Frequently Asked Questions

1. WHAT IS THE MANDATE OF THE INDIGENOUS CERTIFICATION BOARD OF CANADA

In 2005, the Indigenous Certification Board of Canada became the nationally designated Indigenous organization, responsible for providing professional certification to mental health/addictions, and other health & wellness workers, in the unregulated Indigenous workforce across Canada. ICBOC was originally funded by Health Canada, but now receives its core funding from Indigenous Services Canada. 

ICBOC develops standards and requirements for new certifications linked to a range of occupations.  These culturally driven standards are based on the competencies of each occupation, as determined by Indigenous workers, managers, and other professionals in our communities.

In addition, ICBOC collaborates with these Indigenous professionals to identify the culture-based training that is required, for each of the new certified occupations. As new certifications are being developed on an ongoing basis for other occupations, a greater number of unregulated workers will be able to apply for a certification that fits their job and obtain training that prepares them for certification.

ICBOC then provides the accreditation of the training and other coursework, that will be required of the newly certified workers. Once the training has been accredited, then all the hours of that training count toward certification requirements with ICBOC.

2.  WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN UNREGULATED/NON-REGULATED WORKER AND A REGULATED WORKER 

Non-regulated workers are those who practice a profession or trade for which there is no legal requirement or restriction on practice with regard to licences, certificates, or registration. About 80% of jobs in Canada are non-regulated.

Regulated workers are those who are employed in an occupation controlled by provincial and territorial (and sometimes federal) law, and governed by a regulatory body. About 20 per cent of jobs are in regulated occupations. These include regulated professions (e.g., nursing) and skilled trades (e.g., plumbing).

If you want to work in a regulated occupation and use a regulated title, you must have a licence or a certificate or be registered with the regulatory body for your occupation in the province or territory where you plan to work.

3. IS THERE A SPECIAL REASON WHY ICBOC PROVIDES CERTIFICATION TO UNREGULATED WORKERS 

So far the workers ICBOC certifies are from non-regulated occupations. We are however committed to certifying indigenous workers from other unregulated occupations.

4. WHAT ARE THE MAIN SECTORS WHERE REGULATED OCCUPATIONS ARE COMMONLY FOUND 

Health care, financial services, law and legal services, engineering etc.

You can find a list of regulated occupations in Canada at: https://bilimoriaassociate.com/immigration-to-detail.php?cId=9&rId=56&c=c

5.  WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CERTIFICATION AND ACCREDITATION

Certification is a process by which an independent third-party assesses and acknowledges an individual’s level of knowledge and skills relative to a set of pre-determined standards. This is typically accomplished by means of collecting and presenting information related to educational background, work/life experience, and specific skill sets. Membership fees, ethics codes, and yearly reviews are also a common part of the certification process.

Basically, certification is for people, and accreditation is for agencies, programs, and institutions. ICBOC accredits culture-based training, workshops and coursework, that meet our standards, which are based on specific competencies needed in each occupation, and that ensure cultural competence in their design, development, and delivery.

6. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CERTIFICATION AND LICENSING? 

ICBOC certifies individual workers, in various health/wellness occupations, that are unregulated, and do not require licensing.

Regulated occupations that do require licensing, (e.g. nurses, social workers, psychologists), are regulated by a professional body associated with their specific profession.

These bodies license their members and can revoke those licenses for failure to comply with their regulations. Without a proper license, these workers could not do their jobs. These regulated occupations do not require certification.

7. DO I NEED TO PROVE MY STATUS AS INDIGENOUS IN ORDER TO OBTAIN A CERTIFICATION 

No, you do not need to prove your Indigenous status in order to obtain certification. ICBOC does not require official or legal paperwork proving the status of applicants.

The personal information page in our application package tells us what we need to know about who you are, where you live and where you work, but this information in no way impedes your right to apply for certification and, if you meet ICBOC standards and requirements to obtain the certification you applied for

8. IS ICBOC’S CERTIFICATION ACKNOWLEDGED AND ACCEPTED ACROSS CANADA 

Yes. Indigenous employers across the country, even in the Arctic, acknowledge and accept the ICBOC certification.

Over the last number of years, it has become clear (even in the non-Indigenous world), that the traditional healing philosophies of our many Indigenous cultures, are truly leading-edge and deserving of proper recognition and acceptance.

In addition, the government of Canada is a signatory of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The U.N. Declaration states in Article 32, that we as Indigenous Peoples have the right to determine the structures and select the membership of our own institutions, in accordance with our own procedures.

Also, Article 34 says that as Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, we have the right to promote, develop and maintain our own institutional structures, and our distinctive customs, spirituality, traditions, procedures and practices.

9. IS ICBOC’S CERTIFICATION ACKNOWLEDGED AND ACCEPTED IN OTHER COUNTRIES 

Our certification is not currently valid or accepted internationally, however, ICBOC is working in partnership with other Indigenous organizations, to develop an international certification body, that would accept Indigenous Canadian professional certifications.

