Province's International Credentials Recognition Act takes effect

New rules mandate removal of Canadian work experience requirements

Province's International Credentials Recognition Act takes effect

B.C.’s International Credentials Recognition Act (ICRA) took full effect on July 1, promising to make credential recognition for internationally trained professionals “more transparent, efficient and fair.”

According to government, the legislation was enacted as the BC area expects one million job openings in the next 10 years, and most positions will be filled by foreign professionals trained from their respective countries.

Some of the fields covered by the law are veterinary medicine, architects, surveyors, applied biologists, registered teachers, accountants, and notaries public, to name a few.

“This new act will help regulatory bodies improve the credential recognition process and make it fairer, faster, and easier for people to use their skills to work in B.C. – no matter where they were trained,” according to the BC government.

The government admits that internationally trained professionals often face ‘unfair barriers’ and have to wait much longer before they can start working in their respective fields. ICRA has been created to remove these barriers and make it easier for foreign professionals to work immediately, thus resolving the issue of present and future manpower needs in the province and strengthening the local economy.

Based on the new law, foreign applicants will be treated equitably and fairly, without prejudice by:

  • Removing unfair Canadian work experience requirements
  • Prohibiting the need for applicants to provide new English language test results if they have already submitted valid results
  • Charging similar fees to international and domestic applicants.

Ontario is also going to restrict businesses from demanding job candidates have work experience in Canada before offering them jobs.

Internationally trained professionals

The new law also guarantees internationally trained professionals will get information quickly and easily on how to attain their certifications. Furthermore, ICRA also now requires regulators to publish all information about their credential assessment processes online to make it easier for applicants to know how they can be certified as professional workers.

The new legislation also established the Fair Credential Recognition Office to supervise the effective implementation of the law and to ensure that there will be accountability on the part of the regulators concerning the reportorial and implementation requirements of ICRA.

Meanwhile, the law also stipulated the appointment of a superintendent responsible for promoting Fair Credential Recognition, monitoring regulatory authority performance, and enforcing compliance with the new legislation.

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