Internationally educated professionals, such as engineers, social workers, early childhood educators, paramedics, teachers and biologists, will be able to start working in B.C. quicker thanks to new legislation.
“Skilled professionals from around the world move to B.C. 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 B.C.”
The focus of the new credential legislation is fairness, efficiency, transparency and accountability. If passed, it will require regulatory bodies to remove barriers in 29 professions and make it easier and quicker for those qualified professionals to seek credential recognition, no matter where they were trained.
The international credentials recognition act will properly value international work experience and eliminate the catch-22 of requiring Canadian work experience prior to being accredited in Canada. The legislation will also remove redundant language testing, set caps for maximum processing times, and require credential-assessment information be available online.
“This is a matter of fairness,” said Andrew Mercier, Minister of State for Workforce Development. “Ensuring international professionals can build strong, prosperous lives for themselves and their families in B.C. is important to this government. The legislation we’ve introduced on Oct. 23, 2023, will help people get their credentials recognized more quickly, regardless of where they were trained. This will help folks find work in their chosen fields faster, increase their opportunities for success, and build a stronger B.C. economy that is inclusive, sustainable and leaves no one behind.”
The act will affect 29 professions that are overseen by 18 regulatory authorities.
If passed, a new superintendent responsible for promoting fair credential recognition will be appointed and the act will come into force in summer 2024. The superintendent will promote fair credential recognition, monitor regulatory-authority performance, and enforce compliance with the new legislation.
This legislation builds on the work being done by the Ministry of Health to create new pathways for health-care workers coming to Canada. The new superintendent responsible for promoting fair credential recognition will work with the body overseeing changes to be brought into effect through the Health Professions and Occupations Act.
To learn about the fair credential legislation, visit: https://www.gov.bc.ca/FairCredentials
To read the public engagement report released in summer 2023, visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/121/2023/07/What-We-Heard-Report-International-Credential-Recognition-2023-07-24.pdf
For more information about B.C. legislation, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/legislation
Three backgrounders follow.