Essential Competencies for RCIC Practice

 

Unit 1: Foundational Knowledge

Unit 1: Foundational Knowledge
RCICs apply knowledge of the Canadian legal framework and immigration legislation and regulations to provide competent client services.

Competency

Performance Indicators

1.1 Demonstrates knowledge of the Canadian legal system.

1.1.1 Summarizes the Canadian justice system and the authority and scope of each division.

1.1.2 Explains the historical underpinnings of Canadian immigration and citizenship law.

1.1.3 Differentiates the functions and powers of the various federal departments and agencies which have a role in immigration and citizenship matters.

1.1.4 Articulates how the legislation and regulations are created and amended by parliament and provincial legislations.

1.1.5 Applies the meaning of standard and burden of proof related to Canadian immigration law and citizenship.

1.2 Applies knowledge of the principles of administrative law.

1.2.1 Summarizes the body of law that regulates the activities and operations of governments and governmental agencies in Canada.

1.2.2 Explains the meaning of discretion in administrative law and how it must be exercised in various contexts.

1.2.3 Explains the role of judicial review in ensuring that the executive branch of government follows the principles of administrative law.

1.2.4 Applies the relevant rules of procedural fairness to different immigration law and citizenship contexts.

1.3 Interprets Canadian immigration and refugee legislation, regulations, and policies.

1.3.1 Interprets the relevant sections of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), Citizenship Act, Citizenship Regulations.

1.3.2 Demonstrates knowledge of the refugee determination system in Canada and refugee resettlement system abroad.

1.3.3 Identifies issues and concerns warranting special relief for humanitarian and compassionate applications and considerations.

1.3.4 Accurately applies immigration, refugee and citizenship legislation, regulation, policies to various cases.

1.3.5 Summarizes the requirements and processes of the different provinces’ and territories’ immigration programs.

1.4 Differentiates the principal categories and classes of temporary and permanent immigration.

1.4.1 Identifies the temporary and permanent residence categories and classes.

1.4.2 Analyzes the requirements, procedures and limitations for each category and class of immigration.

1.4.3 Explains how the rights and obligations of Canadian citizens differ from those of non-citizens (permanent residents or foreign nationals).

1.5 Synthesizes and applies case law to various immigration and citizenship cases.

1.5.1 Identifies the main elements of case law including purpose, facts, issues, law, ratio decidendi, decision and disposition.

1.5.2 Identifies the leading cases that impact Canadian immigration, refugees and citizenship.

1.5.3 Applies the leading cases to client situations and legal issues.

1.6 Analyzes the various grounds of inadmissibility and how the grounds are applied in a variety of contexts.

1.6.1 Interprets the sections of the IRPA, IRPR, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other relevant sources of law pertaining to inadmissibility, removal and detention.

1.6.2 Summarizes the categories of inadmissibility related to: criminality; organized criminality; security; human or international rights violations; health; financial reasons; misrepresentation; non-compliance; and inadmissible family members.

1.6.3 Recognizes criminal equivalency to Canadian Criminal Code.

1.6.4 Identifies the exemption criteria for inadmissibility and the actions required to overcome inadmissibility.

1.6.5 Recognizes and analyzes the impact of inadmissibility on the client and their situation.

1.6.6 Advises the client on the consequences and the exemptions that apply to each inadmissibility ground.

1.6.7 Considers remedies associated with inadmissibility prior to submitting an application.

1.6.8 Identifies when a client’s inadmissibility cannot be overcome.

1.6.9 Summarizes the actions the government may take when a client is deemed inadmissible, including arrest, detention and removal.

1.7 Applies immigration enforcement legislation and related activities to client situations and issues.

1.7.1 Interprets the sections of the IRPA, IRPR, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other relevant sources of law pertaining to removal and detention.

1.7.2 Distinguishes the different government agencies and tribunals that are involved in enforcement and analyzes the relationships between them.

1.7.3 Explains the requirements for entering and remaining in Canada as related to enforcement.

1.7.4 Considers the social context in which immigration detention takes place.

1.7.5 Develops and executes strategies to obtain the release of clients in detention.

1.7.6 Demonstrates an understanding of the recourses available for clients facing removal.

1.7.7 Prepares effective pre-removal risk assessment and deferral request applications.

1.7.8 Locates, interprets, and applies statutory frameworks, regulations, divisional rules, guidelines or other policy instruments, and case law governing refugee protection claims in Canada.

