Funding: Foreign Credential Recognition Program: Developing your application

4. Developing your application

Concept Guide – How to fill out your Concept Paper for funding.

The first step for Foreign Credential Recognition project applicants is to complete a concept proposal that provides detail about the proposed project.

To help applicants with the process, the Concept Guide provides information to assist organizations with the completion of the Concept Paper Template to Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC).

The Concept Paper Template has 4 parts:

If you need additional space to answer any of the questions, please use the space provided in Appendix A of the Concept Paper Template.

Note: All items marked with an asterisk (*) in the Concept Paper Template are mandatory unless otherwise specified.

Part 1 – Organization

Section 1A – Organization identification

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) uses the information provided in this section to establish an organization’s identity.

Question 1 – Legal name

Please provide the legal name of your organization.

Question 2 – Operating (Common) name (if different from legal name)

Please provide the operating (or common) name of your organization if it is different from the legal name.

Question 3 – Business or registration number

Please provide your 15-digit Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number or, for registered charities and not-for-profit organizations, your CRA registration number.

Example: 123456789 AB 1234

For more information, please visit the CRA website.

Question 4 – Organization type

Your answer to this question must be one of the following:

  • Not-for-profit
  • Public

Please refer to the list of eligible recipients under Eligibility.

Question 5 – Organization category

Please select the appropriate category from the following:


  • Aboriginal not-for-profit groups
  • Associations of workers and/or employers
  • International non-governmental organizations
  • Local community, charitable, voluntary organizations
  • Non-governmental organizations with a focus to encourage employment
  • National non-governmental organizations
  • Not-for-profit band councils
  • Provincial non-governmental organizations
  • Sector councils
  • Unions


  • Contributions to provinces and territories
  • International governments and agencies
  • Municipal governments and agencies
  • Provincial governments and agencies
  • Public degree-granting colleges
  • Public degree-granting universities
  • Public community colleges and vocational schools
  • Public health
  • School board/other educational institution not classified elsewhere
  • Territorial governments

Question 6 – Year established

Please indicate the year your organization was established.

Questions 7 to 11 – Organization address

Please indicate the address of your organization. Applicants must provide a complete address in a format recognized by Canada Post .

Questions 12 and 13 – Telephone and fax

Please indicate the telephone and fax numbers of the organization.

Question 14 – Email address

Please indicate the email address of the organization.

Questions 15 to 19 – Mailing address

Please indicate the mailing address if different from your organization’s address.

Questions 20 and 21 – Telephone and fax

Please indicate the telephone and fax number if different from your organization’s address.

Question 22 – Organization’s mandate

Please describe the primary work of your organization, including your mission, mandate and objectives.

Section 1B – Organization contact

Please provide a main contact for the purposes of communicating with your organization about this project. This could be a project manager or coordinator, an executive director or someone else.

Question 23 – Given name

Please provide the name of the person in your organization who will be ESDC’s main contact for the project.

Question 24 – Position title

Please provide the title of the organization contact identified in Question 23.

Example: Executive Director

Question 25 – Preferred language of communication

Please indicate the preferred language of the organization’s main contact for both written and spoken communication.

EN indicates English

FR indicates French

Question 26 – Organization contact – Address

Please indicate whether the address for the Organization Contact is the same address as the Organization Address or the Organization Mailing Address given in Section 1A. If different, please indicate in the box.

Questions 27 to 31 – Contact address

If you selected “Different” in Question 26, please provide the address for the Organization Contact here.

Questions 32 and 33 – Telephone and fax

Please indicate the telephone and fax numbers of the Organization Contact.

Question 34 – Email address

Please indicate the email address of the Organization Contact. Please note that this is where all correspondence will be sent.

Section 1C – Organizational capacity

ESDC uses the information provided in this section to help assess the organization’s capacity to manage a project.

Question 35 – How many employees does your organization currently have?

Please indicate the number of people employed in your organization. The number of employees must be a whole number.

