Explore different approaches

Five different approaches may be used, depending on the situation and type of organization. These five approaches are neither exhaustive nor mutually exclusive, and many organizations that adopt a case-by-case approach will use different ones at different times.

It may be useful to recall the distinction between assessment and recognition.

Get more information about the Assessing the Qualifications of Refugees initiative, including recommended best practices and guidelines, as well as additional primary and secondary sources.


An international academic credential assessment is the process by which academic credentials from one country are compared to those of another country. In Canada, it typically involves two steps: the authentication of a foreign credential and its comparability to similar credentials issued in a particular province or territory. Such assessment is most often performed for the purposes of employment, for obtaining a licence to practise in a regulated occupation, or for admission to a postsecondary educational institution.


International qualification recognition is the process by which an organization—typically a postsecondary educational institution, a professional regulatory authority, or an employer—recognizes that an individual's academic credentials as well as other required documents meet their respective requirements for admission, licensure, or employment.

When members of the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (ACESC) issue an academic credential assessment report, it is a non-binding expert opinion. Postsecondary educational institutions, professional regulatory authorities, or employers may conduct their own assessments, or they may choose to use an assessment report to inform their recognition decision.