for curriculum development in respiratory therapy. It will also provide educators with tools to assess the competencies and education needs of internationally trained practitioners.

The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association will receive over $950,000 to develop a self-assessment tool and implement a national online licensing exam, both in French and in English, for internationally trained mental health counsellors who want to practice in Canada.

The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks will receive over $250,000 to establish national language benchmarks for pharmacists. The benchmarks will be useful for pharmacy regulators and educators, and will help internationally trained professionals assess whether they meet Canadian workplace language requirements for that occupation.

Canadian initiatives to recognize foreign qualifications

Under the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, recognition of foreign credentials and experience will be streamlined for key occupations, including some health care professions. This means that foreign-trained professionals who submit an application to be licensed or registered to work in certain fields will be advised within one year whether their credentials and experience will be recognized. If they will not be recognized, the applicant will be advised of additional requirements or directed to alternative occupations that would benefit from their skills and experience.

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 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 with 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, as well as 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

Contact Information

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