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School of Continuing Studies | University of Toronto

Comparative Education Service (CES)

Academic Credential Assessment

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. We have compiled these frequently asked questions to answer your most common questions about applying for an educational credential assessment.

About the CES Educational Credential Assessment Report

  1. Why do I need my credentials assessed?

    Canada is home to many highly educated individuals who have studied abroad. Unfortunately, very few people are familiar with international credentials. An educational credential assessment report from a trusted provider can help employers, education institutions, professional associations and government agencies understand your level of education and how it equates to what is offered in Canada.

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  2. Who recognizes a CES Assessment Report?

    As a service offered by the internationally renowned University of Toronto, CES reports are highly valued by employers and immigration agencies, lawyers, government departments, and executive search firms.

    The Comparative Education Service (CES) was designated by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism on April 17th, 2013, to provide educational credential assessment reports for the purpose of immigration to Canada.

    Among many other employers and organizations, our assessments are accepted by the Toronto Transit Commission, the Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, the Canadian Armed Forces, and by U.S. Customs for the purpose of obtaining a TN Visa to work in the United States.

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  3. What are the benefits to having my assessment done by CES?

    You are able to submit your complete application online, including your supporting documents, which will save you money.

    CES wants to support your continuous learning. Individuals who pay for a CES credential assessment qualify for the following:

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  4. What information will be included in my CES educational credential assessment Report?

    A completed educational assessment report includes:

    • Your unique CES Client Reference Number
    • Your name and date of birth
    • A list of all documents reviewed in the assessment process
    • The name of the academic institution(s) where you completed your studies
    • The name of the award(s) that you obtained
    • The comparable Canadian credential; CES may need to combine two different qualifications in a single report
    • A statement regarding credential authentication

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  5. How long will the CES educational credential assessment report be valid?

    Your educational credential assessment report will remain valid indefinitely, in the same way that your educational documents have no expiry date. It is important to bear in mind, however, that educational systems in Canada and elsewhere are constantly changing, and if your qualifications are re-assessed at a later date, the equivalency may also change.

    Educational credential assessment reports provided for immigration purposes will be valid for a period of five years. Please visit the IRCC for more information.

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  6. How else can I use my CES educational credential assessment report?

    Your report can be used for employment purposes, admission to certain post-secondary education programs, or professional certification. Please consult the requirements of the prospective recipient of your report for more information.

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  7. Will you assess professional credentials, certifications or licenses?

    No. Only an appropriate professional association and/or licensing body can determine whether such qualifications meet equivalent Canadian standards.

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Required Documentation

  1. What documents will I need to apply for an educational credential assessment report?
    • A completed application (online or paper) for an Educational Credential Assessment.
    • A colour photocopy of both sides of your government-issued photo identification showing your date of birth, with official English or French translation (if applicable).
    • A colour photocopy of both sides of the final award for each completed program of study (degree, diploma or certificate) in its original language and official English or French translation.
    • A colour photocopy of both sides of your academic records (transcripts, statement of marks) for each completed program of study in its original language with official English or French translation (if applicable).
    • Official academic records/transcripts/statements of marks mailed directly from each educational institution listed on your application package (submitted separately). If your educational institution requires a formal request you can download the Request Official Academic Records to make this arrangement.

    Note: The following identification (ID) is accepted by CES:

    • A valid ID issued by a city/ provincial/ state/federal government agency such as: driver’s license; passport: permanent residency card or birth certificate. CES will not accept provincial or territorial health cards.
    • Upon completion of your assessment your identification documents will be destroyed.

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  2. If I have more than one academic credential, which should I have assessed?

    CES will assess all academic credentials that you include on your application and for which all the documentation requirements are met.

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  3. What are official academic records?

    Official academic records/transcripts and/or statements of marks are documents showing all courses taken and grades obtained by the student, sent directly to the CES office by the issuing educational institution. We recommend that you carefully review the Required Documents by Country of Education webpages to determine the academic documents you will need to provide for each of the completed credentials you would like assessed. You may use the Request Official Academic Records to have your former university send us these documents. NOTE: It is the client's responsibility to make this arrangement. CES cannot order these documents for you.

    All official academic records must be mailed from the issuing institution in a sealed envelope to:

    Comparative Education Service
    University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
    c/o Research Department (Canadian Immigration Programs)
    158 St. George Street, Toronto, ON
    M5S 2V8
    Canada

    Note: If these documents are submitted by the applicant or another party, they are not considered to be official, even if they are submitted in a sealed envelope.
    All documents submitted for assessment become the property of CES and will not be returned. Official academic records issued directly to CES by the institution will not be released to the applicant.

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  4. Does CES accept electronic official academic records?

