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The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials

Learn about the two terminology guides

CICIC's English Terminology Guide for Academic Credential Assessment in Canada was developed as a pan-Canadian primary reference source for the field of academic credential assessment and recognition.

The Guide de terminologie française de l'évaluation des diplômes d'études au Canada is the French-language companion to the English Terminology Guide for Academic Credential Assessment in Canada.

Both terminology guides:
  • are original versions, in that one is not a translation of the other; and
  • contain distinct — but by no means comprehensive — inventories of terms used in English- and French-speaking communities in Canada.

The two guides each contain approximately 200 terms associated with the practice of academic credential assessment and recognition in Canada.

Each term has:
  • a definition or a link to its synonym;
  • associated terms that may have a similar or related meaning;
  • an external source (in some cases);
  • a French/English translation.

There are no printed versions of the terminology guides. However, users are able to print individual terms from CICIC's Web site or point other users to the on-line version.


Learn about the development of the terminology guides

There are various terms, definitions, and nomenclatures used in the field of academic credential assessment and recognition, and all of these may be called different things in different countries. They can also be understood in a number of different ways, depending on who is interpreting them. This can create confusion and misunderstanding for newcomers to Canada, as well as for stakeholders involved in the field of academic credential assessment and recognition. Moreover, inconsistent use of terminology among the academic credential assessment community could impede cooperative efforts toward consistent and portable assessment results.

In 2011, CICIC published an updated version of its English Terminology Guide for Academic Credential Assessment in Canada (and its French-language companion): The development of the terminology guides was based on:
  • consultations through a working group composed of stakeholders from various regions in Canada who were mainly working for:
    • academic credential assessment services;
    • educational institutions;
    • regulatory bodies; and
    • federal, provincial, and territorial governments.
  • extensive research on other related publications produced within and outside Canada, to support working-group discussions; and
  • the first (1996) and second (2003) editions of these guides.
The terminology guides are intended to:
  • facilitate communication between subject-matter experts and stakeholders involved in the assessment and recognition of academic credentials in Canada; and
  • assist individuals going through an assessment and recognition process to understand how terminology is used in Canada.

Get involved in this initiative

CICIC seeks to foster a climate of information-sharing and open dialogue within the pan-Canadian community of academic credential assessors.

Academic credential assessors are invited to:
  • provide additional information or comment on existing published information;
  • propose new terminology that may be relevant to their particular context in Canada.

CICIC welcomes contributions to the ongoing expansion and improvement of these terminology guides to ensure that they reflect the practices of academic credential assessors in Canada. Contributions can be submitted through CICIC's tool box and/or by contacting us directly.