Foreign Credential Recognition Program
The Foreign Credential Recognition Program (FCRP) is a key component of the Government of Canada's commitment to attract, select and integrate skilled immigrants into the Canadian economy and society. Through contribution agreements, the FCRP offers strategic financial support to provincial and territorial governments and various organizations to facilitate the assessment and recognition of credentials acquired in other countries. Partnering organizations frequently include regulatory bodies, national associations and credential assessment agencies.
The FCRP also supports the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications (Framework) to improve integration of immigrants and other internationally trained workers into the Canadian labour market. The FCRP does not provide direct financial support to individuals.
Read more about foreign credential recognition
Internationally trained individuals help fill skills shortages in key occupations and make an important contribution to Canada’s economy. That’s why attracting and retaining the best international talent is critical to Canada’s long-term economic success.
However, internationally trained individuals can face barriers to getting a job in Canada, including:
- costly, complex and lengthy foreign credential recognition (FCR) processes;
- lack of Canadian work experience; and
- limited language proficiency and knowledge of Canadian society and culture.
The Government of Canada is committed to streamlining foreign credential recognition so that internationally trained individuals are able to find meaningful work that contributes to Canada's economy and overall prosperity.
In regulated occupations (e.g. architects, physicians, dentists), the recognition of foreign credentials is generally undertaken by provincial and territorial regulatory bodies. Non-regulated occupations are professions or trades that do not require a licence to practice (e.g. bookkeeper) and the recognition of foreign credentials is generally the responsibility of employers.
The federal government plays a leadership role in the recognition of foreign credentials and ensuring a strong and vibrant economic union. More specifically, it:
- facilitates national coordination;
- helps build capacity among provincial and territorial governments;
- supports stakeholders to lead projects that improve foreign credential recognition processes; and
- provides individuals with information and targeted financial support.
Employment and Social Development Canada works with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Health Canada to continually improve foreign credential recognition and the integration of internationally trained individuals into the labour market.
The Foreign Credential Recognition Program works with partners to ensure that FCR processes are fair, consistent, transparent and timely. As a result, internationally trained individuals can better participate in the labour market with employment that reflects their education, skills and work experience, and employers can more easily find workers with the relevant skills they need. Qualified organizations may be eligible for funding for projects that will improve the integration of internationally trained individuals into the workforce. Projects must facilitate the assessment and recognition of credentials acquired outside of Canada.
Read more about the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications
A key priority of the FCRP is to lead the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications. This Framework establishes a shared national vision by federal, provincial and territorial governments. The goal is to improve the foreign credential recognition processes across Canada and enhance the labour market outcomes of internationally trained individuals.
Under the Framework, regulators and stakeholders are working with governments to ensure that the processes used to assess foreign credentials adhere to the Framework’s principles of fairness, consistency, transparency and timeliness.
To focus governments’ individual and collective efforts, federal, provincial and territorial governments have agreed to target occupations under the Framework to undertake FCR initiatives.
Read more about: Target Occupations
The occupations that have been targeted since the Framework was put in place in 2009 include:
- Financial Auditors and Accountants
- Medical Laboratory Technologists
- Occupational Therapists
- Registered Nurses
- Engineering Technicians
- Licensed Practical Nurses
- Medical Radiation Technologists
- Teachers (K-12)
A key objective of the Framework is to ensure that target occupations have the processes and supports in place necessary to ensure the application of the Framework’s principles, including achieving the Pan-Canadian Commitment to Timely Service. Under this commitment, individuals applying for a target occupation will know within one year whether their qualifications will be recognized, or be informed of the additional requirements necessary for registration, or be directed toward related occupations commensurate with their skills and experience.
For more information:
The Foreign Credential Recognition Program accepts funding applications on an ongoing basis.
Priorities for funding under the Foreign Credential Recognition Program include projects that respond to the Pan-Canadian Framework on the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications and that:
- are national in scope;
- address priority occupations and sectors representing skill shortages in Canada and/or high numbers of immigrants coming to Canada; or
- have been identified as a priority by provincial and territorial governments.
Eligible Contribution Recipients
Eligible recipients include:
- provincial and territorial governments;
- regulatory bodies;
- professional associations;
- industry groups;
- public health institutions;
- not-for-profit organizations;
- sector and cross-sectoral councils;
- municipal governments;
- school boards;
- CÉGEPs; and
- consortia composed of all or some of the aforementioned types of recipient organizations.
