Determining the Equivalency of your Foreign Degree

Recognition of foreign credentials is a challenge for all professions in Canada. The issue was mentioned in the Speech from the Throne in September 2002, and there have been many articles in newspapers and magazines on how various professions and trades deal with credentials obtained outside Canada. The CLA/ACB office frequently receives calls from prospective employers, and from job seekers, asking about the equivalency of foreign credentials. In the fall of 2002, CLA Executive Council established a task force to prepare recommendations for a CLA/ACB policy on foreign credentials.

The task Force has consulted with CLA/ACB members, individuals with foreign credentials living in Canada and trying to find work, Canadian library schools, and national library associations in Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

The responses we received during their consultations varied greatly.

The task force recommended start with several premises:

  • That librarianship is an unregulated profession in Canada.
  • That a master’s level qualification is the basic qualification for a professional librarian in Canada. This is the qualification offered by all library schools in Canada, and CLA/ACB participates in the accreditation of these schools.
  • That CLA/ACB does not have the resources, or the mandate, to investigate the equivalency of foreign credentials.

The task force put forward a number of recommendations including:

  • That CLA/ACB accept the American Library Association definition of what constitutes a professional qualification: “The master’s degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association (or from a master’s level program in library and information studies accredited or recognized by the appropriate national body of another country) is the appropriate professional degree for librarians.”
  • That CLA/ACB recognise, on a reciprocal basis, professional qualifications at the master’s level from library schools in Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain. [ALA does this, on the basis that their programs of accredition are similar to ours.]
  • That CLA/ACB refer questions on qualifications from other countries to the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC).

To determine the equivalency of your credentials, please visit the CICIC web site at

The Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques does maintain a career opportunities section on its web site. To get a sense of the types of positions and salaries available across the country, please visit the Career Listings page.

If you require information on living and working in Canada, please visit the Government of Canada’s web site at: