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Office of the Manitoba Fairness Commissioner

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In response to the Fairness Commissioner’s Recommendations, MIA proposed the following action plan as of October 2012. 

1. With regard to the assessment and registration information:

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a.That MIA make clear its gap training requirement for IEAs, including transparent assessment policies and criteria and the provision of written assessments;MIA agrees to the recommendations and has a two-stage plan:

1. Provide additional information on Gap Training. At minimum this will involve providing more detail in plain language on the web portal and in other written communication with Internationally Educated Agrologists (IEAs) regarding MIA’s assessments.

2. Review existing assessment tools and develop and implement a Gap Training Needs Assessment Tool.
b.That MIA provide more detailed, complete information about the “Other” gap training option, including information about the type, cost and availability of upgrading courses available;MIA agrees to the recommendations and will provide detailed information including potential courses and MIA processes. Although “other” Gap Training can be highly individual and circumstance dependent, MIA does have more information that it can and will make available.
c.That MIA provide complete information about the requirements for the Agrologist-in-Training Program in its Internationally Educated Agrologists Portal;Information about the Agrologist-in-Training requirements is available within the IEA portal. MIA will review the information and ensure that language and terminology is consistent throughout.
d.That MIA introduce general information about WES documentation requirements and the timelines for a WES credential assessment; MIA agrees to directly provide more detailed information (that is currently available within the WES website and within the IEAP website) in the IEA web portal. The information will include timelines.
e.That MIA introduce information about associated costs and a realistic estimate of the full cost and time range for the entire registration process, including time and cost information for the non-IEAP, “Other” gap training route to registration and its Agrologist-in-Training Program;MIA agrees to the recommendation and will develop a planned approach to providing detailed information on potential costs and time range. MIA will include new content in planning a second phase enhancement of the IEA portal.
f.That MIA’s Internationally Educated Agrologists Portal be updated both to include information about all of MIA’s registration requirements – academic qualification, gap training requirement, and the Agrologist-in-Training Program -- and to be better integrated with the rest of the website;MIA agrees to the recommendation and will review its website to determine the most effective means to make sure that IEAs are directed to the IEA portal. Integration with the rest of the MIA website may involve updating and/or re-programming the existing site and implementation may depend on availability of resources for this project.
g.That MIA provide information about applicant access to records and the procedure whereby records are accessed;MIA agrees to provide applicants with access to their records. MIA will include new general information on the process on its website and in written communication.
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2. That MIA work to further articulate and document practice standards to better support its assessment of academic qualification, gap training assessments and the possibility of work experience assessment;MIA will collaborate with partners in Agrologists Canada to develop a workable competency based framework for the profession.
3. That MIA develop and implement a strategy to assess qualifications acquired through work experience;The MIA Admission and Registration Committee (ARC) is interested in collaborating with the OMFC and possibly others to further understand the potential for experience-based qualification assessment for IEAs. The ARC supports development of a competency-based assessment framework that includes a work experience component.
4. That MIA review its reference letter requirement and mandatory gap training requirement to ensure their appropriate relevance and application;The ARC agrees to review the reference letter requirement with a view to provide even more flexibility regarding both use and timing.

With respect to mandatory gap training requirements, MIA will provide more and better information to clarify the relationship between “gap training” and Agrologist-in-Training requirements. Additionally, the ARC will extend the current assessment format with revised procedures to ensure decisions on Gap Training are appropriate and well understood.
5. That MIA work to establish formal policies and procedures to better ensure the transparency, reliability and validity of its academic assessments and gap training assessments;Related to transparency: Existing information from MIA’s Admission and Registration manual will be added to the IEA web portal.

Related to reliability and validity of assessments: The ARC has a process in place to regularly review assessment policies and procedures to ensure methods are reliable and decisions are sound. In addition to its commitment to action on recommendations 2 and 3, the ARC will commit to improve documentation of policies and procedures.
6. That MIA provide detailed written reasons for the assessment of academic qualifications and gap training requirements;MIA agrees to the recommendation and will provide more complete and detailed reasons for assessment results. The ARC further agrees to provide more details in writing, including comparative information, to applicants whose registration applications are not accepted, or whose application is assessed with conditions.

7. With respect to MIA’s appeal process:

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a.That the restriction of appealable decisions to academic assessments be removed, allowing appeal of any assessment and registration decisions that denies or conditions registration;MIA does not limit or restrict appealable decisions to academic decisions. However, MIA accepts that this existing wording may lead to an unintended perception among some applicants.
b.That complete appeal policies and procedures be established, including the timelines involved, the provision of written reasons, training for appeal committee members and a dedicated pre-appeal process;MIA agrees with the recommendation and will provide clear information regarding appeals, including policies and procedures.
c.That complete appeal information be provided in the registration information and with any assessment decision subject to appeal; MIA accepts the recommendation and will include new information in the IEA web portal and in written decision communications.
8. That MIA articulate, and provide information about, the possible paths to AIT licensure for IEAs for whom the Internationally Educated Agrologist Program is not a viable option.MIA will continue its practice of supporting IEAs with individualized information about alternatives to the IEAP and will develop and publish other general information concerning options that could satisfy MIA licensure options.

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