Competencies for the Bio-economy

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 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 consultations to:

  • 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


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

Bio-Health Project Management (PM) Research & Development and Manufacturing

  • Contract Manufacturing PM
  • Development PM

Legal and Regulatory

  • Intellectual Property Officer

Bio-Health Research & Development

  • Laboratory Technician
  • Junior Research Coordinator
  • Research Manager
  • Research Scientist
  • Research Director
  • VP R&D

Manufacturing in Bio-Industrial, Agri-Biotech, Bio-energy, Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMOS)  June 23 at 13:00 EDT

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

Quality Assurance/Quality Control  July 9 at 13:00 EDT

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

Engineers in Manufacturing July 22nd at 13:00 EDT

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

Clinical Trials August 12 at 13:00 EDT

  • Clinical Trials Analyst
  • Clinical Trials Assistant / Clinical Research Assistant
  • Clinical Trials Coordinator / Clinical Research Coordinator
  • Clinical Trials Manager / Clinical Research Manager
  • Clinical Data Manager
  • Clinical Research Associate / Study Start-up Specialist

Manufacturing Research & Development Agri-biotech, Bio-energy and Bio-industrial August 26 at 13:00 EDT

  • Environmental Scientist
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Junior Research Coordinator
  • Research Manager
  • Research Scientist
  • Research Director
  • VP Research and Development

C-Suite and Finance September 9 at 13:00 EDT

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Executive Team Role
  • Finance Manager

Marketing, Business Development, Sales and Communications September 23rd at 13:00 EDT

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

Key Support Roles

  • Human Resources Manager
  • HSE Manager
  • Business Administrator
  • Technical support Manager
  • IT Manager
  • Programmer
  • Web Developer

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 5 hours of online consultation per occupation to validate the NOS for each role. 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