10. DO YOU HAVE TO BE AN INDIGENOUS PERSON TO APPLY FOR ICBOC CERTIFICATIONS 

No, don’t have to be an Indigenous person to apply and obtain a certification from ICBOC. You must, however, be working in an Indigenous setting, providing services to Indigenous clients.  Other certification board provide certification to the vast majority of non indigenous workers engaged in mainstream work setting and providing services to Canadian and other clients from other ethnic background.

11. ARE CERTIFICATION STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS DIFFERNET FOR INDIGENOUS AND NON INDIGENOUS APPLICANTS

Non indigenous applicants must demonstrate the professional knowledge, skills, attitude and cultural competencies that will enable them to provide culturally competent and safe services to their Indigenous clients.

In very rare circumstances, ICBOC might accept an application from a non Indigenous applicant employed in a mainstream work setting that provides services to a majority of Indigenous clients. Valid proof of the Indigenous client population must be provided.

12.  DO I NEED A PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION TO GET A JOB 

You do not need to be professionally certified in order to gain employment. You may already be an Indigenous practitioner, working in an unregulated occupation, providing services in areas such as addictions, mental wellness, family/community support and/or community development.

However, whatever your occupation in these fields, a professional certification highlights, recognizes and values your knowledge and skills, promotes your professionalism, and gives you the confidence and tools to reach for better career opportunities. Certification provides your employer with the assurance that, as a certified worker or specialist, you have and will maintain the necessary skills to continue to deliver the best and most appropriate services to your clients.

Although not every job requires a professional certification, most of the desirable jobs that pay better, and have room for advancement, are requiring certification. Nearly all health care programs are required to get a professional accreditation, and part of the requirements for accreditation is to ensure the staff are properly trained and have the right skills. A professional certification provides that assurance.   

13. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION 

General Advantages

  • Attests to your professional qualifications and competence;
  • Defines your professional roles in your field;
  • Recognizes the special skills, cultural/traditional and specific knowledge required to work effectively within Indigenous communities;
  • Supports standards that are recognized by addictions counseling organizations and authorities on a national and international level; 
  • Places and refers to you as a professional, on par with your peers nationally and internationally

Other advantages for Certified Workers and Specialists

  • Personal accomplishment – Recognition by peers, employers, gives credibility
  • Enhances your professional reputation
  • Supports your continued professional development
  • Demonstrates your high level of commitment to the field of practice
  • Demonstrates your current level of knowledge and skill
  • Increases your opportunities for career advancement and/or increased earnings
  • Increases and/or validates your skills and knowledge
  • Meets employer, government and accreditation requirements

 Advantages for you as an Employer

  • Improves client satisfaction and outcomes
  • Increases safety
  • Increases competence level of employees
  • Can be used in making employment decisions
  • Provides professional development opportunities for employees
  • Enhances ongoing knowledge and skills
  • Increases confidence in employees’ abilities
  • Demonstrates employer’s commitment to competence
  • Provides compliance with industry regulations, government, and accreditation requirements

Advantages for clients

  • Improves Client Outcomes
  • Increases trust and confidence in professional know-how
  • Increases safety

14. CAN I BECOME CERTIFIED IF I HAVE NOT COMPLETED SECONDARY OR POST SECONDARY EDUCATION 

You do not have to have completed secondary or post secondary education in order to obtain certification. From experience, we know that ICBOC’s applicants have both work experience and a portfolio of informal trainings accumulated through a variety of means.

We do not adhere to the simple “pass fail” approach, which is inimical to our vision, mission and to our commitment to a culture-embedded concept of capacity “development”.

This commitment is best illustrated in ICBOC Capacity development model specially designed to respond to the realities and the challenges you have to face as an active member of the Indigenous workforce.

Our workforce capacity development model is unique as it takes in consideration your particular situation at the time of application. We will provide a first certification based on your work experience and training, and guide your professional level.

15. WHAT IS THE ICBOC INDIGENOUS WORKFORCE CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT MODEL 

Over the years, ICBOC has acquired unique insights and hands-on knowledge of the strengths and circumstances that characterize indigenous communities in Canada. ICBOC’s certification system, its new certification development process and training accreditation approach are all reflective of the realities and aspirations of the indigenous workers we serve. The unique and culture-embedded features of ICBOC’s capacity development model are based on:

  • A unique certification system with an integrated Vertical and horizontal laddering structure with:
  • Individual training guidance instead of a “pass fail” approach
  • Opportunity to apply for certification in a different occupation by transferring your relevant training/education  
  • Grass root collaboration leading to the identification and development of professional and cultural competencies and standards
  • A rigorous evaluation of indigenous input, cultural competency and safety as well as relevance to certification standards and requirements for the accreditation of education/training from a range of providers and in a variety of formats

16. WHY IS THIS MODEL RELEVANT FOR THE INDIGENOUS UNREGULATED WORKFORCE 

Certification must be a process that truly understands and takes into consideration the professional, personal and socioeconomic realities and challenges that confront unregulated workers both within their communities and in mainstreams societies.

