Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada

February 27, 2009 11:30 ET

Government of Canada Working to Help Newcomers Get Credentials Recognized Faster

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 27, 2009) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, and the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, today highlighted steps that the Government of Canada is taking to attract the best and the brightest individuals from around the world by helping them enter the Canadian work force more quickly.

"We compete in a global marketplace where the knowledge of our work force is the key to our economy and our prosperity," said Minister Finley. "That's why Canada's Economic Action Plan will invest $50 million over two years to speed up the process of assessing and recognizing foreign qualifications."

This investment follows a meeting in January, during which first ministers and territorial leaders agreed to take concerted action to develop a national framework for faster recognition of foreign credentials. Labour ministers were asked to develop the common framework by September 2009.

"Previous governments ignored the issue of foreign credential recognition. In 2007, our government established the Foreign Credentials Referral Office, with an investment of $32.2 million over a five-year period," said Minister Kenney. "Today, 330 Service Canada Centres across the country help internationally trained professionals get the information they need to have their credentials assessed as quickly as possible. Our government wants to improve the integration of internationally trained workers into the Canadian labour force, so they can put their skills to good use for themselves and their families. When newcomers succeed, we all succeed."

With the support of the Foreign Credential Recognition Program and the Foreign Credentials Referral Office, real progress is being made in addressing barriers to foreign credential recognition in Canada.

The $50-million investment under Canada's Economic Action Plan will do four things:

- Develop the principles that the federal, provincial and territorial governments agree will guide the recognition of foreign credentials;

- Develop standards for the timely treatment of those looking to have their qualifications recognized;

- Establish the specific occupations that will be the first priority in developing recognition standards; and

- Help people who want to come to Canada begin the process of licensure and accreditation while they are still overseas.

Together, these activities ensure that internationally educated professionals have their qualifications assessed and recognized in a manner that is fair, consistent, transparent and rigorous, and that newcomers can more swiftly pursue appropriate pathways to employment.

The $50-million investment for foreign credential recognition is part of the Canada Skills and Transition Strategy, a comprehensive $8.3-billion action plan for Canadian workers, the unemployed and their families. The Government will provide income assistance and training and skills development support to come to the aid of those facing hardships in these difficult times. For more information, visit

Canada's Economic Action Plan also contains many other important initiatives that will help vulnerable Canadians, persons with disabilities, seniors and Aboriginal people.

The Foreign Credential Recognition Program aims to improve the integration of internationally trained workers into the work force. It does this by working with key stakeholders to implement projects that will facilitate the assessment and recognition of qualifications acquired outside of Canada. 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 individuals receive the information, path-finding and referral services to have their credentials assessed as quickly as possible, 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 with foreign credential assessment and recognition bodies, to strengthen foreign credential recognition processes across the country. This is accomplished through improved coordination of foreign credential recognition issues, policies, programs and services, information sharing and the exchange of best practices. Internet services for internationally trained immigrants can be found on the FCRO Web site at

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