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British Columbia eases international credentials recognition for newcomer professionals

British Columbia eases international credentials recognition for newcomer professionals

British Columbia has made it easier for newcomer professionals, including engineers, social workers, veterinarians, paramedics, educators, biologists, land surveyors, and architects, to find work in the province without common barriers. BC’s International Credentials Recognition Act came into force on July 1, 2024, making it fairer, more transparent, and more efficient for qualified professionals to pursue and achieve credential recognition, no matter where they were trained.

The new legislation covers 18 regulatory authorities and covers 29 professions across five broad sectors, including education and social work; biology and environmental sciences; engineering and architecture; health and legal professions; and financial and real estate: professions of high demand. View the full list of regulatory bodies and professions covered by the act.

How does BC’s International Credentials Recognition Act make it easier to work in Canada as a newcomer?

The Act reflects feedback from broad public engagement and consultation with regulatory bodies. It also complements the work being done by the Ministry of Health to create new pathways for healthcare workers.

BC will appoint a new superintendent of international credential recognition as part of the new act. “The superintendent will oversee the fair recognition of international credentials, addressing any systemic or procedural issues,” said BC’s Ministry of Post Secondary Education and Future Skills, in a release. “They will also have the authority under the act to issue orders for compliance and impose administrative penalties as needed.”

If you have moved to British Columbia and are looking to find work in Canada as an immigrant, you must know that BC expects a million job openings in the next decade. Many of these will need to be filled by people trained in other countries.

Also read: Explore rewarding careers in BC seniors care with the FAST program

“Internationally trained professionals often face unfair barriers and long waits before they can work in their profession,” added the BC government. “By supporting them, the government can meet current and future needs for in-demand jobs and strengthen B.C.’s economy.”

Measures implemented earlier by the provincial government include:

  • The Professional Governance Act (2021) and the Health Professions and Occupations Act (2022), to help the natural resources and environment, and health sectors, respectively.
  • The Skilled Trades BC Act in March 2022 to support people for the crucial work in trades across the province.
  • The Health Human Resources Strategy (2022) to remove barriers to internationally trained health workers, improve patient care, and revamp systems to improve job satisfaction and innovation.
  • The Stronger BC (2023) plan to detail how the government is helping people gain the skills to find good jobs and assist businesses in hiring and retaining employees.

Also read: New Horizons Media and Magnet announce new partnership to support new Canadians in navigating the labour market

British Columbia aside, other provinces are also removing barriers and making it easier for internationally educated professionals to find work when they arrive.

Ontario, for example, launched plans last year to ban Canadian work experience requirements in job postings, just six months after doing the same for newcomer engineers.

Meanwhile, Alberta has assembled a 13-person committee to improve the province’s current systems of foreign credential recognition.

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