What was the OCECCA Project?



Established in 2011 through funding from the Ontario government’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, the OCECCA Project aimed to lay the groundwork for an accessible, inter-professional, full-service Ontario Centre of Excellence in Communication Competency Assessments (OCECCA) that would centralize and consolidate occupation-specific language testing, research, and training.

What was the goal of the OCECCA Project?


Focussing on Ontario’s regulated health professions, the OCECCA Project investigated the practical and financial feasibility of establishing a Centre of Excellence to support the delivery of better, more efficient healthcare for all Ontarians by aiding the successful integration of internationally educated health professionals (IEHPs) into the Canadian healthcare system. Working in consultation with representatives from the health sector, as well as assessment and immigrant stakeholder groups, the OCECCA Project developed a business plan that outlined the most efficient, sustainable, and achievable scenario through which OCECCA could most significantly contribute to enhancing patient-centred care.

Who funded the project?




The project was supported financially by Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and the Government of Canada and administered by the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences.

How long did the project run for?

The OCECCA Project was a 24-month, three-phase initiative that ran from October 2011 through to October 2013. 

Who was involved in the OCECCA Project?


The OCECCA Project leveraged the expertise and experience of a variety of stakeholders – internationally educated health professionals, language-assessment professionals, regulatory bodies, professional associations, employers, and government – to create a feasible business plan for the proposed centre. Our advisory committee consisted of representatives from the stakeholder groups listed above, which offered early input from sector insiders.


What was the Michener Institute’s connection with the OCECCA Project?


The Michener Institute was a catalyst for OCECCA through its sponsorship and hosting of the OCECCA Project.



What did the OCECCA Project accomplish?



Over its two-year mandate, the OCECCA Project was able to successfully conduct a current state assessment and an environmental scan, deliver a feasible business plan for an Ontario Center of Excellence for Communication Competency Assessment that was based on careful consideration of a number of different scenarios, and facilitate the potential implementation of such a centre through systematic engagement of area stakeholders. 


Is the OCECCA Project’s proposed business plan binding?


No. While we are confident that the business plan we presented proposed the most cost-effective, service-oriented, financially sustainable, and professionally efficient solution – one in which OCECCA seeks out a partnership with an existing institution whose infrastructure can readily support the centre’s activities with minimal modification – it is understood that different potential hosts will have different requirements. As the business plan was drafted without a specific partner in mind, the plan is naturally subject to change given the particular needs and characteristics of any given collaborator.


Why did the OCECCA Project only focus on the healthcare sector?


Internationally Educated Health Professionals (IEHPs) are an important human resource and help address current and projected skills shortages in the health sector. Many health regulatory bodies and employers have reported that some IEHPs who have completed their professional accreditation requirements and passed mainstream, general language proficiency tests still are not succeeding in the workplace. Employers have cited issues such as inadequate occupation-specific language proficiency, low professional communicative competence, and lack of awareness of workplace cultural norms as contributing factors. This project, then, was initially conceived to address this particular challenge, and as a result, focused on the healthcare sector.

When will the proposed OCECCA be operational?



The OCECCA Project concluded on October 31, 2013. The timeline for the operationalization of OCECCA will be determined by the host organization.

How can I get more information on the OCECCA Project?


Read our materials, send a message, or meet with us. You may contact us at any time via email at projectlead@oceccaproject.ca