May 20, 2024 11:11 AM

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Canada Will Introduce A New Educational Credential Assessment for Foreign-Trained Architects

Canada is changing the process for evaluating the educational credentials of foreign-trained architects. Instead of using designated organizations like the World Education Services (WES), architects will now receive their Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) from the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB) starting May 20, 2024. 

The CACB assesses the educational qualifications of architecture graduates and accredits professional degree programs in architecture offered by Canadian universities.

Under the new system, the CACB will issue ECAs for architects, specifically identifying the National Occupational Classification (NOC) of Architects (code 21200) as their primary occupation. This NOC system classifies jobs based on training, education, and experience. 

Also, the CACB offers the Broadly Experienced Foreign Architects (BEFA) Program, which provides a pathway to licensure for individuals with substantial professional experience who need a recognized Canadian degree. Understanding the CACB’s roles is key for foreign-trained architects navigating the new ECA process.

In Canada, the practice of architecture is regulated by provincial and territorial associations of architects. For foreign-trained architects, obtaining an ECA is a crucial step in demonstrating the comparability of their qualifications to those in Canada. 

The ECA report may assist during job searches, but it’s important to note that it doesn’t guarantee employment or licensure. Applicants must thoroughly research the provincial regulations and ensure their qualifications align with Canadian standards.

The Pan-Canadian framework aims to strengthen cooperation among provinces, territories, and the Government of Canada to assess and recognize foreign qualifications. 

Foreign-educated applicants for programs like the Federal Skilled Workers Program (Express Entry) require an ECA. Designated organizations, including WES and ICAS, assess applicants’ education against Canadian standards. However, architects will now use the CACB for ECAs from May 20, 2024.

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