Québec-France professional mobility- French nurses working in Québec will benefit from better working conditions
Montréal City, February 6, 2014 - The Québec Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade, Jean-François Lisée, the Minister Delegate for French Nationals Abroad, Hélène Conway-Mouret, and the Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities, Diane De Courcy, are pleased to announce that nursing degrees earned in France (the Diplôme d’État d'infirmier) before 2012 will be recognized as the equivalent of the Bachelor’s degree earned in Québec for the classification of nurse clinicians employed by establishments under the Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux du Québec.
“I take great pleasure in joining Jean-François Lisée and Diane De Courcy in announcing this new classification, which will improve the quality of life of my compatriots who are nurses in Québec,” said Hélène Conway-Mouret. “It is the result of collaborative work in which Jean-François Lisée and I were personally involved. It represents a step forward in the good human relations that exist between Québec and France,” added the minister.
“To ensure that Québec continues to be a prosperous society, optimizing our capacity to attract and accommodate talent from around the world is one the challenges we are facing. The Québec-France Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications is a great catalyst for meeting that challenge. I am delighted today by this new classification. It will foster an influx of talent in the health field, where considerable needs exist,” noted Minister Lisée.
“Measures that foster professional mobility are particularly important for Québec, which like other major immigration destinations, must contend with stiff competition to attract the best talent to its territory. The recognition of French nursing degrees in Québec enables us to meet our workforce needs. It also contributes to our economic vitality and the sustainability of our common language. They are among the objectives our immigration system seeks to achieve,” added Minister Diane De Courcy.
The clarification affects most of the 640 French nurses working in Québec.
Based on the recommendations of the Ministerial Monitoring Committee for the Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications, co-chaired by Ministers Lisée and Conway-Mouret, the Ministère de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturelles du Québec agreed to modify the comparative assessment of the Diplôme d'État d'infirmier earned before 2012 in order to pair it with a Bachelor’s degree earned in Québec.
The Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec indicated that, as a result, the classification for nurses would be revised non-retroactively, as would salary conditions. The situation of French nurses who are already in the network will be reassessed accordingly.
Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications
The agreement was signed in 2008 by the governments of France and Québec, and aims to encourage mobility for regulated professions and trades in France and Québec. It currently comprises 70 mutual recognition agreements dealing with 63 professions, trades and functions, according to official classifications in France, and 81 professions, according to official classifications in Québec.
As of December 31, 2013, nearly 1,100 applicants from France obtained their permit to practice a profession, function or trade in Québec as a result of the agreement. This represents more than 640 nurses, nearly 100 physicians, 70 lawyers, 57 social workers, 35 engineers, 23 pharmacists and 22 dentists, not counting workers practising trades or functions.
This bilateral agreement is unique in terms of its content and scale, and had virtually no equivalent at the international level at the time it was formulated. It was made possible through the direct and privileged relationship between Québec and France and illustrates their joint capacity for innovation. It will serve as a model for the “Recognition of qualifications” component of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union.
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