Accreditation could be an issue for certain kinds of jobs in Canada. While many wish to continue work in the same job they had in their home country, not obtaining proper accreditation can hinder that wish. This page explains what getting accredited to work in Canada is, as well as how to go about it if it is necessary.
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What is Accreditation in Canada?
Accreditation simply means obtaining proper licensing or certification to work in a particular occupation. Occupations that require accreditation in Canada are usually governed by some bodies and those who have been accredited to work in those occupations belong to the bodies and are recognized as professionals in those fields.
Work accreditation in Canada is a one-time thing. And unless you switch professions or provinces, you will not need to get accredited in Canada again once you’ve done it the first time.
That said, the procedures to get accredited to work in Canada differ from one occupation to another, and from one province to the other.
However, certain things are common to the processes. This include getting your credentials assessed, analyzing your work experience, taking some professional exams and language tests.
If you are applying to work in Canada using the Express Entry System, getting accredited will increase your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. It can also help you land a job faster when you arrive in Canada, or increase your chances of nomination in the Provincial Nominee Program.
Who Needs to get Accredited to Work in Canada?
There are three types of occupations in Canada based on regulation procedures:
- Non-regulated occupations
- Regulated occupations
- Skilled trades
Non-regulated occupations do not require any kind of accreditation in Canada. Regulated occupations are those which you must require you to get accredited to work in the positions. These kinds of jobs are often recognized as professional jobs.
Popular among jobs that require accreditation in Canada include but are not limited to: healthcare, engineering, legal, and financial services jobs. If you will be working in any of these fields in Canada, then you must get accredited to work in Canada.
The third kind of occupations in Canada is skilled trades. Skilled traders also need to obtain accreditation or licensing to carry out trading transactions.
If you are not sure if your job needs to be accredited in Canada, you only need to check the requirements for working the occupation as regulated by the province or territory you will be working with.
What this also means is that you can only obtain accreditation for your job from the province or territory you are working for.
If you get a job before immigrating to Canada, your employer should inform you if accreditation is one of the requirements to legally resume work in that profession.
How to Get Accredited to Work in Canada
Getting accredited to work in Canada generally follows these procedures:
- Submitting Your Credentials for Recognition
This is all about the checking your credentials to see if the results are equivalent to the level of education in Canada. For example, if you have a degree in Law with a credential to prove so, it will be assessed to determine if the kind of education you obtained is equivalent to what a degree holder who studied Law in Canada obtained. This assessment is called Educational Credentials Assessment (ECA) and it can only be done by recognized bodies.
- Getting your Qualification Analyzed
You should not mix up your credentials with your qualifications as they mean different things in the context of getting accredited to work in Canada. Your qualification is a combination of your credentials, your work experience, and some other procedures known as ‘competencies’. The regulatory body for your profession is in charge of analyzing your qualifications.
- Obtain your License or Certification
The last thing to do in getting your credential accredited is obtaining your license or certification, as the case may be. If you meet all grading criteria, you will be notified on how you will obtain your license. With that, you become a recognized professional in that field and can confidently take the occupation in Canada.
To get accredited to work in Canada, you will not apply to just any kind of regulatory body. It has to be the body functional for your province, in that profession.
Below, you will find a step by step process on how you can get accreditation to work in Canada.
Step 1: Create Your Job Market Report
The first thing you need to do is to create a job market report using Job Bank. Job Bank is a website owned by the government of Canada that helps you to find relevant jobs. In creating your report, you will include information that will help employers and regulatory bodies such as:
- Your wages
- Major duties
- Brief job description
- Similar job titles
- If it is regulated or not
- Skills relevant to the job
- Job openings
- Contact information for your regulatory body and apprenticeship authority
Step 2: Find your Occupational Profile
Your occupational profile is simply information on that occupation and the regulatory needs as related to the province you are working with. To find out about your occupational profile visit the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) website. You will need to provide the National Occupational Classification Code and the province you will be working in. From your occupational profile, you can determine if you need a Red Seal Certification or not.
Step 3: Check if you Meet the Qualification Requirements
Once you know the accreditation requirements for that job in the province you will work in, check your qualifications if you meet up. This includes checking to know if you have the proper licensing, if you have registered with the right bodies, and if your certifications meet the Canadian standards.
Step 4: Reach out to the Regulatory Body
Most likely, you will not have acquired the needed qualifications and registrations needed for accreditation. You should therefore contact the regulatory body for your occupation in your province. They will expose you to the specific steps you need to take and you may be able to start some of them before you immigrate to Canada. For example, you can take the language tests and get your credentials assessed by a recognized body before you arrive in Canada.
Step 5: Gather the Documents you Need
The most important documents you need to get accredited to work in Canada are your educational credentials, proof of language proficiency, certifications, and proof of work experience. You can get the proper details on what you must provide from the regulatory body. All your documents must be complete so you should start gathering them in time. Also, you must follow the guidelines on the kinds of documents you can submit. If your documents are not available in English (or French, for persons working in Quebec,) you will provide translations in the required language from a credible source.
Step 6: Assess your Documents from an Approved Agency
Getting your credential assessed can show your employers how your level of education compares to Canadian standards. The licensing procedure of the regulatory body in your province may not include the credential assessment process.
In that case, you will have to contact an approved assessment agency. The agency after assessing your credentials will offer professional advice on what you can do in Canada with your credentials.
You may need to improve on your education or skills to be able to take a relevant occupation in Canada. The agency will also inform you if taking a new job relevant to your field or one totally outside your field is something you should look into.
If it is recommended that you upgrade your education and you are passionate about working that job in Canada, you may consider getting educated in a Canadian school, professional institute, or training centre.
This can help you land a job faster after your studies. Studying in Canada will also offer you the Canadian experience in that field which is something employers can leverage on to recruit you.
Step 7: Search for Relevant Jobs
Suppose you have not gotten a job offer before now, you can begin to search for relevant positions while you await the licensing procedures to be completed. If you are already in Canada and you need to work, you can take a job in a field similar to your qualifications but does not require accreditation.
Doing this will create for you a source of income and will also help you build Canadian work experience which you may need in landing a professional job after you have been accredited to work in Canada.
Should in case you are not in Canada yet while you work on your licensing, you can begin applying to any of the Canada immigration options you wish. Apply for work visa or seek for permanent residency through any of the most convenient immigration pathways.
FAQs About Getting Accredited to Work in Canada
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