ICBOC acknowledges the realities, needs and aspirations of Indigenous unregulated workers and the individuals, families and communities they serve.  

The implementation of a culturally appropriate and respectful capacity development model is the most effective way to bring about a transformative shift in Indigenous workers’ personal, professional and cultural self confidence, empowerment and pride.

ICBOC’s Capacity Development Model for the indigenous workforce represents a major historical turning point in establishing an official recognition of the special qualifications needed to provide culture-based healing, health and wellness services in Indigenous communities.

In addition, this model integrates a career track that encourages Indigenous workers who are interested in a health management career down the road, to take some courses related to management right from the start of their certification journey. These courses are recorded in their file and can be used, through our team leader certification to apply to the First Nations Health Managers Association (FNHMA) certification.

17.  HOW DOES ICBOC’S WORKFORCE CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT MODEL HELP ME 

ICBOC’s worker-centered, culture-embedded model ensures that, as an indigenous worker employed in an occupation linked to the continuum of services in addictions, mental wellness and in other unregulated allied services and occupations, you:

  • are recognized for the knowledge, skills, professional attitude and cultural competence you demonstrate at the point in your career you find yourself, at the time you apply for certification
  • can access culturally and professionally relevant, culturally competent and safe education and training
  • are encouraged and guided on your training journey to higher levels of certification
  • are offered the opportunity to broaden the scope of your professional and cultural experience and practice through credentials that are recognized by other indigenous employers in other parts of the world
  • are motivated to acknowledge and feel the strength, power and pride that you inherently possess and that you place at the service of your clients and community

18. HOW DO I SELECT THE CERTIFICATION THAT SUITS MY SITUATION

ICBOC offers a wide range of certifications. The first step is for you to decide which certification suits your situation. Information for each ICBOC certification is available on our website. You can start by examining the summaries of standards and requirements to verify if you qualify for the certification you would like to apply for. We recommend that you call us to obtain assistance in selecting the certification that best suits your situation. See points 23, 24, 25 and 26

19. HOW DOES THE APPLICATION PROCESS WORK

Once you have selected your certification application, examine the application and use the check list to ensure it is complete, before sending it to us by regular mail. The Registrar will review your application only once it is complete. The Assistant Registrar will contact you and request any missing documents.

20. DOES ICBOC CONSIDER CULTURAL EXPERIENCE/KNOWLEDGE AS PART OF ITS REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFICATION  

Yes. ICBOC’s professional certifications are embedded in a unique, culturally appropriate model of capacity development for the Indigenous workforce. This model inspires the standards and structure of our certification system, and is based on our long experience listening to Indigenous workers, experts and community development across Canada.

The overarching belief that underpins all our work is summarized in this statement of principle: of Indigenous people, for Indigenous people, by Indigenous people.

It is therefore natural and legitimate that ICBOC certification standards and requirements are driven by and embedded in Indigenous culture.

Our cultural standards and requirement are not prescriptive, but reflect and honours the rich and varied cultures of Indigenous communities throughout Canada.

21. HOW DOES ICBOC INTERGRATE  CULTURAL EXPERIENCE/KNOWLEDGE AS PART OF ITS REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFICATION

ICBOC supports Indigegogy, which is the practice of teaching, learning and wholistic practice that is centred in indigenous knowledge and wholistic approaches. In line with this cultural perspective, ICBOC emphasizes learning as a culturally-resonant concept and integrates it in our requirements for certification in several ways:

  • Honouring work experience with Indigenous clients as of equal value as formal or informal in-class education/training.
  • Encouraging alternative, cultural activities as opportunities to accumulate and submit a learning hours (26) towards certification
  • Supporting the creation of communities of learning in places of work, to replace or complement the use of external training providers. There is a lot of knowledge and expertise on many topics that already exist among staff. The sharing that occurs in such sharing circles enhances the knowledge of all staff, the one who leads as well as the ones who participate.
  • Anyone who presents on a topic is able to submit the time spent sharing their knowledge towards their certification/recertification.
  • In 2020, in addition to a list of discretionary topics, we began to include: Mandatory topics and hours in our cultural experience and knowledge requirements and the use of an applicant’s own indigenous language with clients and/or the taking of a course in an indigenous language in the evaluation of professional competencies

22.  IF I DO HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE, WILL I GET CREDIT FOR IT TOWARD MY CERTIFICATION 

If you have completed post-secondary education, whether it is a certificate, diploma, degree, masters or PHD, it will be applied towards your certification.

The number of hours in topics relevant to the certification you have applied for and verified through your transcripts, certificates of completion and other acceptable proofs, will guide the Registrar’s determination of your certification and level.

In addition, holding a bachelor or a masters or a PHD will reduce the number of years of work experience required for certification at level II, III as well as for the Clinical supervisor and Team Leader certifications.

