Frequently asked questions

1. Who uses the OaSIS? Who is the intended target audience?

The OaSIS is a database that provides ratings for worker characteristics such as skills and abilities as well as the work environment associated with Canadian occupations. It gives youth, students, job seekers, employers, career counselors, and labour market analysts a standardized way to understand an occupation’s expected requirements. Each of these user groups may use the OaSIS differently:

  • Youth and students: can use the available information to decide what program of study or training they should pursue in order to access a satisfying occupation later in life;
  • Parents: can leverage the OaSIS to advise their children on the types of occupations that different programs and training lead to;
  • Employed and unemployed workers: can assess their current competencies and determine if they match an occupation to support them in re-entering the labour market or to shift to a new occupation;
  • Career and employment counselors: can use detailed occupational information on work and a worker’s characteristics to guide their clients towards a career path that best suits them;
  • Employers: can utilize OaSIS data to identify their needs in terms of competencies. This can help them to hire new employees that meet their needs or guide their current employees towards the right training to fill skills gaps;
  • Education and training related service providers: can utilize the OaSIS occupational competency information to guide their curricula’s design.
  • Programs developing occupational standards or occupational information: can use the expansive and detailed information available in the OaSIS to inform their work;
  • Analysts doing research on occupational patterns and trends: can rely on the OaSIS as a key resource for detailed occupational information;
  • Governments: can utilize OaSIS data to better understand the competencies required by the economy, helping them develop programs and policies to address any gaps and challenges in the world of work and to maximize employment.

2. Is there a tutorial to navigate or use the OaSIS?

The tutorial is currently in development. We encourage you to check back regularly for updates.

3. How often is OaSIS data collected and updated?

The data will be updated regularly, with the goal to have all occupational profiles updated on a 5-year cycle. However, minor updates will occur on an ad hoc basis.

4. Where can I find previous versions of the OaSIS?

OaSIS 1.0 is the first version, but once new versions are published, you will have access to the previous versions of the OaSIS from the OaSIS versions section on the main page. A link to each of the previous versions will be provided whenever a new version is published.

5. Why is the data used in the OaSIS sourced from O*NET?

While the O*NET database is not the sole source of information for the OaSIS, significant use of O*NET data was used in its development. To create the OaSIS, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) considered an approach that was both comprehensive and cost-effective. O*NET, which is considered by many to be the “gold standard” for occupational and skills-related information, is a comprehensive and up-to-date database. Thus, O*NET was selected as the original data source because of the quality and comprehensiveness of its data and its alignment with the North American labour market as a whole.

6. My occupation/job includes skills/competencies/tools which differ from what is listed, why is that?

The data displayed in the OaSIS is meant to illustrate what is generally expected for the occupation listed. The information displayed in the OaSIS is not meant to be comprehensive and does not mean your occupation/job will strictly adhere to these expectations. Reasons for variance between your job and what is listed in the OaSIS can include:

  • Your employer’s expectations differing from the standards generally expected in this occupation.
  • Your job title is generic and may be applicable to other occupations for which skills and competencies have different ratings.
  • There may be specializations inside of an occupation that require other competencies or higher levels of competencies.
  • There may be an incorrect rating. Please contact us if this appears to be the case.

7. How can I find a specific skill in the OaSIS?

You can search for a specific skill or competency on the Welcome page. Alternatively, you can explore the skills by category by browsing the skills and competencies included in the OaSIS.

8. How can I find a specific occupation in the OaSIS?

You can search for a specific occupation on the Welcome page. Alternatively, you can explore the complete list of occupational profiles in alphabetical order.

9. Why can’t I find my occupation in the OaSIS?

The OaSIS relies on labour market data in order to present a standardized database. This means occupations that are insufficiently sampled, underrepresented in labour market surveys, or insufficient in number, may not have their own entry. To find the closest match, search by keyword or by NOC (National Occupational Classification) code. If you have further inquiries, please contact us.

10. A specific skill or ability is marked as inapplicable in my occupation, what does this mean?

A specific descriptor (e.g., skill or ability) being marked as inapplicable in your occupation means that the collected data shows that this competency is generally not required for this occupation. This is not comprehensive to all cases within an occupation, as employers may have differing requirements, but is usually the typical or average case.

11. I have suggestions on how the OaSIS can be improved. How can I share my suggestions?

The OaSIS is revised and updated on a regular basis. Stakeholders and other interested parties can submit their comments by filling out the general comment form. They can also contact us directly if they have specific inquiries.

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