New credential legislation will get more people working in chosen fields quicker (

Media Contacts

Jimmy Smith

Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier

Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills

Media Relations
604 209-7629


Improving credential recognition for internationally trained professionals

The international credentials recognition act, if passed, 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
Improving credential recognition for internationally educated health professionals

This legislation complements and builds on the 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:
    • a further expansion of seats in the Practice Ready 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.-certified class of licensure (through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC) to enable eligible U.S.-trained physicians to practise pediatric medicine, internal medicine or emergency medicine in B.C.;
    • the introduction of associate physicians, a new class of registration that provides a route for international medical graduates (IMGs) not eligible for licensure as independent medical practitioners, to work under the direction and supervision of an attending physician within team-based care settings; and
    • Funding Health Match BC, a free health-professional recruitment service that has helped IMGs and Canadian-trained physicians relocate and practise in B.C.
  • Removing roadblocks that internationally educated nurses (IENs) used to face, including:
    • developing a more efficient pathway that simultaneously assesses IENs for the HCA, LPN, and RN designations;
    • directly covering application and assessment fees with NCCAS and BCCNM and providing bursaries for English-language competency testing and education with more than $9 million in funding; and
    • creating new nurse-navigator positions to help IENs navigate the assessment and licensing process.
  • Developing the 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:

  • 547 new international medical graduates registered so far in 2023;
  • more than 450 new internationally educated nurses registered so far in 2023;
  • 2,800 internationally educated nurses currently going through the new, faster pathway; and
  • 979 health-care aides hired through the Health Careers Access Program since April 1, 2023.
What people are saying about international credential-recognition legislation
Updated Oct. 23, 2013

Alice Wong, registered social worker

“As internationally trained social workers, we uphold universal social-work values and ethics, and are ready to support the local community. A fair credential-recognition process together with a knowledge hub that outlines local policies, acts and available resources would definitely facilitate us to start our work faster here.”

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

“With B.C. experiencing record-breaking population growth, this legislation represents a common-sense initiative that will help newcomers realize their full potential and harness their skills to better our communities and economy. Businesses in B.C. look forward to a more streamlined and transparent process for recognizing international credentials to help build a more inclusive and prosperous province.”

Olga Stachova, CEO, MOSAIC –

“For too long, credential recognition was the hot potato that nobody wanted to touch and tackle. As an organization led by immigrants and serving immigrant communities in B.C., we really appreciate the thorough engagement process and inclusion of voice of those with lived experience in shaping the discussion on steps needed to allow immigrant talent to practise in the professions they were trained for.”

Janet Morris-Reade, CEO, Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training (ASPECT) –

“Today’s introduction of legislation to remove barriers to employment for internationally credentialled newcomers is a significant step towards fostering diversity and economic growth in our nation. We applaud this effort, as it aligns with our mission to empower a skilled and diverse workforce, benefiting both newcomers and the broader community.”

Raj Brar, director of career services, Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) –

“In recognizing the challenges that skilled immigrants face with foreign credentials in British Columbia, the government is taking proactive steps through forthcoming legislation. This legislation is designed to streamline regulatory procedures and open pathways to more mentorship opportunities, ensuring a brighter and more inclusive future for all.”