Specialist certifications at level II 

  • A Bachelors degree will reduce the work requirement by 1000 hours.
  • A Masters or higher degree will reduce the work requirement by 4000 hours.

Specialist certifications at level III, Clinical Supervisor and Team Leader certifications

  • A Masters or higher degree will reduce the work requirement by 4000 hours.

23. I HAVE MANY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, BUT DID NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ACQUIRE FORMAL EDUCATION, CAN I STILL APPLY AND OBTAIN A CERTIFICATION

This is a question that is at the root of many Indigenous workers’ lack of confidence, due to western pervasive influence based of the belief in the superiority of academic education over lived experience. Although mainstream academic knowledge does have its place and value, we do not accept it as the be-all and end-all of education or training, especially for our Indigenous unregulated workforce.

Our approach to certification differs, ICBOC and considers the wholistic learning and education acquired through personal, social and professional experience to be relevant and valuable. It is a fact that Indigenous certification applicants with lived experience are never without the training they need to do their job.

24. WHERE CAN I FIND INFORMATION ON ICBOC CERTIFICATIONS 

All the information and documents to apply for certification are available on the ICBOC website at www.icboc.ca. To find out what certifications are currently available, please consult  https://earth.hosted-site.net/~icboc2/certification/icboc-certifications/ and navigate the links leading to each certification page.

Each certification page provides a description, application packages as well as summaries that explain what is required in terms of work experience, education and training in order to apply. However, we strongly recommend that you first call or email the Registrar or the Registrar’s assistant who will guide you to the application that fits your situation. It takes time to assemble the application documents and a simple call or email will save you a lot of back and forth.

25. WHAT HAPPENS IF I COMPLETE THE WRONG APPLICATION

Generally, this happens when you complete an application that has been given to you by another person, and the application is either out of date or does not fit your current occupation/position or the required experience and training/education requirements are higher than what you currently have. It might also happen that your application is incomplete. In both cases, we will let you know in writing what you need to submit to correct the situation. We are here to assist you and to reach the certification and level you deserve.

26. IF I HAVE SUBMITTED ALL THE REQUIRED TRAINING/DOCUMENTATION, HOW LONG WILL THE REVIEW OF MY APPLICATION TAKE 

You will be informed about the result of your application review within 20 working days of the receipt of the completed application, which must include the certification fee. Incomplete applications, with missing documents cause delays in the processing and eventual mailing of certification letters and certificates.

Surges in the number of application occur at certain time, in particular around the time members need to provide their certificate to obtain their retention incentive. ICBOC makes every effort to process application in a timely manner during those periods.

Please ensure you send you application well in advance and use the check list in your application package to submit all the documents required,

27. ARE ICBOC CERTIFICATION AND ACCREDITATION SERVICES AVAILABLE IN FRENCH 

Yes, all of our services are available in French, including all paperwork. We recommend that all applicants – Francophones and Anglophones contact the registrar for advice regarding the certification documents that best suits their situation.

28. DO I NEED TO SUBMIT A CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK IN ORDER TO OBTAIN CERTIFICATION  

You do not need to obtain and submit a criminal record check to obtain certification. However, since the responsibility for ensuring that checks are done to protect the safety and welfare of clients rests with the employer, all ICBOC’s application packages include a declaration form that employers must complete.

29. HOW DO I KEEP MY CERTIFICATION IN GOOD STANDING  

To remain in good standing, you need to renew your certification every 2 years. You are expected to renew your certification on or before the date of expiration of your most recent certificate.

You need to complete the Certification Renewal Form and send the required documents and renewal fees.

The majority of recertification applicants are required to submit a minimum of 40 hours of new training, the greater number of training you submit, the faster you will be able to obtain a certification upgrade. See point 58

The granting of certifications and recertifications are dependent on the submission of acceptable proofs of training. See points 35 and 36  

30.  HOW DO YOU CALCULATE APPLICABLE TRAINING HOURS 

When a proof of training only indicates a date or dates, training hours will be calculated at 6.5 hours/day.

31. WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT RENEW MY CERTIFICATION FOR SEVERAL MONTHS OR YEARS

Depending how long your certification application remains incomplete or is nor renewed, ICBOC will either classify it as pending for period of six months, and if the application is still inactive after that time, it will be archived. 

An application completed or reactivated while in pending status can be reactivated upon completion and or the payment of a late fee.

An application reactivated when it is in archived will be reactivated upon the payment of a reactivation fee, the submission of missing document and of the required hours of training left unsubmitted since the date of archival. In some instances, the submission of a new certification application will be required.

32. WHAT ARE THE COSTS RELATED TO CERTIFICATION AND RECERTIFICATION

Certification fees vary with each certification and level, and with the status of a first application or application renewal. 

