Patricia Bouchard is currently going through the Recognition of Acquired Competencies (RAC) process. The RAC process will allow Patricia to receive official recognition for her professional competencies as an administrative assistant.
Patricia has over 20 years of experience as an administrative professional. During her career, Patricia has worked for private companies and for the Lester B. Pearson School Board. Her résumé highlights a wide variety of professional activities including contract preparation, budget and project management, financial reporting, managing and evaluating support staff. Her education is equally impressive. She holds diplomas in Business Administration and Child Psychology, as well as a Certificate in Medical Terminology.
Professional experience not enough
Yet in spite of her professional and educational background, she learned that she would not be considered for more advanced jobs. The lack of accredited certification, pertinent to her industry, hampered Patricia’s career. She was passed over for jobs that she was qualified to do because of the absence of such accreditation.
“I was informed that my competencies, skills and knowledge acquired through my decades of workplace experience were not recognized by a competent authority and were, therefore, simply dismissed. I was completely deflated. My sacrifices, the adversity I overcame, my successes and the time and energy I committed to both my professional and personal growth were never even considered.”
Not one to be deterred, Patricia set out a detailed plan to enhance her qualifications:
1. Obtain a P. Adm. designation (Professional Administrator) from the Chartered Governance Institute of Canada (CGI of Canada).
2. Undergo the RAC process through Business Solutions.
3. Obtain an AEC at Vanier.
4. Work towards an undergraduate certificate offered at McGill.
The P. Adm. designation involved learning 4 competencies: Corporate Operations, Legal, Finance and Management. The learning was self-directed. At the end of the year, there was one exam to write. The whole process took one year to complete. The process was challenging. Successfully completing it, gave Patricia the boost she needed to continue on her professional quest.
RAC: official recognition for professional competencies
One day, while at work, she saw a pamphlet about RAC: The Recognition of Acquired Competencies. This formal process, recognized by the Ministry of Education, allows candidates to obtain official recognition for their professional competencies. As someone who is committed to continued professional and personal development, Patricia knew that she wanted to go through the RAC process. She was thrilled at the prospect of obtaining official recognition for her professional competencies. Patricia’s professional path is a natural fit for the Recognition of Acquired Competencies (RAC) process.
At the Lester B. Pearson School Board, RAC is offered by the Business Solutions team. Starting the process is fairly straight forward. Once a candidate calls to enquire about RAC, they are emailed a self-assessment form that they need to fill in before meeting to open their file. When they come to the meeting, they need to bring the completed self-assessment form, their résumé along with and ID. The type of ID required will depend on whether a candidate is born in Quebec or is a permanent resident or Canadian citizen. There is no fee to open a RAC file.
Our RAC counsellor analyzes the file to ensure that the candidate is eligible for the process. Once this happens, the candidate gets a call to book a validation interview with the RAC counselor and a content specialist. This is the start of the RAC process. The candidate begins his/her evaluations and missing training, if required, with the content specialist. Some parts of the RAC process can be done online.
Support and flexibility
Patricia is thankful to content specialist Ms. Vaillancourt and RAC counselor Mr. Auclair for their encouragement and guidance. She mentioned two particular advantages of the RAC process:
- Flexibility – candidates can work at their own pace to complete the process.
- Content specialist – our content specialists provide support, knowledge and dedication to the candidates as they go through the RAC process.
By setting aside specific time on weekends to work on her assignments, Patricia found that she was able to make good progress. She shared her progress with her family who continuously encouraged her, and she is grateful to them for being an integral part of her journey.
Challenges and roadblocks
Life can certainly derail even the most meticulous plans. Patricia’s original plan was to have the RAC process completed by October 2020. This spring, the pandemic closed all businesses and schools which meant that RAC was on hold. Then, in August she suffered a workplace accident.
For now, her RAC process is on hold. But, she knows that when she’s ready, she can easily pick up where she left off and complete the process.
For more information on the RAC process, visit http://www.lbpce.ca/Business-Solutions/RAC
If you would like to set up an appointment with the RAC counselor, email firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on The Chartered Governance Institute of Canada: https://www.cgiofcanada.ca/about/