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Working Wise: Getting Your Foreign-Earned Credentials Recognized

Dear Working Wise,

What is an IQAS assessment? I received a resumé with an IQAS assessment attached saying that the applicant’s education that he earned in India is the same as a 2-year diploma here in Canada. How seriously should I take this assessment?
Signed, Bewildered Supervisor

February 8, 2017

Dear Bewildered,

The Government of Alberta’s International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS) assesses international educational credentials and provides a fair comparison to Canadian educational standards.

IQAS assessments help Canadian employers better understand foreign-earned credentials so they can make informed hiring decisions. These assessments also help new Albertans find rewarding careers in their chosen fields.

New Albertans pay for the cost of the assessments and provide the assessment reports to their potential employers.

Each assessment determines

  • if the institution that issued the credential meets IQAS criteria for recognition
  • if the documents from the educational institution are authentic and unaltered
  • how the international program of study compares to a similar program of study in Canada

IQAS assessors

  • use recognized national and international standards of practice for assessing foreign credentials
  • have assessed more than 110,000 international educational credentials from 182 different countries
  • are fully trained in international credential evaluation
  • are competent in more than 15 languages
  • have access to a worldwide network of similar organizations plus foreign educational databases and an in-house library with more than 3,000 reference materials

Employers can use IQAS assessments for rapid screening of applicants. IQAS assessments provide straightforward information so you can quickly determine if applicants have the qualifications that you need.

Fast Tracking

IQAS Assessments can be fast tracked if a job offer is on the line. You can call IQAS at toll free in Alberta at 310-0000 then 780-427-6255 Or, the potential new hire can submit an application to IQAS and provide a copy of your written request to have the assessment fast tracked.

Quick Guides

You may not even need an IQAS assessment from the applicant. The International Education Overview Guides compare educational credentials earned in 13 different countries to those in Canada. Each guide provides information on specific credentials, including the program’s prerequisites, length of study and what the credential compares to in Alberta. You may be able to find the answers you need in these guides.

Help for job seekers

The Immigrant Access Fund provides micro loans to immigrants who need help to pay for the costs associated with obtaining Canadian accreditation, upgrading or training that will allow them to work in their profession or trade. This fund helps immigrants move out of low-level/low-income jobs to become self-reliant, and make their best possible contribution to Canada’s economy.

For more information on vist the IQAS website.

Photo Credit: © iStockphoto/stevecoleimages

Working Wise is a syndicated newspaper column prepared by the Government of Alberta to answer work-related questions from Albertans. Do you have a work-related question? You can send it to Charles Strachey (charles.strachey@gov.ab.ca), a manager with Alberta Community and Social Services.

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