How to Find the Road to Success

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When you go somewhere you’ve never been before, you probably spend quite a bit of time looking at maps. Once you know where you are and where you need to go, you can work out the best way to get there.

Map to SuccessUnfortunately, there are no maps to show foreign-trained professionals which road to take when they come to Canada from another country. You bring your education and experiences to Canada hoping for professional success but, without proper guidance, you may feel hopeless and miserable.

Guidance exists and can be very helpful. In York Region (a quickly growing region north of Toronto), there is a specialized service available mostly for York Region residents who obtained their degrees, diplomas and experiences outside Canada. This service is called the Accreditation Assistance Access Centre (AAAC) and has been successfully operated by the York Region Neighbourhood Services Inc. since 2001.

At no cost to them, the AAAC’s clients find out how the Canadian system works and how they can work within it to achieve professional success. The sooner they know which road they need to take and how to get there, the faster they can prepare for the Canadian job market.

Marilyn Massie, Operations Coordinator, stresses that when dealing with professional recognition in Canada “… it is very important to come up with an action plan based on the individual accreditation situation.” Her colleague, Irina Mondrus agrees, “Everyone has different needs to be professionally recognized, which is why our main mode of service is one-on-one interviews. Moreover, the earlier that foreign-trained professionals and trades people know what they can do in Canada, the faster they succeed. This is why we sometimes serve clients with the help of language interpreters.”

The AAAC’s clients are looking for answers to such questions as:

  • How and where can my diploma be evaluated?
  • Is the evaluation of my credentials necessary in Canada?
  • Do I need licensing/certification for my occupation?
    • What is the licensing procedure in my case?
  • Even if I do need a license, are there alternative careers for me without going through the licensing process?
  • With my credentials, experience and level of English what are professional/survival opportunities for me in Canada?
  • What additional training do I need and how can I use my previous credentials towards completing an educational program in a shorter time for less money?

As you see, a lot of components are involved in the formula of success and the AAAC staff helps foreign-trained professionals/trades people to reach 100 percent clarity in understanding their situation before taking any steps towards accreditation. The high level of the AAAC’s performance is guaranteed not only by the skills of the facilitating staff, but also by a unique computerized model of accreditation processes and accreditation data base developed at the centre.

The AAAC delivers individualized Accreditation Action Plans and Accreditation Portfolios for their clients. These tools not only speed up the learning curve for foreign-trained professionals/trades people, but they also help avoid troubles with rules, regulations and Canadian standards that otherwise could delay or prevent them from working in the profession they were trained for.

The road to success in Canada is not on any maps. Everyone needs to take a different road because you all have different goals and qualifications. And the roadblocks you run into will be different as well. The AAAC looks forward to helping you create your own individualized plan.

Those interested are welcome to visit AAAC’s website at and find more information about the AAAC’s services, location and contact information.

The centre works by appointments, so it is best to phone first and book an appointment. The AAAC’s main line is 905-762-0578. Their toll-free multi-lingual line for leaving messages in Cantonese, Farsi, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and Tamil is 1-877-986-5465.

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