Why do regulators keep making it easier to apply if dentistry is not a priority profession?
The internationally trained are welcomed in Canada. Regulators, however, do not look at issues of manpower and employment possibilities when granting licensure. Our sole mandate is to protect the public and register or license anyone who meets the Canadian standard of competency. Regulators have absolutely no control over who the government chooses to allow to immigrate to this country or which professions are given priority.
Both the provincial and federal levels of government have directed all regulatory authorities, not just dentistry, to reduce any unnecessary barriers to registration and to improve access. This is in large part to ensure the long-term economic viability of the country. Provinces have created Fairness Commissioners whose role is to ensure that registration processes are fair, transparent and accessible.
The Foreign Credentials Referral Office, a branch of Canada Immigration, has implemented a plan entitled the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications. Under these guidelines, the federal government has requested all regulatory bodies to attempt to offer as many processes as they can off-shore. This includes English as a Second Language tests, documentation assessment/verification and even examinations. The government would actually prefer that immigration applicants are registration-ready, fully assessed and approved for registration before Citizenship and Immigration Canada issues them landed status.
The national protocols are fair and exist to ensure that all candidates who are competent qualified dentists and those who meet Canadian standards are registered.
Creating and administering these examination processes by the not-for-profit organizations involved are difficult and expensive so fees are established on a cost recovery basis.