Our complete list of fees can be found here: https://earth.hosted-site.net/~icboc2/certification/list-of-certifications/list-of-fees/

33. WHAT HAPPENS WITH MY CERTIFICATION IF I GO ON MATERNITY OR SICK LEAVE OR BECOME UNEMPLOYED  

There are special circumstances when a member is not able to maintain his/her certification. If you cannot renew and wish to keep your file open, you can obtain an exemption by informing the Registrar of your circumstances in writing (letter or email). The information will be inserted in your file, which will be temporarily suspended until you reactivate it.  If these conditions are observed, no late or reactivation fee will be charged.

34. WHAT PROOF OF TRAINING ARE ACCEPTABLE FOR ICBOC

ICBOC accepts the following proofs of education/training:

  1. Transcripts, if possible accompanied by courses description of the internet link to the program
  2. Declaration/affidavit on the employer’s letterhead and bearing the following information: Name of applicant, Title (s) or list of the training completed, with date of delivery and number of training hours, Name and position of the person signing the declaration, His/her phone number and email, Date and signature.
  3. Certificate of completion or attendance with the logo or name of training provider/host and bearing the following information: Name of applicant, Title (s) of the training, date of delivery and number of training hours, Trainer or training provider’s signature.
  4. Alternative training form (in certification applications and renewal application form 3). To be accepted, this form must be completed exactly as required in the instructions provided.

35. WHAT PROOF OF TRAINING ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE 

Anything that is not one of the proof mentioned in point 34 above. For example; training brochures, invitations to training event, training PowerPoint presentations, agendas.

Training certificates related to safety topics that have already been completed and submitted previously. Topics such as First Aid, Foodsafe, WHMIS etc… can only be submitted once.

Proofs of training mentioned in point 34 above but not completed as required or by the required qualified person.

36. IS THERE ANY FINANCIAL BENEFIT IF I GET PROFESSIONALLY CERTIFIED WITH ICBOC 

Sometimes. While not all employers provide higher salaries or pay raises for those who get certified, a growing number are using professional certification as a marker, to assist in decision making on salaries. In the field of addictions treatment, some employers receive additional funding from the government to improve salaries and/or increase training opportunities. This is called the retention incentive.

37. HOW CAN I GET THE RETENTION INCENTIVE

ICBOC does not administer this retention incentive. You must first consult your employer to find out if you can obtain this incentive and/or contact your regional FNIHB representative.

38. DO YOU OFFER FINANCIAL SUPPORT OR ASSISTANCE 

Currently, ICBOC does not offer financial aid to prospective members. However, in early 2020, ICBOC will be launching a major fundraising initiative, to raise $3 million dollars, to set up an endowment for training scholarships for our members.

We also are negotiating some free training for a limited number of certified members, keep an eye on our website announcements. 

39. DOES ICBOC PROVIDE TRAINING 

No, ICBOC does not develop or deliver training, but provides access to culturally competent and safe training through a unique and rigorous training accreditation process. See point 51

Although we do not develop or deliver training, we do offer training guidance, for example when new members need to complete certain trainings to maintain their certification at their next renewal or are interested in obtaining a certification upgrade.

          40. WHAT IS TRAINING ACCREDITATION

Training accreditation is the process by which ICBOC ensures that content of formal education programs and informal training meet ICBOC technical, professional and cultural standards and requirements, and are culturally competent and safe. See points 46 & 47 

41. IS TRAINING ACCREDITATION THE ONLY WAY ICBOC ENCOURAGES CULTURALLY COMPETENT AND SAFE TRAINING  

No, in accordance with our culture-embedded capacity development model, ICBOC encourages and recognizes the development of orientation training by qualified staff within an Indigenous place of work. This enables new staff to receive basic training on topics related to their job responsibilities, as well as training on other topics related to place of work policies.

Training provided by internal trainers employed in an Indigenous work setting is accredited free of charge and can be applied toward recertification.

42. WHAT ARE THE GOALS OF ICBOC’S EDUCATION/TRAINING ACCREDITATION  

ICBOC’s training accreditation serves to demonstrate a level of excellence in providing culturally appropriate education/training to Indigenous learners. The goals of ICBOC’s training accreditation process are to ensure that:

  1. Indigenous input is integrated in every stage of the training/education program – inception – planning – development – delivery – evaluation thus enhancing the cultural competence and safety of this training
  1. The training and education meet ICBOC’s training/education standards and requirements
  1. The training/education meets the learning needs of Indigenous students to maximize their academic success, personal development and self confidence.

43. WHAT KINDS OF TRAINING DOES ICBOC ACCREDIT

ICBOC accreditation focuses on the education/training programs developed and delivered by a variety of providers either in-class or in the communities or in the place of work.

The training/education that ICBOC accredits is not limited to programs but also includes a range of formal and informal education and training in different format, types, duration, and location.

  • Undergraduate, graduate, post graduate and continuing education programs provided by Universities
  • Certificates, diploma, advanced diploma, degree, co-op program provided by colleges, community colleges, vocational colleges, polytechnic institutes
  • Programs, courses, workshops, webinars, training retreats or seminars etc. developed and/or delivered by training organizations or businesses, training conference hosts, independent trainers, internal trainers.