1.8 Identifies global issues that have an influence on Canadian immigration policies and directives.

1.8.1 Explains the historical context that has influenced Canadian immigration policy (e.g. macro world immigration and migration patterns, globalization, etc.).

1.8.2 Uses a variety of resources to research humanitarian issues and cultural bias that may impact the client situation and legal issues.

1.8.3 Considers the impact of international relations, treaties and agreements on the client’s situation and legal issues.

Unit 2: Case Management

Unit 2: Case Management
RCICs apply relevant legislation at each stage of the immigration process in a timely manner to protect the clients’ immigration status and eligibility.

Competency

Performance Indicators

2.1 Conducts a preliminary assessment of the client’s profile and needs to determine the appropriate approach to the case.

2.1.1 Verifies the person’s identity and reason for the inquiry.

2.1.2 Gathers enough information from the person to determine whether to initiate or decline services or to refer to another professional or service.

2.1.3 Assesses own competence to provide the services required by the client.

2.2 Engages in a process to ensure the client is fully informed and able to make a decision whether to proceed with the RCIC’s professional services and enter into a retainer agreement.

2.2.1 Determines the client’s capacity to reasonably understand the information presented or seeks a substitute decision-maker if client is deemed incapable.

2.2.2 Discusses with the client the different options, potential and actual barriers and risks, and alternative course(s) of action.

2.2.3 Discusses with the client the anticipated timelines and milestones to ensure the client has realistic expectations of the process.

2.2.4 Advises the client of the RCIC’s scope of practice, personal competence and practice limitations.

2.2.5 Communicates fees and payment structure, ensuring the client has an accurate understanding of the anticipated cost for services, and any anticipated cost adjustments.

2.2.6 Explains the client’s responsibilities, particularly truth-telling, and the consequences of breach of client obligations.

2.2.7 Ensures the client fully understands the contents of the retainer agreement and their obligations in the professional relationship.

2.2.8 Provides the retainer agreement in English/French following regulatory standards.

2.2.9 Recommends and allows the client sufficient time to obtain independent legal advice or to translate the retainer agreement into another language.

2.3 Acquires accurate and authentic documentation to support the application process.

2.3.1 Conducts a comprehensive interview with the client and relevant others to collect information pertaining to the immigration, refugees or citizenship process and that could impact the client’s application or their current immigration status.

2.3.2 Obtains and reviews documentation to verify the accuracy of the client’s oral account of their situation.

2.3.3 Collects documents required for the application process according to legislative requirements and government policies.

2.3.4 Identifies ambiguities, gaps or discrepancies in client information or documentation and advises how to address them.

2.3.5 Assesses client information and documents for completeness, accuracy, validity, and authenticity before submitting to officials.

2.4 Conducts legal research to construct a legal argument and discuss options with the client.

2.4.1 Poses research questions to inform the legal research need.

2.4.2 Analyzes and synthesizes research information to determine the legal framework of the case.

2.4.3 Weighs the different options and analyzes the client’s situation and eligibility, to determine the most appropriate strategy.

2.4.4 Discusses the option(s) with the client ensuring the client’s understanding of the benefits, and any risks or alternative approaches.

2.4.5 Recommends a legal strategy based on the analysis of legal research and the client’s circumstances.

2.5 Completes and submits all required documents and materials in a timely manner.

2.5.1 Follows government policies and operational instructions and guidelines to accurately complete the application and to submit the required documents.

2.5.2 Integrates evidence, legal findings and policy information into writing submissions.

2.5.3 Emphasizes critical aspects of the case and salient issues in an objective manner.

2.5.4 Prepares a submission letter that outlines key case information, supports case strategy, and advocates in the best client’s interest.

2.5.5 Ensures timely submission of documents and materials to the government agency.

2.6 Demonstrates ethical behaviours when withdrawing from representation and terminating the retainer agreement.

2.6.1 Continues to provide services to a client only when it continues to be indicated, effective, and beneficial.

2.6.2 Recognizes situations when services or agreements require adjustment or termination.

2.6.3 Recognizes when a serious loss of confidence occurs between the RCIC and the client and takes action to either resolve the issue or initiate steps to end the relationship.

