Newly proposed legislative amendments are a part of the Manitoba government’s plans to accelerate the foreign credential recognition process.
On November 2, Ralph Eichler, Manitoba’s minister of economic development and training announced that it will soon speed up the foreign credential recognition process for internationally trained applicants.
“Our aim is to remove barriers so qualified, internationally-trained applicants can practice their trade in Manitoba sooner and are fairly treated when they file for a license to practice,” said Ralph Eichler in a media release. “Many new immigrants to Manitoba are highly educated and possess in-demand skill and experience, and we want to help them keep their skills up to date so they can rejoin their professions more quickly after coming to Manitoba and help grow our economy.”
The changes pertains to the Fair Registration Practices in Regulated Professions Act, which was passed into law in 2009.
It was established to help ensure regulated professions had application and registration processes for those who were trained abroad, and entering the Manitoba labor force.
This act was meant to make sure the application and registration processes were open, objective, impartial, and fair.
Some of the thirty (30) self-regulated professions in Manitoba include the Registered Nurses, colleges of Licensed Practical Nurses, Pharmacists, Physicians and Surgeons, Chartered Professional Accountants Manitoba, the Manitoba Dental Association, Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association, and Manitoba College of Social Workers.
The proposed amendments are intended to lessen barriers to the successful and timely registration of internationally trained applicants to regulated professions. They would also fulfill a 2019 election commitment to require regulated professions to have registration practices consistent with domestic trade agreements.
The proposed amendments would set timeline standards for regulated professions that would shorten registration processes. They would also create a duty for regulators to ensure registration requirements and assessments are necessary to practice the profession.
In addition, professions would have to take reasonable measures to work with post-secondary institutions and employers to ensure internationally-trained applicants have ways to address gaps and meet registration requirement.
The minister would also have the authority to enforce compliance, which would connect Manitoba with similar fairness legislation in Ontario, Alberta, Nova Scotia, and Quebec.
They would address non-compliance within domestic trade agreements by requesting regulated professions to comply with the New West Partnership and Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
Changes would also clarify the administration of the act. Manitoba government would appoint a director responsible for the act to simplify the reporting structure. There would also be other support staff who would be responsible for carrying out the act.
Finally, the new amendment would force regulatory bodies to inform the director of fair registration practices of changes to their assessments and registration practices, before they implementation so they can provide feedbacks on changes that might affect applicants.
“Regulated professions are responsible for safeguarding the public interest by ensuring a high standard of professional practice, and our government is working with Manitoba’s thirty (30) regulated professions as the updated act would require them to take steps to improve their assessments and registration process,” the minister said in the release.
He noted that only sixteen (16) percent of internationally trained applicants in Manitoba were registered between 2015 and 2017, even though they represented forty-one (41) percent of all applicants during that period.
Ralph Eichler also said the act aims to improve pathways for new immigrants trying to establish their careers in Manitoba. It is intended to help skilled workers coming via the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program find jobs in their profession so they can help fill labor market gaps.