We can give you only a rough estimate of how much our process will cost and how long it will take you to complete. Each applicant finishes at their own speed and according to their own ability. This outline of all costs and timelines gives you an idea of what to expect.

General timeline

You must complete your NCA assigned subject areas within five years of the date that we issue your assessment result. That does not mean it will take you five years to finish. Many factors can affect the length of the process:

  • Whether you choose to write exams or take courses at a Canadian law school
  • The number of requirements you must meet
  • The number of attempts you require to pass your exams and courses
  • Your personal situation, such as family obligations, work, etc.

Application process

Here are the timelines that come into play when you apply to the NCA:

  • Gathering documents – Takes two to six weeks
    This process can take far longer in situations where, for example, your degree is more than 10 years old, or you earned your degree in a country where administration is not efficient.
  • Assessment process – Takes six to eight weeks
  • Meeting assignments – You are given five years
    • Best-case scenario – 10 months
    • Average time to completion – About two years

Timeframes for completing NCA exams

  • Registration – Opens six to eight weeks before exam dates
  • Exams – Take place twelve times a year or once each month,  (see our Exam Schedule)
  • Exam results – Available 10 to 12 weeks after the last exam scheduled
  • Exam failure – If you want to re-take an exam you may not register for it until you have received the results of your last attempt.
  • Exam appeal – The deadline to send in an appeal is two weeks after the date we make your exam material available to you for review. Once we have received your appeal, it will take another two to four weeks until you receive the decision.

Time considerations for the law school courses the NCA assigns you

  • Law school application dates and deadlines
  • Course schedules (when courses begin and end)
  • The date that the school releases your course marks
  • The time it takes for your law school to send the NCA your course marks and proof that you completed the course

Timeframe for Issuing Certificate of Qualification

  • It can take the NCA up to ten business days to notify a law society that we have issued you a Certificate of Qualification. We will also mail a hard copy certificate within three to six weeks of receiving your request.

Costs associated with the NCA process

*All costs are listed in Canadian dollars – Refund Policy

  • Assessment fee – Effective March 1, 2024, the fee will be $400 CDN plus applicable taxes
  • Assessment appeal fee – $285.00 plus taxes (will not apply unless you appeal your assessment result)
  • Exam fee – The fee for registration for each NCA exam is $475 CDN plus applicable taxes
  • Exam appeal fee – $250.00 per exam, plus taxes (will not apply unless you appeal your exam result)
  • Cancellation feesEffective March 1st, 2023 the fee to cancel an NCA exam is $100 per exam plus taxes (will not be a factor unless you cancel an exam)

Minimum cost: Approximately $3000.00, plus taxes

Law school courses (full-year enrolment)

  • Application fees – About $150.00, plus taxes
  • Tuition fees – $35,000 to $56,000 (some schools charge additional fees on top of tuition)

Minimum cost – $35,450.00 (for a full year’s enrolment)