2.6.4 Recognizes when service can be terminated without further responsibilities or obligations.

2.6.5 Recognizes when termination of the relationship would jeopardize the client’s application.

2.6.6 Makes a referral to another professional and creates a transition plan to ensure that termination does not prejudice the client’s case.

2.6.7 Communicates to the client the decision to terminate, the reason for termination, and a timeline with a plan for transition.

2.6.8 Delivers to the client all documents, files and property that belong to the client.

2.6.9 Promptly renders account for any outstanding fees and disbursements and refunds any unused or due funds not earned during the retainer.

2.6.10 Notifies the client in writing of the withdrawal of representation to any government agency where the RCIC’s name appears as representative for the client.

2.6.11 Co-operates with the successor so as to minimize expense, delay and prejudice to the client.

2.7 Proficiently uses a customer relationship management system and practice management databases.

2.7.1 Demonstrates proficient use of electronic case/file management operating systems and databases used in the RCIC practice.

2.7.2 Seeks guidance from technology advisors or experts when requirements are beyond personal competence.

2.7.3 Ensures Customer Relationship Management and Practice Management databases meet regulatory requirements for documentation, file management, record retention and security.

2.8 Maintains a logical file management system to ensure access to and timely retrieval of information and to support case management.

2.8.1 Creates a file management system that supports easy and timely retrieval and use of client information and documents.

2.8.2 Collects only personal health information that is necessary and pertinent to the purpose of the collection.

2.8.3 Maintains a current list of the required documents and documents received from clients and third parties to maintain an up-to-date case file.

2.8.4 Regularly reviews and updates file management systems to ensure they meet current privacy legislation, regulatory standards and industry practices.

2.8.5 Ensures active files are stored separately from closed files.

2.8.6 Develops and implements a plan for management of client records for planned or unexpected discontinuation of practice to ensure client access to their records.

2.9 Maintains accurate and current client records and documentation according to regulatory requirements.

2.9.1 Accurately and concisely completes applications and government documents according to current operational instructions and guidelines from authorities.

2.9.2 Maintains accurate and current client case documents including but not limited to:

  • the retainer agreement and a copy of all other relevant agreements (e.g. Initial Consultation Agreement and any Joint Retainer Agreement);
  • copies of all supporting documents related to the immigration application (e.g. police clearance, marriage certificate, academic transcripts, certified translation of documents, etc.);
  • notations of or a copy of all client correspondences and the associated outcomes of the correspondences;
  • copies of client property;
  • copies of billing documents (e.g. invoices, receipts);
  • a copy of the client’s written authorization of designate/substitute decision-maker, where applicable;
  • copies of draft documents; and
  • copies of immigration or citizenship applications or submissions on behalf of a client.

2.9.3 Maintains copies of any Agent Agreements.

2.9.4 Maintains a record of all client property and documents received, including the date of receipt and the date the property was returned to the client.

2.9.5 Maintains a record that proves reception of the client’s property along with the date of reception and an acknowledgement of receipt of all the property. Where acknowledgement is not received a notation in the client record must indicate that all efforts were made to obtain acknowledgement of receipt of the client’s property.

2.9.6 Ensures invoices accurately reflect and outline the services rendered.

Unit 3: Legal Research and Informatics

Unit 3: Legal Research and Informatics
RCICs conduct research using information technology sources to support the formation of the legal strategy. 

Competency

Performance Indicators

3.1 Identifies and prioritizes the legal issues to inform the required legal research.

3.1.1 Examines the facts of the situation to identify the current and potential issues that may arise.

3.1.2 Determines which provisions of statutes, regulations or policy instruments apply.

3.1.3 Considers whether there are potential issues that are not immediately obvious on hearing the facts of the situation.

3.1.4 Prioritizes preliminary issues based on the facts of the situation, the client’s request, and applicable legislation.

3.1.5 Determines the need for further information based on the objective of the research.

3.2 Determines and locates current and reliable information and applicable law or policies that address the objective of the research.

3.2.1 Identifies reliable research tools to obtain primary and secondary sources of law and other information that is relevant to the issue and the client case.

3.2.2 Locates reliable and current sources of information from a variety of resources.

3.2.3 Locates and follows government operational instructions and guidelines that are applicable to the client case.

3.2.4 Correctly reads legal citations in order to locate the text of the statute or regulation.

3.2.5 Locates the relevant leading cases that are binding and present similar issues and facts to the client’s situation.

