Canada's new occupational classification system


An important change for anyone planning to immigrate to Canada or coming on a work visa.

The NOC national occupational classifier has been updated in Canada. It was approved on 10 August and published on 21 September.

What is NOC?

The National Occupational Classification, or NOC for short, is a system for organising and describing occupations. It defines the types and levels of skills (qualifications) and assigns a code to each occupation. You can read more about NOC in a separate article.

Once every 5 years the Canadian government updates the classifier and once every 10 years they completely revise its structure. In 2021, it was time to completely change NOC, which is what happened. The new classification system reflects the changes that have taken place in the economy and labour market.

What's changed?

The occupational classifier has undergone major structural modifications:

  • reorganization of professional categories;
  • 6 skill levels instead of 4;
  • 5-digit occupation code instead of 4-digit code and other.

To illustrate this, let us take as an example the position of human resources manager. In the old classification it has the code NOC 0112. Let's break it down by numbers:

  • 0 — type of skill: management position;
  • 1 — skill level A: indicates that the profession requires graduation;
  • 01 — wide group of professions: middle managers,
  • 011 — small group of occupations: managers of administrative services.

In the new classification, however, the HR manager profession is divided into three different professions: HR manager, HR specialist and administrative assistant. Let us take the first position. It has the code NOC 10011:

  • 1 — occupational category: business, finance and administration;
  • 0 — skill level: management position;
  • 10 - broad group of occupations: middle managers in administrative services, financial and business services and communications;
  • 100 — broad subset of occupations: mid-level managers in administrative services, financial and business services and communications;
  • 1001 — small group of occupations: managers of administrative services.

How do I define my code according to the new classification?

At the moment in the Immigrant.Today portal you can define your profession code by past NOC. To do this you need to enter the name of your profession in Russian or English. You can see the code for the new version of the classifier in the correspondence table on the Canadian government website.

When will the new NOC begin?

If you are applying for immigration, take the time to redo everything. For now, all immigration programs use the old classification system.

According to a government website, Canada is not expected to fully migrate to the new occupational classifier until the second half of 2022. Until then, both the new system and the old one can be used.

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