N.W.T. employers have access to new tool to evaluate foreign credentials

Territory hooks up with Alberta's International Qualification Assessment Service
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|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 02/27/2004

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n agreement between the Northwest Territories and Alberta will allow employers in the territory to access Alberta’s International Qualification Assessment Service (IQAS) to verify out-of-country credentials for individuals applying for work in the N.W.T.

IQAS verifies out-of-country credentials on behalf of employers, professional licensing bodies, and post-secondary institutions across Canada and enables individual applicants to get recognition for education they have received outside of Canada. IQAS assessment certificates show how educational credentials from other countries generally compare to standards in Canada.

Charles Dent, N.W.T.’s Minister of Education Culture and Employment, said the importance of accurately evaluating international credentials is increasing.

“Having the expertise of IQAS to assist N.W.T. employers in establishing qualifications for applicants schooled outside of Canada is invaluable,” he said.

Alberta’s International Qualification Assessment Service began offering assessment services to the Northwest Territories in October 2003. A similar agreement is already in place with Saskatchewan.

“Alberta’s International Qualification Assessment Service has long been a valuable resource for newcomers to our province,” said Lyle Oberg, Alberta’s Minister of Learning. “We’re very pleased to share it with other provinces and territories. We all benefit when we’re able to increase the number of skilled new Canadians that are here and ready to join the workforce.”

IQAS assesses credentials using methodology recognized by the assessment community and national and international educational associations. The criteria used include status of the issuing institution, the level of education, the duration of study the general content of study and the function of the program. IQAS consultants research educational systems from other countries and attend international workshops and conferences to maintain the most accurate and up-to-date information. Assessments are advisory in nature.

The evaluation process

IQAS completes the following steps when evaluating each credential.

Authenticity review

- All documents are reviewed for consistency and evidence of tampering or alteration.

Translation review

- IQAS conducts educational assessments using original language documents and their English translations. All translations are spot checked for accuracy.

Recognition status of institutions

- IQAS conducts assessments of education obtained at an accredited or recognized institution in the home country. IQAS does not evaluate education obtained through unaccredited or unrecognized educational institutions.

Description of educational program

- IQAS describes the educational program on the level of education, the length of study, the general content of study and the function of the program. Although IQAS reviews the general content of a program, IQAS does not review the specific content covered in each course.

General statement of comparability

- IQAS issues a statement of comparison that indicates how a program of study from another country generally compares to a program of study in Canada. This means that the credential is considered similar, but not identical to, a credential in Canada.

Residents of the Northwest Territories can use a new toll-free phone line to access the IQAS. The number is (866) 692-7057.

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