Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (ACESC)
Table of Contents
The Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region (known as the Lisbon Recognition Convention), 1997
The Alliance and Quality Assurance
The formation of the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (the Alliance) arose out of the recognition of the importance of developing a quality assurance framework for credential assessment services that would promote high quality and portable assessments across Canada.
Membership in the Alliance is voluntary and open to any private or public academic credential assessment service that meets the membership terms, including adherence to the Pan-Canadian Quality Assurance Framework for the Assessment of International Academic Credentials (QAF). Academic credential assessment services become members of the Alliance when they sign the declaration to abide by the terms of membership and the QAF. Membership is based on self-assessment and mutual trust.
The Alliance recognizes that education is the exclusive jurisdiction of the provinces and territories of Canada and that educational systems vary from one jurisdiction to another. In all cases, assessments provided by members of the Alliance are advisory and respect the autonomy of employers, postsecondary institutions and professional regulatory bodies with regards to hiring, admission, membership, and certification decisions. The Alliance also acknowledges the importance of the portability of academic credentials from one jurisdiction to another, and has built within its own framework, mechanisms for inter-provincial recognition of academic credential assessments among member services.
At the international level, the formation of the Alliance in Canada is consistent with and serves to reinforce the international norms for good practice in the assessment of international academic credentials established in the Council of Europe/UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, including the Recommendation on Criteria and Procedures for the Assessment of Foreign Qualifications.
The following services are the founders of the Alliance :
- International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES, in British Columbia);
- International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS, in Alberta);
- Ministère de l'Immigration et des Communautés culturelles [MICC] in Québec, originally known as Service des équivalences d'études;
- Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC, a unit of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada [CMEC]).
II. Objectives of Quality Assurance among members of the Alliance
The Pan-Canadian Quality Assurance Framework for the Assessment of International Academic Credentials (QAF), to which all members of the Alliance adhere, offers effective mechanisms to establish quality criteria and standards among Alliance members. These mechanisms also prescribe consistent standards of good practice to the assessment of academic credentials. Consistent standards ensure similar assessments for similar cases. However, decisions may vary according to the territorial or provincial system of education.
The QAF is not intended as a monitoring process. Alliance members will not play an active monitoring role for other member services. Membership is voluntary and relies on a process based on self-reporting and mutual trust.
The primary beneficiaries of the terms of membership of the Alliance and the members' adherence to the QAF are individuals who require an assessment of their international academic credentials, and organizations that use academic credential assessments. The major objectives of implementing the QAF are:
- Assuring clients and organizations that use academic credential assessments (e.g., employers, professional regulatory bodies, immigration officers, and postsecondary institutions) that Alliance members follow quality criteria and standards;
- Ensuring fair and equitable treatment of all clients of Alliance member services;
- Improving the portability of academic credential assessments and facilitating the recognition of quality services across Canada;
- Promoting the consistent application of fair and credible assessment standards across Canada;
- Providing guidance in the establishment of new services in Canada.