Work in Your Profession

As a newcomer to Ontario, you may have many questions. This guide will help you learn more about:

  • How professions are regulated in Ontario
  • What is required to enter many professions
  • How your academic credentials will be assessed
  • How career maps and bridging training programs can help you
  • How Ontario is helping newcomers succeed

Getting started

Most professions in Ontario are self-regulated. That means the professions themselves set their own standards and register members of the profession. Some professions are regulated by law. Doctors and lawyers are two examples of these ‘regulated professions’. Other professions, known as ‘unregulated’ or ‘voluntary’ professions are not regulated by law, but may have voluntary professional bodies.

Regulated professions

In Ontario, the most common method of regulating a profession is through legislation. This legislation establishes a professional body to govern the profession. These professional bodies are often called ‘colleges’. For example, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario governs the medical profession. These regulatory bodies protect the public by:

  • Setting standards of practice
  • Setting the requirements for entering the profession
  • Assessing the qualifications of those who want to enter the profession
  • Registering qualified members of the profession
  • Disciplining members, including the right to remove the right to practice the profession

Regulated professions usually require:

  • Several years of university or college study
  • Practical experience under the supervision of a licensed worker in the profession
  • The successful completion of a licensing examination

Helping newcomers succeed

The Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration is implementing the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act 2006, which is designed to help newcomers enter Ontario’s regulated professions. Through the Act, Global Experience Ontario (GEO), an Access Centre for Internationally Trained Individuals, has been created. GEO provides information, referrals and other important support to newcomers entering the regulated professions. For more information about GEO, visit the ‘Working’ section of

Entering the regulated professions

Each regulatory body sets its own requirements to enter the profession. These requirements often include:

  • Evidence of the person’s identity
  • Evidence of residence in Canada
  • Minimum educational qualifications
  • Language ability
  • Professional or supervised experience
  • Good character
  • Successful completion of an examination
  • Payment of a registration fee

Using professional titles

In some professions, it is illegal to practice the profession, or use the title of the profession, without being registered with a regulatory body. In other professions, there are no restrictions on who can practice the profession, but the professional title may not be used unless the individual is registered with the regulatory body. Some professions, such as engineering and architecture, do allow individuals to work without a license, as long as a licensed practitioner is responsible for the work.

Entering unregulated professions

Some professions are not regulated by law, but may have voluntary professional bodies. Many of these professional bodies offer certification courses, and registration. Registration is often valued within the profession, and is important to finding employment in the field.

Having your academic credentials assessed

Every profession has its own educational requirements. A number of different organizations can assess your schooling and ensure that it meets Ontario’s standards. Many international academic qualifications are assessed in Ontario by World Education Services Canada (WES). You can visit WES at: However, each regulatory body decides how to assess the qualifications of applicants. It is important to check first with the regulatory body, to see which assessment services are recognized.

Using career maps

Career maps have been developed by the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, in partnership with regulatory bodies, to provide step-by-step information on entering a wide variety of occupations. Career maps can help you understand:

  • Qualifications required to enter the profession
  • Examinations which may be required
  • The costs of examination and registration
  • The work opportunities that exist in the profession

You will find career maps on the ‘Work in Your Profession’ page of

Bridge training: how it can help

Many newcomers to Ontario are highly skilled, and have postsecondary training or education. Bridge training programs have been developed by the government to help these individuals move more quickly into more than 100 trades and professions. Bridge training programs can help you to:

  • Assess your skills
  • Upgrade your skills and training
  • Get work experience in Ontario
  • Move into your profession without re-learning what you have already learned

These programs have helped to identify and eliminate many barriers for newcomers, and get into trades and professions more quickly. Usually, you will be charged a fee for these programs.

For more information about bridge training programs, visiting the ‘Work in Your Profession’ section of

Learning more

Are you interested in exploring a specific profession? Below is a list of the regulatory bodies for many professions in Ontario.

