Many Filipino professional always ask the question “Why do I need to upgrade my education being gained in the Philippines so I can practice my profession in Canada?” Is the education in the Philippines far beyond that of Canada? The answer is NO.
The Canadian educational system is somewhat similar to that of the Philippines in content and it is up to the individual to prove that this education is equivalent to its Canadian counterpart through an in-place process through proper “evaluation” and “recognition”.
Most immigrants who landed in Canada that gain their engineering education in their home country misconstrue the basic difference between “Evaluation” and “Recognition”.
In a nutshell, the latter is a more complex process and unfortunately, one of the main ingredients for your Engineering Professional License.
As a skilled immigrant, education is one of the requirements for you to gain points in the new Express Entry program of the Canadian government. For those who landed in Canada using the old Federal Skilled Worker Program, education was also one of the requirements. The process for you to prove your education is through academic credential evaluation. Hence, Academic Credential Evaluation summarizes its definition and purpose as follows:
1. To prove that you have that education, and that education was gained by you.
2. To prove that the total time you spent in school is equivalent to that of the Canadian education system.
3. To prove that the English, Math and Science courses you took from your home country has equivalent content and number of credit hours in Canada.
4. To prove that the educational institution you attended exists and recognized by the governing body of your home country.
Credential evaluation lies on the objective of establishing that the individual really has gained the basic education necessary to compete in Canadian society for eventually to contribute to Canadian workforce.
On the other hand, Academic Credential Recognition are governed by the different Provincial Regulatory body which are somewhat similar in different provinces but have their own and specific requirements. In Alberta, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) are the governing body for the assessment, accreditation, regulation and enforcement for all Engineering and Geoscience Professionals. The Association is responsible for the self-regulation of these professional in the Province of Alberta.
These Regulatory Associations recognize the credentials submitted by professional on the following conditions:
1. That the professional degree obtained by a professional is equivalent to that of a degree obtained from Canadian Institutions.
2. If the International Degree is not equivalent or lacking in Canadian Academic Equivalency, the professional is required to take Technical Exams.
3. Requiring the professional to document professional experience gained outside Canada.
4. Requiring the professional to undergo at least one year of Canadian Experience in his/her field under the supervision of a Professional Engineer recognized by the Accrediting body.
5. An interview maybe conducted to establish that the professional experience is on the level of an engineer.
6. Provide professional references which are familiar from your work and past employments.
7. Require the professional to undergo further studies in Canada in technical courses.
8. Require the professional to take and pass the Professional Practice and Ethics Exams.
In summary, credential recognition to work as an engineering Canada is a complex process and requires a lot of patience and perseverance.
For Filipino Engineers, it is never too late to acquire recognition as an engineer in Canada.After all, working hard is our daily grind.