44.  IS THERE ANY BENEFIT IN COMPLETING AN ACCREDITED ACADEMIC PROGRAM

ICBOC accredits both academic programs and informal training. There are advantages to completing both. See Points 46 and 48 

45. WHERE CAN I FIND INFORMATION ON ACCREDITED PROGRAS AND ACCREDITED TRAINING

You can consult the following directories available on our website, under ACCREDITATION:

  • Accredited programs offered by universities, colleges and institutes
  • Accredited informal trainings offered by independent trainers
  • Accredited training offered by conference

46. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES FOR ME TO COMPLETE AN ACCREDITED ACADEMIC PROGRAM 

When a program delivered by an educational institution has been successfully accredited, it is deemed to meet ICBOC’s technical, professional and cultural certification standards and requirements. If you have graduated from such a program, you will automatically be eligible for ICBOC certification, with the following proviso:

  • The certification and level you will receive will depend on your academic credential, and more importantly, on the length of your work experience. The work experience standard established for each certification level is non negotiable and must be met.
  • Some academic credentials do reduce required the length of work experience. See point 20

47. CAN I GET A CERTIFICATION EVEN IF I DO NOT YET MEET THE REQUIREMENT FOR WORK EXPERIENCE 

Even you do not meet the work experience requirement for the certification corresponding to your academic credential, you will be granted the certification that fits your situation and you will be able to upgrade your certification as you accumulate additional years of experience every time you renew your certification.

48. WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE FOR ME TO COMPLETE INFORMAL TRAINING 

When informal training delivered by certain providers, in particular independent registered and approved trainers, you may be able to benefit for an increased number of training hours than for other non accredited trainings.

Because we believe that truly effective training is characterized by an increased opportunity to be retained and applied after its initial delivery, we encourage trainers to provide participants with some after-training activities they can pursue when back at work.

We consider the time that these activities take to be completed are part and parcel to the in-class training. We encourage you to support us in this important initiative and also encourage trainers to include follow-up activities, such as further readings, journaling, follow-up exercises, etc…

49. WHAT DOES ICBOC’S INFORMAL EDUCATION ACCREDITATION PROCESS LOOK LIKE

Providers who wish to accredit their training submit an application. Application packages address specific informal training providers and are designed to evaluate the type of training content offered. The information presented allows ICBOC to determine if a training topic content and delivery meets ICBOC requirements, and if the trainers delivering the training are culturally experienced and competent.

The accreditation process for informal training includes the verification of the trainers who deliver the training. Applicants wishing to deliver an informal training must therefore be a registered or approved trainer or if they employ other trainers, provide the information needed to register and approve them.

50. WHAT DOES ICBOC’S FORMAL EDUCATION ACCREDITATION PROCESS LOOK LIKE 

ICBOC accreditation process varies depending on the type of education training. However, to accredit their education program or trainings, providers must complete an accreditation application.  In summary, the accreditation of education program offered by universities and colleges is the most involved, rigorous and carried out in two phases:

  • Pre-site phase where all the documentary information required in the application package is provided to ICBOC. During this phase, ICBOC evaluates Indigenous input at the stages of program inception, planning, development, delivery and evaluation. This first phase will indicate to ICBOC if the program features enough of the required elements for a complete or conditional program accreditation. A preliminary report is provided to inform the program provider in regard to the onsite phase,
  • Onsite phase where ICBOC meets with those involved in the stages mentioned above, interviews students, observes classes, examines teaching material and if available, visits spaces that offer cultural support to students.
  • Report and recommendations: A final report with ICBOC feedback and recommendations is provided, and a letter of accreditation and certificate are then sent or presented in person to the program providers.
  • Accreditation renewal: Accreditation of academic programs is valid for 3 years. During this time ICBOC expects that the recommendations documented in the accreditation report will be honoured.

Any changes to the program must be reported to ICBOC. If ICBOC has not been informed about changes that will be made in the program, whether it relates to its content, methodology or instructors. A renewal will be delayed until the changes are documented and accepted by ICBOC. To renew an accreditation, the ICBOC Education/Training Renewal Form must be completed, submitted and sent to ICBOC with the renewal fee.

51.  WHAT IS A CERTIFICATION UPGRADE

Upgrading certifications is part of the implementation of ICBOC capacity development model for the Indigenous workforce. It means providing a certification at a higher level than the one that was granted most recently.

Upgrades can be obtained from a worker level to another higher worker level, from a worker level to a specialist level, from a specialist level to another higher specialist level or to another higher certification. Certification upgrading is done in accordance with a specific process. Certification upgrade fees are available at https://earth.hosted-site.net/~icboc2/certification/list-of-certifications/list-of-fees/

52. IS IT ONLY POSSIBLE TO OBTAIN A CERTIFICATION UPGRADE ONLY TO THE NEXT LEVEL HIGHER

Provided an applicant meets the standards and requirements as described in point 51, it is possible to be upgraded to more than one level.