Funding is available for activities which involve the following:
- development, validation and implementation of foreign credential recognition tools and processes to enable regulatory authorities and stakeholders in non-regulated occupations to assess and recognize the international credentials, work experience, competencies and knowledge of internationally trained individuals in a consistent, fair, transparent and timely fashion;
- development and implementation of Pan-Canadian certification or licensure pathways;
- development of gap training courses (i.e. skills and knowledge upgrading) for targeted occupations and sectors;
- development and implementation of programs that prepare internationally trained individuals in an academic and/or workplace setting to enter and succeed in their related field of study and/or expertise;
- collaboration among stakeholders to develop alternative career pathways and job matching supports for internationally trained individuals whose qualifications do not meet Canadian standards or who were unsuccessful in obtaining their Canadian certification or licensure;
- implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework, reporting on its progress and evaluating its impact;
- research and analysis of current practices and systemic barriers for entry-to-practice and career advancement of internationally trained individuals in targeted occupations and sectors; and
- partnership building and forums for stakeholders to share best practices and knowledge.
The following costs are eligible for funding (please note that all eligible costs are subject to evaluation and negotiation)Footnote 1 :
- administrative costs (e.g. wages, general operational expenditures, equipment rental and employment-related costs for staff);
- capital costsFootnote 2;
- professional fees (e.g. research, legal, consultants, facilitation, IT and technical expertise)
- travel costs; and
- other costs reasonably associated with operation of a non-for-profit association or ad-hoc consortium and related to the objective of the project.
- Footnote 1
The amount of contribution funding will be determined based on the expected costs of the activities, the demonstrated need of the applicant and the applicant’s ability to undertake the activities. In-kind and financial contributions by applicants are encouraged.
- Footnote 2
Contributions for capital costs such as the purchase of computers and other office equipment, furniture and other assets necessary to the project will normally not exceed $10,000.
Your Foreign Credential Recognition project will be assessed on the following criteria:
Objectives of the Foreign Credential Recognition Program (FCRP)
The objectives of the FCRP are:
- To contribute to developing fair, transparent, consistent, and timely foreign credential assessment and recognition capacity;
- to develop and strengthen Canada's foreign credential assessment and recognition capacity; and
- to contribute to improving labour market integration outcomes of foreign trained individuals in targeted occupations and sectors.
Expected Project Results
The ultimate outcome for each project submitted to the Foreign Credential Recognition Program is to enhance the labour market results of internationally-trained individuals in targeted occupations and sectors.
To accomplish this, each FCR project should have its own stated objectives, activities, and results (outputs and outcomes). Proposals should identify how objectives and activities will achieve the intended program results. Results must be specific, concrete and measurable. Applicants will be required to report to ESDC using key performance indicators to monitor progress achieved against the project’s stated objective(s), over the project lifecycle.
The FCRP works with partners and stakeholders to achieve the following short, medium and long-term results:
- Understanding, consensus, collaboration and commitment among stakeholders and partners on issues and potential solutions related to FCR.
- Promotion, information sharing and transfer of best practices in developing Pan-Canadian FCR processes; and,
- Partnership among key stakeholders and provinces and territories to advance the FCR agenda.
- Availability of tools and processes to assess and recognize foreign credentials among organizations.
- Standardization of Pan-Canadian FCR processes and tools in targeted occupations and other sectors; and,
- Use of tools and processes by organizations to assess and recognize the credentials of internationally-trained workers in targeted occupations and sectors.
- Enhanced labour market results of internationally-trained individuals in targeted occupations and sectors.
Assessment Criteria for FCRP proposals
The criteria used to assess proposals for the Foreign Credential Recognition Program (FCRP) will focus on the following:
- The degree to which proposed activities support FCRP objectives and priorities;
- The need for proposed foreign credential recognition activities;
- The qualifications and track record of the applicant;
- Demonstration of support required for success, and
- Value for money.
Funding amounts for foreign credential recognition (FCR) projects are determined by factors including:
- Scope and duration of activities;
- Validation of reasonableness and fair market value of proposed expenditures;
- Importance of projected expenditures to success;
- Reasonableness of overall cost given projected outcome/s;
- Other sources of funding.
Employment and Social Development Canada assesses the proposed costs based on experience and analysis. Changes are sometimes negotiated where necessary to ensure that the level of funding is the minimum the recipient will require to attain the expected results.
Concept Guide – How to fill out your Concept Paper for funding
The first step for Foreign Credential Recognition project applicants is to complete a concept proposal that provides detail about the proposed project.
To help applicants with the process, the Concept Guide provides information to assist organizations with the completion of the Concept Paper Template to Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC).