Question 36 – Has your organization undergone any important transformations in the past two years?

Important transformations refers to events such as a change in leadership in the board of directors or at the executive level, an important reduction, increase or turn-over in staff, a merger with or split from another organization, a change in mandate or main activities, etc.

If you answer yes, please provide a description of the changes.

Question 37 – Please describe how your organization has the experience and expertise to carry out the proposed project activities. If applicable, please include any past experience(s) with ESDC and the results of the project(s).

Applicants should include a detailed description of the expertise and experience that qualifies their organization to carry out the project including: any current grant and/or contribution agreement(s) with ESDC and/or with other federal government departments or agencies. Applicants should also include a link to their website (if available).

Question 38 – Not required at this stage

Question 39 – Not required at this stage

Part 2 – Project

Section 2A – Project identification

Question 40 – Project title

Please provide a brief, descriptive project title.

Questions 41 and 42 – Planned project start and end dates

Please indicate the planned start and end dates of your project.

Please note that activities cannot begin before your project is approved and an agreement has been signed by both the recipient and ESDC.

You should not assume any commitment on the part of ESDC until funding has been approved and a formal agreement has been signed by a representative of ESDC. ESDC will notify you in writing of the outcome of the review of your concept paper.

Section 2B – Project description

Question 43 – Project objectives (must be clearly linked to the objectives of the program to which you are applying)

Proposals should include clear and achievable objectives that are linked to objectives of the Program. The objectives of each proposal should be described in terms of quantifiable and measurable goals to be achieved through this project. Multi-faceted proposals should include major steps and sub-objectives.

Objectives are statements of desired change that describe what should be accomplished and provide a context in which progress can be monitored and success can be measured.

Project objectives should:

  • be consistent with the funding program’s objectives and linked to the program objectives
  • identify the specific outcome(s) that the project is designed to accomplish
  • ensure that these outcome(s) are measurable
  • identify who will benefit from the project; and
  • show how meeting the project objectives will help to achieve the identified outcomes

Please refer to Assessment tab for the specific program objectives.

Proposals should outline the following under “Project Objectives”:

  • outline the labour market issues the proposed project will address (for example the rationale for the project)
  • identify the characteristics of the workforce and sector, such as the size and/or the importance of the sector to the Canadian economy
  • explain how the project aligns with Foreign Credential Recognition Program objectives.

Question 44 – Project activities (must be broken down into clear steps)

Project activities are the steps that will be taken to meet the objectives of the project. Activities should be specific, measurable, realistic and relevant to the project objectives and demonstrate how the project outcome(s) will be achieved. Applicants must include their proposed activities which should include the following details:

  • a description of each activity and explanation as to how each of them relates to the objectives of the project
  • a listing of activities in a logical sequence including milestones, timelines and/or duration of the various activities (milestones are significant events or points of progress during the project)

There should be a clear link between the project activities and the project costs outlined in the project budget (Section B questions 58 to 61).

Refer to Eligibility for details on eligible activities and program funding priorities.

Question 45 – Expected results of the project (must be clearly linked to the project objectives and be specific, concrete and measurable)

Outcomes are the short-term and intermediate changes that are expected to occur as the result of the project (more than one outcome could be directly related to an objective).

Outputs are tangible products, including goods and services that will be produced to generate the desired outcomes; several activities could contribute to one output.

Section C – Project details

Question 46 – Does the project include results measurement indicators?

A performance indicator provides evidence that results have or have not been achieved. They ensure a proper assessment of the progress achieved towards the intended outputs, outcomes, goals and objectives of the project. Applicants must provide performance indicators which will clearly demonstrate how they will measure each anticipated result and ensure their project is progressing as planned.

Question 47 – Does the proposed project fit with your organization’s other activities? If yes, please provide details.

Please describe how the project relates to the ongoing work of your organization. You may wish to highlight how past achievements and current activities and/or projects are related to your proposed project. This information will help ESDC determine the extent to which your organization has the capacity to undertake the proposed project and to achieve the expected results.