3.3 Proficiently uses government’s immigration and citizenship portals, government databases and other creditable information technology sources.

3.3.1 Conducts online searches using key search words to find reliable and current sources of information.

3.3.2 Navigates credible legal online databases and immigration websites to access relevant and current legislation, regulation, case law, policies, and operational instructions and guidelines.

3.3.3 Navigates the government immigration and citizenship portals to access immigration and citizenship applications, instructions and other documents.

3.4 Constructs a legal argument based on legal research on case facts and relevant immigration, refugee and citizenship laws.

3.4.1 Applies relevant sections of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, Citizenship Act or citizenship regulations to the client case.

3.4.2 Applies the facts of the situation in an ethical and defensible way.

3.4.3 Applies the appropriate law that addresses the client’s needs, research objective and identified issues.

3.4.4 Determines the answers to the identified issues and the likely outcome of the client’s case.

3.4.5 Accurately cites published literature, computerized sources, statutes, regulations and case law in written and oral communications.

Unit 4: Business Management and Leadership

Unit 4: Business Management and Leadership
RCICs demonstrate principles of leadership and management to establish and maintain a competent and ethical immigration and citizenship consulting practice.

Competency

Performance Indicators

4.1 Demonstrates leadership skills in the immigration and citizenship consulting profession.

4.1.1 Demonstrates understanding of social situations and team dynamics.

4.1.2 Applies mentoring skills to support others in practice.

4.1.3 Acts as an expert in the Canadian immigration and citizenship field by providing advice and consultation to clients and other professionals.

4.1.4 Recognizes limitations of others and provides support when needed.

4.2 Investigates, accesses and determines the consulting/business structure options to support a viable business plan.

4.2.1 Outlines the major steps needed to establish a sole practice or corporation.

4.2.2 Conducts a competitive analysis to determine level of need for services in the region.

4.2.3 Reflects on strengths, skills, potential opportunities, and threats to business, and devises means to mitigate business risks.

4.2.4 Develops a business plan which serves as a guide to the business’s operations and communicates the company’s purpose and vision.

4.2.5 Establishes an operational budget needed to run the business and to provide services.

4.2.6 Establishes ethical billing practices in keeping with industry standards and regulatory requirements.

4.2.7 Adheres to regulatory requirements for registering a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or firm.

4.2.8 Adheres to regulatory requirements for registering a business name.

4.3 Applies principles of ethical marketing and advertising practices in accordance with regulatory standards.

4.3.1 Ensures that marketing information is truthful, accurate, verifiable and upholds the ethical and professional reputation/image of the profession.

4.3.2 Acts with professional courtesy toward competitors and adheres to the Code of Professional Conduct.

4.3.3 Ensures that all claims used in testimonials or endorsements are true and verifiable and have been reviewed and approved in writing for public use by the client or the former client.

4.3.4 Ensures that the RCIC’s name as registered with the College is prominently displayed at or near the beginning of the advertising or promotion.

4.4 Prioritizes and manages projects and workflow to ensure timely, efficient, and effective delivery of services.

4.4.1 Establishes realistic and attainable goals and timelines to complete projects and tasks.

4.4.2 Applies project management skills to manage projects and deliverables.

4.4.3 Identifies competing issues and prioritizes according to level of urgency and needs.

4.4.4 Accurately and honestly communicates priority issues and timelines to client and relevant others (e.g. staff, agents, colleagues).

4.4.5 Allocates resources for optimal client service and business operation.

4.4.6 Prioritizes current workload based on client factors, known deadlines and the application process.

4.4.7 Tracks timelines and deadlines to monitor progress of the application or services.

4.4.8 Ensures agreed upon deliverables are met within established timelines.

4.4.9 Takes action to ensure continued progress of the application and timely delivery of services.

4.4.10 Maintains contact with the client at stated milestones of the case or process.

4.5 Manages human resource activities that adhere to applicable legislation and regulations.

4.5.1 Assigns responsibilities to staff and team members according to professional scope of practice and individual levels of competence.

4.5.2 Takes steps to manage and report incompetent, unethical, and unsafe practice, according to regulatory requirements and standards.

4.5.3 Provides necessary training and professional growth opportunities to support the continuing competence of staff.

4.5.4 Supports staff compliance with applicable laws, policies, procedures, and established systems.

4.5.5 Complies with human resource legislation and regulations.

4.5.6 Provides staff with regular formative feedback to support reflective practice.

4.5.7 Conducts performance reviews of staff that include the provision of constructive feedback and identify required remediation.

