Barriers and Facilitators to Professional Licensure and Certification Testing in Canada: Perspectives of Internationally Educated Professionals

  • Liying Cheng
  • Melisa Spaling
  • Xiaomei Song


Testing is an essential component of professional licensure and certification, which serves as a powerful decision-making tool to include or exclude internationally educated professionals from their respective professions in Canada. This study examines the role that testing plays in professional licensure and certification from the perspectives of newly arrived internationally educated professionals (IEPs) in four professions: teachers, engineers, nurses, and medical doctors. The study was conducted in Kingston and Windsor, ON, Canada. Data were collected through face to face interviews. The findings indicate both internal and external factors are associated with the testing process which impact whether IEPs can continue to practice and can contribute to Canada’s long-term social and economic goals.


Newcomers Certification Ontario Licensure Testing Internationally educated professionals (IEPs) 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the research funding support from CERIS—The Ontario Metropolis Centre. We are grateful to the many IEPs who took the time and effort to share with us their lived experiences of certification testing in Ontario, Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of NursingUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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