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Occupational StandardsOccupational standards identify and group tasks associated with a particular occupation and describe the knowledge and skills that a worker must demonstrate to be considered competent in that occupation.
National occupational standards (NOS) are voluntary. They are developed with a national objective and require pan-Canadian validation and endorsement to enable the recognition of qualifications across Canada. Quality NOS developed with both a sectoral and pan-labour market objective enable the recognition of workers' knowledge and skills across the entire Canadian labour market and facilitate labour mobility across all Canadian sectors. Identifying and recognizing transferable knowledge and skills that can be applied within a variety of sectors and/or positions within a sector is especially important to individuals who are changing careers or have little work-related experience. Labour mobility within Canada allows workers to be employed in different provinces and territories, resulting in more choices and opportunities for workers and a broader selection of candidates for employers. NOS not only facilitate labour mobility within Canada, but also provide information that is essential to recognize foreign credentials effectively and to enable foreign-trained workers to enter the Canadian workforce.
CertificationPersonnel certification is an industry-recognized credential granted to a candidate by a certification body upon successful demonstration of occupational competence. Competence is the ability to apply knowledge and skills as defined in a national occupational standard and/or certification scheme. Competency is the measurable skill or set of skills and level of knowledge required to perform occupation-specific tasks.
Certification programs acknowledge the accomplishments of individuals and verify that they possess the necessary knowledge and skills for the occupation. The purpose of certification is to identify individuals who meet a specified standard that defines competence in an occupation.
Personnel certification is voluntary. Certified individuals have earned credentials that they can carry with them, which allows mobility between occupational settings and labour markets.
Education or training may be a partial or whole requirement of a national personnel certification program. The education or training requirement may be satisfied by holding a high-school diploma, college diploma or university degree, or may be met through successful completion of an accredited educational or training course or program.
AccreditationAccreditation of educational or training courses and programs is normally voluntary. It is a process of quality assurance through which accredited status is granted to an educational or training course or program by the responsible accreditation body. It recognizes that a course or program meets a set of criteria established by the accreditation body. The accreditation process grants a time-limited recognition to the education/training provider's course or program after verifying that it has met the predetermined criteria. The course or program is expected to meet the criteria throughout the specified time period. The accreditation criteria may include requirements for course or program administrative management systems, development and delivery, assessment, and/or instructors.
Based on existing accepted principles, recommended practices, and stakeholder consultation, TASC and The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) worked collaboratively to develop a series of guidelines to support the delivery of national occupational standards, personnel certification programs, and accreditation programs for educational or training courses and programs. These guidelines “Setting the Standard” are intended to promote cooperation and coherence among sector councils, other standards-setting bodies, and groups concerned with labour market issues.
Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program
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