British Colombia takes the first step to recognize the international educational credentials

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The Act makes several changes to how international credentials are recognized in the province and streamline the process for applicants. Specifically, it removes Canadian work experience requirements, language testing for some applicants and additional fees for international applicants.

It will impact 29 professions ranging from engineers to accountants, real estate brokers, healthcare professionals and more. The province consulted 18 regulatory bodies to draft the legislation, which was passed by the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia last November.

The full list of occupations impacted under the Act includes:

  • Registered music teacher
  • Professional engineer
  • Professional teaching certificate holder
  • Land surveyor
  • Early childhood educator
  • Landscape architect
  • Early childhood educator assistant
  • Applied science technologist
  • Conditional teaching certificate holder
  • Certified technician
  • Social worker
  • Veterinarian
  • Registered clinical social worker
  • Lawyer
  • Professional biologist
  • Architect
  • Applied biology technician
  • Notary public
  • Registered biology technologist
  • Emergency medical assistant, including paramedics
  • Professional geoscientist
  • Chartered professional accountant
  • Registered professional forester
  • Associate real estate broker
  • Registered forest technologist
  • Managing real estate broker
  • Professional agrologist
  • Real estate representative
  • Technical agrologist

Work experience requirements

Through the Act, B.C. says it will streamline international credential recognition by removing unnecessary Canadian work experience requirements. The Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills says it is “working with regulatory authorities to understand current approaches and identify any existing Canadian work experience requirements that would be prohibited under the new regulations.”

However, the province says the superintendent of international credential recognition may grant an exemption to a regulator with a valid reason for requiring Canadian work experience.

Further, there is still a one-year transition period for the work experience requirement. For example, on January 1, 2025, regulations defining prohibited Canadian work experience and outlining exemptions come into effect and prohibition on requiring Canadian work experience comes into effect on July 1, 2025.