Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) & Labour Mobility

Building a Competitive Workforce


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) & Labour Mobility can help give Nova Scotia the workforce it needs to compete in a global economy. It allows workers to use their skills anywhere in the country, by recognizing what a person knows and what they can do, no matter where or how the learning took place.

The RPL and Labour Mobility unit administers several programs to support a mobile labour force including these:


Recognition of Prior Learning creates innovative and effective programs to help people to join the workforce when their skills, knowledge, and abilities have not been formally recognized. RPL works with industry, educational institutions, and government to support a mobile labour force and increase the skills of current workers. The following graphic by Morrissey. M et al. gives a snapshot of how RPL works.

(Click For a Larger View)

The Fair Registration Practices Review Office oversees the Fair Registration Practices Act – FRPA. Its focus is to make sure applicants understand how registration practices work within regulated occupations, and to make sure those practices are fair, transparent, and accountable.  FRPA requires the regulatory bodies to follow these principles when someone applies to register with a regulated occupation, whether the person is trained in Nova Scotia, elsewhere in Canada, or internationally:

  • provide applicants with clear and understandable information about the practice and the requirements for getting a licence
  • provide decisions and responses in a timely fashion to those who apply
  • assess applicants’ qualifications in a way that is transparent, objective, and impartial, and follows a fair process
  • provide an objective process for applicants to use if they want to appeal a decision about their registration

The Review Officer works with the regulatory bodies to help them meet the requirements of FRPA.


The Labour Mobility section of the unit is responsible for Chapter 7 which is the Labour Mobility Chapter of the Agreement on Internal Trade. The Labour Mobility Coordinator works with governments, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders to  make sure that workers who are  certified for an occupation in one area of Canada are recognized in the rest of the provinces and territories, and that common inter-provincial and territorial standards are adopted where that is possible and practical.

The Labour Mobility section also supports programs that help Nova Scotia provide a fair and competitive labour market environment for immigrants. With the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration it coordinates work on the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications. This and other  provincial initiatives related to International Qualifications Recognition help immigrants bring their education, skills, and work experience to Nova Scotia. At the same time, work is underway with Immigrant Settlement Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) to bring together partners through its Multi-stakeholder Work Group model.



RPL & Labour Mobility Unit
Adult Education Division
Skills & Learning Branch
Department of Labour, Skills & Immigration
PO Box 697
Halifax, NS B3J 2T8

Phone: 1-877-466-7725
Fax: 902-424-1171