Internationally Educated Health Care Professionals

In 2005, the Government of Canada launched the  Internationally Trained Workers Initiative (ITWI) delivering on its commitment to improve the integration of immigrants and internationally trained Canadians into the workforce. The ITWI is made up of several integrated components and strategies, including the Internationally Educated Health Professionals Initiative (IEHPI).

The IEHPI was implemented in 2005/06 to increase the supply of health professionals into the Canadian workforce by expanding the assessment and integration of internationally educated health professionals in seven priority professions: medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, medical laboratory technology, and medical radiation technology.

Strategic Directions

The overall goal of the IEHPI is to increase the supply of health professionals in the Canadian health care system.  The IEHPI aims to facilitate the integration of internationally educated health professionals into the Canadian health workforce by increasing access to assessment and training programs. Through the IEHPI, the Government works with provinces and territories, the health regulatory authorities, post-secondary institutions, and professional associations to help more internationally educated health professionals to put their skills to work in Canada's health system.

With an investment of $18 million per year, the IEHPI, through both direct support of Canada-wide activities and contributions to provinces and territories, is building on the progress that governments and stakeholders have made to develop programs and supports, and to promote a consistent approach to integrate internationally educated health professionals into the Canadian work force.

Accomplishments within the First Five Years of the Strategy

Since its launch, IEHPI has promoted a consistent approach in expanding opportunities for internationally educated health professionals to practice in Canada.  IEHPI provides contributions that are used for information dissemination, pathways to qualification assessment and recognition, skill-building, and coordination that aims to increase the number of internationally educated health professionals qualified to practice in Canada.  Key accomplishments include:

  • development of a range of programs that address the needs of francophone IEHPs in minority language communities, including curriculum development and exam preparation courses;
  • work towards building harmonized approaches for assessment of IEHPs, with significant progress in nursing and medicine;
  • implementation of bridging programs for internationally educated nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, medical radiation technologists, medical laboratory technologists, and licensed practical nurses;
  • development of promotional and recruitment material such as DVDs, pamphlets, resource guides and web portals;
  • design of integration activities such as preceptor training, exam preparation, and mentorship programming; and
  • development of regional collaborations such as the Western and Northern Health Human Resources Planning Forum and the IEHP Atlantic Connection

Links and Resources


Profession Specific

Occupational Therapists




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