The Concept Paper Template has four parts:
Part 1 – Organization
Part 2 – Project
Part 3 – Funding
Part 4 – Declaration
If you need additional space to answer any of the questions, please use the space provided in Appendix A of the Concept Paper Template.
Note: All items marked with an asterisk (*) in the Concept Paper Template are mandatory unless otherwise specified.
Part 1 – Organization
Section 1A – Organization Identification
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) uses the information provided in this section to establish an organization’s identity.
Question 1 – Legal Name
Please provide the legal name of your organization.
Question 2 – Operating (Common) Name (if different from legal name)
Please provide the operating (or common) name of your organization if it is different from the legal name.
Question 3 – Business or Registration Number
Please provide your 15-digit Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number or, for registered charities and not-for-profit organizations, your CRA registration number.
Example: 123456789 AB 1234
For more information, please visit the CRA website .
Question 4 – Organization Type
Your answer to this question must be one of the following:
Please refer to the list of eligible recipients under Eligibility .
Question 5 – Organization Category
Please select the appropriate category from the following:
- Aboriginal not-for-profit groups
- Associations of workers and/or employers
- International non-governmental organizations
- Local community, charitable, voluntary organizations
- Non-governmental organizations with a focus to encourage employment
- National non-governmental organizations
- Not-for-profit band councils
- Provincial non-governmental organizations
- Sector councils
- Businesses, bodies incorporated or unincorporated
- Indian band corporations (profit basis)
- International sector
- Private band councils
- Private universities and colleges
- Contributions to provinces and territories
- International governments and agencies
- Municipal governments and agencies
- Provincial governments and agencies
- Public degree-granting colleges
- Public degree-granting universities
- Public community colleges and vocational schools
- Public health
- School board/other educational institution not classified elsewhere
- Territorial governments
Question 6 – Year Established
Please indicate the year your organization was established.
Questions 7 – 11 – Organization Address
Please indicate the address of your organization. Applicants must provide a complete address in a format recognized by Canada Post .
Questions 12 – 13 – Telephone and Fax
Please indicate the telephone and fax numbers of the organization.
Question 14 – Email Address
Please indicate the email address of the organization.
Questions 15 – 19 – Mailing Address
Please indicate the mailing address if different from your organization’s address.
Questions 20 – 21 – Telephone and Fax
Please indicate the telephone and fax number if different from your organization’s address.
Question 22 – Organization’s Mandate
Please describe the primary work of your organization, including your mission, mandate and objectives.
Section 1B – Organization Contact
Please provide a main contact for the purposes of communicating with your organization about this project. This could be a project manager or coordinator, an executive director or someone else.
Question 23 – Given Name
Please provide the name of the person in your organization who will be ESDC’s main contact for the project.
Question 24 – Position Title
Please provide the title of the organization contact identified in Question 23.
Example: Executive Director
Question 25 – Preferred Language of Communication
Please indicate the preferred language of the organization’s main contact for both written and spoken communication.
EN indicates English
FR indicates French
Question 26 – Organization Contact – Address
Please indicate whether the address for the Organization Contact is the same address as the Organization Address or the Organization Mailing Address given in Section 1A. If different, please indicate in the box.
Questions 27 to 31 – Contact Address
If you selected “Different” in Question 26, please provide the address for the Organization Contact here.
Questions 32 and 33 – Telephone and Fax
Please indicate the telephone and fax numbers of the Organization Contact.
Question 34 – Email Address
Please indicate the email address of the Organization Contact. Please note that this is where all correspondence will be sent.
Section 1C – Organizational Capacity
ESDC uses the information provided in this section to help assess the organization’s capacity to manage a project.
Question 35 – How many employees does your organization currently have?
Please indicate the number of people employed in your organization. The number of employees must be a whole number.
Question 36 – Has your organization undergone any important transformations in the past two years?
Important transformations refers to events such as a change in leadership in the board of directors or at the executive level, an important reduction, increase or turn-over in staff, a merger with or split from another organization, a change in mandate or main activities, etc.
If you answer yes, please provide a description of the changes.
Question 37 – Please describe how your organization has the experience and expertise to carry out the proposed project activities. If applicable, please include any past experience(s) with ESDC and the results of the project(s).
Applicants should include a description of the expertise and experience that qualifies their organization to carry out the project including: any current grant and/or contribution agreement(s) with ESDC and/or with other federal government departments or agencies. Applicants should also include a link to their website (if available).
