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Education evaluation and credential recognition are two separate and distinct processes. And it’s essential to understand how they are different and how employers use each process. For example, if you are qualified to immigrate to Canada, you must also research what you require to work in Canada. A key priority will be to find out if Canadian employers recognize your:

  • education
  • work experience
  • professional credentials.

This is crucial because even though you are qualified to immigrate to Canada, employers may not recognize your education and professional background. As a result, you may discover that you have to get further education. Or, you may have to get a license to work in your profession in Canada. Regulated professions and certain trades such as electricians require a license.

This infographic shows the key difference between education evaluation and credential recognition

What is Education Evaluation?

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What is Education Evaluation?

Education evaluation (also known as education assessment) is a review of your educational background. This is necessary because employers will not always know how international schools compare to the Canadian education system. So an education evaluation shows employers the value of your international education. 

In some cases, employers may request that you submit an education evaluation when you apply for a role. Or, they may require an evaluation from a specific organization such as World Education Services (WES) or another credential agency.

Education evaluation is vital if you work in a non-regulated occupation. These include occupations that do not require a license, certificate, or registration to work in Canada. Approximately 80% of jobs in Canada are non-regulated.

When you do not require a license to work, it’s usually up to the employer to decide if you can perform the job based on your:

  • skills
  • education 
  • experience
  • personal qualities. 

As an example, some fields such as marketing are not regulated. However, Canadian employers will expect that you have a degree or certificate in business along with relevant experience. An education evaluation clearly shows employers how your international education equates to a similar education in Canada. And this can be a huge advantage when applying for jobs in a competitive marketplace.

This leads to understanding how education evaluation differs from credential recognition.

What is Credential Recognition?

Credential recognition (also known as accreditation) verifies that your education, training, and job experience in another country meet the standards required to work in Canada. 

In addition to having your education assessed, you may also require your professional credentials recognized. This is mainly required for regulated professions in fields such as: 

These professions have provincial and territorial regulatory bodies who set the standards and issue a license to practice in Canada. Regulated professions account for approximately 20% of jobs in Canada.  In these cases, the regulatory body for your profession will evaluate your international credentials.

You can verify if your profession or trade requires a license to work in Canada by checking the National Occupational Classification (NOC). Here are some examples of professions that require a license from a P/T regulatory body:

What This Means For You 

Both education evaluation and credential recognition can be time-consuming and costly. However, in some cases, you can start each process while still in your home country. Gathering supporting documents for each process before you arrive in Canada can save you time and money. Starting the process before you arrive can even help you to secure a job faster when you arrive in Canada.

Remember, researching what you require to work in your profession is key to your success in Canada.

If you plan to work in a regulated profession in Canada, check out our Career Pathways ebooks and learn about the regulatory bodies for your profession.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I get my credentials assessed after I land in Canada?


Yes, you can.  We recommend that you contact the professional or trade association governing your occupation in your home country to determine if it has any affiliation with a similar association in Canada. You might also want to check with the Canadian consul or consulate in your country to obtain information about your occupation and possible licensing requirements, certification or registration as well as the procedure for obtaining an assessment.

Most Canadian diplomatic offices have a publication entitled National Occupational Classification that might help. Be forewarned that it may take you months if not years to obtain the additional training and pass the exams required to obtain a licence or certificate to practise in Canada.

If you are in a “non-regulated” occupation, on the other hand, you don’t need a licence to practise it although there may be an association or professional body related to your profession that offers voluntary membership, training and support services.

The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) can help you obtain the credentials and accreditation you need to find work in your occupational field. The CICIC does not assess anyone’s qualifications or grant certification, but does provide guidance from its vast library of contacts in education, the professions and skilled labour.


Can I get my credential evaluated online while I am still in India?


Before you leave your country, it is crucial to find out as much as you can about the Canadian standards required to practice your profession. Many professionals and skilled trades’ people encounter difficulty obtaining recognition of their training in Canada. The process for securing a licence or certificate to practice any of the “regulated” occupations varies from province to province and from job to job. Among the many regulated professions are nursing, engineering, teaching, electrical work and plumbing.

Contact the professional or trade association governing your occupation in your country to determine if it has any affiliation with a similar association in Canada. You might also want to check with the Canadian consul or consulate in your country to obtain information about your occupation and possible licensing requirements, certification or registration as well as the procedure for obtaining an assessment.

Most Canadian diplomatic offices have a publication entitled National Occupational Classification that might help. Be forewarned that it may take you months if not years to obtain the additional training and pass the exams required to obtain a licence or certificate to practise in Canada.