Your international education has value in Canada. Here’s how to make it work for you.

Published March 3, 2022.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes 

In summary: 

  • A credential evaluation is the comparison of academic accomplishments gained abroad with those gained in Canada.
  • If you’re a skilled newcomer, it can be a helpful tool on your path to career advancement.
  • It’s important to research what type of credential evaluation report and from which evaluation agency your intended employer, school or licensing body will accept.
  • Be your own biggest champion for the international training and experience that you bring to Canada.

Skilled immigrants and refugees bring education, knowledge and experience that strengthens Canada’s labour force and grows our economic prosperity. But they can run into challenges getting their international education credentials recognized and valued by employers.

Canadian employers and regulators have different employment requirements, which vary by profession. Windmill Microlending partner World Education Services (WES) helps new Canadians understand the value of their international credentials in the Canadian labour market starting with a credential assessment.

Beth-Clarke-1Beth Clarke, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at WES, says a credential evaluation is the comparison of academic accomplishments gained abroad with those gained in Canada. She says the evaluation is usually based on a credential assessment which is the process of looking at degrees and diplomas gained in one country to determine their similarity and difference against those gained in another country.

This information can help skilled newcomers chart a path to restarting their careers in Canada by understanding the equivalency of their education.

Whether you’re an internationally-trained dentist, truck driver or lawyer, Windmill’s Educational Pathways can help you understand what steps to take to get back to your profession here in Canada.

Having an equivalence in the form of a credential evaluation, grants Canadian institutions the confidence that an internationally-educated individual meets education requirements,” adds Clarke. “It provides a green light that an individual holds the right credentials, in Canadian terms, that are familiar to those receiving the credential assessment.” Put another way, once your credentials are assessed and evaluated in Canada, you are one step closer to putting them to use toward your career development.

Tips for making your international credentials work for you

Clarke offers some tips for skilled newcomers who want to take steps to have their international credentials recognized in Canada.

Tip #1 – Advocate for the value of your international education.

Too often, newcomers may be uncomfortable highlighting or advocating for the recognition of their international credentials in a job interview. That could be a mistake. “Remember, your education and experience are what got you here so speak with confidence knowing you can do the job.” Use your credential evaluation as material evidence you meet the requirements for a role.

Tip #2 – Find out the credential evaluation requirements of employers or licensing bodies in your province or territory.

Research what type of evaluation report and from which evaluation agency your intended employer, school or licensing body will accept. Credential evaluation is just one step of the licensing process. It may be followed by practice-ready exams and other requirements. Give yourself enough time to pull together all the documents you may need. For example, if a verified credential evaluation is needed, you may have to request transcripts from your school overseas which can take time.

Tip #3 – Seek out supports.

Find out what supports may be available to cover the costs of your credential assessment. For example, Windmill loans can be used to pay for credential evaluation reports from WES and similar organizations like Qualifications Québec.

Importantly, it is recommended that skilled immigrants and refugees act as their own biggest champions when it comes to their international credentials.

“Don’t assume your international education is not valued and accepted in Canada,” she says. “This is a self-defeating mistake. Self-advocate and take every shot you have.”

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Categorized in: Career Success and Planning, Accreditation and Licensing, A Newcomer's Journey,