Question 38 – Not required at this stage
Question 39 – Not required at this stage
Part 2 – Project
Section 2A – Project Identification
Question 40 – Project Title
Please provide a brief, descriptive project title.
Questions 41 and 42 – Planned Project Start and End Dates
Please indicate the planned start and end dates of your project.
Please note that activities cannot begin before your project is approved and an agreement has been signed by both the recipient and ESDC.
You should not assume any commitment on the part of ESDC until funding has been approved and a formal agreement has been signed by a representative of ESDC. ESDC will notify you in writing of the outcome of the review of your concept paper.
Section 2B – Project Description
Question 43 – Project Objectives (must be clearly linked to the objectives of the program to which you are applying)
Proposals should include clear and achievable objectives. The objectives of each proposal should be described in terms of quantifiable and measurable goals to be achieved through this project. Multi-faceted proposals should include major steps and sub-objectives.
Objectives are statements of desired change that describe what should be accomplished and provide a context in which progress can be monitored and success can be measured.
Project objectives should:
- be consistent with the funding program’s objectives and linked to the program objectives;
- identify the specific outcome(s) that the project is designed to accomplish;
- ensure that these outcome(s) are measurable;
- identify who will benefit from the project; and
- show how meeting the project objectives will help to achieve the identified outcomes.
Please refer to Assessment tab for the specific program objectives.
Proposals should outline the following under “Project Objectives”:
- outline the labour market issues the proposed project will address (i.e. the rationale for the project);
- identify the characteristics of the workforce and sector, such as the size and/or the importance of the sector to the Canadian economy; and
- explain how the project aligns with, or helps implement, the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications.
Question 44 – Project Activities (must be broken down into clear steps)
Project activities are the steps that will be taken to meet the objectives of the project. Activities should be specific, measurable, realistic and relevant to the project objectives and demonstrate how the project outcome(s) will be achieved. Applicants must include their proposed activities which should include the following details:
- a description of each activity and explanation as to how each of them relates to the objectives of the project; and
- a listing of activities in a logical sequence including milestones, timelines and/or duration of the various activities (milestones are significant events or points of progress during the project).
There should be a clear link between the project activities and the project costs outlined in the project budget (Section B questions 58 to 61).
Refer to Eligibility for details on eligible activities and program funding priorities.
Question 45 – Expected Results of the Project (must be clearly linked to the project objectives and be specific, concrete and measurable)
Outcomes are the short-term and intermediate changes that are expected to occur as the result of the project (more than one outcome could be directly related to an objective).
Outputs are tangible products, including goods and services that will be produced to generate the desired outcomes; several activities could contribute to one output.
Section C – Project Details
Question 46 – Does the project include results measurement indicators?
A performance indicator provides evidence that results have or have not been achieved. They ensure a proper assessment of the progress achieved towards the intended outputs, outcomes, goals and objectives of the project. Applicants must provide performance indicators which will clearly demonstrate how they will measure each anticipated result and ensure their project is progressing as planned.
Question 47 – Does the proposed project fit with your organization’s other activities? If yes, please provide details.
Please describe how the project relates to the ongoing work of your organization. You may wish to highlight how past achievements and current activities and/or projects are related to your proposed project. This information will help ESDC determine the extent to which your organization has the capacity to undertake the proposed project and to achieve the expected results.
Please include any previous work done by your organization, your partners and your potential partners. Include details as to how your project builds on, and does not duplicate, this previous work.
Question 48 – Not required at this stage
Question 49 – Not required at this stage
Question 50 – Will any other organizations, networks, or partners be involved in carrying out the project?
Applicants should include in their proposal a complete description of the organization’s current and potential partners for this project, including:
- any existing relationship between partner(s) and their organization;
- the expertise or other capacity offered by each organization for the proposed project; and
- the type and level of financial and/or in-kind support each organization will offer for the project.
Question 51 – Does the proposed project address the program’s national, regional or local priorities?
Please indicate “Yes” or “No” and select all that apply.
Question 52 – Not required at this stage
Part 3 – Funding
Section 3A – Anticipated Sources of Contribution
ESDC’s funding programs generally encourage and/or require applicants to seek cash and/or in-kind contributions for their proposed project from other sources of funding. Each program has a “stacking limit,” which is the maximum permitted amount of combined funding from federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments for any one project or initiative. Contributions to the project cannot exceed 100 percent of eligible expenditures.
ESDC will use the information provided in this section to verify that your funding request conforms to any stacking limit or requirement for funding from other sources. “Other sources of funding” includes any source of funding (including from your organization) other than the program to which you are applying for funding.
