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Educational Credential Assessments – What Can be Evaluated?

When immigrating to Canada from South Africa under the Express Entry System, you can earn points for your highest level of completed education. In order to do so you need to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA).

Where most people get confused is in assessing whether their qualification type is one that can actually be evaluated by one of the designated educational credential assessing institutions in Canada.

World Education Services (WES) states on their website that they only evaluate formal academic qualifications awarded by recognized secondary and post-secondary institutions. They do not evaluate occupational or trade qualifications.

Comparative Educational Servies (CES)’s website states that they do not assess non-formal, non-academic qualifications as follows:

  • Apprenticeships, Competency based/Vocational qualifications/Training (e.g. City and Guilds Certificates, Trade certificates, National Vocational Qualifications, Massage or Shiatsu Therapy Training, Caregiver training, Personal Support Worker Training, Montessori Training, Microsoft Training)
  • In-company training
  • Professional licenses, memberships in professional bodies/associations and learned societies (e.g. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants [ACCA] – examinations or fellow or Member of the Association, Institution of Engineers, Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Royal College of Surgeons, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan [ICAP], British Computer Society)
  • Short-term, non-formal, non-academic programs
  • Board of Examination in General Nursing and Midwifery diplomas (e.g. Pakistan Nursing Council)
  • Second-language training programs (e.g. ESL)
  • Work experience
  • In-progress academic programs
  • Certificates issued for professionally-oriented studies in conjunction with academic   studies (e.g. Certificat de Absolvire(Graduation Certificate) from the Teacher Training Department or Pedagogical Seminar)
  • Canadian post-secondary qualifications

When investigating The International Credential Assessment Service (ICAS) of Canada we found differening information from WES and CES as certain Provincial websites stated that ICAS “can evaluate all documents at any educational level for assistance with employment, educational or career planning.” As this would lead one to believe that you could then have your occupational or trade qualification assessed, we decided to contacted them directly to confirm if they could assist with such an evaulation. Their reply is below:

“Thank you for your enquiry.

As you are aware, ICAS Assessment Reports include formal academic education completed at appropriately recognized institutions.

Because occupational/trade certifications typically do not include a significant academic component, we would never suggest an evaluation of those certifications on their own. We are usually able to provide a more meaningful report if we also receive any other academic qualifications an applicant possesses, such as high school or college.

Please contact us if you require additional information or clarification.

ICAS of Canada”

What this means is, if you have an occupational or trade qualification it appears no one can issue you with an ECA that can be used for points on an Express Entry Application. It is important to note that if you are looking to apply as a Federal Skilld Worker, if you cannot obtain an ECA you will not be able to obtain any points for education. This could mean you may not be eligible to apply.

It is important to ensure all of these details before proceeding with an application as it could be both a waste of time and money.

If you want to confirm if you qualify complete our free online assessment today!

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