Foreign Credentials Evaluation Assistance
This information is specifically for employers. If you are a job seeker looking for credential evaluation assistance, see our page for job seekers.
This information is intended to assist employers in the United States and Canada who have job applicants with international degrees in library and information science.
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. An individual who has received his/her degree from an institution that is included on the countries' lists of accredited institutions/programs is considered acceptable for employment in the United States. A list of the specific institutions can be found at:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
For more guidance, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has created Guidelines for Professional Library/Information Educational Programs.
The American Library Association does not conduct evaluations of transcripts or credentials or make recognition decisions.
If you want to hire someone who received his/her degree outside of the U. S., you may want to consider having the credentials evaluated by an independent agency.
There is no governmental agency that specifically monitors, approves or certifies foreign credential evaluation services in the United States. Therefore, most individuals and agencies that conduct credential evaluations are affiliated with professional associations. Membership in one of these associations often requires a rigorous screening and application procedure. Members must usually adhere to strict standards of professional ethics and go through a recertification process periodically.
Choosing a foreign educational credential evaluation service is similar to choosing other professional service providers. When selecting an independent evaluator, you might consider if they are members of a professional credential evaluator association. Several credential evaluator associations are listed below.
Other Questions to Ask When Choosing a Credential Evaluation Agency*
- Does the credential evaluation agency have quick and efficient procedures for answering customer queries? Are they only available online, or can you speak to an actual person?
How long does the credential evaluation agency keep their records?
Does the evaluator offer the type of credential evaluation required for your purposes? Is it for employment or academic purposes? Do they provide course by course evaluation, overall documents evaluation, and/or professional work experience evaluation?
Are the credential evaluation reports presented in the necessary format for the intended purpose?
How competitive are the fees for the credential evaluation report?
What is the average time taken to receive completed credential evaluation reports? What kind of rush period/emergency policies does the credential evaluation agency have?
Can the credential evaluator able to provide genuine client references/reviews? How good and reliable are they?
Is it possible to obtain more copies of the credential evaluation from the evaluator if needed in the future and what is the procedure to obtain the same? Is there a fee?
How long has the credential evaluation agency been in this business?
What is their refund policy in case of withdrawal of the evaluation request?
Can the type of evaluation request be changed once placed? What sort of penalties apply?
What policy or recourse does the credential evaluation agency have to handle disputes?
*Questions from International Student.
These are just a few questions to ask when considering credential evaluation services.
Please note carefully that ALA cannot recommend a specific agency, nor does the provision of information on our site in any way imply ALA's endorsement of the results of an evaluation.
Once you receive the determination, you can move forward with making a hiring decision. If the evaluation indicates that the course work is equivalent to master’s level study, then you can feel confident in proceeding with your hiring procedures. If the evaluation indicates that the credentials are lower than a master’s level, you will have to consider if you want to accept the person without a master’s level degree. Whatever choice you make, the hiring decision is strictly up to you.
If you require additional assistance please contact: Beatrice Calvin, Manager, Professional Development, ALA/HRDR, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611, 800/545-2433 ext. 4280 or firstname.lastname@example.org.