Question 53 – Source Name
Please include the name of the organization that will contribute funds and/or in-kind contributions to this project. ESDC should be listed as the first source name and any other sources listed below.
Question 54 – Source Type
Use the following list to identify the type of anticipated funding partner:
- Crown corporation
- Federal department or agency
- Foreign governments
- Private sector
- Provincial/Territorial government
- Regional or municipal government
- Other (please specify)
Question 55 – Cash
Please include the amount of funding that will be provided.
Question 56 – In-kind ($ value)
In-kind contributions are non-monetary goods or services that may be contributed to the project by your organization or other organizations or partners for which your organization will not be requesting re-imbursement. In-kind support may include donated equipment, services or facilities necessary for the proposed project that would otherwise have to be purchased. To be considered valid, in-kind contributions should contribute to the success of the project, and their monetary equivalent estimated at fair market value.
Question 57 – Not required at this stage
Section 3B – Project Budget
ESDC uses the information provided in this section to assess the overall cost of the proposed project, as well as the general nature of the expenditures to be covered by all anticipated sources of funding.
Applicants must provide an estimate of the project’s costs.
Question 58 – Cost Categories
Please summarize your project budget according to the budget table provided below. Please refer to the list of eligible costs under Eligibility
|B. Budget (please refer to question 64 to provide additional budget information)|
|Cost Categories||Planned Expenditures ($)|
|ESDC||Other – Cash||Other – In-kind|
|A: Wages, mandatory employment-related costs and benefits of staff working directly on the project; includes direct and administrative costs (e.g. project manager and administrative assistant)|
|B: Project costs (e.g. rent, office supplies, telephone, professional fees, translation, GST/HST)|
|C: Capital assets|
|Total estimated costs|
Question 59 – 61 – ESDC/Other – Cash/Other – In-kind
Please provide the total planned expenditures.
“Other” includes funding from another source (not ESDC).
Section 3C – Budget Details
Question 62 – Not required at this stage
Question 63 – Not required at this stage
Question 64 – Not required at this stage
Part 4 – Declaration
Please ensure that your concept paper is signed by an official, authorized representative of your organization. People with signing authority are normally one or more of the executive members of the board of directors (president, vice president, secretary or treasurer) and employees of the organization (chief executive officer, executive director, chiefs of finance or human resources).
The Concept Paper Template must be signed in accordance with the organization’s statutes, by-laws or other constituting documents. For example, the president and the chief financial officer may be required to sign all outgoing documents.
Please use this section to complete questions from previous sections of the Concept Paper Template, and specify the question or section meant to be continued.
How to Apply for Federal Credential Recognition Project Funding
As an initial step, Foreign Credential Recognition project applicants are asked to complete a concept proposal in order to provide some detail about the proposed project.
Submit your concept paper
Please sign the appropriate section(s) and provide a scanned image of the page(s).
For online submissions, please submit your concept paper to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are unable to scan the required sections or any other documents, please mail them to the following address:
Foreign Credential Recognition Program Submissions
Labour Market Integration Directorate
Employment and Social Development Canada
140 promenade du Portage, Phase IV
Gatineau QC K1A 0J9
For any documents mailed, clearly indicate the organization name and project title.
Notice to applicants
The information collected in the Concept Paper Template will be used, and may be disclosed, for the purposes of assessing the merits of your project’s concept paper. As part of the assessment process, the information may be shared with external consultants, review committee members, officials in other departments, federal, provincial and/or territorial governments or Members of Parliament.
It may also be used and/or disclosed for policy analysis, research and/or evaluation purposes. In order to conduct these activities, various sources of information under the custody and control of ESDC may be linked. However, these additional uses and/or disclosures of information will not have an impact on your project.
In the event that the template contains personal information, the personal information will be administered in accordance with the Privacy Act and the provisions governing the protection of personal information that are set out in the Department of Employment and Social Development Act, as applicable.
The template is also subject to the Access to Information Act (“ATIA”). The ATIA provides every person with a right of access to information under the control of the department, subject to a limited set of exemptions. Instructions for obtaining access to this information are outlined in the government publication entitled Info Source, which is available at the following website address: infosource.gc.ca. Info Source may also be accessed on-line at any Service Canada Centre.
Follow-up after you apply
The Foreign Credential Recognition Program (FCRP) will acknowledge receipt of your application after receiving it.
Not all submitted concept papers will be approved. Funding is limited and is subject to budget considerations of FCRP, Employment and Social Development Canada, and allocation of funds by Parliament.
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