Please include any previous work done by your organization, your partners and your potential partners. Include details as to how your project builds on, and does not duplicate, this previous work.

Question 48 – Not required at this stage

Question 49 – Not required at this stage

Question 50 – Will any other organizations, networks, or partners be involved in carrying out the project?

Applicants should include in their proposal a complete description of the organization’s current and potential partners for this project, including:

  • any existing relationship between partner(s) and their organization
  • the expertise or other capacity offered by each organization for the proposed project
  • the type and level of financial and/or in-kind support each organization will offer for the project

Question 51 – Does the proposed project address the program’s national, regional or local priorities?

Please indicate “Yes” or “No” and select all that apply.

Question 52 – Not required at this stage

Part 3 – Funding

Section 3A – Anticipated sources of contribution

ESDC’s funding programs generally encourage and/or require applicants to seek cash and/or in-kind contributions for their proposed project from other sources of funding. Each program has a “stacking limit,” which is the maximum permitted amount of combined funding from federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments for any one project or initiative. Contributions to the project cannot exceed 100% of eligible expenditures.

ESDC will use the information provided in this section to verify that your funding request conforms to any stacking limit or requirement for funding from other sources. “Other sources of funding” includes any source of funding (including from your organization) other than the program to which you are applying for funding.

Question 53 – Source name

Please include the name of the organization that will contribute funds and/or in-kind contributions to this project. ESDC should be listed as the first source name and any other sources listed below.

Question 54 – Source type

Use the following list to identify the type of anticipated funding partner:

  1. crown corporation
  2. federal department or agency
  3. foreign governments
  4. not-for-profit
  5. private sector
  6. provincial/territorial government
  7. regional or municipal government
  8. sponsor/organization/recipient
  9. union
  10. other (please specify)

Question 55 – Cash

Please include the amount of funding that will be provided.

Question 56 – In-kind ($ value)

In-kind contributions are non-monetary goods or services that may be contributed to the project by your organization or other organizations or partners for which your organization will not be requesting re-imbursement. In-kind support may include donated equipment, services or facilities necessary for the proposed project that would otherwise have to be purchased. To be considered valid, in-kind contributions should contribute to the success of the project, and their monetary equivalent estimated at fair market value.

Question 57 – Not required at this stage

Section 3B – Project budget

ESDC uses the information provided in this section to assess the overall cost of the proposed project, as well as the general nature of the expenditures to be covered by all anticipated sources of funding.

Applicants must provide an estimate of the project’s costs.

Question 58 – Cost categories

Please summarize your project budget according to the budget table provided below. Please refer to the list of eligible costs under Eligibility

B. Budget (please refer to question 64 to provide additional budget information)
Cost categories Planned expenditures ($)
ESDC Other – Cash Other – In-kind
A: Wages, mandatory employment-related costs and benefits of staff working directly on the project; includes direct and administrative costs (for example project manager and administrative assistant)
B: Project costs (for example rent, office supplies, telephone, professional fees, translation, GST/HST)
C: Capital assets
Total estimated costs

Question 59 to 61 – ESDC/Other – Cash/Other – In-kind

Please provide the total planned expenditures.

“Other” includes funding from another source (not ESDC).

Section 3C – Budget details

Question 62 – Not required at this stage

Question 63 – Not required at this stage

Question 64 – Not required at this stage

Part 4 – Declaration

Please ensure that your concept paper is signed by an official, authorized representative of your organization. People with signing authority are normally one or more of the executive members of the board of directors (president, vice president, secretary or treasurer) and employees of the organization (chief executive officer, executive director, chiefs of finance or human resources).

The Concept Paper Template must be signed in accordance with the organization’s statutes, by-laws or other constituting documents. For example, the president and the chief financial officer may be required to sign all outgoing documents.

Appendix A

Please use this section to complete questions from previous sections of the Concept Paper Template, and specify the question or section meant to be continued.

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