4.5.8 Respects the cultural needs of staff and team members.

4.5.9 Obtains informed consent from the client or the substitute decision-maker for the involvement of staff and/or others in the provision of services.

4.6 Provides oversight of immigration Agents in accordance to regulatory requirements to ensure ethical, competent, and appropriate services.

4.6.1 Enters into an Agent Agreement with the Agent that describes the scope of services and working relationship between the Agent and the RCIC.

4.6.2 Registers the Agent with the College.

4.6.3 Assigns tasks that are compatible with the personal competence and scope of practice of the agent to ensure client needs are met.

4.6.4 Takes responsibility for all work completed by the agent(s).

4.6.5 Implements a process to ensure the Agent complies with legislation, regulations, regulatory requirements and the Code of Professional Conduct for the profession.

4.6.6 Obtains client consent for the involvement of the Agent.

4.7 Reviews business practices and performance to ensure efficient and quality service.

4.7.1 Establishes processes and tools to evaluate the effectiveness of business practices and client service.

4.7.2 Analyzes business practices and financial data to support fiscally responsible decision making.

4.7.3 Analyzes client interactions and client satisfaction to enhance services.

4.8 Employs conflict resolution skills to effectively manage conflict or disagreement with others.

4.8.1 Considers own emotions, as well as the emotions of others, to prevent escalation of a situation.

4.8.2 Uses persuasive communication skills to influence and produce a desired outcome during negotiations and conflict resolution discussions.

4.9 Utilizes financial management practices that ensure the appropriate provision of client services.

4.9.1 Maintains accurate, current, and legible financial records that adhere to provincial and federal legislation and regulatory requirements.

4.9.2 Ensures that accounting and/or bookkeeping systems are in place and adhere to legislation and regulations.

4.9.3 Provides clients with and maintains a copy of all invoices and payment receipts.

4.9.4 Clearly outlines fee and payment schedule to clients.

4.9.5 Ensures that fees are fair and reasonable and are clearly communicated to the client.

4.10 Develops and communicates a succession plan for emergencies or unplanned absences, and temporary and permanent cessation of practice, to ensure continuity and continuation of client services.

4.10.1 Establishes appropriate arrangements for planned and unplanned practice absences, including assigning suitable powers of attorney respecting the practice.

4.10.2 Makes the appropriate arrangements to transfer client records when closing and/or selling practice, according to the standards of the profession.

4.10.3 Documents a succession plan and communicates the arrangement to the appropriate person(s).

Unit 5: IRB and Administrative Tribunals

Unit 5: IRB and Administrative Tribunals 
RCICs demonstrate the competence required to engage in activities related to the tribunal processes of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).  

Competency

Performance Indicators

5.1 Applies the foundational knowledge required to competently advise and represent the client in an IRB procedure.

5.1.1 Identifies and analyzes client’s eligibility in relation to each of the 4 Divisions of the IRB (RPD, RAD, IAD, and ID).

5.1.2 Distinguishes the jurisdiction, legal principles and case law, rules, guidelines and relevant policy instruments for the 4 Divisions of the IRB.

5.1.3 Explains the significance of timelines in submissions to each of the 4 Divisions of IRB.

5.1.4 Defines the role and duties of the RCIC in relation to each of the 4 Divisions of IRB.

5.1.5 Distinguishes the standards and burden of proof used for different issues in each of the 4 Divisions of IRB.

5.1.6 Explains the different procedures used by each of the IRB’s 4 Divisions.

5.1.7 Explains the differences between an oral hearing and written submissions, and how these are applied in each of the 4 Divisions of IRB.

5.1.8 Identifies options for seeking special procedural accommodations for vulnerable clients.

5.1.9 Prepares and submits documents in accordance with Division rules.

5.2 Develops legal arguments and strategies for the IRB hearing.

5.2.1 Identifies all the legal and factual elements of the client’s case.

5.2.2 Identifies facts and evidence needed to support client’s case.

5.2.3 Identifies issues likely to arise in the hearing.

5.2.4 Constructs a legal argument that supports the client’s legal position and a legal conclusion that benefits the client.

