What is an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?

An Educational Credential Evaluation (ECA) is a document that verifies that a foreign degree, diploma, certificate, or other proof of education credential is equivalent to Canada. The ECA report determines whether the educational qualifications of an applicant are equal to Canadian requirements and are valid for Canadian immigration purposes. The person may include the information in his or her Express Entry profile if the ECA report states that the international educational credential is equivalent.

Who needs an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?

Before joining the Express Entry pool, applicants who wish to be classified under the Federal Skilled Worker Class are expected to have an ECA, unless their educational qualifications have been obtained from an institution in Canada.

An ECA is not required for applicants who wish to be considered under the Federal Skilled Trades Class or Canadian Experience Class. However, if they wish to obtain points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) for their international educational qualifications, an ECA is required. A higher CRS score is likely to improve the chances of being drawn from the pool by a person.

An ECA for his or her international education must also be obtained by the spouse or common-law partner of an applicant for any of the programs operated under the Express Entry scheme if he or she wishes to demand CRS points. For an accompanying spouse or partner, an ECA is not necessary, but without presenting an ECA, no points can be awarded.

For each credential for which he or she wishes to claim points, an applicant and his or her spouse or partner (if applicable) must acquire an ECA. For example, if an applicant has completed high school, a bachelor’s degree, and a graduate degree, if he or she obtains an ECA for a bachelor’s degree and a graduate degree, he or she can receive more points under the CRS than if he or she has only evaluated the bachelor’s degree.

How to obtain an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA)?

A candidate (and his or her accompanying spouse or wife, if applicable) submits the requested documentation to an agency designated by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in order to receive an ECA report. Such organizations work independently of Canada’s government. Documents required can include transcripts and certificates.

The existing IRCC-designated organizations to issue ECA reports are:

Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies (CES) (Date designated: April 17, 2013)

International Credential Assessment Service of Canada (Date designated: April 17, 2013)
International Qualifications Assessment Service (Date designated: August 6, 2015)
International Credential Evaluation Service (Date designated: August 6, 2015)
Medical Council of Canada (Professional body for Doctors) (Date designated: April 17, 2013)
Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (Professional body for Pharmacists) (Date designated: January 6, 2014)
World Education Services (Date designated: April 17, 2013)

The ECA must be released on or after the date on which the service was designated by the IRCC. Furthermore, the ECA must not be older than five years from the date on which the IRCC receives the candidate’s Express Entry profile and permanent residence application.

It should be remembered that an ECA does not constitute evidence of accreditation or a license in a regulated profession. Technical accreditation is distinct from the ECA process and is determined in each province by regulatory authorities. Learn more about Canadian Programs for International Credential Assessment.