EDUCATIONAL CREDENTIAL ASSESSMENTS

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Individuals applying for Canadian permanent residence may require an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) as part of their application. An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) assesses any foreign qualification to state what it is on par with by Canadian standards. Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs) are most notable used by those trying to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry system. Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs) are valid for five years from the date they are issued.

Where can I obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?

For the immigration process, you can obtain an Educational Credential Assessment from any of the following agencies:

 

  • World Education Services Canada

  • Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies

  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada

  • International Qualifications Assessment Service

  • International Credential Evaluation Service

  • Medical Council of Canada (Doctor’s must use this organization)

  • Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (Pharmacists must use this organization if they require a license to practise. If you work in a position where you do not need a license, one of the other designated organizations can assess your credentials.)

 

Please note that you may have to get a second assessment of your qualifications completed by a professional body for certain professions, which would be separate from an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).

Who needs an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

Those who want to be the primary applicant on an Express Entry profile require an Educational Credential Assessment if they apply as a Federal Skilled Worker and complete their education outside of Canada. Those using the Federal Skilled Trades Program and the Canadian Experience Class do not require an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). Still, if they do obtain one, it will add points to their Express Entry profile. Suppose you do not get an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), and you did not obtain your education from a Canadian educational institution. In that case, you will not be issued with any points for your completed education. If you get your education at a Canadian educational institution, you do not need to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).

 

Spouses of the principal applicant do not have to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA). Still, if they do, it can add extra points to their spouse’s Comprehensive Ranking System Score, as long as they are listed as an accompanying spouse.

 

Specific other programs may require an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) as part of the application process. Always check the complete requirements of the program that you are applying through to confirm if you need to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) or not.

What can be assessed on an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs) cannot be issued for all qualifications. They are issued for completed and awarded formal academic and technical credentials from recognized institutions. Below are some of the examples of what cannot be assessed on an Educational Credential Assessment:

 

  • Credentials obtained in Canada as they do not require an Educational *Credential Assessment (ECA)

  • Non-academic credentials (for example, a certificate of competence in Microsoft Office)

  • Career training qualifications (for example, your company’s Manager Level III)

  • professional qualifications (for example, chartered accountant designation)

  • in-service professional development

  • work experience

  • professional examinations

  • incomplete credentials

  • anything below secondary/high school level (for example, primary / elementary level)

  • non-academic credentials (for example, Excel training)

  • vocational or trades training (for example, diesel mechanics program, foreign trade certificates)

What needs to be assessed on an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)

Educational Credential Assessments (ECAs) are only required for your highest completed qualification, as you only earn points for your highest completed qualification. The only exception to this rule will be if you are trying to obtain points for having two or more credentials. In this case, you can only earn points for having two qualifications if one of them was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of three years or more and the second one was issued on completion of a post-secondary program of one year or more.

 

If you possess a master’s degree, you do not need to get your bachelor’s degree assessed, if applicable, as you will earn points for your master’s degree.

What if my qualifications are not recognized?

If your Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) shows that your credential is not equal to a completed Canadian credential or that the foreign educational institution that you attended is not recognized, then you will not be able to earn any points for your completed education. This may potentially mean that you cannot create an Express Entry profile.

 

In some cases, your qualification may also be recognized at a lower level. For instance, you may have earned a master’s degree, but your Educational Credential Assessment lists it is as being the equivalent of a Canadian bachelor’s degree (three years). In this case you would only earn points for a bachelor’s degree (three years).

How many points is my education worth?

The Canadian equivalence on your Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) will earn you points on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) as follows:

 

Applicants with no accompanying spouse/common-law partner

Applicants with an accompanying spouse/common-law partner

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