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Getting Credentials Recognized

There are many reasons why you may want to get your credentials recognized. It can help employers understand the level or quality of your education and therefore help you get a job; it can also help you gain admission into college or university or get a professional license.  Evaluation and recognition of qualifications earned outside of Canada vary for each field and take into account whether your profession is regulated or not. The process determines whether your education and job experience obtained in another country are equal to the standards established for Canadian professionals.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has designated both multipurpose assessment organizations and professional bodies to assess foreign credentials. These organizations charge a fee for their services, and the process they follow may vary. Please note that their assessments are not necessarily appropriate or applicable to all situations.

If you are planning to work in a regulated occupation, you will first need to consult with the pertinent regulatory body. The practice of regulated professions is governed by regulatory bodies, which are legally authorized to perform their own expert credential assessments. Here is a list of regulated professions from Will Employment Solutions. You can find the regulatory body for these professions by entering the occupational title in the search box on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.

If you are planning to study in Canada, consult the canada.ca website and educanada.ca to learn what you need to know to prepare to study in Canada. Universities and colleges are legally authorized to perform their own expert credential assessments as well.

It is also important you demonstrate that the academic documents you have are authentic and that your credentials are from a recognized institution.

To convert foreign credentials to Canadian equivalents, you may need a Bridge Training Program. This program helps foreign professionals to convert their certifications and qualifications into Canadian equivalents.  Getting your credentials recognized can take some time. You may want to gain some Canadian work experience by working in a non-regulated field until your credentials are recognized. Settlement.Org can help you find non-regulated jobs that are related to your profession. Their website also has a directory of groups run by and for internationally trained professionals.

Licensing and Regulatory Bodies

Foreign credential recognition in Canada — If you want to work in Canada, this website outlines how you will need to proceed, depending on whether your occupation is regulated or not.

The Government of Ontario offers a resource list that can help internationally trained and educated professionals to find out how to qualify for professional practice in Ontario.

Foreign Trained Tradespeople

If you are a skilled tradesperson, there is a Guide for Professions and Trades that gives you information about working in Ontario. If you are interested in becoming a tradesperson, Ontario.ca has information on Apprenticeship training in Ontario.

Studying in Canada

Canadian colleges and universities make their own admission decisions. This page explains what you need to know to apply to them directly. You can find a directory of colleges, universities and schools in the provinces and territories of Canada.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a process which helps adults to demonstrate and obtain recognition for learning acquired outside of formal education settings and is offered by many Ontario school boards.

Additional Resources

Information on credential recognition from Settlement.org

Canadian Foundation for Economic Education – has information and stories from foreign-trained professionals.

Ontario Bridge Training Program – The Ontario Government provides a number of programs and services to assist internationally trained newcomers with bridge training to achieve the requirements of their profession in Canada. The program targets regulated and non-regulated high-skill occupations.

Funding Opportunities

The Ontario Bridging Participant Assistance Program (OBPAP)

OSAP Grants and Loans