5.2.5 Takes into consideration the standards and burden of proof used for the specific case issue and Division.

5.2.6 Develops strategies to proceed with the case.

5.2.7 Follows the current processes for submitting documentary evidence according to the rules of the Division.

5.2.8 Identifies available remedies and advises client accordingly.

5.3 Prepares for the appearance before the tribunal.

5.3.1 Identifies need for expert or other witness testimony, affidavits or reports to support the case before IRB.

5.3.2 Obtains written reports or affidavits from experts and witnesses as required.

5.3.3 Identifies and interviews relevant witnesses and experts.

5.3.4 Prepares client and witnesses for the testimony by explaining what happens in the hearing room and the anticipated questions.

5.4 Prepares and presents opening statement, examination, re-examination and/or cross-examination, and closing submissions.

5.4.1 Identifies main issues raised by the client’s case, including possible concerns of Division members or possible arguments of opposing party, if any.

5.4.2 Demonstrates procedural knowledge and civility in a hearing.

5.4.3 Prepares examinations and/or cross-examinations in support of the client’s case and in compliance with applicable rules of evidence and procedure.

5.4.4 Presents submissions coherently and persuasively in both written and oral form, and in accordance with law and good practice.

Unit 6: Professionalism

Unit 6: Professionalism 
RCICs adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct for the profession to provide competent and ethical services.

Competency

Performance Indicators

6.1 Demonstrates and maintains competence in practice.

6.1.1 Continuously develops and enhances expertise by seeking feedback from clients and peers.

6.1.2 Stays current and complies with legislation, regulation, professional standards, policies and guidelines.

6.1.3 Anticipates and manages the potential outcomes of own actions or the actions of others.

6.1.4 Recognizes and exercises professional judgment within the limits of individual qualifications.

6.1.5 Recognizes own limitations and seeks support and assistance when needed.

6.1.6 Builds collaborative relationships to encourage professional growth and development.

6.1.7 Collaborates with others, seeks counsel of makes referrals as appropriate.

6.1.8 Keeps current with evolving technology and emerging trends in immigration services.

6.1.9 Identifies need and takes the appropriate steps to maintain and enhance competence.

6.1.10 Engages in Quality Management and continuing professional development activities and experiences as required by the regulatory organization.

6.2 Demonstrates accountability and integrity in professional behaviours and in practice.

6.2.1 Takes responsibility for own actions.

6.2.2 Recognizes one’s limitation and seeks consultation from counsel of the law society or from another RCIC, when needed.

6.2.3 Conducts client affairs in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

6.2.4 Refuses to engage in conduct that is dishonest, fraudulent or illegal.

6.2.5 Applies the facts of the matter in an ethical and defensible way.

6.2.6 Demonstrates transparent communications with clients and other professionals.

6.2.7 Responds to the client’s and the immigration authority’s needs in a timely manner.

6.2.8 Maintains licence to practise and appropriately uses professional designation.

6.2.9 Accurately communicates their professional title and designation.

6.2.10 Respects intellectual property rights, including citation and recognition of the ideas and work of others, regardless of the medium (e.g. written, oral, electronic).

6.2.11 Provides accurate and truthful information in all communications.

6.2.12 Reports inappropriate or incompetent behaviours or treatment of clients by other regulated professionals.

6.2.13 Ensures billing most accurately reflects the character and extent of delivered services.

6.3 Ethically manages conflicts of interest to ensure the integrity of the professional relationship.

6.3.1 Recognizes a perceived, potential, or real conflict of interest.

6.3.2 Adequately discloses the conflict of interest to all relevant parties.

6.3.3 Determines the appropriateness to proceed with the provision of services in collaboration with the client and other relevant parties.

6.3.4 Withdraws as the client’s representative when a perceived or real conflict of interest exists, and the conflict cannot be adequately mitigated.

6.4 Maintains security and confidentiality when collecting, sharing, transmitting and storing confidential information in accordance with legislation, regulations, and the standards of the profession.

6.4.1 Establishes and monitors compliance with privacy and confidentiality policies according to legislation requirements.

6.4.2 Obtains the client’s consent for the collection, disclosure, storage, and use of personal information.

6.4.3 Takes action to minimize foreseeable risks to privacy and confidentiality of the client’s information.

6.4.4 Takes reasonable measures to ensure personal health information stored locally or remotely is secure from unauthorized access, loss or theft.

