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September 26, 2012

International architect job find in Canada enhanced

TORONTO

Internationally trained architects will be able to more readily find jobs in their fields in Canada as a result of a recently launched federally funded program.

The Broadly Experienced Foreign Architects Program (BEFA) will streamline the licensing process for internationally trained architects through a national online assessment tool and standard interview process.

Such architects will be able to find out sooner whether their qualifications meet Canadian standards of practice or if they need to undergo further training and skills upgrading.

“The architectural community sees great benefits from having internationally trained foreign architects licensed as professionals in Canada,” said Sheena Sharp, president of the Ontario Association of Architects.

“With it come new connections, ideas and perspectives that can only enrich our profession.”

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada is contributing more than $1.9 million in funding for the program, officially launched at the recent International Interior Design (IIDEX) Canada expo and conference in Toronto.

“We recognize that internationally trained professionals help fill skills shortages in key occupations and contribute to Canada’s economy,” said Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley.

“That is why we are working with partners like Architecture Canada so that newcomers can find meaningful work in their fields faster and to contribute to Canada’s economy.”

Over the past two years, Architecture Canada has worked in partnership with the 11 provincial and territorial Canadian Architectural Licensing Authorities (CALA) as well as Athabasca University to develop a new approach to recognizing international qualifications in the field of architecture.

The architectural profession recognized several years ago that it did not have an effective national program in place to assess the qualifications of internationally trained and licensed architects.

With the support of Architecture Canada, CALA has developed “a fair and streamlined” program to assess the work experience and competencies of foreign architects against pan-Canadian standards of competency for practice in Canada.

BEFA is a three-step process, which includes the review of an architect’s eligibility to apply, the completion of an on-line assessment tool and an interview with registered architects.

The eligibility criteria include: an architecture education/degree; registration/licensure as an architect in a foreign jurisdiction; demonstration of seven years experience of post-registration; licensure experience in architecture and a minimum of six months of relevant Canadian architectural work experience.

The Canadian Architecture Certification Board has agreed to administer the BEFA program.

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