In the case of upgrading from a specialist level to a level IV or to other higher ICBOC certifications, it is required to have already been certified at a level III. 

53. CAN I BE UPGRADED TO A CERTIFICATION HIGHER THAN THE ONE I ALREADY HAVE 

Yes, it is possible to obtain a certification higher than the one you already have if the hours of training you have accumulated since your first renewal or after your latest upgrade justifies it or if you complete a new college or university diploma.  

54. WHAT IS THE ICBOC PROCESS FOR CERTIFICATION UPGRADING 

An applicant can apply directly for a certification upgrade or ICBOC can grant an upgrade when an applicant is deemed to have met certain set conditions:

Years of practice requirements

All certification upgrades, even in case where the education/training requirements are met, are subject to the fulfilment of the work experience requirements. When these requirements are not met, the upgraded certification will be automatically granted at the next renewal date.

Direct application

Applicants who have established that they have met all the standards and requirement for a higher certification than the one they currently have can apply for a certification upgrade by using the certification upgrade form.

ICBOC upgrade determination

ICBOC keeps a record of all the hours a certified member has accumulated at each certification renewal. When the conditions set for a certification upgrade are met, the applicant will automatically be granted an upgrade. See Point 51

55. WHAT ARE THE CERTIFICATION UPGRADES AVAILABLE 

As mentioned, certification upgrades are the means by which ICBOC implements its capacity development model through a certification laddering system that takes into account the realities, needs and aspirations of the Indigenous workforce.

Certification upgrades are based on the number of hours and the length of work experience required for the higher certification level. As explained in point 49, several upgrade options are available

Upgrade from an existing worker certification to another worker certification requiring up to 250 hours and 6 months of work experience:   Applicants who hold a certification in this category will be eligible for a certification upgrade when the total of accumulated hours they submit reaches a minimum of 200 hours.

The 200 hours and the 2 years of professional practice is considered as equivalent to a college certificate.

Upgrade from an existing worker certification to another worker certification requiring a minimum of 350 hours of education training and 1 year of work experience: Applicants who hold a certification in this category will be eligible for a certification upgrade when the total of accumulated hours they submit reaches a minimum of 200 hours.

The 200 hours and the 2 years of professional practice is considered as equivalent to a college certificate.

Upgrade from an existing worker certification to a specialist level I certification requiring a minimum of 450 hours and 1 year of work experience: Applicants who hold a certification in this category will be eligible for a certification upgrade when the total of accumulated hours they submit reaches a minimum of 300 hours of education/training hours or have completed a college diploma or its equivalent.

The 300 hours and the 2 years of professional practice is considered as equivalent to a college diploma or another academic program with a minimum of 300 class hour.

Upgrade from an existing specialist level I certification to a higher specialist certification (level II and III): Applicants who hold a certification in this category will be eligible for a certification upgrade when the total of accumulated hours they submit reaches a minimum of 400 hours per each upgraded specialist level, or have completed a bachelor degree program or higher.

The standard in regard to the reduction of the number of work hours according to the academic diploma an applicant has completed will be applied. See point 20

Upgrade from an existing specialist level III to a specialist Level IV certification: Applicants who hold a certification in this category will be eligible for a certification upgrade when they satisfy all the standards and requirements of this certification. The reduction in years of work experience granted upon completion of academic diplomas do not apply unless the academic diploma is directly related to the specialization topic. 

Upgrade from an existing specialist certification to a higher ICBOC certification: Applicants who hold a certification in this category will be eligible for a certification upgrade when they satisfy all the standards and requirements of the higher ICBOC certification (Clinical Supervisor & Team Leader). The reduction in years of work experience granted upon completion of academic diplomas applicable to an upgrade from a specialist level to the next does apply.  See point 20 

56. CAN I GET A CERTIFICATION UPGRADE AS SOON AS I HAVE THE WORK EXPERIENCE REQUIRED 

Yes, you can get the upgrade that you are eligible for as soon as you meet the years of work experience required for the upgrade certification, but you will need to submit an upgrade form and include the payment for the upgrade fee at the time of application. We recommend that you apply for the upgrade you were deemed eligible for at your next renewal date, so that you will only pay one set of fees.  

57. HOW CAN I APPLY FOR A CERTIFICATION THAT BETTER SUITS MY NEW JOB 

In conformity with its Capacity Development model, ICBOC has a process that makes it easier to apply for a different certification, we call it a Certification Switch option. You can use this process if we currently offer a certification that fits your job situation.

We may not yet have such a certification available yet, but we are developing new certifications on an ongoing basis, very often as the result of accumulated requests from workers or employers.  We recommend that you contact ICBOC to obtain the information that suits your situation.

58. WHAT IS THE ICBOC PROCESS FOR  A CERTIFICATION SWITCH 

All certified members wishing to apply for a certification switch must complete ICBOC’s Certification Switch form and provide the required documents and payment.

