How to Qualify For Regulated Jobs in Canada

How to Qualify For Regulated Jobs in Canada

November 23, 2019

Millions of foreigners immigrating to Canada through work immigration programs. However, for some occupations that are categorized as regulated jobs in Canada, you will need to be recognized by the authority to do the job. Learning whether your occupation is a regulated job and the necessary steps would help you in the way to achieve a Canada visa.     

What is a regulated job?

According to the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials, 20% of jobs are regulated, for example, doctors, teachers or engineers. The non-regulated jobs are the 80% left which are normally at the discretion of the employer.

In definition, a regulated job is an occupation controlled by provincial and territorial (and sometimes federal) law and governed by a regulatory body. For those jobs, you are required to have a certificate, license or registration to use the title of the occupation and have the exclusive right to practice the work at a certain region that licenses you. The intention of the law is to protect the health and safety of Canadians by ensuring that all the work is following the standards of practice and competency.

There are two types of regulation for a regulated occupation:

  • The exclusive right to practice: Only members can engage in the profession’s activities and use the title legally. The law defines, among other things, the professional activities strictly reserved for the members of each regulatory body.
  • Reserved title: Only members of a regulatory body can make use of specific titles and abbreviations allowed them by law. Individuals who are not members of that regulatory body may practice the occupation, but they may not use any of these titles or allow others to believe (by using a similar title or abbreviation) they are members of a regulatory body. 

The designated authority has control over assessing your skills and educational credentials to provide licenses and certificates. However, if you move to another province or territory, you have to apply for a license or certificate again. Moreover, the requirements for each regulated profession and trade are different from province to province.  

The process for regulated professions and trades

In circumstances where you only need to have an educational credential assessment, you should contact with a member in the  Alliance of Credential Evaluations Services of Canada. But in case you think your profession or trade is a regulated job, you need to follow these steps

Step 1: Identify if your jobs are regulated in Canada and which regulatory authority for you

In Canada, organizations use the National Occupational Classification (NOC) to classify and describe occupations. You can use the description in the NOC to identify the title of your intended occupation in Canada. Afterward, you use the title or the NOC code to search in the Directory of Occupational Profiles. The search result will show you the information regarding whether your job is regulated by the provincial or territorial authority. 

Tips: Some regulatory bodies or professional associations in Canada have negotiated mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) with other organizations outside Canada. In some cases, such MRAs are negotiated directly between two or more countries or regions. If your license, certificate or registration are issued by signatory country or region in an MRA will make the recognition of your professional qualification in Canada easier.

Within Canada, there might be mobility agreements between province and territory that will benefit you from having professional recognition.  

Step 2: Identify the documents

After you have found out the organization that is responsible for granting the license and certificate, you can browse its website to see the required documents for the specific procedure. An important fact that you need to understand the term used to describe the documentation carefully. Some popular terms that usually make you confused are:

  • Foreign credentials: refer to educational programs completed outside Canada
  • Foreign qualifications: refer to the combination of educational credentials, work experience, and other competencies
  • Academic credentials: usually issued by an educational institution and may include diploma or degree certificate, transcript/mark sheets/index, detailed course outline.
  • Professional qualifications: usually issued by a professional regulatory authority or association in occupation and may include a certificate of competency or qualification, professional qualification certificate or license to practice.

Besides these terms, you can search for others in the CICIC’s Terminology Guide for Academic Credential Assessment in Canada

Step 3: Get the information for the assessment

In addition, you should contact and connect with the regulatory authority, professional association, or apprenticeship office for information on how to proceed in the jurisdiction in which you wish to work. If you have collected the required documents, send them while you are still in the country in which they were issued. After the organization received all documents, the assessment may take several months and you will be requested to pay the fees. 

In cases where the process begins even while you are still in your original country, you could use an online self-assessment tool to determine how your qualifications may be recognized. Other requirements can be requested during the process are:

  • Examinations to test your knowledge and competencies
  • Proof of language proficiency
  • Criminal record check
  • Canadian work placement or practicum
  • Reference check or proof of professional standing
  • Orientation course or bridging program
  • Additional academic or professional requirements.

While waiting for certification or license, you should stay current to the expertise with related jobs, internship program or participate in volunteer work to gain experience.

Regulated jobs in Canada and the regulatory authorities

These are the regulated jobs in Canada

  1. Architects
  2. Audiologist and Speech Pathologists
  3. Chiropractors
  4. Community Urban Planner
  5. Dental Assistants
  6. Dental Hygienists
  7. Dental Specialist
  8. Dental Technicians and Technologists
  9. Dentists
  10. Denturists
  11. Dieticians / Nutritionists
  12. Embalmers / Funeral Directors
  13. Engineering Technicians and Technologists
  14. Engineers
  15. Foresters
  16. Geoscientists
  17. Hearing Aid Practitioners
  18. Home Economists
  19. Hunting Guides
  20. Land Surveyors
  21. Landscape Architects
  22. Lawyers
  23. Licensed Practical Nurses
  24. Medical Laboratory Technologists
  25. Medical Radiation Technologists
  26. Massage Therapists
  27. Midwives
  28. Naturopathic Physicians
  29. Occupational Therapists
  30. Opticians
  31. Optometrists
  32. Paramedics
  33. Pharmacists
  34. Physicians
  35. Physiotherapist
  36. Podiatrists / Chiropodists
  37. Psychologists
  38. Real Estate Agents
  39. Registered Nurses (Including Psychiatric Nurses)
  40. Respiratory Therapists
  41. Social Workers
  42. Teachers
  43. Translators
  44. Veterinarians

To know which regulatory authority is responsible for the assessment of your regulated profession and trade in the province/territory, you should access the websites made by the provincial/territorial government that have summarized the information for you.


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