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    The Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec expands access to French engineering program graduates and reduces recognition times for other foreign graduates

    jeudi 22 octobre 2020
    • Montreal, October 22, 2020 – Today, the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec (OIQ), the Commission des titres d’ingénieur de France (CTI) and Ingénieurs et Scientifiques de France (IESF) signed an agreement that updates the Mutual Recognition Arrangement on the Professional Qualifications of Engineers (MRA) concluded in 2008, thereby giving French engineering graduates greater access to the engineering profession in Quebec.
    • Under the updated MRA, the number of OIQ-approved French programs will rise substantially from 400 to over 560. In addition, the process that candidates follow to obtain the engineer title will be faster.

      “These improvements are an example of how the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec is showing leadership in facilitating access to the profession for internationally trained professionals. The concrete actions taken by the OIQ are helping to attract and retain international talent in Quebec,” stated Kathy Baig, Eng., MBA, ASC, President of the OIQ.

      MRA: a faster process

      The updated agreement changes the current requirements that French candidates must meet to obtain a permit by aligning them more with the professional admission program that all graduates in Quebec and internationally trained professionals from other countries must complete to obtain a permit. This program is rooted in a competency-based approach that focuses on both technical and professional competencies.

      Accordingly, the new process will comprise a theoretical component (online training, followed by the professional examination) and a practical component, based on six competencies that candidates must acquire in 24 or more months of practical engineering experience, including certain competencies that specifically relate to engineering practice in Canada. Currently, French graduates have to pass a professional examination and demonstrate three years of relevant engineering experience, but their graduate studies may not be counted and they must spend 12 months in Canada under the immediate control and supervision of an engineer.

      All of the changes announced today will take full effect in 2020, after the regulation that gives effect to this agreement is updated.

      Candidates from other countries: tangible progress

      The OIQ has also made considerable progress in recent years in facilitating access to the engineering profession for candidates from other countries, whether they come from countries without an agreement or countries covered by the Washington Accord (19 countries).

      The personalized approach that has been taken since May 31, 2018 when evaluating the degree and training equivalence applications of these candidates is undoubtedly behind the average 66% decrease in time it takes them to obtain full equivalence, which has fallen from 18 to 6 months on average. This very positive result was achieved in part thanks to the competency-based approach that was implemented to evaluate not only the academic but also the professional experience of candidates. An in-depth analysis is carried out to carefully identify the candidates’ real shortcomings in terms of practicing engineering in Quebec, and they are then required to take training activities that relate directly to their shortcomings.

      “The OIQ is proud to be a leader in integrating ITPs in Quebec’s professional system, but we have to remember that obtaining an engineer’s permit is just the first step for many immigrants and that job market access is still an issue that concerns society as a whole,” concluded the OIQ’s President.

      Visit the OIQ’s site to learn more about the entire process of obtaining an engineer’s permit in Quebec.

      Statistics

      • Currently, over 13% of the OIQ’s current and future members were trained outside Quebec, which is the equivalent of over 8,850 professionals.
      • The OIQ currently accepts around 175 candidates annually under the MRA. Due to the now higher number of approved French programs, this number should rise in the future. Since the MRA came into force in 2008, the OIQ has accepted 1,362 French graduates under this agreement.
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