Programs

Recognition Counts is a program that provides supports to skilled immigrants wishing to work in their fields of expertise in Manitoba.

The program offers financial counselling, as well as the opportunity to apply for a loan of up to $10,000 with Assiniboine Credit Union, to help with the cost of having your qualifications recognized in Manitoba and obtaining employment in your profession or trade.

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Find out how Recognition Counts is helping skilled immigrants to achieve their career goals. Learn more below or contact a Referral Partner to get started today!

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Amount

Loans of up to $10,000 dispersed to you at times that match your specific financial needs

Term

The loan is offered over a 5-year term. Repayment is made up of three periods:

Stage Area of Focus Duration Payments
Accreditation Study/training, professional registration, etc. Up to 2 years Interest only*
Transition Job search/employment 6 months, begins upon completion of the first period Interest only*
Repayment Job search/employment Remaining balance of the 5-year term Principal (amount borrowed) and interest

*Interest only charged on loan dollars disbursed to date, not total loan amount

The loan can be fully repaid at any time prior to the end of the term without penalty.

Rate

The interest rate on the loan is a fixed rate, calculated using Assiniboine Credit Union’s Prime Lending Rate at the time of your first loan disbursement (currently 2.70%) plus 2%. A fixed rate means your rate will remain the same over the 5-year term, and is not subject to potential changes in the market.

Fees

There are no loan fees and you can pay off the loan at any time without penalty.

Recognition Counts loans are:

Flexible

To qualify for a Recognition Counts loan you do not need to be employed, have assets or a credit history* in Canada. Staff will assess your circumstances to help determine your ability to manage your payments during and after your study/training period.

*For those with a credit history in Canada, an assessment of your existing credit report will be part of the lending decision.

Personal

What you need the loan for will be unique to your personal financial situation as well as your career goals. You can use the money for any of the costs associated with becoming employed in your field, for example:

  • living expenses (food, housing, transportation, childcare, etc.)
  • tuition, textbooks and computers
  • costs associated with the process of registration with a professional regulatory body, or Apprenticeship Manitoba (exam fees, professional registration costs, etc.)
  • tools, equipment, work clothes, personal protective equipment needed for your work

All Recognition Counts loans are registered with a credit bureau, so you have the opportunity to build a positive credit history through the program.

Affordable

The program takes into account possible changes to income levels while you are working to re-enter your occupation in Canada by allowing you to make interest only payments for up to 30 months.

Additionally, loan funds are given to you through scheduled disbursements based on your individual needs instead of through a single disbursement. This reduces the overall interest you will pay on your loan. Planning the disbursement schedule is an important part of your Recognition Counts Application.

Eligibility

You must:

  • be a Permanent Resident of Canada or a Canadian citizen born outside of Canada
  • be a Manitoba resident
  • be referred by a referring partner agency/program (not applicable if you are already accepted into a bridging/gap training program)
  • complete a Career Action Plan that demonstrates that you
    • have been trained outside of Canada in a regulated or non-regulated profession or trade
    • are seeking employment in your field (or a related field) of training
    • are able to complete any necessary certification, upgrading or training in two years or less
  • be living on a low income

Please note! If you are planning to use the loan to pay for the costs of registering with a professional regulatory body or enrolling in a professional program of study, you must also:

  • obtain a credential assessment letter from the body that regulates your profession that indicates you are eligible to pursue professional licensing/certification and/or
  • be accepted into the program for which you would like to use the loan

If you are not taking a bridging program:

Step 1: Determine your Referral Partner and make an appointment with an employment counsellor.

Step 2: Tell your employment counsellor about your career plan and discuss if a Recognition Counts loan is appropriate for you. If that is the case, you will receive your registration code.

Step 3: Complete your Career Action Plan (CAP) online at recognitioncounts.ca. To log in for the first time, click the Register button, then use your Registration Code to complete the log in process.

Completing the CAP shows your experience and qualifications to work in your chosen field in Manitoba. The work you put into this plan will also help you decide if applying for a Recognition Counts loan is the best decision for your future.

