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Office of the Manitoba Fairness Commissioner

Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT)

An inter-provincial accord that aims to reduce barriers to the movement of persons, goods and services between Canadian Provinces. The terms of the AIT include the demand for full labour mobility that allows registered individuals in one jurisdiction to be registered in any other Canadian jurisdiction without the need for re-assessment.

Appeal Committee

A tribunal responsible for rehearing, reconsidering, or reviewing registration decisions.

Internal Review Committee

An appeal body that operates within a regulatory organization, whose independence is secured administratively.


The process whereby the knowledge, skills and credentials that an individual possesses, their qualifications in a broad sense, are measured or gauged against standards required as a condition of license or certification. Assessment can assume the form of examinations to test individual knowledge, credential evaluations to determine their meaning, PLAR to see what people know from their experience or practical competency demonstrations that allow individuals to show what they can do.

Assessment Assistance

Financial support provided to help defray the costs associated with the review and evaluation of competencies and qualifications. Costs may include document assessment, examination, and registration fees. Assessment Assistance may also be required to cover costs associated with meeting requirements for successful licensure/certification, for example, texts required for exam preparation or short courses needed to fill gaps.

Assessment Tool

An instrument used to evaluate the qualifications and/or competencies of an individual.

Benchmarking of Occupations

The assessment of the English language proficiencies needed to perform a job safely, effectively, and successfully using the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB). The CLB are a set of national standards for English as an additional Language (EAL). They describe what people can do in English at 12 levels of competency in the four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Bridge Programs

A program of study, a course, or set of courses or activities designed specifically to provide individuals from one jurisdiction with the skills and knowledge required for entry into a trade, occupation or higher-level educational institution in another jurisdiction. A bridging program is an example of an accommodation mechanism that complements the competencies or qualifications earned outside the jurisdiction. This can take the form of Gap Training where individuals are provided supplemental training to fully meet registration requirements.


Documented recognition by a government sanctioned regulatory body that a person has attained occupational proficiency and is permitted to use the title reserved for the occupation. Individuals can practice in certified occupations without recognition by the regulator, but are not legally allowed to use the title. Certification needs to be distinguished from licensure, which does not allow for practice without title.

Commissioner’s Report

The Manitoba Fairness Commissioner’s report to the Minister of Labour and Immigration about the implementation and effectiveness of The Fair Registration Practices in the Regulated Professions Act. The report is submitted every two years and is tabled by the Minister in the Assembly.

Co-op Work Placement

A paid work experience for individuals arranged between a post secondary institution and an employer.

Competency-based Assessments

The measurement of skills and expertise through practical demonstration. Competency-based assessments allow individuals to show what they can do and know.

Equality Principles

The character of treatment that individuals are subject. In the area of Qualifications Recognition, two principles are commonly distinguished:

  • Formal Equality
    Rules that treat everyone, regardless of circumstance, in the same way.
  • Substantive Equality
    A principle recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada that permits differential treatment in an effort to realize fair treatment and a genuine equality of opportunity. In the area of Qualifications Recognition, this means that different assessment and recognition strategies for international applicants are legitimate and warranted for truer assessment results.

Essential Skills

Skills that individuals must possess to function well, but are often not formally trained or explicitly taught on the job or at the post-secondary level. These abilities are essential in that they are both critical and ubiquitous for skilled labour. Essential Skills include reading text, document use, writing, numeracy, oral communication, thinking skills, problem solving, decision making, job task planning and organizing, significant use of memory, finding information, working with others, computer use and continuous learning.

Fairness Commissioner

In Manitoba, this is the person appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council in accordance with section 11 of The Fair Registration Practices in the Regulated Professions Act. The Fairness Commissioner is responsible for:

  • Reviewing regulatory practice and overseeing compliance to the Act
  • Informing regulators and other stakeholders about the Act
  • Submitting a report every two years to the Minister responsible for the Act about the implementation and effectiveness of the Act

Fair Registration

The principal value called for by The Fair Registration Practices in the Regulated Professions Act. The Fairness Commissioner is responsible for ensuring compliance with the requirements of the Act and promoting fair registration amongst regulators. Fair has a variety of senses and the Office of the Manitoba Fairness Commissioner employs the following working definitions:

  • Substantive
    Registration practices are fair when only and all competent applicants are recognized in an efficient and timely manner. In this case, registration is fair in outcome and in substance.
  • Procedural
    Registration practices are also required to be fair in process. In the language of the Fair Registration Practices in Regulated Professions Act, the registration process must be transparent, objective, and impartial.
  • Relational
    The perception individuals have of the extent to which they have been treated fairly. Registration practice is relationally fair if the organization communicates the meaning and reasons of its decisions to applicants, treats applicants with respect and allows applicants the opportunity to respond and be heard.

The Fair Registration Practices in Regulated Professions Act

Proclaimed in April 2009, the Act is legislation that calls for fair registration practices amongst 31 of Manitoba’s self-regulated professions. The Act stipulates the appointment of a Fairness Commissioner. The Fairness Commissioner is responsible to ensure compliance with the requirements of the legislation, support and assist changes in regulatory practice and to submit reports to the Minister of Labour and Immigration.

