Get your credentials assessed in Canada

You’ll need to have your credentials assessed if you:

  • immigrate to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker
  • come to Canada to work in a certain profession or trade
  • come to Canada to study

Credentials you got outside Canada will need to be assessed, such as:

  • education
  • work experience
  • professional credentials

Having your credentials assessed will help you:

  • show employers what you are qualified for
  • understand the types of jobs for you might be qualified for
  • see if your credentials are equal to the standards set for Canadian workers
  • find out if you need more training, education or Canadian work experience

You can start the process to get your credentials assessed and recognized before you arrive in Canada. This takes time and costs money.

To immigrate as a Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)

To apply to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), you must get Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs). This includes any of your completed foreign educational credentials, such as a:

  • diploma
  • certificate
  • foreign degree
  • other proof of your credential

We use ECAs to see if your credentials are valid and equal to a completed credential in Canada.

You’ll also need to have your skills and training assessed to work in certain jobs in Canada.

To work in some jobs in Canada, including certain trades

No matter which type of job you’re looking for, make sure you have the language skills needed. Even if you have the language skills you need to immigrate to Canada, those skills may not be strong enough to work in the job you want to have.

Find out more about improving your English or French.

There are two types of jobs in Canada:

  • regulated
  • non-regulated

Regulated jobs, including trades

Regulated jobs are controlled by provincial, territorial, and sometimes federal laws. They are governed by a regulatory body or apprenticeship authority.

Regulated jobs are also called:

  • professions
  • skilled trades
  • apprenticeable trades

They include jobs such as:

  • architects
  • plumbers
  • engineers

These jobs are regulated to:

  • protect public health and safety
  • make sure people working in these jobs are qualified

About 20 per cent of jobs in Canada are regulated.

In Canada, some provinces and territories regulate some jobs and trades while others do not. If you have a licence to work in a province or territory, it may not be accepted in others.

Find out more about how to get your credentials assessed to work in Canada.

Regulatory bodies

A regulatory body usually assesses credential recognition. Check with the regulatory body or other group for your job to find out if you need to be assessed. They can tell you which credential assessment agency you should use.

You can find out how to contact your regulatory body on Job Bank. You can also check their website to find out more about:

  • fees
  • licensing
  • eligibility
  • the process to get your credentials recognized

Working in a regulated job in Canada

To work in a regulated job and use a regulated title, you must:

  • have a licence or certificate or
  • be registered with the regulatory body for your job in the province or territory where you want to work

Each regulated job has its own requirements for getting a licence or certificate. Requirements for entry can be different between provinces and territories, but they usually include:

  • having your training and skills assessed against the job’s standards
    • this is done by comparing your training with the training provided by Canadian colleges and universities
    • you’ll need to show your original academic transcripts and other related documents, such as university course descriptions
  • having your language and communication skills tested
  • written exams, an interview or both
  • a specified period of supervised work experience

You’ll be evaluated on your own merits. Don’t compare your experience to someone else’s. Understand the requirements as they apply to your own case in the province or territory where you plan to work.

Trades

If you want to work in a trade, visit Red Seal for more details about the training, skills and experience you’ll need to meet.

Trades include jobs such as:

  • bakers
  • carpenters
  • electricians

As a tradesperson, you may be eligible to immigrate through the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

Non-regulated occupations

Some employers need job applicants to be registered or certified by the relevant professional association. Having your credentials assessed and recognized helps Canadian employers understand what you’re qualified for.

Job requirements can vary greatly between employers. Be prepared to prove that you have the education or experience to do the job. You may have to:

  • show a certain level of skill and competence
  • have a certain amount of education
  • have personal traits that suit the job

A credential assessment agency can assess your educational credentials for a fee. You may include this information in your résumé or curriculum vitæ (CV).

Find out more about how to get your credentials assessed to work in Canada

To study

If you plan to study in Canada, you’ll need to have your educational credentials assessed.

Some post-secondary schools can do the assessment. In other cases you’ll need to go to an assessment agency.

Contact the post-secondary school you want to go to in Canada to find out what kind of assessment they need and accept. Then, contact the assessment agency recommended by the school you want to attend, if needed.

Assessment agencies:

  • charge a fee for their services
  • don’t guarantee they will recognize your qualifications for:
    • getting accepted to study again in a Canadian post-secondary school
    • employment or certification/licensing purposes in Canada
  • make assessments that explain your academic background to:
    • employers
    • post-secondary institutions
    • professional bodies
  • compare your academic credentials with similar ones in Canada’s post-secondary educational system

There are separate processes for having your educational credentials recognized for:

  • immigrating to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker
  • qualifying to work in a certain job (including getting a license)
  • finding a job

When you are talking about immigration in Canada, these words have certain meanings:

Credentials refer to

  • degrees, diplomas, and certificates that you earned as part of your formal education
  • any document that states you are qualified to work in a certain job, such as
    • licence
    • certificate
    • registration

Qualifications refers to your combined

  • credentials
  • knowledge
  • skills and
  • work experience 

These will show if you are qualified to perform a certain job.

Competencies refer to things that you have learned. They include

  • a skill or set of skills
  • level of knowledge
  • conduct and practice
  • ethical, legal, communication behavioural norms for a specific occupation.

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