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.

Project Management

  • Project Manager
  • Clinical Trials Project Manager
  • Development Project Manager
  • Contract Manufacturing Project Manager

Legal and Regulatory and Government Affairs

  • Intellectual Property Officer
  • Regulatory Affairs Manager
  • Regulatory Affairs Professional
  • Government Relations Officer

Research & Development in Bio-Health

  • Vice-president Research and Development
  • Research Director
  • Research Manager
  • Research Scientist
  • Junior Research Coordinator
  • Laboratory Technician

Quality Assurance and Quality Control 

  • Quality Assurance Director
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Quality Control Specialist
  • Quality Control Analyst


  • VP Manufacturing
  • Manufacturing Managers
  • Manufacturing Supervisors
  • Production Planner or Scheduler
  • Machine Operators
  • Manufacturing Workers
  • Process Development Technicians
  • Materials Managers


  • Bio-medical engineers
  • Chemical engineers
  • Process engineers
  • Production/Manufacturing engineers

Clinical Trials

  • Clinical Trial Assistant /Clinical Research Assistants
  • Clinical Trial Coordinator / Clinical Research Coordinators
  • Clinical Trial Manger / Clinical Research Managers
  • Clinical Data Managers
  • Clinical Research Associate /Study Start-up Specialists

Research & Development in Agri-biotech, Bio-energy and Bio-industrial 

  • Research & Development VP
  • Research Director
  • Research Manager
  • Research Scientist
  • Research Coordinator


  • Bio-health, Discovery Stage Company
  • Bio-health, Pre-clinical into Clinical Stage Company
  • Bio-health, Mid-Late Stage Clinical Development and Regulatory Submission Stage Company
  • Bio-health, Commercial Stage Company


  • Vice-president Operations/Manufacturing
  • Vice-president Marketing/Sales
  • Vice-president Finance
  • Vice-president R&D
  • Vice-president HR/Other Departments

Marketing, Business Development, Sales and Communications 

  • Business Development Manager
  • Client Relationship Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • Marketing Manager

Key Support Roles

  • Business Administrator
  • Finance Manager
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Health and Safety Manager


Sessions are scheduled bi-weekly Wednesdays at 1PM Eastern time.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact Adriana Saenz at [email protected].

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 [email protected].


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