Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan

November 09, 2011 10:00 ET

Harper Government Helps Internationally Trained Accountants Get Jobs

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 9, 2011) - The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, today announced a Government of Canada investment to help internationally trained accountants get jobs in Canada faster. The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) received $1.4 million to streamline the application process for accountants educated in other countries.

"Our government is helping newcomers find meaningful work that contributes to Canada's long-term growth, competitiveness and overall prosperity." said Minister Finley. "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."

With this government investment, the Institute will create an online assessment tool that will validate foreign education and work experience. It will also establish customized bridging programs to help these accountants complete any additional courses and examinations required to become a chartered accountant in Canada.

"Skilled professionals are vital to Canada's future," said Kevin Dancey, President and Chief Executive Officer, CICA. "We welcome the federal government's commitment to helping internationally trained professions contribute to their full potential as quickly as possible."

Under the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, the Government of Canada is working with the provinces and territories, as well as 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, the Government started improving foreign qualification recognition for six more target occupations, including physicians and dentists.

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 foreign credential recognition process, with specific details to be announced shortly. This initiative will complement the already significant investments the Government of Canada has made to support the labour market integration of newcomers to Canada.


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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. Internet services for internationally trained workers can be found on the FCRO website at

The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) represents Canada's chartered accountants both nationally and internationally. CICA works with provincial partners to set standards for the professional designation of chartered accountant.

Contact Information

  • Alyson Queen
    Press Secretary
    Office of Minister Finley

    Media Relations Office
    Human Resources and Skills Development Canada