What is Accreditation? In Canada, accreditation is generally defined as a process of quality assurance through which it is ascertained that a program of study complies with standards of education established by professional authorities, with the goal of ensuring that graduates from such programs meet the academic and registration requirements established by the profession. (Source: www.cicic.ca)
Do you need to get credentials accredited? This depends on what profession you are planning to pursue in Canada. If you planning to join a regulated profession that requires a license to practice, you will need your certificates accredited in order to get your license in Canada. For non-regulated professions, it is good to have it done since it gives you peace of mind that you are well qualified in Canada.
I personally have never been asked for the accreditation of my post graduate degree since I am part of the non-regulated profession. And in hindsight, I am not sure that it was worth spending the $150 on it. But I would still recommend it for the reason stated above.
If you are going to get your accreditation done, then you will need to start this process early (at least 3 months before you are leaving). The accreditation agency you use will also depend on the province you are moving to. For more details go to this link. It lists all the agencies for each province.
Smart Tip: There are immigrant serving agencies in Canada that are funded by the Government to help newcomers settle. Some of these agencies also offer to pay for the accreditation service. So doing your accreditation after you arrive may save you the fees for doing the accreditation. BUT, the accreditation agency may require your educational transcripts to be sent directly by the institute to them, and organizing this from Canada in your home country may become a challenge for you. Check the process for accreditation on the agency site and then decide if you want to take the chance of saving the money and doing it after you arrive.
- What is a regulated profession? (Source: www.cicic.ca)
- A “regulated” occupation is one that is controlled by provincial and territorial (and sometimes federal) law and governed by a professional organization or regulatory body. The regulatory body governing the profession/trade has the authority to set entry requirements and standards of practice, to assess applicants’ qualifications and credentials, to certify, register, or license qualified applicants, and to discipline members of the profession/trade. Requirements for entry, which may vary from one province to another, usually consist of such components as examinations, a specified period of supervised work experience, language competency, etc. If you want to work in a regulated occupation and use a regulated title, you MUST have a licence or certificate or be registered with the regulatory body for your occupation. Some occupations are regulated in certain provinces and territories and are not regulated in others.
- About 20 per cent of Canadians work in regulated occupations such as veterinarian, electrician, plumber, physiotherapist, medical doctor, engineer, etc. The system of regulation is intended to protect the health and safety of Canadians by ensuring that professionals meet the required standards of practice and competence.
- What is a non-regulated profession? (Source: www.cicic.ca)
- A “non-regulated” occupation is a profession/trade for which there is no legal requirement or restriction on practice with regard to licences, certificates, or registration. The vast majority of occupations in Canada fall into this category. For some non-regulated occupations, certification/registration with a professional body is available to applicants on a voluntary basis, whereas for other non-regulated occupations there is no certification/registration available at all.
- In general, applicants for non-regulated occupations will have to demonstrate to their potential employers that they possess the experience and training required for the job. Even when an occupation is not regulated, employers can still require that an applicant for a job be registered, licensed, or certified with the relevant professional association.