Educational Credential Assessment for immigration to Canada
Most likely, you were educated in your country. Does Canada recognize your diploma? After all, the educational process is structured differently there.
In order to be sure that your diploma will be accepted in Canada, you need to complete the Educational Credential Assessment or ECA for short.
ECA is a comparative assessment of your diploma, certificate, or other higher education document with a Canadian level of education. The names of the subjects and the duration of training for each of them are taken into account. As a result, you will know the equivalent of your education in Canada.
Why do you need an educational assessment?
- An assessed diploma is required if you plan to immigrate to Canada through the Federal Skilled Worker Program. Without an ECA, you cannot apply for the program.
- For immigration through provincial programs. In most cases, you will also need to provide an educational assessment.
- Some programs do not require educational assessment, such as Federal Skilled Trades Program and Canadian Experience Class. But you will need it to get extra points for your education or your spouse's education.
- When looking for a job and enrolling in a Canadian university, you will most likely have to go through the assessment process.
Important: if you have a Canadian diploma of education, you do not need to assess it.
Where to get your diploma assessed
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada only accepts ECAs from accredited entities. If you certified a document of education in another company, it will not be accepted.
Mostly, the following organizations provide ECA:
- World Educational Services;
- Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies;
- International Credential Assessment Service of Canada;
- International Qualifications Assessment Service;
- International Credential Evaluation Service.
Exceptions are medical specialists, general practitioners, family doctors, and pharmacists. They must receive an assessment from the Medical Council of Canada.
If you are a pharmacist, the organization from which you need to obtain an ECA report depends on the specifics of your job. If you need a license to practice, you must obtain a report from the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada. This applies to you if you plan to work in:
- pharmacy or hospital;
- long-term care facility;
- public pharmacy.
If you do not need a license to work, you can get an assessment from any of the other organizations listed above. This applies to working in the government or the pharmaceutical industry.
You can contact the regulatory authority of the province where you plan to live to find out if you need a license to work.
Diploma assessment cost
Each organization sets its own price for the service of evaluating a diploma of education. The average is $200 CAD plus shipping.
If you are a family doctor, medical specialist, or pharmacist, the cost will be higher. You will need to contact the professional body that regulates your profession for the exact cost.
The timing of the review depends on various factors, as well as on the organization or professional body. This may take from several weeks to several months. Therefore, it is better to deal with the evaluation of a diploma in advance.