Ontario Association of Architects
Tel: 416-449-6898

Audiologist and Speech Pathologist
College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario
Tel: 416-975-5347
Toll free in Ontario: 1-800-993-9459

Certified General Accountant
Certified General Accountants Association of Ontario
Tel: 416-322-6520
Toll free: 1-800-668-1454

Chartered Professional Accountant
Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario
Tel: 416-962-1841
Toll free in Canada and the USA: 1-800-387-0735

College of Chiropodists of Ontario
Tel: 416-542-1333
Toll free in Ontario: 1-877-232-7653

College of Chiropractors of Ontario
Tel: 416-922-6355

Dental Hygienist
College of Dental Hygienists of Ontario
Tel: 416-961-6234
Toll free in Ontario: 1-800-268-2346

Dental Technologist
College of Dental Technologists of Ontario
Tel: 416-438-5003
Toll free: 1-877-391-2386

Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario
Tel: 416-961-6555
Toll free: 1-800-565-4591

College of Denturists of Ontario
Tel: 416-925-6331
Toll free in Ontario: 1-888-236-4326

College of Dietitians of Ontario
Tel: 416-598-1725
Toll free: 1-800-668-4990

Professional Engineers Ontario
Tel: 416-224-1100
Toll free in Ontario: 1-800-339-3716

Engineering Technician or Technologist 
Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians & Technologists (OACETT)
Tel: 416-621-9621

Ontario Professional Foresters Association
Phone: 905-877-3679

Funeral Director
Board of Funeral Services
Tel: 416-979-5450
Toll free in Ontario: 1-800-387-4458

Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario
Tel: 416-203-2746

Insurance Broker
Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario
Tel: 416-365-1900
Toll free: 1-800-265-3097

Land Surveyor
Association of Ontario Land Surveyors
Tel: 416-491-9020
Toll free: 1-800-268-0718

Law Society of Upper Canada
Tel: 416-947-3300
Toll free: 1-800-668-7380

Massage Therapist
College of Massage Therapists of Ontario
Tel: 416-489-2626
Toll free: 1-800-465-1933

Medical Laboratory Technologist
College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Ontario
Tel: 416-861-9605
Toll free: 1-800-323-9672

Medical Radiation Technologist
College of Medical Radiation Technologists of Ontario
Tel: 416-975-4353
Toll free in Ontario: 1-800-563-5847

College of Midwives of Ontario
Tel: 416-640-2252

Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy-Naturopathy
Tel: 416-866-8383
Toll free in Ontario: 1-877-361-1925

College of Nurses of Ontario
Tel: 416-928-0900
Toll free: 1-800-387-5526

Occupational Therapist 
College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario
Tel: 416-214-1177
Toll free in North America: 1-800-890-6570

College of Opticians of Ontario
Tel: 416-368-3616
Toll free in Ontario: 1-800-990-9793

College of Optometrists of Ontario
Tel: 416-962-4071
Toll free in Ontario: 1-888-825-2554

College of Physiotherapists of Ontario
Tel: 416-591-3828
Toll free in Canada and the USA: 1-800-583-5885

Ontario College of Pharmacists
Tel: 416-962-4861
Toll free: 1-800-220-1921

Physician or Surgeon
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
Tel: 416-967-2603
Toll free: 1-800-268-7096 ext 603

The College of Psychologists of Ontario
Tel: 416-961-8817
Toll free: 1-800-489-8388

Real Estate Broker
Real Estate Council of Ontario
Tel: 416-207-4800
Toll free: 1-800-245-6910

Respiratory Therapist
College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario
Tel: 416-591-7800
Toll free: 1-800-261-0528

Social Worker
Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers
Tel: 416-972-9882
Toll free: 1-877-828-9380

Ontario College of Teachers
Tel: 416-961-8800
Toll free: 1-888-534-2222

The College of Veterinarians of Ontario
Tel: 519-824-5600
Toll free: 1-800-424-2856

Do you have questions about working in your profession or trade? If so, ask