About the Program
The Specialization Program is a new educational and competency verification program established by ICCRC to ensure RCICs have the required knowledge, skills and judgment to practise before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), safely and ethically in the public interest. The recently implemented Essential Competencies for RCIC PracticeEssential Competencies for RCIC Practice are the blueprint for the program.
Non-graduates of the Graduate Diploma ProgramGraduate Diploma Program must successfully complete one of the Specialization Program pathways and pass the Specialization Exam to obtain the RCIC-IRB class of licence. Practice before the IRB will become a restricted area of practice as of July 1, 2022. Starting on that date, only RCICs with the RCIC-IRB class of licence will be authorized to practise before the IRB.
Note: The Eligibility to Obtain The RCIC-IRB Class of Licence PolicyEligibility to Obtain The RCIC-IRB Class of License Policy sets out the criteria for an RCIC to obtain the RCIC-IRB Class of Licence, authorizing an RCIC to practise before the IRB as of July 1, 2022.
1. Education pathway
a) Targeted group – RCICs with no IRB experience, limited IRB experience, or interested in formal IRB education
b) Length – 18 weeks (part-time)
|Education Pathway Fees|
|All 5 courses||$1,000|
Multiple-choice Exam (Part 1)
Practical Exam (Part 2)
d) Course delivery – Online with a combination of asynchronous modules (not in real time) and live remote tutorialslive remote tutorials via a web conferencing platform. Cohort format.
e) Course description (to be completed in the order below):
- Foundations of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) – 2 weeks
· Legislation and Administrative Law, including the principles of procedural fairness and natural justice
· RCIC obligations to the IRB, and under the RCIC Code of Professional Ethics
- Foundations of the Immigration Division (ID) – 4 weeks
· Overall process and rules for Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews
· How to assist and prepare a client to appear before the ID; make relevant applications and submissions
· How an ID Member conducts their hearing and makes their decision
· Possible next steps for a client that receives a negative decision
- Foundations of the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) – 4 weeks
· Jurisdiction of the IAD and the process for assisting a client in appealing a decision of the ID or a visa officer
· How to marshal evidence and prepare clients and witnesses for an appeal hearing
· How an IAD Member performs their review and makes decisions
· Legal issues encountered at the appeal
- Foundations of the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) – 4 weeks
· Jurisdiction of the RPD and the process for assisting a client in making a claim for refugee or protected person status
· How to marshal evidence and prepare clients and witnesses for an RPD hearing
· How an RPD Member performs their review and makes decisions
· Legal issues encountered at the RPD
- Foundations of the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD)– 4 weeks
· Process of appealing a decision of the RPD
· How to prepare an appellant’s record, apply the rules for new evidence on appeal, and prepare for RAD hearings regarding new evidence
· How an RAD Member performs their review of the evidence and makes a decision
· Next steps, should the appeal be rejected
- Apply knowledge of the Canadian legal framework and immigration legislation and regulations to provide competent client services (Unit 1)
- Conduct research using information technology sources to support the formation of the legal strategy (Unit 3)
- Demonstrate the competence required to engage in activities related to the tribunal processes of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) (Unit 5)
- Develop legal arguments and strategies for the IRB hearing / Prepare and present opening statement, examination, re-examination and/or cross-examination, and closing submissions (Competencies 5.2, 5.4)
- Prepare for the appearance before the tribunal (Competency 5.3)
- Demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communications / Use effective counselling skills when interacting with the client (Competencies 8.1, 8.2)
- Reflect on and evaluate options when faced with problems, issues, and challenges (Competency 9.2)
2. Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) pathway
a) Targeted group – RCICs with IRB education and experience
b) Length – 5 to 7 days to complete the PLAR portfolio activities
|PLAR Pathway Fees|
|Competency assessment in all 5 Courses||$400|
Multiple-choice Exam (Part 1)
Practical Exam (Part 2)
d) How does PLAR work? – RCICs submit an individualized portfolio of prior education and relevant experience. This portfolio demonstrates the knowledge learned and skills gained from past and current work and how they match the required essential competencies.
e) Portfolio details – Documents to be submitted are as follows:
- PLAR Portfolio Declaration attesting to the authenticity and ownership of the submission
- Curriculum Vitae
- Autobiographical Sketch with appended Attestation Form
- Critical Reflection Essay
- Verification of Learning
Note: To facilitate portfolio submission, templates and instructions are provided in the RCIC-IRB PLAR Guide: A Handbook for Preparing a PortfolioRCIC-IRB PLAR Guide: A Handbook for Preparing a Portfolio.
f) Portfolio assessment – Submitted portfolios are assessed by a PLAR Reviewer Panel who will determine whether the RCIC has provided sufficient evidence for their prior learning to be formally recognized. The submissions are assessed against the five courses of the Education Pathway and credit may be given for one or more courses.
3. Hybrid Pathway (combination of Education and PLAR pathways)
a) Targeted group – RCICs with specific IRB division education and experience interested in obtaining the RCIC-IRB class of licence through an accelerated pathway
b) How does it work? – RCICs must first submit a PLAR portfolio. As in the PLAR Pathway, they must then wait for submissions to be assessed against the five courses of the Education Pathway. RCICs may obtain credit toward some courses and be required to register for a limited number of courses from the Education Pathway.
|Hybrid Pathway Fees||1 PLAR credit +4 Education Courses||2 PLAR credits +3 Education Courses||3 PLAR credits +2 Education Courses||4 PLAR credits +1 Education Course|
|Supplemental Education Courses||$800||$600||$400||$200|
|Multiple-choice Exam (Part 1)||$100||$100||$100||$100|
|Practical Exam (Part 2)||$350||$350||$350||$350|
How to apply for one of the pathways
How to get licensed
Once you successfully complete one of the Specialization Program pathways, complete the Specialization Exam Application Form (available in Fall 2021)
Successful RCICs will be issued the RCIC-IRB class of licence as of July 1, 2022, once the practice restriction comes into effect.
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