BC passes International Credentials Recognition Act (flickr.com)

Media Contacts

Jimmy Smith

Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier

Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills

Media Relations
604 209-7629


How the act improves credential recognition for internationally trained professionals

The International Credentials Recognition Act will require 18 regulators overseeing 29 professions to streamline processes for internationally trained applicants. The 29 occupations are:

  • registered music teacher
  • professional engineer
  • professional teaching certificate holder
  • land surveyor
  • early childhood educator
  • landscape architect
  • early childhood educator assistant
  • applied science technologist
  • conditional teaching certificate holder
  • certified technician
  • social worker
  • veterinarian
  • registered clinical social worker
  • lawyer
  • professional biologist
  • architect
  • applied biology technician
  • notary public
  • registered biology technologist
  • emergency medical assistant, including paramedics
  • professional geoscientist
  • chartered professional accountant
  • registered professional forester
  • associate real estate broker
  • registered forest technologist
  • managing real estate broker
  • professional agrologist
  • real estate representative
  • technical agrologist
How the act improves credential recognition for internationally educated health professionals

The International Credentials Recognition Act complements and builds on government's ongoing work to create pathways for doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals educated outside of Canada to be able to get to work more quickly.

This work includes:

  • Expanding pathways for internationally trained physicians to enter B.C.'s workforce, including:
    • further expansion of seats in the Practice Ready Assessment program, which helps internationally educated doctors get to work more quickly in B.C.; the program will triple from 32 seats to 96 seats by March 2024;
    • the introduction of a new U.S.A.-certified class of licensure (through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC) enables eligible U.S.-trained physicians with certification in emergency medicine, internal medicine or pediatrics to practise medicine in B.C.; and
    • the introduction of associate physicians, a new class of registration that provides a route for international medical graduates (IMGs) not eligible for other classes of registration with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC to work under the direction and supervision of an attending physician within team-based care settings.
    • IMGs are registered through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC.
  • Removing roadblocks that internationally educated nurses (IENs) used to face, including:
    • developing a more efficient pathway that simultaneously assesses IENs for health-care assistant, licensed practical nurse and registered nurse designations;
    • directly covering application and assessment fees with Nursing Community Assessment Service and BC College of Nurses and Midwives, providing bursaries for English-language competency testing and education with more than $9 million; and
    • creating new nurse-navigator positions to help IENs navigate the assessment and licensing process.
    • IENs are registered through the BC Colleges of Nurses and Midwives.
  • Developing Health Care Access Program (HCAP) to train, recruit and employ up to 3,000 entry-level health-care workers each year.
    • This program provides a path for eligible applicants, including internationally educated nurses who have not had their qualifications recognized and individuals with no health-sector experience, to get hired and receive paid employer- sponsored health-care assistant training as part of their employment.
  • Bursaries to help internationally educated allied health professionals join B.C.'s workforce.

Progress made to date:

  • 591 new international medical graduates registered;
  • 520 new internationally educated nurses registered;
  • 1,160 health care support workers hired into the Health Career Access Program since April 1, 2023; and
  • over 6700 health care support workers have been recruited to the Health Career Access Program since September 2021.
What people are saying about international credential recognition

Zahra Sobhaniyeh, secretary, board of directors, Iranian Engineers of BC Association –

“Improving the transparency and fairness of credential recognition and fast-tracking the evaluation process are vital promises of the international credential recognition legislation. Our aspiration is that this legislation lays a solid groundwork, enabling professional regulatory and service organizations, as well as other relevant stakeholders, to work together and effectively improve the experience of internationally trained professionals including engineers and architects in B.C.”

Bridgitte Anderson, CEO and president, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade –

“The passing of this legislation a few weeks after being introduced is a clear indication of how important it is for British Columbia to harness the skills of newcomers and ensure they can realize their full potential. With record-breaking population growth as a backdrop, guaranteeing that businesses have a more streamlined and transparent process for recognizing international credentials is paramount to building a future where every British Columbian can thrive.”

Olga Stachova, CEO, MOSAIC BC

“The immigrant communities in B.C. applaud the passing of legislation aimed at removing barriers internationally trained professionals experience in accessing careers in their professions and streamlining the path to fully realizing the incredible potential and skills newcomers bring to this province. This step will have a significant positive impact not only on the quality of lives and futures of newcomers, but on the B.C. economy and society at large.”

Dennis Salonoy, intern architect, Architectural Institute of B.C.

“Being an internationally trained professional, it is very important for me that this legislation be passed and enacted because it will lessen the burden of my everyday struggles in life. The B.C. government’s goal of credential recognition to be more transparent, efficient and fair for internationally trained professionals like me is a testament of dedication, compassion and commitment to B.C. residents. I will be more than happy and elated to see more professionals joining the B.C. workforce in the future to contribute to building a better British Columbia and a nation.”

Queenie Choo, CEO, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

“For years, newcomers have told us how foreign-credential recognition barriers prevent them from fully integrating into their new home. Requirements for Canadian work experience have been preventing people with professional skills from contributing to our society for too long. We are very encouraged and excited that this new legislation will help maximize the diverse talents of immigrants here in B.C. We’re looking forward to closing the skills-shortage gap in our province, improving the fairness and timeliness of the process, and supporting growth in our economy.”

Heidi Yang, CEO, Engineers and Geoscientists BC

“As regulators, we have a duty to the public to ensure only qualified individuals have a license to practise professionally, but we must also ensure our requirements are applied equally and consistently to all applicants. Engineers and Geoscientists BC has a strong track record of improving our admissions processes to be more flexible and accessible to international applicants. We are pleased to see many of these processes reflected in this legislation.”