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Office of the Manitoba Fairness Commissioner

The Principle of Substantive Equality

Substantive equality recognizes the relevant differences we possess and calls for us to treat individuals and groups differently to treat them fairly.

Fair Registration

Registration practice is fair when all competent applicants are recognized through a transparent, impartial and objective process that treats applicants with respect. The Office encourages regulators to pursue innovative registration practices that meet this regulatory ideal.

These are the principles and practices that guide us and help us achieve the sense of fairness we seek:

Best Practice

Manitoba regulators have shown great leadership in their pursuit of innovative registration practices that meet the regulatory ideal.

The list of practices and programs that follows is taken from Manitoba Fair Practices for the Assessment and Recognition of Internationally Educated Applicants, 2009.  They are a testament to a commitment to fairness:

1. Substantive Equality

  • Recognize same treatment is not necessarily fair treatment
  • Consider applicants’ unique circumstances


Certified Technicians and Technologists Association of Manitoba (CTTAM)

Report Writing Program
CTTAM and Manitoba Labour and Immigration created a program to familiarize immigrants with the style and format of technical reports so they can successfully complete a report required for certification.

  • Classroom time helps candidates with mechanical issues of English
  • Mentors from the same profession advise candidates on the technical aspects of report writing
2. Accessibility

  • Improve access to pre-migration assessments
  • Make accommodations to level the playing field (e.g. use of translators in exams)
  • Pro-rate registration fees and offer payment plans
  • Hold numerous exam dates in a given year


College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (CRNM)

Informative Website
CRNM developed a website with a wide variety of information to ward off surprises and unexpected delays for nurses researching licensure in Manitoba from their home countries.

  • On-line application form includes multiple-language instructions for completion
  • Links take candidates to a preparation guide and practice test for writing the Canadian Registered Nurse Exam (CRNE)
  • Lists of exam dates and locations allow for planning in a given year
3. Transparency

  • Write information in plain language
  • Fully inform applicants of how the assessment process works
  • Provide applicants with details of their results, including gaps and achievements
  • Lay out options for unsuccessful applicants


College of Occupational Therapists of Manitoba (COTM)

Plain Language Review
COTM contracted a plain language specialist to revise its written materials to ensure applicants receive clear, accurate information about the licensing process.

  • Guides and forms are understandable to a typical immigrant user
  • Website information has been re-organized to provide clear guidance on licensing steps applicants can complete in their home country versus steps they must take in Canada
4. Validity and Reliability

  • Recognize a variety of English language assessments
  • Gain cross-cultural awareness and skills to ensure cultural sensitivity
  • Use tools and processes that test what they are intended to test


Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)

Re-wording Exams
CAOT re-worded questions in their national licensing exam to make the exam more likely to measure occupational therapy expertise than English language ability.

  • Plain language experts re-wrote exam questions
  • Exam length shortened from six hours to four
5. Inclusion of Competency-based Assessment

  • Provide applicants with opportunities to demonstrate knowledge, skills and abilities
  • Consider information from a variety of sources, contexts and situations (e.g. professional references, performance reviews, and workshops)


Family Services

Qualifications Recognition Program
Family Services developed a program to streamline the assessment process for individuals who have international education with an early childhood education focus.

  • Participants enter a 14-week self-directed program once they are employed in a licensed childcare facility
  • Assessors base their evaluations on discussions with participants, workplace observations, and portfolios prepared by the participants
6. Partial Recognition

  • Grant partial recognition to qualifying applicants in the form of:
    • Provisional or conditional licence/certificate
    • Limited or restricted licence/certificate
  • Only re-assess in areas in which applicant did not meet occupational standards
  • Ensure timeframes for re-assessment are consistent with standards for currency of practice


Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA)

Temporary Licensing
MVMA grants candidates who are successful on the two first exams a temporary licence to practise under supervision so they can gain Canadian work exposure that may help them obtain a permanent licence.

  • Colleagues and supervisors evaluate and provide feedback to the individual and MVMA
  • Temporary licencees have two years to complete a final clinical exam
  • MVMA reviews the case of candidates who do not pass the clinical exam, and either revokes the temporary licence or grants an extension
7. Due Process

  • Establish processes for appeal
  • Ensure appeal processes are explained in plain language
  • Use an independent party to handle appeals



Appeal Process
Education provides applicants for teacher certification with two appeal options to prevent undue expense or hardship.

  • Applicants provide paper evidence to support their appeal without further fee
  • Applicants appear in a hearing before the provincial evaluations committee and are promptly notified by letter of the committee’s decision
8. Continuous Improvement

  • Conduct regular reviews of registration practices
  • Ask for the perspective of internationally educated applicants

Report to the Minister

Download the Report to the Minister 2013-2014

OMFC Presentations

Download the latest OMFC Powerpoint presentations


Learn about upcoming events

Registration Reviews & Action Plans

Read regulators’ Registration Review Reports and Action Plans

Journeys to Recognition

Internationally educated professionals tell their stories