    CES accepts official documents sent through secure electronic delivery services. If your institution provides such service, please have the document access information sent to ces.transcripts@utoronto.ca.
    NOTE: This email address is NOT for customer service inquiries or for submission of missing documents. Please contact us for customer service related questions.

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  5. What if my required documents are not in English or French?

    If your academic or government-issued documents were not originally issued in either English or French, you will need to provide a colour copy of the final award and transcript in the original language, as well as an official English or French translation. Official documents sent directly by institutions do not have to be translated. CES requires that translations be completed by a professional translator, but does not require them to be notarized. An official translation must clearly identify the translator and bear their stamp or signature. Photocopies of original translations are accepted. CES accepts professional translations done outside of Canada. Remember to include complete copies of your documents in the original language along with translations.

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  6. How can I get an official translation?

    If your documents are not already translated, you can contact the Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario or check your local business directory (Yellow Pages, Canada411.ca). We do not endorse any particular translators or translation agencies. Remember to include color photocopies of your documents in the original language along with the translations. Photocopies of official translations are acceptable.

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  7. My institution’s official documents will be in a language other than English or French. Do they need to be translated?

    We do not expect institutions to include translations with their documents; they can be sent in the original language. CES has a diverse staff that can read many different languages.

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  8. Do I need to provide colour photocopies?

    Yes. All photocopies of official documents must be in full colour. Black and white copies will not be accepted.

    If you submit black and white copies to us, your application package will be considered incomplete and it will not be processed. To avoid any delays CES requires the following in colour photocopies:

    • Your government-issued photo identification showing your date of birth with official English or French translation (if applicable).
    • Both sides of the award for each completed program of study (degree, diploma or certificate) in its original language with official English or French translation (if applicable).
    • of both sides of your academic records (transcripts, statement of marks) for each completed program of study in their original language with official English or French literal word-for-word translation (if applicable).

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  9. Do I need to send original documents for transcripts, certificates, identification?

    No. CES does not require original documents from the client. Documents submitted will not be returned.

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  10. Do I need to certify or notarize the required colour photocopies and documents?

    No. CES does not require notarized or attested copies of the required documents.

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  11. What happens if I submit my application and it is incomplete?

    CES will notify you by email, explain the problem, and provide you a list of what is required. You will be given specified amount of time to provide the necessary documentation. If you do not provide these documents, your application and accompanying documents will not be processed, and your file will be closed. If your file is more than two years old, a reactivation service fee of $49 +13% HST is applicable. You may also need to resubmit your documents in accordance with CES’ current documentation requirements. All CES service fees are final and non-refundable.

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  12. What do you need first: my application, or the official documents from my institution?

    The order in which they are received does not matter. We recommend that you send both as soon as possible to avoid delays. Once either document arrives, CES will make a note in our client database and put it on file. We use this database to match up documents and applications received by mail.

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  13. How will CES match the official documents from my former institution to my application? Will you give me a reference number for my institution?

    We match your documents by using your name, which will appear on all official documentation from the former institution. No reference number is necessary. Documents received are noted in our client database. If you have changed your name since your studies, be sure to include this information with your application so we can match documents.

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Application Process and Other Service Requests

  1. How do I apply for an educational credential assessment for General Use?

    List your programs in chronological order: start with the first program you studied, and finish with the most recent one.

    • Use the names of the degrees/diplomas as they appear on your documents or translations.
    • Please read all the conditions in the Informed Applicant’s Agreement and Consent section of the Application form before you accept/sign it. Additional information is listed in the CES Terms & Conditions page.
    • To ensure that your application package is complete, use the checklist of required documents listed on the General Use Credential Assessment Form.

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  2. Does CES provide a course-by-course assessment?

    No. We do not provide course-by-course assessments at this time. This service might be provided in the future. Updates/changes to our services will be posted on our website.

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  3. Can someone represent me in this process?

    Yes. You may have someone represent you. To do so you are required to complete the Designate or Withdraw Representation Third-Party-Release-Information.

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  4. Can I submit my documents online or by fax?

    You may submit your application and attached documents online or by mail. We encourage you to submit your application online because of the lower cost. You may NOT submit by fax.

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  5. What is the expected processing turnaround time?

    If you submit your application online, you can track its progress online by checking My Access - Student Login, then select “My Applications” from the menu on the left.

    We do our best to offer our clients accurate processing time estimates. Our current processing time estimates are based on receipt of all documents. In order to process your application and complete your report, we must receive all sealed official academic records from each of the institutions listed on your application

    Estimates are not guaranteed, and may change without notice. These estimates are based on the average time it currently takes to process a completed application. Visit our Processing Times page

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  6. What if I find an omission or error on my assessment report?

    CES will issue a corrected assessment report if an error or omission has been made. Please note that we are only able to do this within six months of the original date of the report.

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  7. If I am not satisfied with the assessment, can I get a refund?

