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Academic Requirements and Acceptable Alternatives:
Challenges and Opportunities for the Regulated Professions in Ontario

3. Methods and sources used in this study

This study of academic requirements and acceptable alternatives was carried out from December 2012 to August 2013. Its goal was to identify fairness issues related to academic requirements for licensing and acceptable alternatives for meeting those requirements, in 38 Ontario professions, by reviewing information sources readily available to the Office of the Fairness Commissioner (OFC).

The OFC oversees 40 regulatory bodies for Ontario professions and trades. Some regulatory bodies oversee more than one profession. This study:

  • includes the 38 professions that have been actively registering members for more than one year
  • does not include regulators that are just beginning to register members, or transitional councils that are still in the process of finalizing their registration regulations

As background to this study, a brief literature review analyzed major research findings related to the undervaluing of immigrants' education.

No primary research was undertaken.

Rather, data collection included:

  • reviewing the academic requirements for licensing of 38 of the self-regulating professions that are under the purview of the OFC. Data about the requirements was gathered from these professions' registration regulations.
  • reviewing acceptable alternatives for meeting academic requirements for registration. This data was gathered from publicly available registration information and from reports the professions submitted to the OFC.
  • reviewing the following information about bridging programs for the regulated professions:
    • recognition by regulators
    • eligibility criteria
    • length
    • cost
    This data about bridging programs was gathered primarily from the websites of the bridging programs. Data was collected for all bridging programs listed on the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration website.

To enrich the analysis, 10 reviewers were asked to comment on a draft version of this document. These reviewers have a broad range of expertise in research, the education of professionals, the regulation of professions, bridge training, and the integration of individuals and groups into the labour market.

For definitions that helped guide the data collection in this study (academic requirement, acceptable alternatives, and bridging programs), see the Glossary of terms.


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Notes and references

Academic Requirements and Acceptable Alternatives:
Challenges and Opportunities for the Regulated Professions in Ontario

Exemplary Practices

The OFC gathers regulatory bodies' exemplary licensing practices so that they may learn from one another. Exemplary practices about academic requirements and acceptable alternatives are listed below.

  1. Accepting and supporting diverse applicants

    This practice acknowledges a diversity of midwifery...

  2. Clarifying documentation requirements and acceptable alternatives

    This practice will be of interest to regulators seeking...

  3. Communicating acceptable alternatives for applicants with non-accredited education

    This practice offers a visual map of pathways to registration...

  4. Communicating acceptable alternatives for meeting certification requirements

    This practice allows applicants to better understand...