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Canadian Work Experience

​​Most applicants to Ontario's regulated professions must provide evidence of relevant work experience before they can get licences. This experience can take various forms:

  • practical training
  • internship
  • practicums
  • bridging programs
  • mentorship
  • residency
  • “active engagement” in the profession

Internationally trained applicants are often frustrated by this experience requirement.

Thirty-eight regulated professions (in 35 separate regulatory bodies) licensed people in 2011, and 26 of those professions require work experience. Of those 26, 15 require Canadian experience, including 6 that specifically require Ontario experience. For more information, see the table below.

In 2011, 62,452 people applied to the regulated professions. Of those, 15,062 applied to professions that require Canadian experience, including 4,698 who applied to professions that require experience in Ontario.

The Office of the Fairness Commissioner believes that regulators requiring Canadian experience should explain why it is necessary and relevant. In other words, what precise competencies and skills are needed to practise the profession in Ontario, and why must they be obtained here?

Most regulators have promised to clarify what is needed, but not to lighten their requirements.

The OFC is discussing this issue with regulatory bodies and with the Government of Ontario, which is responsible for regulations about the professions.

Calling on employers, regulatory bodies to remove the “Canadian experience” barrier, July 2014


(left to right): Hon. Jean Augustine, Ontario Fairness Commissioner; Claude Balthazard, Vice-President Regulatory Affairs, Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA); RatnaOmidvar, President, Maytree; Debbie Douglas, Executive Director, Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants; Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall, OHRC; Dr. Izumi Sakamoto, Principal Investigator, “Beyond Canadian Experience Project,” University of Toronto; Cherie Robertson, Senior Policy Analyst, OHRC; Elizabeth Reynolds, Manager, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, KPMG; Errol Mendes, Commissioner, OHRC.


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