    No. When you submit your application (online or paper) you provide consent to CES as having read and understood the Applicant’s Agreement section as well as the CES Terms & Conditions that all fees are final and non-refundable.  No refunds are issued, even if the report states that your credentials are not recognized.

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  8. What happens if I disagree with the assessment?

    CES is a proud member of the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada and abides by the following standards of professional practice.

    • Pan-Canadian Quality Assurance Framework for the Assessment of International Academic Credentials
    • Recommendation on Criteria and Procedures for the Assessment of Foreign Qualifications adopted under the 1997 Lisbon Recognition Convention.

    CES Credential Assessors are experts in international education systems, and can answer any questions you might have regarding the results of your assessment. If you still disagree with the assessment, you may submit a written appeal.

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  9. How do I initiate an appeal?

    Your appeal must be submitted in writing within 90 days of the date your Assessment Report was issued. In your appeal letter, please state your reasons for disagreeing with the outcome and provide documentation that supports your claims. Your appeal will be reviewed by a Senior Assessor. Once this review is completed, you will be notified of the outcome in writing. If your appeal is successful, CES will issue a revised Assessment Report and your appeal fee will be refunded. A service fee of $199 is applicable.

    A service fee of $199 is applicable.

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  10. If I already have an assessment done by CES, can I add another credential?

    Yes. You can add a credential to a completed ECA Report for $99. Please contact CES using the CES Online Contact Form for further instructions on how to apply for this service.

    You will receive two original copies and an electronic copy of your ECA report for the additional qualification.

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  11. Does CES assess professional credentials, certifications or licenses?

    No. CES does not assess professional certifications or licenses.

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  12. Can I obtain duplicate copies of my CES Assessment?

    Yes. Additional copies of your assessment report may be ordered at the time of the original assessment or at a later date, provided that CES has an electronic copy of your report on file.

    CES assessment reports issued after 1997 are available in most cases, but those issued prior to 1997 are no longer available. We process duplicate copies within five business days.

    The service fee is $29 +HST for each additional copy of the assessment report.

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  13. Can CES send my Assessment Report directly to a Third Party?

    Yes. In most cases, CES will be able do so. You must complete the Request Duplicate-Copies-and-or-Send-to-Third-Party. The service fee is $29 for each copy to be sent.

    CES will not send your assessment report to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on your behalf.

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Authentication, Verification and Equivalency

  1. How does CES determine the Canadian equivalency of my credentials?

    CES is recognized by the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) and abides by its General Guiding Principles for Good Practice and follows established methodology and guidelines that conform to the Pan-Canadian Quality Assurance Framework for the Assessment of International Academic Credentials.

    CES has almost 50 years of experience in assessing international credentials. We have an extensive library of reference materials which is updated regularly, and we conduct original research to track ongoing changes in educational systems worldwide. Our resource materials include the International Handbook of Universities, the Commonwealth Universities Yearbook, and the World List of Universities, to name a few. In addition, CES consults with other experts in international and Canadian education, special publications regarding educational systems, ministries of education and other government agencies of various countries, as well as embassies and consulates.

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  2. Will CES contact my educational institution?

    CES reserves the right to contact institutions for document verification.

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  3. Does CES verify documents submitted for assessment?

    Yes. We ask for official academic records and reserve the right to contact issuing institutions to verify document authenticity. This may impact the time it takes to process your assessment. You will be required to pay any fees associated with the verification of your documents if your former educational institutions require it.

    In falsification or alteration of a document is discovered, no assessment is issued and any existing reports are rescinded. The assessment fee will not be refunded. Related government departments and other credential assessment agencies will be notified. It is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada to present fraudulent documents or qualifications.

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  4. How do I verify whether a CES Assessment report is authentic?

    If you have been presented with a CES assessment report and want to verify its authenticity, have the individual complete the Designate or Withdraw Representation Third-Party-Release-Information and send it, together with a copy of the CES assessment report, and email it to ces.info@utoronto.ca.

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Application Fees and File Status

  1. How much does an educational credential assessment cost?

    A complete list of all the educational credential assessment service fees is available for your reference. Please note, you will be responsible for additional fees as they pertain to the issuing of official academic records.

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  2. Who covers the cost of document verification?

    CES reserves the right to contact the issuing authority at any time during the assessment process to verify the documents even though official transcripts might have been received from the issuing body. Many universities provide verification free of charge; however, if your former institution requires a fee for verification, you will be required to pay it. If an institution must wait until payment is made before verifying documents, this will cause a delay in overall service time.

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  3. If additional documentation or information is required from my educational institution, how long will CES keep my file open?

    It might be necessary for CES to correspond with your educational institution(s) to request additional supporting documentation or information. CES will keep your application active for at least six (6) months from the date it is received. After six months, if CES has not been able to obtain the necessary documentation or information from your educational institution(s), your file may be closed. CES will send you a note listing the outstanding documentation/information needed from your institution, CES reserves the right to close your file.

