Getting certified to work in B.C.

Last updated: October 10, 2023

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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.

To work in a regulated job, you need to be certified by the appropriate regulatory authority. Before certifying you for the job, the regulatory authority will assess your skills and experience. If you were educated or trained in a different country, this process is called International Credential Recognition (ICR) or Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR). The regulatory authority is checking to make sure your qualifications meet the minimum requirements for that job.

International credential recognition is separate from the education credential assessment (ECA) you may have completed as part of the immigration process with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Some people who were educated outside of Canada may need to complete more training before they can be certified and work in regulated jobs in Canada.

If your qualifications have already been recognized in another province, you may not need to go through a full credential assessment again. Read more about labour mobility below.

To work in a non-regulated job, only the employer needs to review your qualifications. They may check your education, and credentials, and your work experience.

Find out if you need to be certified to do your job

  1. Go to
  2. Click “Career Planning”, then click “Job Profiles”
  3. 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
  4. Next, choose the area: “Province of British Columbia”. Click “Search”
  5. 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
  6. The Job Bank will say if your job 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.

Getting certified

To get certified, you must apply to the correct regulatory authority. Their website will tell you how to apply and which official documents you will need to provide.
You should start your application as soon as you can. Some regulatory authorities will allow you to apply before you come to Canada.
  1. Visit the regulatory authority’s website and carefully read about the application process and costs
  2. Contact the regulatory authority by phone or email. Ask any questions you have about document requirements
  3. Prepare your documents for the application. Talk to the regulatory authority before having your documents translated or assessed. The authority may have rules about where to go for this service
  4. Ask if you need to take an exam or provide a reference from your previous employer
  5. Prepare the money to pay the application costs. 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 two 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 regulated job in B.C.

Additional Training

You may need to take more training to work in a certified job in B.C. This is called ‘upgrading’ or ‘bridge training’. Ask a regulatory authority or an employer what kind of upgrading or bridge training you may need.

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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:
  • 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 
WorkBC’s Career Profiles have information on possible related careers.

Labour mobility

If you are currently certified for an occupation in any Canadian province or territory, you should be able to transfer your certification to another province or territory without having to retake exams or complete any significant additional training.
Chapter 7 (Labour Mobility) of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement sets rules about how certified professionals in regulated occupations should be treated when moving between Canadian jurisdictions. For more information, visit the Labour Mobility website.

In B.C., labour mobility is also protected through the Labour Mobility Act. The Act ensures that workers can fully benefit from the labour mobility provisions in the Canadian Free Trade Agreement.
If you have questions regarding labour mobility in B.C., please email 

More resources

The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials provides a step-by-step guide for learning about credential recognition in Canada.

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