If you came to Canada as a federal skilled worker or you are in Canada to work in specific professions or trades, or you came to Canada to study, the education, work experience or professional credentials that you received outside Canada will need to be assessed. Credential assessment and recognition can be processed even before you arrive in Canada. The credential assessment will help you:
- see whether your credentials are equal to the standards set for Canadian workers
- find out whether you need more training, education or Canadian work experience
- understand the types of jobs for which you might be qualified
- help employers understand your qualifications
Most employers consider academic credentials earned outside of Canada as generally comparable to similar credentials earned in Canada. For example, if you earned a 3- or 4-year bachelor’s degree (in a particular field of study) outside of Canada, you should feel confident applying for a job requiring applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree in the same or similar field of study.
If you are applying for a job requiring a high school diploma (Grade 12), most senior secondary school diplomas/certificates awarded outside of Canada are awarded upon completion of a 12-year or 11-year program of study. In Manitoba, these programs are generally considered comparable to Grade 12.
There are different procedures on how you can have your credential assesed, the step that you need to follow will depend on whether you are federal skilled worker, you want to work in Canada (requiring certain trades) or you want to study.
You may use this article as your guide in getting your credential assessment in order to work to Canada.
There are two types of occupations in Canada: regulated (including trades) and non-regulated.
A regulated occupation (for example, architect, engineer or plumber) is controlled by provincial and territorial (and sometimes federal) law and governed by a regulatory body or apprenticeship authority. They are also called professions, skilled trades or apprenticeable trades. These jobs are regulated to protect public health and safety, and to make sure that people working in those jobs are qualified. In order to work in a regulated occupation and use a regulated title, you must have either a licence or a certificate or you must be registered with the regulatory body for your occupation in the province or territory where you want to work. Each regulated occupation has its own requirements for getting a licence or certificate and the requirements may be different between provinces and territories.
If you want to work in a trade (carpenter, electrician, bakers), visit Red Seal for more details about the training, skills and experience you will need to meet. As a tradesperson, you may be eligible to immigrate through the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
In Canada, some provinces and territories regulate certain professions and trades while others do not. If you have a licence to work in one province or territory, it may not be accepted in others.
Most jobs in Canada are non-regulated occupations. A non-regulated occupation is a profession or trade that doesn’t require a licence or certification and has no legal requirement for registration to practice (for example, bookkeeper). The National Occupation Classification provides the general requirements for non-regulated occupations. About 80% of jobs in Canada are non-regulated, the non-regulated job market is an excellent place to begin your career in Canada.
Employers requirements, however, may vary, it is still best to be prepared to prove that you have the education or experience to do the job. Employers who would like to determine if you meet the specific requirements of their company may require you to demonstrate a certain level of skill and competence, provide specific level of education, and to have personal characteristics suitable for the job.
Here are the important steps that you need to do to get your credentials recognized to work in Canada:
1. Use Job Bank to create a report that will tell you useful information about your job including:
- Job description
- If it is regulated
- Contact information for your regulatory body or apprenticeship authority
- Main duties
- Related job titles
- The skills needed to do the job
- Job and training opportunities
- Hourly wages
2. Consult the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC).
3. Compare your qualifications with the requirements for licensing, certification or registration to work in that job in the province or territory where you live. Then decide what you need to do to meet those requirements. In some professions, the language skills may also need to be compared.
4. Contact the regulatory body or apprenticeship authority for your profession in your province or territory to find out what you need to do to get a licence or certification. You will have to prove that your training, experience and other skills are equal to the standards that people trained in Canada must also meet.
5. Collect the documents that prove your educational record, professional training and work experience which will help regulatory bodies, assessment agencies or employers understand your international qualifications. These documents are required when applying for licensing, certification or registration in a regulated occupation.
The documents you may need are the following:
- Degrees, diplomas or certificates from universities, colleges, secondary schools or trade schools
- Program descriptions or syllabi related to your studies; transcripts of grades
- Letters from professional and other regulatory bodies
- Apprenticeship or professional certificates
- Letters from employers, performance reviews
- Work descriptions for jobs you have done
- Letters of reference from former employers
6. Have your assessment done by an approved assessment agency, this will help you show employers how your training compares with that of people trained in Canada.
The Province of Manitoba no longer operates a credential assessment service. Individuals residing in Manitoba and seeking an assessment should contact one of the following members of the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (ACESC)
- Comparative Education Service (CES)
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS)
- International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES)
- International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)
- Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI)
- World Education Services (WES)
* For further information on the recognized assessment agencies in Canada, visit www.canalliance.org.