Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan

September 29, 2011 10:31 ET

Government of Canada Helping Internationally Trained Professionals Get Jobs

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 29, 2011) - The Government of Canada is supporting a project that will help internationally trained professionals find work in their field faster. The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

"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 Oliver. "Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, we are working with partners to improve foreign credential recognition so that newcomers can put their skills and experience to work sooner."

The Canadian Foundation for Economic Education is receiving support from the Foreign Credential Recognition Program to organize a workshop with over 40 Canadian regulators and professional associations that will focus on the development and management of mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) with other countries. MRAs ensure that foreign professional standards meet Canadian professional standards and allow internationally trained workers to become licensed almost immediately 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 internationally trained professionals in eight priority occupations, including accountants and engineers, can have their qualifications assessed within one year, anywhere in Canada. This is one example of progress toward a more fair, transparent and timely 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 Canadian Foundation for Economic Education project, which is receiving over $145,000 from the Government of Canada, demonstrates how the Framework is bringing meaningful change to the way newcomers' qualifications are assessed and recognized in Canada.

Additionally, Budget 2011 announced that Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada will test ways to help internationally trained professionals cover costs associated with the recognition of their foreign credentials. This initiative will complement the already significant investments that the Government of Canada has made to support the labour market integration of newcomers to Canada.

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

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.


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 a complete application to be licensed or registered to work in certain fields 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. Online services for internationally trained workers can be found on the FCRO website at

Established in 2005, the Internationally Educated Health Professionals Initiative works with provinces, territories and stakeholders so that more internationally educated health professionals can put their skills to work in Canada's healthcare system.

The Canadian Foundation for Economic Education works to promote and assist the enhanced economic capability of Canadians—that is, to increase the extent to which Canadians assume their economic roles, and make economic decisions, with competence and confidence.

Contact Information

  • Alyson Queen
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Finley

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada