B.C. announces new rules to streamline international credential recognition

Click to play video: 'B.C. government to streamline process for recognition of foreign professional certifications'
B.C. government to streamline process for recognition of foreign professional certifications
The B.C. government will introduce new legislation to speed up and simplify the process for internationally-trained professionals to have their certifications recognized so they can work in this province. Richard Zussman reports. – Oct 10, 2023

The B.C. government has announced it is improving credential recognition for internationally-trained professionals in order for them to work in the province.

Premier David Eby took part in a town hall Tuesday in order to address barriers for professionals who are trained in other countries. This means anyone who has education, skills and work experience from outside Canada that is recognized as comparable to Canadian standards.

According to the provincial government, over the next decade, 387,000 newcomers are expected to enter the workforce and fill 38 per cent of job openings.

Eby said in order to break down those barriers, the government will be introducing legislation this fall to help boards improve the credential recognition process and make it easier for people to use their skills to work in B.C., no matter where they receive their training.

Sara Montazer Hojat, a foreign-trained dentist, has spent the last three years getting certified in B.C.

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“I got my dental licence in the Philippines, and then after I practiced for six years in Iran,” she told Global News. “I immigrated to Canada three years ago and I’ve been trying to get my licence ever since. Unfortunately, due to lack of a seat availability and lack of organization when it comes to dental board exams, I haven’t gotten far in the past three years.”

Click to play video: 'Internationally accredited doctors fight B.C.’s system'
Internationally accredited doctors fight B.C.’s system

Upcoming legislation will outline new responsibilities for professional regulatory bodies under several themes, including accountability, fairness, transparency and efficiency.

“I have talked to too many people with incredible skills that we know we need that haven’t been able to do the work that they want to do, and they’re working in some other area where they’re less satisfied, they’re making less money, and it’s not helping build the kind of province we want,” Eby said Tuesday.

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Last April, the B.C. government announced it was “overhauling the process” to accredit internationally-trained nurses. In January, the government announced it would waive the up-front application and assessment fees for nurses to become accredited in the province. The two fees typically cost more than $3,700.

Last November, the government announced more family doctors will soon be available to take patients as part of a program that helps internationally educated doctors get licences in B.C.

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