New act streamlines credential recognition for internationally trained professionals
British Columbians will soon benefit from internationally trained professionals having an easier path to working in their chosen careers and filling crucial skills shortages as the International Credentials Recognition Act received royal assent on November 8, 2023.
“Skilled professionals from around the world move to BC hoping to put their skills to good use, but instead face huge obstacles and an often-confusing process to get their credentials recognized,” said Premier David Eby. “With the skills shortage we have in this province, we cannot afford to leave anyone on the sidelines. That’s why we’re taking action to close the gaps in the system so people can get to work faster, fill in-demand jobs and provide much-needed services to people in BC.”
The act will increase fairness, efficiency, transparency and accountability in the credential recognition process. It will require 18 regulatory bodies, including ASTTBC, to remove barriers in 29 professions and make it easier and quicker for qualified professionals to seek credential recognition, regardless of where they were trained. The professions include engineers, technology professionals, social workers, veterinarians, paramedics, early childhood educators, teachers, biologists, land surveyors, architects and more.
“We know we need more people working to fill one million job openings expected over the next decade,” said Andrew Mercier, Minister of State for Workforce Development. “With the International Credentials Recognition Act, we’re making the process fairer and more transparent, so all qualified professionals can work in their chosen fields.”
The Province will appoint a superintendent responsible for promoting fair credential recognition, monitoring regulatory authority performance and enforcing compliance with the new legislation.
The act will eliminate the catch-22 of requiring Canadian work experience prior to being accredited in Canada, something ASTTBC has already done. Further, it will remove redundant language-testing and give government the authority to set caps on processing times.
Regulatory bodies play an essential role in ensuring that qualified professionals, no matter where they were trained, can work in their chosen field. The superintendent will work closely with regulatory bodies to transition them to their new responsibilities under the act, before it is scheduled to come into effect in summer 2024.
- The International Credentials Recognition Act reflects feedback received through public engagement and consultation with regulatory bodies.
- This act builds on the work being done by the Ministry of Health to create new pathways for health-care workers coming to Canada.
To learn more about international credential recognition, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/post-secondary-education/international-credentials
For information on how legislation affects British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/legislation