Occupational Language Analysis (OLA)

The Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks has been involved with language experts in Canada in using various processes for identifying the language required to work in certain professions.

Two methods frequently used are:

1. This process has been called "benchmarking".  Identifying language required to perform a job helps immigrants who have English as a second language and employers know what levels they need to have in order to perform their work safely and efficiently. It involves doing a needs assessment of an occupation and usually includes:

  • observations and interviews with employees, management, and the union representatives in some organizations
  • analysis of authentic documents used on the job
  • analysis of communication tasks done in a variety of locations and situations by employees in the same occupation, usually done in several regions across Canada

2. This method developed by the Centre to identify language levels in various occupations called an Occupational Language Analysis (OLA). An OLA identifies the language skills required to perform in a job based on the Essential Skills Profile and the National Occupational Standard (developed by a sector council or regulatory body).

For more information on benchmarking or OLAs, contact the Centre at [email protected].

Below you will find a list of OLA's developped by CCLB; they are sorted by the specific sector they fall under.