Assessing Credentials

As an employer, accurately evaluating credentials can be critical in determining whether a newcomer meets your job requirements.  Sometimes a formal assessment may be required.  Although it can seem challenging to assess job applications and resumes from internationally trained newcomers, there are many tips and resources available to help guide you through this process.

You must first determine if the job vacancy you are hiring for requires an academic credential or professional designation to work in the field. This can vary by job occupation and sector. For example, professional careers such as medical, engineering and law require formal education credentials as well as professional designations to practice in Canada. In these types of cases, an official assessment of your international candidate will be required to objectively assess the equivalency of their academic and professional credentials gained outside of Canada.

Canadian employers are often unsure about where to get started in assessing the credentials of international candidates. There are however many organizations, services and information sources that can help you with the assessment of internationally acquired education and training.

The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) is a great place to start, and the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Canada also has a Foreign Credential Referral Office. The International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (ICAS) also offers educational credential assessment services to individuals applying for immigration to Canada.

Employers have the right to place responsibility for credential assessments on the international candidate and ask that they provide proof of evaluation as part of the job application process. The process to undertake assessments and skills evaluations can take time and should be factored into your hiring timelines.

When an academic credential or professional designation is not required for the position that you are hiring for, you must still determine whether a newcomer candidate has the skills, knowledge and qualities necessary for the job.  In this case, you should aim to conduct thorough interviews that allow you to determine the candidate’s competencies as well as language abilities. You should also conduct extensive reference checks.

As an employer, assessing international credentials and experience will not only help you to find the best employees for your organization, but it will also ensure that newcomers integrate well and succeed in your workplace.