Canada opens door to internationally trained dentists

Canada is funding a project to let internationally trained dentists take an exam that will allow them to practice there without being required to undergo additional training.

The Canadian Dental Regulatory Authorities Federation (CDRAF) will receive more than $790,000 in funding for the project, according to a government press release.

"Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, we are working with partners to develop a common approach to foreign credential recognition," said Diane Finley, minister of human resources and skills development, in the release. "This project contributes to a fair, efficient, and timely system that will help internationally trained dentists find work in communities across Canada."

CDRAF's project will establish a national process for assessing internationally trained dentists. Currently, the majority of foreign-trained dentists who come from nonaccredited dental schools are required to receive additional training and education.

This new process will evaluate whether these individuals already have the same knowledge, skills, and competencies as a graduate from an accredited Canadian dental program.

Successful completion of this assessment process will enable them to take the national examination through the National Dental Examining Board of Canada. Candidates who pass the exam can then register to practice as a dentist anywhere in Canada.

"This important initiative will establish an impartial, objective, and fair process, based on nationally agreed upon standards and programs," said Cam Witmer, president of CDRAF. "Canada's dental regulatory authorities are committed to helping reduce barriers by registering qualified and competent internationally trained dentists in our country."

Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, the government is working with the provinces, territories, and other partners, such as employers, to address barriers to foreign credential recognition in Canada.

Under the plan, foreign credential and experience recognition will be streamlined for eight priority occupations, including some healthcare professions. This means that foreign-trained workers who submit an application to be licensed or registered to work in certain fields will be advised within one year whether their qualifications will be recognized.

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