OTTAWA, Feb. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory
Science (CSMLS) is releasing key research findings on barriers faced by
internationally educated health professionals in fulfilling
entry-to-practice standards in Canada.
Funded through the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Recognition
Program, the research assessed the integration of practising immigrant
health professionals in Canada relative to their domestically educated
counterparts, bringing together five different health professions:
medical laboratory science (CSMLS and the College of Medical Laboratory
Technologists of Ontario), medical radiation technology (Canadian
Association of Medical Radiation Technologists), physiotherapy
(Canadian Alliance of Physiotherapy Regulators), occupational therapy
(Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists), and pharmacy
(Canadian Pharmacists Association and the Leslie Dan School of
Pharmacy, University of Toronto).
Project Manager Keith Johnson feels this is a seminal piece of
research. "While many initiatives have looked at the barriers facing
skilled immigrants in having their credentials assessed, very few have
looked at the quality of their integration once licensed and working,"
"The integration of internationally educated professionals into the
Canadian workforce is a significant challenge for all professions,
including medical laboratory technology," said Tricia VanDenakker,
President, CSMLS. "As the national certifying body for medical
laboratory technologists, CSMLS is committed to ensuring that
credentials are assessed fairly and efficiently while at the same time
safeguarding the integrity of the national certification process."
The report, entitled Assessing the Workforce Integration of Internationally Educated Health
Professionals, highlights qualitative and quantitative research and examines the
extent to which internationally educated health professionals (IEHP)
have become integrated into their respective occupations relative to
their Canadian educated (CEHP) counterparts.
The methodology included conducting 21 focus groups (14 with IEHPs, 7
with CEHPs) in centres across Canada, in which a total of 118
individuals participated. Based on the key themes evidenced during
these sessions, an online survey was drafted, to which a total of 1,123
(203 IEHPs, 920 CEHPs) individuals in the target group responded.
Key findings include:
87% of both groups indicated overall "satisfaction" with their current
job, after becoming licensed and participating in their workforce.
IEHPs demonstrate a relatively higher level of satisfaction of specific
aspects of their job/career, compared with their Canadian educated
Nearly seven out of ten IEHP respondents said that their current
employer was doing a "good" or "excellent" job with regards to
successfully incorporating and recognizing their skills and abilities.
73% of IEHPs felt that their overseas training was ultimately "very
useful" in the Canadian context.
Over 50% of IEHP survey respondents indicated the desire for additional
education and training related to areas such as certification/licensing
exams and Canadian/provincial laws and regulations, among others.
"It is evident that the integration of internationally educated health
professions has benefited from recent attention and investment over the
past several years," said Christine Nielsen, Executive Director,
CSMLS. "However, it is also clear that there is still room for
improvement and advancement. Without a doubt, IEHPs would benefit from
improved access to clinical placements and education". This move will
help to ease the future impact of a shortage of medical laboratory
technologists and ensure that Canada's health care system is not
The five professions remain committed to exploring areas of
collaborative opportunities for future work, based on the core
recommendations outlined in the report.
The Government of Canada is making significant progress to help skilled
newcomers find jobs in their fields faster. The Economic Action Plan
invested $50 million to work with the provinces and territories, and
other stakeholders, to improve foreign credential recognition. This
partnership led to the development of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign
Qualifications, which was announced in November 2009. Under the Framework, foreign
credential recognition and experience is being streamlined for key
occupations, including those covered in the CSMLS report. The Framework
is helping internationally trained health care practitioners put their
knowledge and skills to work sooner in communities across Canada.
"We thank the Government of Canada for their ongoing support," concluded
Ms. Nielsen, "and we look forward to working together to move forward
on the key recommendations."
The Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS) is the
national certifying body for medical laboratory technologists and
medical laboratory assistants, and the national professional society
for Canada's medical laboratory professionals. Incorporated in 1937,
CSMLS has over 14,000 members.
SOURCE CANADIAN SOCIETY FOR MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE
For further information:
or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Director, Marketing, Communications and Membership, CSMLS
Tel. : 1-905-667-8693