OBTAINING A CREDENTIAL EVALUATION
Unlike most other countries, the U.S. systems of education and professional licensing are highly de-centralized. Specific procedures for recognizing foreign credentials vary by institution, state, profession, agency, and employer. It is up to the individual to research these procedures and then choose the right provider.
To get started, the two most important questions for your client to answer are:
- What is the purpose of the evaluation? (academic study, employment or licensing)
- Who is the "intended recipient"?
Recipients are the employers, academic institutions or licensing boards that will use the evaluation report to make a decision. They set their own policies and requirements for recognizing foreign qualifications, including who should do the evaluation. Become familiar with their requirements first – this will dictate the choice of provider and the type of evaluation your client needs.
Even in cases where the intended recipient provides no specific guidance, an individual should still choose an evaluation service carefully. Not all providers are reliable. In light of the lack of governmental regulation in this industry, the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) lists private, external credential evaluation services that adhere to professional standards. Be careful of “sponsored” links found through web searches (found in the shaded areas at the top or side of a Google or Bing search), as some services that advertise are not widely accepted, or may even be fraudulent.
Check the Website
Details of how to apply for a foreign credential evaluation will be posted on the website of the external credential evaluation service or the intended recipient (the licensing board, employer or university). This will include how documents are to be submitted from each country, translation requirements, fees and timetables.
Your client will need to indicate what type of evaluation is needed: a basic or more comprehensive evaluation.
- Basic evaluation reports provide a description of the foreign credential (e.g. 3-year Bachelor of Arts in Commerce from Delhi University, India) and advise recipients concerning the U.S. equivalency.
- Detailed reports list all subjects completed at the post-secondary level and mayalso provide an equivalent U.S. semester credit and grade. Some evaluations services will also calculate the U.S. Grade Point Average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale.
See FAQs on Credential Evaluation for more detailed guidance on obtaining a credential evaluation.