Ottawa invests $86 million to boost capacity for foreign credential recognition

Government helping roughly 6,600 internationally educated health professionals come to country

Ottawa invests $86 million to boost capacity for foreign credential recognition

The federal government is providing $86 million to 15 organizations across Canada to increase the capacity for foreign credential recognition of internationally educated health professionals.

Through the Foreign Credentials Recognition Program, the investment will help approximately 6,600 health professionals educated outside Canada come and practice their craft in the country.

“Honouring the professional credentials of newcomers is a compassionate and effective component of expanding Canada’s workforce,” Randy Boissonnault, minister of employment, workforce development and official languages. “The Foreign Credentials Recognition speeds up the accreditation for 6600 people, and is not only the right thing to do, but one of the best ways we can fill labour gaps, strengthen our healthcare system and grow our economy.”

Late in 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s visa office in Manila launched CAN Work Philippines, which will streamline work permit processing for eligible Canadian employers.

Reducing barriers, facilitating mobility

The 15 projects across the country being funded by the federal government through Foreign Credentials Recognition Program the will:

  • Reduce barriers to foreign credential recognition for IEHPs by improving recognition processes, simplifying steps in credential recognition and offering increased access to practice in the field.
  • Provide IEHPs with relevant Canadian work experience in their intended fields, while incorporating wrap-around supports such as childcare and transportation costs, as well as mentoring and coaching.
  • Facilitate labour mobility between jurisdictions in Canada for health professionals and IEHPs to reduce the systemic and administrative barriers for health professionals who wish to work in another jurisdiction in Canada.

One of those receiving funding is the Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry. Ottawa is handing up to $8,306,400.00 to the association for its General Dentistry Gap Assessment and Gap Training Program. 

The project aims to develop, implement and evaluate a new pathway leading to certification for Internationally Trained Dentists (ITDs) whose knowledge, skills and abilities are comparable to graduates of accredited dental programs. This will reduce barriers of FCR processes and reduce time for ITDs to enter the labour market, according to the federal government.

The project will be piloted in three Canadian provinces: Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

“The Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry is thrilled to receive this support from the federal government to fund the development and testing of a new program to speed the qualification and licensing of dentists trained elsewhere in the world so they can practice in Canada,” said Jim Lai, president of the association.

“With the government’s recent introduction of the new Canadian Dental Care Plan, and its policy of increasing immigration into Canada, there are plans to both help Canada’s poorest and most marginalized people gain access to dental care, and to integrate internationally trained dentists into Canada’s health care workforce. Canada’s dental schools are excited to be taking the lead in developing new means to enable these international dentists to practice and so help fulfill the dental care needs of all Canadians, including new Canadians.”

Also among those receiving funding are the Canadian Pharmacists Association, Alberta Health Services and the Newfoundland and Labrador government.

Canada had a total of 90,000 unfilled positions in health occupations in the second quarter of 2023, according to the federal government.

Job seekers from outside Canada have shown far greater interest in coming to work in the country, according to a previous Indeed report. And British Columbia, late in 2023, Bill 38 – the International Credentials Recognition Act – will help regulatory bodies improve the credential recognition process for internationally trained professionals.

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