An employment counsellor explains credential evaluation, different reports and when immigrants should have their credentials assessed.
By Silvia Di Blasio, CanadianImmigrant.ca
As a career/employment counsellor for immigrants to Canada, one of the first questions my clients ask is: “Will having my credentials evaluated help in my job search?”
The answer is, it depends. I have found a misconception around the credential evaluation process; most immigrants have heard that having their credentials evaluated is key to entering the Canadian labour market or to further their studies in Canada in a post-secondary institution. This is not completely true, as it all depends on many factors, and different situations may require different types of credential evaluations.
What is credential evaluation?
Foreign credential evaluation is a process to measure your level of education to the Canadian system. The credential evaluation service doesn’t assess the quality of the program, course content, or whether or not the subjects you studied will be accepted as comparable to those required for a similar career in Canada.
In Canada, there are a few main credential evaluation services, including World Education Services (WES) in Ontario and International Credential Evaluation Services (ICES) in B.C. The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) has a full list of services across the country.
Different reports explained
There are two types of reports that a credential evaluation service can offer: official and original. Official reports are made when your institution back in your home country sends the transcripts directly to the credential evaluation service. They have to be signed by the right authority (university or ministry) and be sent in a sealed envelope.
Original reports, on the other hand, are the ones made with the certificates and transcripts you bring with you.
Both official and original reports can be basic or comprehensive. Basic reports usually have one to two pages and mention your certificates and how they compare in years with the Canadian system. Comprehensive reports may have more pages and they list all the subjects you have taken with their conversion to the credit/grade system applicable to most Canadian institutions.