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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 varies for each field and takes 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.

Canada’s Foreign Credential Evaluation and Assessment Services will evaluate your education against the degree requirements in  Canada’s education systems. 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 the Access Centre for Regulated Employment. You can find the regulatory body for these professions by entering the occupational title in the search box on the Canadian Informational Centre for International Credentials website.

If you are planning to study in Canada, consult the “Information for students educated abroad applying for admission to Canadian universities and colleges” guide. 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 Programme. This programme 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

Recognition of qualifications for employment in Canada — If you want to work in Canada, this fact sheet outlines how you will need to proceed, depending on whether your occupation is regulated or not. The “Assessment and recognition of credentials for the purpose of employment in Canada” fact sheet will also guide you through the job-application process.

The Ontario Ministry of Immigration offers a programme called Global Experience Ontario. It 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, A Guide for Foreign-Trained Tradespeople gives you information about working in Ontario. If you are interested in becoming a tradesperson, Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities has information on apprenticeship training in Ontario.

Studying in Canada

Canadian colleges and universities make their own admission decisions. This fact sheet explains what you need to know to apply to them directly. Please refer to this link for 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 – Potential to Prosperity has information and stories from foreign-trained professionals.

Bridge Training for Regulated Professions – 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.

Bridge Training for Non-Regulated Professions – The Ontario Government also provides programs and services to assist internationally trained professionals with bridge training to achieve the requirements of their non-regulated profession in Canada.

Funding Opportunities

The Ontario Bridging Participant Assistance Program (OBPAP)

OSAP Grants and Loans