An academic credential assessment is used to evaluate a credential (diploma, degree) earned outside of Canada to determine what it compares to in Canada. Individuals educated outside of Canada often have many questions about their credentials. For example: "Do I need to get my credentials assessed?" "Where can I apply to get an assessment?" "When should I have it done?" The answers depend on what YOU plan to do in Manitoba.
There are four main reasons why you might choose (or be required) to have your academic credentials assessed:
- Professional registration
- Immigration through the Government of Canada's Express Entry – Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program
Immigration via Express Entry: If you are planning to immigrate as a Federal Skilled Worker, you will be required to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) as part of the application process. Only designated organizations can conduct the ECA process for FSW applicants. For further details, see information on the ECA.
Professional registration: If you are planning to apply to a regulatory body to become a registered member of your profession in Manitoba, you must contact the regulatory body which oversees your profession to learn about the application process for internationally educated and trained applicants. Some regulatory bodies conduct the entire assessment process; others refer applicants to a third-party organization to conduct a specific component(s) of the professional registration process. For further information, see Regulated Professions and Trades.
Studying at a post-secondary institution: If you are planning to study at a post-secondary institution in Manitoba you must contact the institution to learn about the admissions process. Post-secondary institutions typically conduct their own academic assessments to determine if an internationally educated applicant meets the minimum education requirement for admission to a particular program of study.
Looking for work
- In a regulated occupation: If you are planning to work in a regulated occupation, you will need to research the occupation and the steps required to gain professional registration. In many cases, it is illegal to work in a regulated occupation unless you are registered with the respective regulatory body. Many occupations are regulated in Manitoba. Examples include: nurse, engineer, architect, dentist, electrician, and crane operator. For further information, see Regulated Professions and Trades.
- In a non-regulated occupation: If you are planning to work in a non-regulated occupation, you only need to meet the hiring requirements in the job posting to be eligible to apply. Always check the hiring criteria carefully. Employers often require applicants to have job-specific training and/or experience. Hiring criteria is set by the employer and will vary from employer to employer.
Most non-regulated occupations will have a minimum education requirement. To ensure you meet this requirement, some employers will require you to submit an official assessment of your academic credentials as part of the application process. The majority of employers, however, will not require an assessment. Most employers consider academic credentials earned outside of Canada as generally comparable to similar credentials earned in Canada. For example, if you earned a 4 or 5-year undergraduate degree (bachelor's degree) outside of Canada, you should feel confident applying for a job requiring applicants to hold a bachelor's degree in your same or similar field of study. If you are applying for a job requiring a high school diploma (Grade 12) and you graduated from a 12-year (or 11-year) formal program of study, you should feel confident that your diploma/certificate is generally comparable to Grade 12 in Manitoba.
However, If a job posting states that internationally educated applicants must submit a formal academic assessment, then you must have your credentials assessed by a recognized assessment agency in Canada. Employers that require an assessment will not consider an application for employment complete until the assessment is received. Employers requiring an assessment include: Winnipeg Police Service, Government of Canada departments and agencies, including the RCMP, Canada Revenue Agency, Canada Border Services Agency, etc.
The Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (ACESC)
There are six recognized agencies in Canada which conduct academic assessments/evaluations. All are members of the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (ACESC). Each agency has its own application process, documentation criteria, fees, and processing times. Individuals can apply for an assessment from within or outside of Canada. It can take up to 12 weeks for an assessment agency to complete the assessment process (from initial application to result).
Members of the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada:
- 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) Canada
When selecting an agency, be aware that MIDI will assess and compare credentials to the Quebec education system which varies slightly from other provinces and territories in Canada. Residents of Manitoba are encouraged to use one of the other five assessment agencies.