Immigrants benefit from a variety of services that assist them in their settlement, adaptation, and integration into Ontario’s social and economic environments. For qualified health professionals the journey from first arrival to gainful employment is not always easy. The transition includes navigating the complexities of regulatory requirements and profession-specific competencies that may differ from those acquired outside of Canada. The arrow below shows in a general way the trajectory to licensure and professional registration in Canada. A seamless transition from immigrant to contributing citizen involves orientation, settlement, professional upgrading, and licensure, as well as language and communication assessment and training. Language assessment is part of the professional process for many IEHPs, whereas profession-specific communication may or may not be addressed along this pathway.

The OCECCA proposed by the OCECCA Project was designed to offer services that specifically address professional-level communication competency along the various stages of the pathway described above. This Centre of Excellence would offer professional communication assessments and training to health professionals, as well as consulting services for employers, regulators and the training community. Each of these service areas would benefit different types of professionals. IEHPs and regulatory bodies would be most likely to use the proposed centre’s assessment services, while consulting services would be primarily targeted towards regulatory bodies, and test developers seeking assistance with custom solutions.