6.4.5 Takes required action in response to unauthorized access, use, and disclosure of information.

6.4.6 Ensures safe and secure destruction of personal information.

6.4.7 Ensures the physical security of on-site records by the use of controls such as locked filing cabinets, restricted office access, logging off computers when out of the office, etc.

6.4.8 Ensures computer systems meet security, privacy, and confidentiality legislative requirements and professional standards.

6.4.9 Applies security features when sharing or transmitting client’s personal information by electronic communication (e.g. encrypted, password protected, secure network, authenticated sources and destinations).

6.4.10 Follows legislative procedures when directed by law to disclose client’s personal information.

6.4.11 Makes reasonable efforts to notify the individual(s) involved if their information has been lost or stolen or accessed without their authorization.

6.5 Recognizes and maintains professional boundaries in practice.

6.5.1 Recognizes warning signs of a potential and/or actual boundary crossing or violation.

6.5.2 Remains alert to the changing nature of interactions with the client.

6.5.3 Avoids inappropriate disclosure of personal information that is non-relevant to the client’s situation or case.

6.5.4 Avoids billing irregularities that may signal special favours.

6.5.5 Recognizes behaviours associated with transference and counter-transference.

6.5.6 Takes action to manage transferences and counter-transferences to support an ethical, effective and appropriate relationship with the client.

6.6 Collaborates with other professionals to meet the needs of the client.

6.6.1 Consults with or refers to others when issue(s) or client needs are beyond personal competence or professional scope of practice.

6.6.2 Demonstrates knowledge of other professions’ scopes of practice.

6.6.3 Respects other professionals’ opinions and professional knowledge.

6.6.4 Builds rapport and trust within professional relationships.

Unit 7: Cultural Competence

Unit 7: Cultural Competence
RCICs apply principles of cultural awareness to effectively interact with different individuals and to positively impact relationships with the clients. 

Competency

Performance Indicators

7.1 Acknowledges differences in cultural values and priorities among clients.

7.1.1 Builds self-awareness of personal beliefs, values, and cultural biases.

7.1.2 Identifies and explains variations in Canadian culture to client.

7.1.3 Reflects upon client’s culturally informed motivations.

7.1.4 Identifies and takes action to address potential for cultural bias issues in the client’s applications.

7.1.5 Collects information, without prejudice, about the client’s current and past gender orientation required for application process.

7.2 Adapts services to different cultural contexts.

7.2.1 Researches cultural characteristics of specific client communities.

7.2.2 Cultivates a network of cultural informants.

7.2.3 Structures interactions to respect cultural norms.

7.2.4 Incorporates client’s priorities into immigration strategy.

7.2.5 Structures submissions and other communications to mitigate potential cultural biases.

7.2.6 Identifies and explains cultural variations.

7.2.7 Advocates for clients with respect to cultural norms and exceptions.

7.3 Demonstrates awareness of clients’ cultural needs and takes action to facilitate client engagement.

7.3.1 Examines culturally based expectations of service and communications.

7.3.2 Addresses culturally determined negotiation strategies.

7.3.3 Identifies needs for language and cultural resources (translator, interpreter, educational materials).

7.3.4 Ensures culturally appropriate support (language, gender, religion) is provided.

Unit 8: Communication, Counselling and Advocacy

Unit 8: Communication, Counselling and Advocacy 
RCICs use effective communication, counselling and advocacy skills to achieve common goals and enhance relationships in the provision of services.

Competency

Performance Indicators

8.1 Demonstrates proficiency in oral and written communications

8.1.1 Uses concise, clear, and well-organized language.

8.1.2 Accurately references statutes, regulations and policies.

8.1.3 Accurately uses legal terminology and appropriate abbreviations.

8.1.4 Employs correct grammar, spelling and sentence construction.

8.1.5 Effectively formulates and presents well-reasoned legal arguments, analysis, advice or submissions.

8.1.6 Limits obscure legal terminology to support the client’s understanding and comprehension of the information.

8.1.7 Adapts communication style to accommodate the diverse needs of the individual or group.

8.2 Uses effective counselling skills when interacting with the client.

8.2.1 Prepares the meeting environment to create a private and comfortable atmosphere for discussion and negotiations.

8.2.2 Uses active listening techniques to encourage the client to talk freely.

8.2.3 Assists the clients in articulating their problems, defining their interests, ordering their objectives, and generating, assessing, and implementing alternative solutions.