Fair Registration Practices Code

The section of The Fair Registration in the Regulated Professions Act that imposes a general duty and host of specific duties for registration practices to be transparent, objective, impartial, and fair.

Framework for a Manitoba Strategy on Qualifications Recognition

The Framework document is a product of a 2002 Think-Tank consultation that brought together all of the major stakeholders involved in qualifications recognition for skilled immigrants in Manitoba. The strategy articulates several principles that are intended to guide future policy development and activity, and places a clear emphasis on the need for systemic change in Manitoba..

Internationally Educated Individuals (IEIs)

Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPs)

Both these terms refer to individuals with internationally acquired post secondary educational credentials and work experience. They are often used interchangeably.

Internationally Educated Applicants (IEAs)

Individuals applying for registration in a regulated profession that possess post-secondary educational credentials and/or professional work experience acquired from abroad.


A period of practical, supervised, on-the-job training designed to supplement a period of formal study and give the practitioner the required skills and knowledge for entry into a trade or occupation.


Work experience where an individual spends part or all of a work day with a competent worker/professional to observe the tasks and the skills needed of the particular position. The individual observes only; direct work experience is not acquired.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) also Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

The process of identifying, assessing and recognizing skills and knowledge that have been acquired through work experience, unrecognized training, independent study and activities, and hobbies. The idea is to capture and acknowledge the many competencies people possess that are not directly reflected in their formal credentials.

Professional Practice and Ethics Exam

Formal exam to verify an applicant’s knowledge of professional practice issues, including law, local codes or standards and ethical codes of conduct.

Learning Contract

A plan wherein an individual describes what he or she needs to learn and notes how that learning experience will occur. This is a mutually agreed upon contract, usually between an educational institution and a learner, that an individual agrees to carry out and be assessed on.


Documented recognition by a regulatory body, sanctioned by a provincial government, that entitles its holder to have the exclusive right to practice a trade or profession, and that signifies that the licensce-holder meets academic and work experience qualifications required for safe and competent practice. Licensure needs to be distinguished from certification, which confers simply a right to title and allows for practice without title.

Manitoba Fair Practices for the Assessment and Recognition of Internationally Educated Applicants

This document presents the principles and practices involved in the fair assessment and recognition of internationally educated applicants. It is a critical and defining text for the work of the Office of the Manitoba Fairness Commissioner (OMFC). Together with the ‘Fair Registration Practices Code’ in The Fair Registration Practices in Regulated Professions Act, it serves as the basis for the standards of compliance found in the OMFC’s Compliance Evaluation Tool.


A service associated with educational programs and licensing/registration processes, through which individuals obtain ongoing advice and assistance from persons experienced in their field of study or occupation.

Occupational Standards

The skills, knowledge and abilities required for the safe and competent practice of an occupation as established by regulatory bodies.

Process Model for Qualification Recognition

Identifies and maps all of the key steps involved in an internationally educated immigrant’s ideal journey toward qualifications recognition. The model begins pre-migration, then identifies a variety of stages of preparation, assessment and recognition and ends with labour market entry.

Qualification Recognition (QR)

The area of work, policy and practice concerned with the recognition of internationally educated professionals’ qualifications. The QR field focuses on activities and stakeholders involved in the recognition of credentials, skills and experience by a competent authority for the purposes of entry into an educational program, trade or profession or for general employment purposes.

Registration in a Profession

The licensing or certification process whereby applicants acquire professional recognition and rights to title and/or practice in a jurisdiction from a government sanctioned regulatory body.

Registration is often used simply in reference to the final outcome of the process; licensing or certification. As the term is employed in The Fair Registration Practice in Regulated Professions Act, it refers to the entire process, all the activities required for the final outcome, from application, to assessment, to recognition.

Registration Review

Registration reviews are conducted by the Office of the Manitoba Fairness Commissioner (OMFC) and refer to the documentation and evaluation of the assessment and registration practices of a regulatory body. The purpose of registration reviews is to ensure that registration practices are fair and so in compliance with The Fair Registration Practices in Regulated Professions Act.

Registration Committee

Also referred to as a Board of Examiners, a registration committee is the group, operating under the authority of a regulator’s instituting legislation, that is responsible for approving or denying the registration of applicants for licensing or certification.

Regulatory Body or Regulator

Refers to a government-sanctioned organization, association or college that is responsible for the governance of a profession. It is responsible to ensure that its members are qualified to provide safe and competent practice to the public. Registration is required for membership and grants the legal right to practice, or use of title.

Regulated Profession

An occupation requiring a high degree of expertise, training and qualifications, and the power for determining entrance to the occupation has been given to an organization of people from the same occupation.

Restricted Licence

A type of partial recognition offered by a regulatory body that enables an individual to practice his or her profession within a limited scope of practice.

Self-Assessment Tool

Instruments that allow individuals to evaluate their qualifications and competencies by answering direct questions about their competencies. It enables the candidate to personally assess his/her chances of gaining employment or acceptance into an educational program or recognition from a regulatory body.

Occupational Standards

The level of competence, knowledge, skills, and practical experience determined by regulators to be required for entry into an educational institution or admission to a trade or profession.

Third Party Assessors

As referred to in The Fair Registration Practice in Regulated Professions Act, entities other than the regulatory body that play a role in the assessment and registration process.

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