Before you leave your country, it is crucial to find out as much as you can about the Canadian standards required to practice your profession. Many professionals and skilled trades’ people encounter difficulty obtaining recognition of their training in Canada. The process for securing a licence or certificate to practice any of the “regulated” occupations varies from province to province and from job to job. Among the many regulated professions are nursing, engineering, teaching, electrical work, plumbing and doctors in Canada. (check out our Career Pathways section or download the download free ebooks for more information on your specific occupation).
Contact the professional or trade association governing your occupation in your country to determine if it has any affiliation with a similar association in Canada. You might also want to check with the Canadian consul or consulate in your country to obtain information about your occupation and possible licensing requirements, certification or registration as well as the procedure for obtaining an assessment.
Most Canadian diplomatic offices have a publication entitled National Occupational Classification that might help. Be forewarned that it may take you months if not years to obtain the additional training and pass the exams required to obtain a licence or certificate to practise in Canada.
If you are in a “non-regulated” occupation, on the other hand, you don’t need a licence to practise it although there may be an association or professional body related to your profession that offers voluntary membership, training and support services.
The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) can help you obtain the credentials and accreditation you need to find work in your occupational field. The CICIC does not assess anyone’s qualifications or grant certification, but does provide guidance from its vast library of contacts in education, the professions and skilled labour.