Competencies for the Bio-economy

COVID-19 and BioTalent Canada events
As an evidence-based research organization, the health and safety of all of BioTalent Canada’s stakeholders is top of mind. Due to the pandemic and best practices that have been advocated by scientific and health authorities surrounding the pandemic of COVID-19, BioTalent Canada is suspending all upcoming physical/face-to-face events related to our National Occupational Standards (NOS) project until further notice. BioTalent Canada is exploring alternative fact-gathering options for this project and is monitoring the recognized health authorities’ information to guide next steps. Updates will be provided as they become available.

Travel expenses incurred
If you or a colleague are/were scheduled to participate in any of these focus groups and have already booked your travel, please cancel your flight if possible, as most flights are cancellable if re-booked within a year. If it is not possible to cancel your travel or costs are incurred for cancellation, please contact BioTalent Canada. If you have not booked your travel, we ask you to continue to refrain from doing so until further notice.

We appreciate your continued support during this unique situation and look forward to your future participation in this project.

Any questions or concerns may be directed to Adriana Saenz at


Going from discovery to commercialization success in the bio-economy requires the right people with the right skills in key positions. Ensuring this happens means knowing what competencies are needed to plan recruitment, succession planning, and professional development so the talent is in place.

The foundational step in this process is the identification and drafting of competency profiles that will contribute to the creation of National Occupational Standards (NOS). BioTalent Canada is currently developing standards with industry and as an expert in the industry, your input is valuable.

What is a National Occupational Standard?

A National Occupational Standard documents what skills, education and credentialing is required by industry to perform a specific role. Companies can then use these standards for more effective recruitment, professional development, succession planning, and other HR activities.

What is included in a National Occupational Standard (NOS)?

NOS are being developed closely with industry experts to ensure they reflect current employer needs of what is skills and competencies are needed in specific roles. They include:

  • Overview of critical roles
  • Occupational overview
  • Educational, training and credentialing requirements
  • Core industry, technical, regulatory, professional and work process competencies

Your participation will mean:

  • strengthening employers’ recruitment and retention efforts through easier creation of job descriptions, evaluation criteria, and professional development planning.
  • facilitating strategic labour mobility and labour market efficiency.
  • enabling students, new graduates, and other under-represented groups to make informed employment decisions.
  • aligning post-secondary initiatives to industry needs.
  • providing the evidence for future HR tools developed to meet employer needs for specific roles.

Participate in a focus group to:

  • Network with your peers
  • Have your expertise reflected in the standard
  • Contribute to strengthening the bio-economy workforce
  • Learn what skills other experts bring to the role
  • Be recognized as a contributor in the final National Occupational Standard

Two-day focus groups

The roles kicking off this research are below. If you have three or more years in any of these roles your expertise is invaluable.

Project Management – February 11-12, Vancouver, BC

  • Project Managers
  • Contract Manufacturing Project Manager
  • Development Project Manager
  • Pre-Clinical/Clinical or Field Trial Project Manager

Legal and Regulatory – February 13-14 – Vancouver, BC

  • Intellectual Property Officer
  • Patent Agent
  • Regulatory Affairs Specialists
  • Compliance Specialist
  • Medical Regulatory Affairs Specialist
  • Other Regulatory Affairs/IP roles
  • Government Relations Officer

Bio-Health Research & Development – March 17-18, Toronto, ON

  • Laboratory Worker
  • Research Assistant
  • Research Manager
  • Research Director
  • Research Scientist
  • VP Research and Development

Manufacturing and Logistics – March 19-20, Toronto, ON

  • Machine Operator
  • Manufacturing Worker
  • Process Development Technician
  • Manufacturing Supervisor Manager of Manufacturing
  • VP of Manufacturing
  • Materials Manager
  • Production Planner/Scheduler

Quality Assurance/Quality Control – April 20-21 (date change), Montreal, QC

  • Quality Control Analyst
  • Quality Control Inspector
  • Quality Assurance Manager

Engineers in Manufacturing and Research and Development – April 22-23 (date change), Montreal, QC

  • Instrument Technician
  • Process Development Technician
  • Bio-medical Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Production Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer

Clinical Trials – June 2-3, Toronto, ON

  • Clinical Trials Manager
  • Clinical Trials Coordinator/Assistant
  • Clinical Trials Analysis
  • Clinical Research Data Manager

Agri-biotech, Bio-energy and Bio-industrial  and Research & Development – June 4-5, Toronto, ON

  • Environmental Scientist/ Sustainability Specialist
  • Laboratory Worker
  • Research Assistant
  • Research Manager
  • Research Director
  • Research Scientist
  • VP Research and Development

C-Suite and Finance – June 23, Toronto, ON (one-day session)

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Business Administrator
  • Business Development Manager
  • Finance Manager

Marketing, Business Development, Sales and Communications – June 24, Toronto, ON (one-day session)

  • Business Development Manager
  • Client Relationship Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Sales & Marketing Manager
  • Sales Representative
  • Customer Service Rep

Information Technology and Data Management – July, Toronto, ON

  • Programmer
  • Web Developer/Architect
  • Technical Support Manager/ IT Manager
  • Data Analyst
  • Technical Analyst
  • Research Analyst
  • Clinical Research Data Manager

Other roles to be researched will be announced as the research progresses.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact Adriana Saenz at

National Occupational Standards (NOS) development process

  • Analysis stage – Through an in-depth analysis of current Bio-economy Skills Profiles and Skills At-a-Glance, and other sources initial NOS profiles will be identified and drafted.
  • Consultation stage– Industry experts in each role will be consulted during a two-day focus group per occupation to validate the NOS for each role. In addition to networking with peers, participants will be asked to:
    • Review, discuss and refine the draft profiles
    • Identify gaps and generate ideas for enhancement
    • Gather external input (if required)
  • Publication stage – final NOS will be available at and incorporated into BioTalent Canada’s products and services such as the BioSkills Recognition Program and an online skills library.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact Adriana Saenz at


Funded by the Government of Canada’s Sectoral Initiatives Program. Canada logo