Step 4: Your employment counsellor will review your Career Action Plan. If approved, it will then be submitted to Recognition Counts

A Program Coordinator from the Recognition Counts program will contact you to attend an information session. You will learn more about the program and how to apply for a Recognition Counts loan.

If you decide to apply for the Recognition Counts loan, and your application is approved, you will then meet with an Assiniboine Credit Union account manager to complete the loan process.

If you have been accepted into a bridging program:

Step 1: Ask the Coordinator of your program for the Recognition Counts Registration Code.

Step 2: Complete your Career Action Plan (CAP) online at recognitioncounts.ca. To log in for the first time, click the Register button, then use your Registration Code to complete the log in process.

Completing the CAP shows your experience and qualifications to work in your chosen field in Manitoba. The work you put into this plan will also help you decide if applying for a Recognition Counts loan is the best decision for your future.

Once your CAP is completed and submitted, a Recognition Counts Program Coordinator will contact you to attend an information session. You will learn more about the program, as well as how to apply for a Recognition Counts loan.

If you decide to apply for a Recognition Counts loan and it is approved, you will then meet with an Assiniboine Credit Union account manager to complete the loan process.

Guides and Forms

The following forms and guides can help you fill out your CAP:

The first step to apply for a Recognition Counts loan is to obtain a Registration Code and complete your Career Action Plan (CAP) online.

Referral Partners (except Bridging Programs)

Contact and make an appointment with a Career Coach at one of the locations closest to you:

Location Referral Partner
Winnipeg and have been in Canada less than 3 years (up to 5 years if you only need help with the licensing process) Manitoba Start, 271 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg and have been in Canada for more than 3 years Employment Manitoba, 100-111 Lombard Avenue
Winnipeg and have been in Canada for more than 3 years Success Skills Centre, 12th Floor-330 Portage Avenue
Morden Employment Manitoba Centre, Morden Centre, 1-160 Stephen Street, Morden MB
Winkler Regional Connections, 2-295 Perry Street, Winkler MB
Steinbach Employment Manitoba Centre, Steinbach Centre, 321 Main Street, Steinbach MB
Brandon Employment Manitoba Centre, Brandon Centre, 127-340 Ninth Street, Brandon MB
Brandon Westman Immigrant Services, 1001 Pacific Avenue, Brandon MB
Portage la Prairie Newcomer's Welcome Centre, 110 Saskatchewan Avenue West, Portage la Prairie MB

Bridging Programs – Referral Partners

Ask the bridging program staff to provide you with an access code to complete your CAP online. Once your CAP is completed and submitted online, a Recognition Counts Program Coordinator will contact you.

Bridging Program Location
IEEQ (International Educated Engineers Qualification) University of Manitoba - Winnipeg
BPIEN (Bridging Program for Internationally Educated Nurses) Red River College - Winnipeg
IEAP (Internaionally Educated Agrologists Program) University of Manitoba - Winnipeg
IENPNP (Internationally Educated Nurses Practical Nursing Program) Assiniboine Community College - Winnipeg
ECEBP (Early Childhood Education Bridge) Assiniboine Community College - Brandon
Midwifes Gap Training/Bridging Program College of Midwives - Winnipeg

This section is for exclusive use of Recognition Counts Referral Partners.

For employment Counsellors

If this is the first time you are referring a client to Recognition Counts, use the username and password already assigned* to you to login here.

If you do not have a username and password already assigned, call the Recognition Counts Program Coordinator at 204-594-0548 or the Program Manager at 204-594-0549.

Once logged in:

  1. Go to the “Registration Codes” tab and click on “Generate a registration Code”.
  2. Give the unique code generated to your client and tell them to go to www.recognitioncounts.ca to register and to complete the Career Action Plan.
  3. You will receive an email once the client has submitted the Career Action Plan.
  4. Login again and review the Career Action Plan.
  5. Click “Approved” to instantly submit to Recognition Counts staff.
  6. If you are Manitoba Start staff, please follow your internal vetting process for CAP approval.

Forms and Guides for Referral Partners

What is Recognition Counts?

Recognition Counts is a program that provides supports to skilled immigrants wishing to have their training/certification acquired in a country outside Canada recognized so they can work in their fields of expertise in Manitoba.

