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In addition to accreditation, you may be required to take some courses, enroll in a bridging program or upgrade your language skills to become a certified social worker and gain employment in your field.

Skills Upgrading

In order to get employed in Canada, you may need training or skills upgrading, especially in regards to your soft skills. Employers in Canada expect social workers to have empathy, understanding, strong professional ethics, computer competence and able to work in difficult situations.

Having strong skills in one or both of Canada’s official languages – English or French –is extremely important for your future in Canada. Whether you choose to focus on learning or improving English or French will depend on which of the two languages most people speak in the area where you live. You may be eligible for Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program. Otherwise, you can find other free or affordable classes in English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) classes through the school boards or settlement agencies.

There are even language courses to teach you professional terminology, such as job-specific language training and Occupation Specific Language Training (OSLT) in Ontario. And, if you already speak one of Canada’s two official languages at a high level, learning the other one is a good idea. and it may offer you more employment options.

Bridging programs

Bridging programs are a good way to transition from your international experience and training to the Canadian workplace. Though there are not many bridging programs for internationally trained social workers, many colleges, universities and immigrant-serving agencies offer courses or workshops related to the social sector. You may be eligible for one. Do some research to find a program that’s suitable for you.

Ryerson University
Internationally Educated Social Work Professionals (IESW)
This program helps internationally educated social work professionals to work in their field in Ontario. Participants of this program will have access to training, workplace experience, employment support and an occupation-specific communications course. In addition, this program will develop a peer support program for effective workplace integration of participants.


Many immigrants take further education after coming to Canada. Some want to change careers or enhance their careers with a Ph.D or MBA. Universities and colleges across Canada offer a number of bridging programs designed to help immigrants get Canadian certification in their field.