Credential Recognition for Internationally Trained Professionals
Speech and Hearing BC applauds the provincial government in their recent initiative to expedite the credential recognition process for internationally-trained professionals. We believe that this is an important step in attracting international talent to BC, and addressing different labour shortages that our province continues to face.
We know that trained, experienced professionals from all over the world are eager to live and work in BC, but are often hindered by red tape that prevents them from making the move to Canada. This is disappointing both to international professionals who aim to work in Canada, and to Canadians who continue to face the adverse effects of labour shortages in so many essential sectors, including healthcare and education.
Professions, including early childhood education, social work, music teaching, and various healthcare roles, were named in the announcement, and those holding these designations from a foreign issuing body will now have access to a more fair, efficient, and transparent process to be able to work in BC. Recruiting education and healthcare professionals is also highlighted as a priority through the BC Provincial Nominee Program.
Speech-language pathologists and audiologists were not named in the announcement, meaning that any individual who wishes to practice in BC must go through the extensive provincial training and certification process.
This is contradictory to the intent of the announcement, as speech-language pathologists and audiologists work at the nexus of the healthcare and education fields and are in dire supply in BC. We know that BC needs more speech-language pathologists – wait times for public services currently stand at over a year- and that attracting international professionals is one of the most efficient ways of addressing the gap between SLPs, audiologists, and the pressing demand for their services.
As the voice of BC’s speech-language pathologists and audiologists, we urge the provincial government to expand the recognition of international professional credentials to speech-language pathologists and audiologists in order to address their existing scarcity and ultimately provide more accessible and higher-quality care to British Columbians.