Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan

January 25, 2011 13:00 ET

Government of Canada Helping Foreign-Trained Physiotherapists Get Jobs

Canada's Economic Action Plan Helps New Canadians Work in Their Professions

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 25, 2011) - The Government of Canada is helping internationally trained physiotherapists find meaningful work faster. Mr. Dean Del Mastro, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, 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 practitioners get jobs in their fields," said Mr. Del Mastro. "Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, we are working with partners to improve foreign credential recognition. Projects like this one will help new Canadians put their knowledge and skills to work sooner in communities across Canada."

The Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators is receiving support from the Foreign Credential Recognition Program to improve its current system for assessing the education and work experience of foreign-trained physiotherapists. The Alliance will research best practices for credential and language evaluations used internationally and in related fields in Canada. This will result in a series of recommendations to streamline the overall licensing process for internationally trained physiotherapists wanting to practise in Canada. 

Under the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, the Government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories and other partners, such as regulatory bodies, to address barriers to foreign credential recognition. 

In 2010, service standards were established so that foreign-trained professionals in eight priority occupations, including nurses and physiotherapists, can have their qualifications assessed within one year, anywhere in Canada. This is one example of progress toward a more fair, transparent, timely and consistent system for foreign credential recognition across Canada.

This year, we will start improving foreign qualification recognition for six more target occupations, including physicians and dentists.

The physiotherapists' project, which is receiving over $100,000 from the Government of Canada, demonstrates 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


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

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

Under the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, the recognition of foreign credentials and experience is being streamlined for key occupations.

The following are the first set of target occupations in the Framework:

  • architects
  • engineers
  • financial auditors and accountants
  • medical laboratory technologists
  • occupational therapists
  • pharmacists
  • physiotherapists
  • registered nurses

The next set of target occupations in the Framework are the following:

  • dentists
  • engineering technicians
  • licensed practical nurses
  • medical radiation technologists
  • physicians
  • teachers (K-12)

Under the Framework, internationally trained professionals who submit an application to be licensed or registered to work in certain fields, along with all fees and relevant documents to process the application, will be advised within one year how their credentials compare to Canadian standards. They may also be advised of additional requirements or be directed to alternative occupations that would benefit from their skills and experience.

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

The Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators is the national federation of provincial and territorial physiotherapy regulators committed to the development and improvement of regulatory standards for physiotherapists.

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