ICBOC keeps a record of the hours on the topics that applicants have submitted during their certification journey. When an ICBOC member submits his/her application for a certification switch the entire file is examined and all the hours and topics matching the requirements for the new certification are transferred and taken in consideration in the review of the application. This means no applicant to a certification switch needs to start from scratch in meeting the standards and requirement for the certification applied for.

To switch a certification when an application has obtained a first certification by ICBOC’s equivalence process see point 63.

59. I AM ALREADY CERTIFIED WITH ANOTHER CERTIFICATION BOARD, CAN I ALSO GET CERTIFIED BY ICBOC

Yes, you can. The Indigenous Certification Board of Canada honors the certifications obtained from other certification boards, and grants, on request, the type and level of certification that matches ICBOC own standards and requirements.

60. HOW DOES THE ICBOC CERTIFICATION BY EQUIVALENCE PROCESS WORK

Applicants for an ICBOC equivalent certification must complete the Certification by equivalence form available on the ICBOC website, and be in possession of a certification in good standing with the Certification Board with whom they are certified by the date of their application with ICBOC.

61. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IF I WANT TO RENEW MY CERTIFICATION OBTAINED BY ICBOC’S CERTIFICATION EQUIVALENCE PROCESS

The renewal process for a first certification that was obtained through ICBOC’s certification by equivalence process is different than that of an ordinary renewal.  Although you still need to renew your equivalent certification after two years, you must also complete the Application for Equivalent Recertification and submit the required documents and fee. This form is available on the ICBOC website or on request.

62. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO UPGRADE THE EQUIVALENT CERTIFICATION I RECEIVED TWO YEARS AGO

If you wish to upgrade (rather than simply renew) the equivalent certification you applied and obtained two years ago, you must submit a complete application for the higher certification you are aiming for. You will need to satisfy the standards and requirements that apply to the higher certification you are aiming for. Your application will be processed in conformity with IBOC’s normal certification review and determination process.

63. I OBTAINED MY CURRENT CERTIFICATION TWO YEARS AGO THROUGH ICBOC’S CERTIFICATION EQUIVALENCE PROCESS, AND I NOW NEED TO CHANGE THIS CERTIFICATION TO ANOTHER ONE, IS THIS FEASIBLE

Yes, you can switch to a different certification instead of renewing the current certification you obtained two years ago through ICBOC equivalence process. This certification switch can be done by submitting a complete application for a certification at the same level as your current one.

64.  I HAVE NOT RENEWED MY CERTIFICATION FOR A LONG TIME, AND MY APPLICATION IS NOW IN ARCHIVES, HOW EXACTLY DOES ICBOC’S ARCHIVAL PROCESS WORK 

If you have not applied for the renewal of your certification or have not completed your renewal application six months after the expiry date documented on your most recent certificate, your entire file is placed in our archives. We keep members’ files in our archives for 5 years after the date they have been transferred there. After 5 years in archives, files that have not been reactivated are destroyed.

The reactivation of archived certification files is subject to certain protocols described in point 65 below.  

65. CAN I REACTIVATE MY PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION AFTER IT HAS BEEN ARCHIVED

Yes, you can send a request for the reactivation of your professional certification if it has been in our archives less than 5 years by observing the following protocols:

  • Completing the Certification Reactivation form available on our website, and forwarding the required documents and payment.
  • Submitting proofs for the number of training hours equivalent to the total hours that were not submitted because of the years the certification file spent in archives (5 hours per 3 months spent in archives).
  • This protocol will not apply if the applicant requested and obtained an exemption. See point 34 for an explanation on exemptions.

66. WHAT MUST I DO TO REACTIVATE MY PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION AFTER IT HAS BEEN ARCHIVED MORE THAN 5 YEARS

As mentioned in point 65, certification files who were in archives for over 5 years are destroyed. The only way to obtain a certification in that case I to complete and submit a new certification application.

The application will be reviewed in the same way as any application submitted by an applicant for the first time. The certification that will be granted will be based on the documents submitted and the fulfillment of the certification standards and requirements that are set for the certification that is aimed for.

67.  MY APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATION HAS BEEN DECLINED, AND I DO NOT AGREE, WHAT CAN I DO 

 ICBOC offers an appeal process for those who feel that the determination of certification did not reflect the level of professional competency demonstrated in their application.The appeal process for declined certifications is described in the ICBOC Standards and Procedures Manual, available on ICBOC’s website or provided on request.

This appeal process does not apply to certification application that are declined because ICBOC des not offer a certification for the job or position of the applicant.

68. DOES ICBOC HAVE A POLICY TO PROCESS COMPLAINTS RELATED TO AN ICBOC CERTIFIED MEMEBERS’ UNETHICAL BEHAVIOUR 

Yes, ICBOC has a policy on the administration of complaints related to the infringements of its Standards of Ethical conduct. Details of this policy are documented in the ICBOC Standards and Procedures Manual, available on ICBOC’s website or provided on request.