You want to start a new profession in Canada, but do you know which regulations you must comply with? Canada has complicated laws and rules that differ from other countries. A growing trend in the Canadian economy is outsourcing regulated professions and trades.

Regulated professions are those that are subject to a regulatory body as opposed to self-regulation. This means they have a professional body or association that defines practice standards and certifies registers or licenses. These professions include doctors, lawyers, architects, teachers, nurses, engineers, and CPAs.

If you are new to Canada and thinking about starting a career, we are here to help you understand the profession that you want to work in. This guide discusses the regulated professions in Canada and the bodies that regulate them. Keep reading!

What Is A Regulated Profession?

When determining a profession in Canada, there are three types of occupation here to choose from:

  • Regulated Profession
  • Non-Regulated Profession
  • Skill Trades

Regulated Profession

A regulated profession requires the holder to be licensed or registered by a regulatory body. The purpose of regulating a profession is to protect the public by ensuring that those practicing are qualified and competent. 

Moreover, the government regulates these professions because it considers them important and wants to protect consumers from fraud or abuse by professionals.

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There is about 20% of jobs in Canada necessitate the possession of a license before beginning employment for the sake of public safety. 

To become a licensed professional, you must pass an exam administered by the state or federal government and then pay a fee that varies depending on the profession. You may have to undergo training before taking your exam and passing it.

Regulated professions typically have several things in common:

  • They require a license to practice.
  • They have strict ethical guidelines for members of the profession.
  • They have certain qualifications, usually educational, must be met before someone can join them.

Non-Regulated Professions 

There are also many jobs without regulation; anyone can perform that without having to register with a provincial or territorial regulatory authority, and anyone can do them.

These are called non-regulated occupations. One example of a non-regulated occupation in Canada is technology and information technology. 

Skill Trades

Skilled trades are occupations that require specialized training. Many of these occupations require certification by a provincial or territorial regulatory body. Skilled trades include professions like carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and welders.

The term “skilled trades” refers to the knowledge required to do the job well, not just how much formal education someone has or how long they have been doing it.

For instance, A person who has worked for many years as an electrician may be more skilled than someone who studied electrical engineering at university but needs more experience to do their job well.

Who Are Regulatory Bodies & Their Authority?

A regulatory agency ensures that every person working in the profession or industry meets the job’s entry and education requirements.

These regulatory bodies are established by legislation, often providing them with specific powers and responsibilities. They also have internal rules and procedures for carrying out their functions. Some examples of regulatory bodies for occupations in Canada include

  • The College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario: This professional organization regulates the practice of occupational therapy in Ontario, including the education, training, and licensing of occupational therapists.
  • The College of Nurses of Ontario: This organization regulates the practice of nursing in Ontario, including the education, training, and licensing of nurses.
  • The College of Physicians and Surgeons: This organization regulates the practice of medicine in Canada, including the education, training, and licensing requirements of doctors.
  • The College of Psychologists of Ontario: This organization regulates psychology practice in Ontario, including the education, training, and licensing of psychologists.
  • The Law Society: This organization regulates law practice in Canada, including the education, training, and licensing of lawyers.
  • The Ontario College of Teachers: This organization regulates the practice of teaching in Ontario, including the education, training, and certification of teachers.

These are just a few examples of regulatory bodies for occupations in Canada. Many other regulatory bodies oversee the practice of non health professions, such as engineering, architecture, social work, and more.

Each regulatory body has the authority to set standards and regulations specific to the profession they oversee and to take action to ensure compliance with those standards.

The authority of regulatory bodies varies from province to province. Some are under provincial or territorial jurisdiction, while others fall under federal jurisdiction.

Regulatory bodies are accountable for the following:

  • Assuring qualified workers are certified, registered, or licensed
  • A discipline imposed on members who don’t meet professional requirements
  • Generally, ensuring the health and safety of the public and their employees

What Does It Mean When Finding A Job Under Regulated Professions?

Suppose you are looking for a job in a regulated profession. In that case, it means that your profession is one in which the government has established rules and regulations that govern how the profession operates.

To work in a regulated profession in Canada, you must be licensed by the appropriate regulatory body. Regulatory bodies are accountable for developing the criteria and requirements for practicing in a particular profession and issuing and regulating licenses for professionals in that field.

While looking for work in a regulated profession, it is noteworthy to understand the requirements and process for becoming licensed in your desired field.

This may include meeting specific education and training programs, acquiring relevant experience, and passing exams or other appraisals. Furthermore, you can legally practice in your desired occupation after obtaining a license from the regulatory body. 

Employers in regulated professions are typically required to hire only licensed professionals, so obtaining a license is essential in discovering a job in a regulated profession in Canada.

Remember that becoming licensed in a regulated profession can be time-consuming and involve considerable financial investment.

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However, after getting the license, you may have more job opportunities and may be able to command a higher salary in your field.

Check Out Regulated Occupations in Canada – Things You Must Know

List Of Jobs Regulated In Canada

Workers in Canada are protected by several laws that regulate the conditions under which they can work. These regulations vary by regulatory body and type of job, so it’s essential to understand what is required for your particular occupation.

The following is a list of occupations that are regulated in Canada. The list is incomplete and contains only the most common occupations requiring licensing or registration from a provincial or territorial regulatory body.

