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Office of the Manitoba Fairness Commissioner

Fair Registration Practices | Internationally Educated Professional’s Issues

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Not all internationally educated professionals in Manitoba are
recognized and practising their professions. Below are some
common barriers they face.

Access to Information

This Way That Way
Lack of consistent information

Applicants receive conflicting information about the way things are done here, leaving them unprepared for the Qualification Recognition process.

Complex process

Most countries have only one regulatory body—the national government. Canada’s system is more complex and hard to navigate because there are many players involved in the regulation of each profession.

Prep and premigration
Lack of pre-migration assessment tools

People have no opportunity to assess what their education, experience, and skills are going to be worth in Canada. They come here without knowing whether they can expect to be licensed or certified and re-enter their trade or profession here.

Information in English only

Information is written in English only, at a language level too high for many applicants to understand.

No full picture

With so many players involved in the regulation of a profession, there is no single place for internationally educated professionals to get all the information they need about the registration process. Their journey is long and winding. There is always something else because they never have the full picture.

Question mark
No step-by-step process

There is no step-by-step chart to guide people through Canada’s complex system. Different players give conflicting advice on where to start, what steps to take, and when to take them.

Qualifications Assessment

Original documents

Original documents are difficult to obtain, especially when applicants are already in Canada.

Paper Plane
Experience not assessed

Most internationally educated applicants have years of work experience behind them, yet they are tested on knowledge typically gained fresh out of school.

Inconsistent requirements

Inconsistent requirements can lead to a catch-22. For example, an applicant fails to meet the requirement of occupation-specific English. The workplace is the only place to learn but the applicant can’t get a job until he/she is fully licensed.


Tools assess test-taking skills over knowledge

Some assessment tools do not consider cultural or linguistic diversity. They are poorly constructed and do not test what they intend to—for example, test-taking skills over content knowledge.

Unfamiliar testing methods

Exams use complicated English or testing methods that are not used in other countries, such as multiple-choice.

No opportunity to demonstrate skills

Assessment methods are paper-based, not competency-based. They lack variety and do not reveal everything the applicant knows and can do.


No feedback on exams

Applicants do not get feedback on where they did and did not meet requirements. Without knowing where they went wrong, it is hard to prepare for the next exam and impossible to take gap training.

High cost

People need time to save up for high registration costs. During this time, many people see their skills grow stale.

Lengthy registration process

The registration process can drag on for months or even years because requirements such as a criminal reference check from a country of origin are difficult to get. Applicants who need work now must give up and settle for survival jobs.

Dead End
Lack of advice on how to address gaps

Unsuccessful applicants do not know where to go or what to do to address their gaps or weaknesses.

Report to the Minister

Download the Report to the Minister 2015-2017

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