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Evaluating Credentials

​​​​​​​​​​“Credentials” refers to qualifications and documents that prove your achievements. Credentials can refer to both academic and professional accomplishments.

“Academic credentials” includes education qualifications such as high school diplomas, college diplomas, university degrees and certificates you have completed or partially completed. "Professional credentials" refers to occupational qualifications, such as professional certificates or work experience.

If you earned your academic credentials outside of Canada, they are often referred to as "international credentials" or "foreign credentials.” To be licensed with a professional association or to study in Canada, you may need to have credentials you completed outside of Canada evaluated.

There are local services to help you understand the credential recognition process.

The information listed below was provided by 211 Community Connection.

​Understanding Credential Recognition ​ ​
Welcome Centre for Immigrant Services: Mobile Unit ​Accreditation Qualification and Information Services​

Telephone: 1-877-761-1155

Email: info@welcomecentre.ca​

Licensing with Professional Associations

One of the requirements of professional associations for licensure is an evaluation of international credentials. This evaluation may be referred to as an "accreditation."  The process, cost, lengths of time, and required documentation to complete an accreditation varies. Some professional associations have internal evaluation services, and others outsource their evaluation requirements to external evaluation services. If you want to get a license in a regulated profession, contact the professional association directly and ask about their evaluation requirements. You will want to contact the professional association before you get an external evaluation. This will help ensure you do exactly what is required by the association to join.

Recognition in Prior Learning and Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Recognition in Prior Learning (RPL) and Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) are processes that compare skills and knowledge you may have attained from prior education, work/volunteer and life experiences to Canadian education courses/programs and employment requirements. In this process you are able to demonstrate that your previous learning and experience is valid. If you demonstrate your experience is equivalent, you may be able to receive formal Canadian education credits, apply to challenge a regulatory process or find employment in a related field with the intent of becoming certified.

For more information on Recognition in Prior Learning and Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition, contact the following:

The information listed below was provided by 211 Community Connection.

Recognition in Prior Learning/Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition
Welcome Centre for Immigrant Services: Mobile Unit Accreditation Qualification and Information Services


Georgian College:Office of the Registrar


Simcoe County District School Board Adult Learning Centre​

Locations in Alliston, Barrie, Bradford, Collingwood, Midland and Orillia


Academic Credentials to Study at a Post-Secondary School

If you wish to study at an Ontario post-secondary school, and you completed your education outside of Canada, you may need to have your credentials evaluated.

Each school has its own requirements for recognizing academic credentials granted outside of Canada.  If you want to have your credentials assessed so you can attend a college or university, you should first contact the Office of Admissions at the school you wish to attend. They can tell you their requirements and evaluation process; this may save you time and money.

Some schools will assess your credentials themselves and there is no fee for this service.  Other schools may require you to use an external service, referred to as a "credential evaluation service."  A credential evaluation service provides a report on how the academic credentials that you received outside of Canada compare to academic credentials obtained in Canada.  There is often a fee for this service.  This will help your school understand your academic background.  The evaluation from an academic credential evaluation service does not guarantee that you will be accepted into the school you wish to attend.  The school has the final judgement on how your academic credentials relate to their admission requirements.

Getting Documents Translated

If your academic documents are not in English, you may be required to translate them in order to apply for school or work in a regulated profession. There is often a fee required to translate your documents.  Before you pay for translation services, be sure to research what is required. You will want to know what documents the institution needs from you and what type of translation is accepted. Learning this beforehand can save you both time and money.

Some institutions require you to use a certified translator. In Ontario, certified translators must pass the standardized national certification examination that is administered by the Canadian Translators and Interpreters Council (CTIC) and be a member of the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO).

For information on the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO), visit their website: www.atio.on.ca​

Other places may require your translated documents be notarized. This mean a notary public, lawyer or commissioner of oaths has validated the information. There is often a fee for this type of service.

 The information listed below was provided by 211 Community Connection.

Commissioner of Oaths

Bradford Immigrant and Community Services (BICS)


11 Holland St E.
Bradford, Ontario, Canada
L3Z 2B8


Credential Evaluation Services

Credential assessment services review academic and professional credentials completed in a different country to see how they compare to the Canadian equivalent. There is usually a fee associated with these services. Before you use one of these services for academic or professional purposes, be sure to fully understand the requirements outlined by the institution you wish to attend or become licensed with.  Some academic institutions and professional associations will complete the evaluation at no cost to you.

Visit the Ontario Immigration website to learn more and find a list of credential assessment services: www.ontarioimmigration.ca​