Canadian Foreign Credential Assessment ServicesICES, IQAS, ACAS, WES, SECE
How do I get my skills recognized?
Foreign credential recognition is one of the main labour difficulties faced by newcomers to Canada.
Some credentials obtained outside of Canada may not be recognized as equivalent to Canadian credentials. This is often because of contextual differences between countries, particularly in regulated occupations where health and safety are important.
Getting professional and educational credentials recognized in Canada can take time. Organizations that assess foreign credentials include credential assessment agencies, educational institutions, and regulatory bodies.
Credential Assessments and Jobs
For some jobs, mostly regulated occupations, newcomers will need to have their foreign credentials assessed.
There are two types of occupations in Canada: non-regulated and regulated.
- Non-Regulated: If you wish to work in non-regulated occupations, employers will be interested in learning about your education and work experience. This information can be summarized in a Definition ofrésumé. In addition, employers may be interested in the Canadian equivalency to your educational credentials that were obtained outside of Canada.The non-regulated job market is an excellent place to begin your career in Canada.
- Regulated: Credential assessment and recognition is usually completed by a regulatory body.
Tip: A credential assessment costs money. Check with a regulatory body or other organization to determine if you need an assessment before spending money on an assessment that is not required or recognized.
Credential Assessments and Continuing Education
If you apply to college or university, you may need to have your foreign educational credentials assessed. This may either be done by a credential assessment agency or by the specific educational institution.
Canadian Equivalency to Foreign Credentials
The Canadian government offers information about foreign credential assessment and recognition processes through the Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO). To learn more, visit the FCRO Web site or call Service Canada at 1-888-854-1805 or TTY 1-800-926-9105 (in Canada only).
Provincial credential assessment services assess academic credentials for a fee. The assessment will tell you how your education compares with educational standards in the province or territory where you are planning to settle. An assessment may help you in your job search.
- British Columbia – International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)
- Alberta – International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
- Saskatchewan – International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
- Manitoba – Academic Credentials Assessment Service – Manitoba (ACAS)
- Québec – Service des évaluations comparatives d’études (SECE)
- Northwest Territories – International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
- New Brunswick – Visit Welcome New Brunswick website for details.
- Newfoundland & Labrador – Visit NL Immigration website for details.
- Nova Scotia – Visit Nova Scotia Immigration website for details.
- Prince Edward Island – Visit PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada website for details.
The Government of Yukon, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories provides this service through an interprovincial agreement with the Government of Alberta.
World Education Services Canada (WES) can provide you with preliminary equivalency assessment of your credentials, for a fee.
Organizations to Help You
There are hundreds of organizations to help newcomers adjust to life in Canada. These organizations can help you in many ways, including in your job search.
Designated Learning InstitutionsPlan to Study in Canada – view a complete listing of Designated Learning Institution (DLI) from across Canada.
Designated Language Testing Agencies
IELTS, CELPIP, TEF
Designed to assess the language ability of people who aim to study and work in, immigrate to and integrate into Canada.