Innovators recognized for work in foreign credential recognition

Ottawa, March 13, 2013 — Citizenship and Immigration Canada presented the first International Qualifications Network (IQN) Awards today to 14 Canadian innovators of foreign credential recognition programs and projects.

“For too long, too many newcomers have found themselves unemployed or stuck in survival jobs despite possessing impressive educational qualifications, work experience, and language skills. This has deprived both the newcomers and the Canadian economy,” said Parliamentary Secretary Rick Dykstra, who attended the event on behalf of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister, Jason Kenney. “The Government of Canada is committed improving the process of foreign credential recognition and helping newcomers to integrate better into the Canadian labour market and Canadian society. The International Qualifications Network is instrumental in achieving these objectives by bringing together organizations across the country to improve the process of foreign credential recognition,” he added.

The IQN is an online forum where employers, regulatory bodies, governments, and immigrant-serving organizations can share best practices in foreign credential assessment and recognition. The website allows stakeholders to share evaluation tools and practices, studies, pilot projects, reports and videos, for example, and post information about events, such as workshops and conferences.

The IQN is just one example of recent efforts to improve the process of foreign credential recognition.  In 2007, the Government of Canada established the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) to provide internationally-trained persons the information and services for credential assessment so they can find work in their fields of training much faster.

In 2009, the Government committed $50 million to develop the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications, which offers foreign-trained professionals in priority occupations a credentials assessment within one year, anywhere in the country.

In 2011, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) introduced the Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Loans Pilot which helps internationally trained persons offset the costs of the foreign credential recognition process. To date, HRSDC has signed agreements with 10 organizations across the country to deliver these loans.

Finally, the Government of Canada recently expanded the Federal Internship for Newcomers Program (FINP) to include private sector companies, which will increase employment opportunities for newcomers.

“This Government is committed to removing barriers to employment faced by newcomers. Sharing of innovative foreign credential assessment and recognition practices through the IQN will help regulatory bodies and employers improve their ability to assess international qualifications and integrate newcomers into the Canadian labour market much faster,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister, Jason Kenney.

IQN award-winning initiatives include:  a standards guide for assessing foreign credentials and a professional development program that connects newcomers with local business leaders and government officials.  For more information, visit the IQN website.

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For further information (media only), please contact:

Alexis Pavlich
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

2012 IQN award winners

World Education Services (WES)
Best Practices: Educational Credentials
New Brunswick Society of Medical Laboratory Technologists
New Brunswick Medical Laboratory Technologist Bridging Program
Honourable Mention
Government of Nova Scotia
Multi-Stakeholder Work Group
Honourable Mention
Jewish Vocational Service (JVS)
Canada InfoNet
University of Manitoba
Internationally Educated Engineers Qualification Program (IEEQ Program)
Honourable Mention
Engineers Canada
International Institutions and Degrees Database
Honourable Mention
Jewish Vocational Service (JVS)
Integrated Pre-arrival Services Online (IPSO)
Canadian International Training Education Corp
Honourable Mention
Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT)
Canadian Technology Immigration Network (CTIN) Overseas
Honourable Mention
Workplace Integration
Greater Halifax Partnership
Greater Halifax Partnership Connector Program
Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services (ISIS)
IPG Bridging Program Video
Honourable Mention
Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)
Coaching to Career
Honourable Mention
Engineers Nova Scotia and Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services (ISIS)
Internationally Educated Engineers Worksite
Honourable Mention
Special Award
Centre d’accueil et d’accompagnement francophone des immigrants du Sud-Est du Nouveau-Brunswick (CAFI)
Stratégie de recherche d’emploi et contact direct d’employeurs potentiels pour les immigrants

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