8.2.4 Dynamically assesses and sorts through the information for importance and relevancy to the issues.

8.2.5 Seeks clarification and elaboration of the essential information, when needed.

8.2.6 Focuses efficiently on relevant matters in a manner respectful of the client’s time and fees paid.

8.2.7 Asks both open-ended and closed questions as needed to solicit all necessary information.

8.2.8 Demonstrates empathy without sharing personal information and experiences, nor transferring personal feelings onto the client.

8.2.9 Summarizes the results of the meeting and clarifies the next steps.

8.2.10 Provides the client with accurate and current resources to support client’s access to additional services or information.

8.2.11 Refers the client to another professional or service when client’s emotional needs are beyond the RCIC’s scope of practice.

8.3 Uses communication and interpersonal skills to manage emotional situations.

8.3.1 Anticipates and proactively addresses potentially traumatic or emotionally difficult matters for the clients.

8.3.2 Encourages a period of reflection so that decisions made are thoughtful and in the best interest of the client.

8.3.3 Demonstrates neutrality in one’s opinion.

8.3.4 De-escalates conflict through clarity, empathy, respectful communication, body language and active listening.

8.3.5 Allows for adequate time and reflection for client decision-making if emotions are high.

8.4 Actively advances the client’s interests within the bounds of law and professional obligations.

8.4.1 Provides key case information, flags unusual factors, frames relevant legal and policy arguments to promote and advance the merits of the application for the client’s benefit.

8.4.2 Recognizes the impact of communicating with officials in a clear, firm and respectful manner to advance the client’s interests.

8.4.3 Presents the client’s case without compromising the integrity of application or appeals processes.

8.4.4 Files relevant appeal or requests for reconsideration, depending on the situation, and within the timelines.

8.4.5 Raises and responds to potential objections, discrepancies, and inconsistencies in the decision rendered.

8.5 Manages client expectations through effective communications.

8.5.1 Clearly communicates factors influencing likelihood of success.

8.5.2 Confirms the client’s goals and anticipated outcome of the services.

8.5.3 Identifies negative factors impacting the outcome and advises on how to best deal with them.

8.5.4 Keeps the client informed of the progress of the case and answers client’s queries in a timely way.

8.5.5 Delivers services as promised and takes responsibility when cannot.

8.5.6 Acknowledges mistakes, accepts responsibility and suggests resolution.

8.5.7 Reflects on and addresses client dissatisfaction in a timely manner to correct misunderstandings and de-escalate conflicts.

Unit 9: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Evidence-Based Practice

Unit 9: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Evidence-Based Practice
RCICs integrate critical thinking and problem solving to inform decisions and actions.

Competency

Performance Indicators

9.1 Demonstrates professional judgment and critical reasoning in decision making.

9.1.1 Analyzes and synthesizes information to inform decisions.

9.1.2 Uses critical thinking to consider a fresh perspective and to conceive a new or original perspective or solution.

9.1.3 Consciously engages in a process of rationalizing, analyzing, evaluating, and interpreting information to make informed judgments and/or decisions.

9.1.4 Integrates complexity of client’s issues, needs, goals, and limitations within all aspects of services.

9.1.5 Consciously follows immigration application operational instructions and guidelines to reduce risk of denial and delay in process.

9.1.6 Demonstrates insight into personal expertise and limitations.

9.1.7 Integrates relevant information with previous learning, experience, professional knowledge, and current practice models.

9.1.8 Demonstrates effective, appropriate, and timely consultation with other professionals as needed for optimal client service.

9.2 Reflects on and evaluates options when faced with problems, issues, and challenges.

9.2.1 Identifies potential or real problems, issues, or challenges.

9.2.2 Investigates alternative solutions for problems or issues and provides justification for selected solution(s).

9.2.3 Formulates and implements a plan to address the problem, issue, or challenge.

9.2.4 Evaluates the effectiveness of a plan and identifies required future actions.

9.3 Adopts evidence-based practices in the provision of services.

9.3.1 Critically reviews literature to inform best (evidence-based) practices.

9.3.2 Consults with others to identify best (evidence-based) practices.

9.3.3 Reflects on past experiences and positive outcomes to inform future actions.

9.3.4 Formulates a case strategy and a legal argument that are founded on legal grounds and proven concepts.