The program offers financial counselling, as well as the opportunity to apply for a loan of up to $10,000, to help with the cost of having international qualifications recognized in Manitoba and obtaining employment in a profession or trade.

Am I eligible for Recognition Counts?

You may qualify if you are a Manitoba resident who is living on a low income and are either a Permanent Resident of Canada or a Canadian citizen born outside of Canada.
What is the Recognition Counts Career Action Plan?

The Career Action Plan outlines your career goals and the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. It must be completed before you can apply to Recognition Counts and it helps staff to determine if the program is a good fit for you. Specifically, the Career Action Plan demonstrates that you:

  • are trained outside of Canada in a regulated or non-regulated profession or trade
  • are seeking employment in your field (or a related field) of training
  • have a reasonable chance of finding employment in your field
  • are able to complete any necessary certification, upgrading or training in two years or less
  • qualify to apply for registration with the organization that regulates your profession in Manitoba (if applicable)
  • are accepted into the program for which you would like to use the loan (if applicable)

How much money can I borrow?

You can apply for a loan of up to $10,000. Note: Applying for a loan does not guarantee you will be approved.

Other financial institutions offer lower interest rates on loans – why is the interest on a Recognition Counts loan higher?

When comparing interest rates advertised for personal loans by other financial institutions it is important to consider the following:

Ability to repay – in making decisions on loan applications, financial institutions consider the applicant’s income declared at the time of the application to determine ability to repay. If the applicants’ expenses are higher than their income when they apply for a loan, their applications are not usually approved. The Recognition Counts loan provides funds to support professional licensing and the loan is approved based on the anticipated future income assuming successful employment in the field of study/training.

Security – this loan does not require Applicants to pledge security (such as a house) as may be required for personal loans at other financial institutions.

Fixed vs. Variable rate – Most personal loans advertised are Variable Rate loans which change each time the Prime lending rate changes. The interest rate used for the Recognition Counts loan is a Fixed Rate and it will not change for the term of the loan.

The Recognition Counts loan is intended for people who may be unable to access traditional financing or other financial supports that help skilled immigrants to become qualified to work in Manitoba. An integral part of the service Recognition Counts provides is the financial counseling to determine if the loan is the best choice for you.

How is the low-income requirement determined?

Low income is defined by a number of factors, including your earnings and the number of people in your household. Recognition Counts staff take into account your projected income while you are completing the certification, upgrading or training needed for employment in your field.

Will my participation in Recognition Counts guarantee I’ll find work in my field?

Participation is not a guarantee of future employment as many factors influence employability. However, Recognition Counts does provide career and financial counseling to guide your decisions towards the right path, and that you have the funds to help you get there.

What can I use the money for?

You can use the money for any of the costs associated with becoming employed in your field, for example:

  • living expenses (food, housing, transportation, childcare, etc.)
  • tuition, textbooks and computers
  • costs associated with the process of registration with a professional regulatory body or Apprenticeship Manitoba (exam fees, professional registration costs, etc.)
  • tools, equipment, work clothes, personal protective equipment needed for your work

Who can I contact if I have questions?

Phone: (204) 927-9935 Fax: (204) 927-9930 Email: info@seedwinnipeg.ca.

Recognition Counts loan calculator

Use this tool to calculate your monthly payments according to the Recognition Counts Loan features. This tool includes all the features of the Recognition Counts Loan such as the interest only accreditation stage monthly payments and the staggered disbursements (more than 3 months apart).

Glossary

Find the definition (in plain language) of terms associated with our programs, including in-context examples.

Case Studies

5 different scenarios based on 5 Recognition Counts clients. This will help you to learn from other people’s experience (note: the names and some financial details have been changed to preserve anonymity).

  • Michael – Education: Bachelor of Technology, Major in Automotive, Certified Automotive Technician
  • Theresa – Education: Bachelor in Nursing, Master in Nursing, PhD in Health Management
  • Tariq – Education: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Pakistan. Medical Licensure, Pakistan Medical and Dental Council
  • Sumaila – Education: Bachelor in Nursing, Master in Nursing
  • Malaya – Education: Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering