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Foreign Credentials Position Statement

Acknowledgment - Canadian Library Association (CLA): Approved June 20, 2003

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 position is based on several premises:

  • Librarianship is an unregulated profession in Canada.
  • 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 CFLA/FCAB participates in the accreditation of these schools.
  • CFLA/FCAB does not have the resources, or the mandate, to investigate the equivalency of foreign credentials.
  • CFLA/FCAB accepts the American Library Association (ALA) 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."
  • CFLA/FCAB recognises, on a reciprocal basis, professional qualifications at the master's level from library schools in Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain.
  • CFLA/FCAB refers questions on qualifications from other countries to the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) or other evaluating agencies.

Background Notes on Recognition of Foreign Credentials

From the September 2002 Speech from the Throne:

"The government will work with its partners to break down the barriers to the recognition of foreign credentials and will fast-track skilled workers entering Canada with jobs already waiting for them. It will also position Canada as a destination of choice for talented foreign students and skilled workers by more aggressively selecting and recruiting through universities and in key embassies abroad."

From the ALA's web page entitled: Foreign Credentials Evaluation Assistance Employer Information

The policy of the American Library Association (ALA) states:

"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."

The following countries have been identified as having "formal" accreditation processes and an individual who has received his/her degree from an institution in one of these countries is considered acceptable for employment in the United States.

CILIP (formerly The Library Association)

Reciprocal recognition of credentials from Australia and the US. Others are referred to The National Academic Recognition and Advisory Service.

ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association)

Accepts ALA and CILIP accredited qualifications. Others are considered on a case by case basis, using equivalencies from the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition.

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