Getting Certified to Work in B.C.
This page was last updated on September 18, 2023.
Some jobs in B.C. are regulated. This means people need special education and training to do these jobs, and they need to prove that they have the required skills and training. This is called certification.
If you want to work in a regulated job, you will need to show that the education you received meets the requirements in Canada. You will need to have your certification checked, and you may need to get more education or training to work here. This process is sometimes called Foreign Qualifications Recognition (FQR), or Foreign Credentials Recognition (FCR).
If your qualifications have already been recognized in another province, you may not need to go through a full credential assessment again.
In non-regulated jobs, the employer determines if your qualifications meet their needs. They may perform an assessment of your education and credentials, as well as an assessment of your work experience.
Do I need to get certified?
If any of these apply to you, you must find out if you need to be certified for work in B.C.:
- went to university
- went to college
- had an apprenticeship
- completed a certificate, diploma, or degree
- related to your work
- registered to use a title (for example, Doctor or Professor)
- needed a license, registration or certification for your past work
There are many ways to say “certified” in Canada. These include “authorized”, “designated”, “licensed”, “member”, or “registered”.
Find out if you need to be certified to do your job
- Go to jobbank.gc.ca
- Click “Career Planning”, then click “Job Profiles”
- Type the name of your job / career. You will see a list of jobs. Choose the job name that is most like your job name.
- Next, choose the area: “Province of British Columbia”. Click “Search”.
- Under a job’s name, click “Requirements”. Read the information about “Professional certification and licensing”. You may see a link called “Regulatory body” (also called Regulatory Authority). This is the office that makes the certification rules. Click the link to find information about getting certified.
- The Job Bank will say if your occupation is regulated in B.C. The same job may be very different in different countries. It can be hard to compare them. Some jobs (for example, Health Care Assistants) have both certified and uncertified jobs. Follow the steps below to learn more.
To get certified, you must apply to the correct regulatory authority. The website usually tells you how to apply. You will need to send official documents from your country. You should start your application as soon as you can. Some regulatory authorities will allow you to apply before you come to Canada. If not, you should apply right after you arrive.
- Carefully read about registration and joining (“membership”) on the website.
- Contact the regulatory authority by phone or email. Ask about your foreign documents and training.
- Prepare your documents for the application. Talk to the regulatory authority before translating or assessing your documents. The authority may have rules about where to go for this service.
- Ask if you need to take an exam or provide a reference from your previous employer.
- Prepare the money to pay the costs. It may cost hundreds – or even thousands of dollars. If you don’t have the money, you may be able to get a low-interest loan to help you pay the fees. There are 2 programs that provide financial help:
Waiting for results
It may take several months for your application to be assessed. During this time, the regulatory authority may:
- contact your references and past employers to check your experience
- test your job-related skills
- interview you
- ask for more documents or information
You must receive your certification before you can be hired and begin working in a certified job in B.C.
You may need to take more training to work in a certified industry in B.C. This is called ‘upgrading’ or ‘bridge training’. Ask a regulatory authority or an employer what kind of upgrading or bridging you will need.
What if I can’t get certified in B.C.?
The Career Paths program
may be able to help you with getting certified or finding other employment related to your education and experience.
A related career is a similar job to the one you trained for. It may not be the exact job. For example, you might work:
- in a job that requires qualifications closer to those you already have
- with similar skills in a different industry
- in a different role in the same industry
Finding work in a related job could be a good option if you:
WorkBC’s Career Profiles
- have applied for certification and need work while waiting for approval
- are upgrading your training before applying for certification
- want to get valuable work experience
have information on possible related careers.