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Professions & Trades

Regulated and Unregulated Professions

Most professions are unregulated in Ontario. This means you do not need a licence or certification to do them. However, some professions and trades are regulated in Canada to protect public health and safety. That means you must have a licence or certificate to work in these professions and trades. In some occupations it is illegal to work or even use the title of the profession or trade if you are not registered with the regulatory body. In other occupations, you can do the work, but you must register with the regulatory body if you want to use the title of the profession or trade.

In Canada, professions and trades are regulated in each province. There are regulatory bodies (organizations that control licences and certificates) in each province. If you get a licence or certificate, it is valid only for the province you applied for it in. If you move to another province, you have to apply for a licence or certificate again.

Some professions and trades are not regulated by law, but may have voluntary professional bodies. Some voluntary bodies provide certification courses and registration, which may help you to get work. Membership in these bodies is not mandatory.

Some trades in Ontario require you to have a Certificate of Qualification to work. Each trade has different certification requirements. Depending on the trade, you might need to complete an apprenticeship (training), proof of equivalent work experience and/or take a test. You can find out how to get a certificate in a particular trade at your local apprenticeship office. You may be asked to bring specific documentation with you. Ask what is required before your first meeting.

The information listed below was provided by 211 Community Connection.

Local Apprenticeship Offices

Employment Ontario Employment Services: Apprenticeship Office

Barrie Regional Office

55 Cedar Pointe Dr, Unit 609
Barrie, ON L4N 5R7

Phone: 705-737-1431
Toll Free: 1-800-560-3821
Fax: 705-737-5684

Visit Settlement.org for more information about regulated and unregulated professions in Ontario:

InMyLanguage.ca has more information about regulated professions and trades available in multiple languages.

Evaluate Credentials

“Credentials” refers to qualifications and documents that prove your achievements. Credentials can refer to both academic and professional accomplishments.

“Academic credentials” includes education qualifications such as high school diplomas, college diplomas, university degrees and certificates you have completed or partially completed. "Professional credentials" refers to occupational qualifications, such as professional certificates or work experience.

If you earned your academic credentials outside of Canada, they are often referred to as "international credentials" or "foreign credentials.” To be licensed with a professional association or to study in Canada, you may need to have credentials you completed outside of Canada evaluated.

There are local services to help you understand the credential recognition process.

The information listed below was provided by 211 Community Connection.

Understanding Credential Recognition ​ ​
Welcome Centre for Immigrant Services: Mobile Unit Accreditation Qualification and Information Services​

Telephone: 1-877-761-1155

Email: info@welcomecentre.ca


Licensing with Professional Associations

One of the requirements of professional associations for licensure is an evaluation of international credentials. This evaluation may be referred to as an "accreditation."  The process, cost, lengths of time, and required documentation to complete an accreditation varies. Some professional associations have internal evaluation services, and others outsource their evaluation requirements to external evaluation services. If you want to get a license in a regulated profession, contact the professional association directly and ask about their evaluation requirements. You will want to contact the professional association before you get an external evaluation. This will help ensure you do exactly what is required by the association to join.


Academic Credentials

Recognition in Prior Learning and Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Recognition in Prior Learning (RPL) and Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) are processes that compare skills and knowledge you may have attained from prior education, work/volunteer and life experiences to Canadian education courses/programs and employment requirements. In this process you are able to demonstrate that your previous learning and experience is valid. If you demonstrate your experience is equivalent, you may be able to receive formal Canadian education credits, apply to challenge a regulatory process or find employment in a related field with the intent of becoming certified.

For more information on Recognition in Prior Learning and Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition, contact the following:

The information listed below was provided by 211 Community Connection.

Recognition in Prior Learning/Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition
Welcome Centre for Immigrant Services: Mobile Unit Accreditation Qualification and Information Services

1-877-761-1155
info@welcomecentre.ca

Georgian College:Office of the Registrar

705-722-1511
registrar@georgiancollege.ca

Simcoe County District School Board Adult Learning Centre

Locations in Alliston, Barrie, Bradford, Collingwood, Midland and Orillia

705-725-8360

Academic Credentials to Study at a Post-Secondary School

If you wish to study at an Ontario post-secondary school, and you completed your education outside of Canada, you may need to have your credentials evaluated.

Each school has its own requirements for recognizing academic credentials granted outside of Canada.  If you want to have your credentials assessed so you can attend a college or university, you should first contact the Office of Admissions at the school you wish to attend. They can tell you their requirements and evaluation process; this may save you time and money.

Some schools will assess your credentials themselves and there is no fee for this service.  Other schools may require you to use an external service, referred to as a "credential evaluation service."  A credential evaluation service provides a report on how the academic credentials that you received outside of Canada compare to academic credentials obtained in Canada.  There is often a fee for this service.  This will help your school understand your academic background.  The evaluation from an academic credential evaluation service does not guarantee that you will be accepted into the school you wish to attend.  The school has the final judgement on how your academic credentials relate to their admission requirements.