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Canada: Getting your skills assessed

Professionals immigrating to Canada must have their credentials assessed and accredited before starting employment in the country.

Getting Your Skills Assessed

Who needs their skills assessed?

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We took a look at the process of having your skills and qualifications assessed. You will need to have the education, work experience or professional credentials you received outside Canada assessed if you are immigrating to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker or if you are going to Canada to work in specific professions or trades and in the case where students are going to Canada to study.

How 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

You can start the credential assessment and recognition process before you arrive in Canada. This takes time and costs money.

If you are immigrating as a Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) read on

To apply to the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), you must get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) of your completed foreign educational credentials.

An ECA is used to verify whether your:

• foreign degree,
• diploma,
• certificate, or
• other proof of your credential
is valid and equal to a completed credential in Canada for the purpose of immigrating to Canada.

What about regulated occupations and trades?

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. About 20 percent of jobs in Canada are regulated.

A regulatory body usually assesses credential recognition. Check with the regulatory body or other organization for your occupation to find out whether you need an assessment. They can tell you which credential assessment agency you should use. You can find contact information for your regulatory body on Job Bank.

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

• have a licence or
• a certificate or
• 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. Requirements can be different between provinces and territories. Requirements for entry usually include:

• An assessment of your training and skills against the profession’s standards by comparing your original academic transcripts and other related documents, such as university course descriptions, with the training provided by Canadian colleges and universities
• Written examinations, an interview or both
• An evaluation of your language and communication skills
• A specified period of supervised work experience

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Speak your immigration consultant about having your skills and qualifications assessed before packing your bags for Canada.

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