By Type

Health careDentist Doctor Nurse Optometrist Pharmacist Physiotherapist Psychologist Veterinary technician
LegalLawyer Paralegal Notary public
EngineerCivil engineer Electrical engineer Mechanical engineer
EducationTeacher Translator
ConstructionArchitect Building inspector Electrician Plumber
FinanceAccountant, Financial planner Insurance broker
ArtLandscape architect Interior designer Graphic designer
OtherPilot Real estate agent Surveyor

By Regulatory Body

It’s important to note that the following list only includes the most common regulated professions in Manitoba (various regulatory bodies also govern many other occupations in Canada). 

ProfessionRegulatory Body
ArchitectManitoba Association of Architects 
AccountantChartered Professional Accountants of Manitoba 
AudiologistCollege of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Manitoba 
Child Care workerEarly Learning and Child Care Program
DieticianCollege of Dietitians of Manitoba
DentistManitoba Dental Association
Technician and technologistCertified Technicians and Technologists Association of Manitoba 
EngineerEngineers Geoscientists Manitoba
LawyerLaw Society of Manitoba 
Land SurveyorAssociation of Manitoba Land Surveyors 
MidwifeCollege of Midwives of Manitoba 
Registered NurseCollege of Registered Nurses of Manitoba
NaturopathManitoba Naturopathic Association
OptometristManitoba Association of Optometrists
OpticianOpticians of Manitoba
Respiratory therapistManitoba Association of Registered Respiratory Therapists
PsychologistPsychological Association of Manitoba
PharmacistCollege of Pharmacists of Manitoba
TeachersProfessional Certification Unit
Social WorkerManitoba College of Social Workers
VeterinarianManitoba Veterinary Medical Association

Foreign Credentials Vs. Qualifications

There are many ways of describing a person’s education and work experience. The most common terms to describe this information are “qualification” and “credential.” 

These terms are often used interchangeably by those unfamiliar with their meaning, but there is an essential distinction between them.

Foreign credentials

Foreign credentials are documents that show that a person has completed an educational credential outside of Canada. These documents may be needed for various purposes, such as applying for professional registration, employment or immigration.

In case your foreign credentials need to be recognized in Canada and you want to work here. In that case, you may need to apply for professional certification by taking one or more exams administered by professional associations or regulatory bodies.

Foreign Qualification

On the other hand, foreign qualification refers to the specific education or training you have received from an institution outside of Canada.

In other words, the document bears your name and shows what you have studied and when. If you still need to get this document, applying for a job or employment in your field may be difficult.

Education, work experience, and other skills are all part of what makes up a foreign qualification. Some Canadian provinces use the following formula:

  • Qualifications = Education + Skills + Experience.

To begin working in a regulated field in Canada as a newcomer, you will need to complete a three-stage process.

  • Your foreign credentials must first be recognized.
  • The second step is to have your foreign qualification recognized; the first step is a sub-step of the second.
  • Third, you’ll need to be licensed or certified to work in Canada. 

List Of Resources For Regulated Professions In Every Province

Before someone can work in a particular profession, several types of licensing and registration are required in Canada. Some professions require more than one license or registration, depending on their work type.

The following list includes links to 13 province government websites where you can find information about which professions require licensing or registration:

  1. Foreign Qualifications RecognitionAlberta 
  2. Foreign Credentials RecognitionBritish Columbia
  3. Regulated Occupations and TradesManitoba
  4. Foreign Qualifications Recognition and Regulated OccupationsNew Brunswick
  5. Foreign Qualifications RecognitionNewfoundland and Labrador
  6. No public resource-Northwest Territories.
  7. International Qualifications RecognitionNova Scotia
  8. Regulated OccupationsNunavut
  9. Work in Your Profession or Trade-Ontario.
  10. Foreign Qualifications RecognitionPrince Edward Island
  11. Regulated occupations and immigrationQuebec
  12. Regulated Occupations and Licensing RequirementsSaskatchewan
  13. Foreign Qualifications RecognitionYukon


How To Get A Certificate Of Qualification From A Canadian Province?

To obtain a certificate of qualification, the best place to start is with the Canadian province where you work. Each province and territory has qualifications that must be met before you can begin working as a professional in that province.

Sometimes, you may have to take an exam or complete work experience requirements before applying for your certificate. This process varies from province to province, so it is best to contact the appropriate regulatory body directly for more information.

Some provinces require applicants to complete specific courses or training programs before applying for their certificates.

After completing the requirements and passing the Certificate of Qualification exam, the province will issue a Certificate of Qualification. This certificate is recognized across Canada and can help you qualify for jobs in other provinces.

Is Accounting A Regulated Job In Canada?

Yes, accounting is a regulated profession in Canada. In Canada, accountants must be licensed by a provincial or territorial law society, and some provinces require that you pass a national exam before becoming licensed.

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This means that you must meet specific standards and requirements before you can be called an accountant. Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) is the national body that regulates the practice of accounting in Canada. 

The purpose of regulating accountants is to protect consumers from incompetence or misconduct by ensuring that all members of the profession meet specific standards.

Final Thoughts

Regulated jobs in Canada are a great way to start your career. If you’re an immigrant, it’s essential to understand how the regulatory bodies for immigrants in Canada work so that you can make sure your application is successful. 

It’s also important to know which jobs require licenses from the Canadian government; that way, you can make sure you’re applying for the right job. All in all, the Canadian government is committed to protecting Canadians from risks in the workplace.

This guide has provided you with information of human resources, how to find out whether a job requires you to be licensed or certified by a regulatory body and what steps you need to take to become licensed or certified. Now that we’re done, go out and make the world better by starting your own regulated profession!