Registration, certification and licensing: What do these mean?

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What are regulated professions?

  • Occupations that demand a high level of expertise, training and qualifications. It also requires recognition from a professional regulatory body.
  • They are jobs that have a direct effect on public health and safety.
  • There are around 33 regulated professions under Manitoba’s Fair Registration Practices in Regulated Professions Act. See them here: Regulated Professions and Trades.
  • There are 55 designated trades but only nine require compulsory certification.
  • There are also 70 other regulated occupations in Manitoba. These are jobs like driving instructor, security guard, paramedic, lifeguard, and real estate agent.

What does it mean for you?

You need a licence or certification to work if your job is regulated. There is no single procedure that applies to all regulated professions. Each profession has a regulatory body that does its own assessment.

What to do if your profession is regulated:

  1. Research about your profession before moving to Canada.
  2. (If you are a pre-arrival) Find out if you can start your registration procedure in your home country. This may shorten the process and lessen costs. Attend Settlement Online Pre-Arrival (SOPA). It is free online training that helps pre-arrivals research and prepare for registration and employment in Manitoba. You can also attend SOPA even if your job is not regulated.
  3. Read 5 steps to credentials assessment and licensing to know what to do.

Let’s define some terms:

Qualifications Recognition – the process of checking that the education, training, skills, and practical work experience obtained in another country meet the standards set by regulators. It is done before you can work in a regulated occupation in Canada.

Registration – the licensing or certification process. It includes all the activities from application assessment to recognition.

Certification – an official title that recognizes that a person has a specialized set of skills, knowledge and abilities to practice in a certain occupation.

Licensing – “to accredit” or “certify”. A licence is a document to show that the licence-holder meets the requirements to practice an occupation.

Credential Assessment – an evaluation of how qualifications (education, work experience or professional credentials) from other countries compare to Canadian qualifications.

Regulatory Body (professional associations) – an organization that sets the standards and practices of a regulated occupation. They are responsible for the issuing of a licence.

The Fair Registration Practices in Regulated Professions Act – this act ensures that registration practices are transparent, objective, impartial and fair.

For more information on Qualifications Recognition go to:
Office of the Manitoba Fairness Commissioner, Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC), and World Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

Sources: Immigrate Manitoba; Job Bank glossary. All accessed July 27, 2017. Updated May 27, 2019.

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