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General Questions

  1. What if my personal contact information changes after submitting my application?

    For online applications: All personal contact information (mailing address) can be updated in the My Profile section of your Student Login page.

    For paper applications: Please use CES Online Contact Form

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  2. Do I need to have an educational credential assessment from CES in order to apply to U of T?

    No. The University of Toronto does not require any kind of assessment of your academic credentials for admission. Visit the UofT undergraduate and graduate websites to learn about their admission requirements.

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  3. Can I include another person’s application under my online account?

    No. Each applicant is required to create his/her own individual account using the CES online system, and the application must be created under that same account.

    If you would like to designate someone to represent you in the application process, please fill in the “Release Information” section on the online application form or download and submit the completed Designate Third Party, Release Information Form.

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  4. Once I start an online application, how long is it kept active before it expires?

    Online applications with “In progress” status will expire and will be cancelled if they have been inactive for 30 days. If your application has expired and cancelled, please create and submit a new application.

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  5. I am having trouble downloading (or printing) the CES application forms. What should I do?

    Try opening the application form link using Internet Explorer (instead of Google Chrome or Firefox), or save the file as a PDF document and open it using Adobe Reader.

    If you are still experiencing issues, contact CES and we will send you a copy of the application by email.

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  6. Can I pick up my educational credential assessment report in person?

    Yes. Please select the pick-up option when you complete your application. Otherwise all assessment reports will be shipped using the delivery method you indicate in your application. Costs associated with other delivery options are listed on the Service Fees page.

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  7. Are there qualifications that CES does not assess?

    CES does not assess:

    • Apprenticeships, Competency based/Vocational qualifications/Training (e.g. City and Guilds Certificates, Trade certificates, National Vocational Qualifications, Massage or Shiatsu Therapy Training, Caregiver training, Personal Support Worker Training, Montessori Training, Microsoft Training)
    • In-company training
    • Professional licenses, memberships in professional bodies/associations and learned societies (e.g. Association of Chartered Certified Accountants [ACCA] - examinations or fellow or Member of the Association, Institution of Engineers, Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Royal College of Surgeons, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan [ICAP], British Computer Society)
    • Short-term, non-formal, non-academic programs
    • Board of Examination in General Nursing and Midwifery diplomas (e.g. Pakistan Nursing Council)
    • Second-language training programs (e.g. ESL)
    • Work experience
    • In-progress academic programs
    • Certificates issued for professionally-oriented studies in conjunction with academic   studies (e.g. Certificat de Absolvire (Graduation Certificate) from the Teacher Training Department or Pedagogical Seminar)
    • Canadian postsecondary qualifications

    Please note, CES does not issue assessment reports based on third-party assessments (e.g. statements or certificates of equivalency) and it does not currently undertake course-by-course assessments.

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  8. Does CES evaluate credentials from all institutions and countries?

    CES is recognized by the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) and abides by its General Guiding Principles for Good Practice. CES also follows established methodology and guidelines that conform to the Pan-Canadian Quality Assurance Framework for the Assessment of International Academic Credentials and reflects the placement practices of Canadian universities.

    CES has almost 50 years of experience in assessing international credentials. We have an extensive library of reference materials which is updated regularly, and we conduct original research to track ongoing changes in educational systems worldwide. Our resource materials include the International Handbook of Universities, the Commonwealth Universities Yearbook, and the World List of Universities, to name a few. Note: The Comparative Education Service reserves the right not to accept an application for assessment.

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  9. Will you assess professional credentials, certifications or licenses?

    No. Only an appropriate professional association and/or licensing body can determine whether such qualifications meet equivalent Canadian standards.

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  10. What happens to personal and financial information that I submit to CES?

    We do not sell or rent CES mailing lists, email lists, or any other personal information. Your contact information is used by CES for communication purposes only and is not shared with other institutions without your authorization. All financial information is removed from our system once payment has been processed. Absolutely no one, except your financial institution, has access to your credit card information. CES adheres to the University of Toronto’s privacy policies and procedures.

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  11. How do I find out if a professional organization will accept a CES assessment?

    Before you apply for assessment, we advise you to contact the regulatory body first to find out what their specific requirements are. If they do not conduct their own assessments, ask them if they accept assessments from the Comparative Education Service.

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  12. My question was not answered in this FAQ section.

    If you still have questions, please contact CES and a CES representative will respond as quickly as possible. We receive a high volume of email, so we ask for your patience as we work to answer all inquiries. Please note, we can answer questions about the process of applying to CES for an educational credential assessment report, but we cannot answer questions about rules or criteria for immigration to Canada, or comment on whether you are eligible to apply for immigration under any particular program.

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