How do I know when during the year exams will take place?
Visit the Exam schedule page of the website. The exam schedule also indicates when you can register for your exams.
How will I know MY exam start time?
When you register for your exam, you will select the exam date that works for you. About two weeks before the exam session starts, you will be able to find your scheduled exam start time in the NCA portal under the “Exam History” tab. If you do not see it there one week before the exam, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will I know when my exam is scheduled?
NCA will send you an email to let you know the date and time of your exam.
If I want to take a break during my exam, what do I do?
Notify the Proctor that you wish to take a break and do not take it until the Proctor tells you it is okay to do so. The exam clock will continue to run during your break.
Will the age of my law degree affect the results of the assessment?
If you completed your legal studies more than five years before your file is ready to be assessed, and you do not have three years of work experience in the last five years, your qualifications will not be considered current. For each five years that your legal studies are stale – up to 15 years – the NCA will assign you either Contracts, Torts or Property.
If, for example, your law degree is 10 years old, you will need to complete two of those subjects. If those subjects were already assigned, you will be assigned two of the following subjects:
- Business Organizations
- Civil Procedure
- Commercial Law
- Family Law
- Tax Law
If more than 15 years have passed, you will be required to complete a minimum of four subjects, with the final number determined at the sole discretion of the Executive Director. When more than 10 subjects in total have been assigned, the Executive Director will require you to complete them, or acceptable alternatives, through an approved Canadian common law program or approved law program.
For complete details related to the age of your degree, refer to subsection 9.2 of the NCA Policies.
What is the NCA?
The National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) is a standing committee of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. Committee members include administrators of provincial and territorial law societies and of the practising bar, and representatives of the Council of Canadian Law Deans.
We help Canada’s law societies protect the public interest by making sure that anyone who earned their legal education and training outside Canada has the knowledge they need to practise law in Canada. We tell people how to improve their knowledge of Canadian law so it compares to the knowledge they would get from an approved Canadian common law degree program.
The NCA does this using a process that assesses your academic training and professional experience. Then the NCA uses a single standard to determine what exams or studies you need to complete to either fill gaps in your knowledge or show that you have the knowledge you need.
What is the purpose of the NCA assessment?
During the assessment, the NCA reviews your academic and professional experience. We find gaps between your education and training on one hand, and the knowledge you would get from an approved Canadian law school program on the other hand. Then we assign exams or studies to make sure you meet our standard, called the National Requirement.
Canadian law school graduates, as well as NCA candidates, must meet this standard to qualify for bar admissions in a common law jurisdiction in Canada.
Who can apply for assessment?
The NCA evaluates the qualifications of anyone with a law degree, whether you are:
- a Canadian citizen who got your legal education abroad
- a Canadian civil law graduate
- a newcomer to Canada with an overseas legal education
- someone considering immigrating to Canada.
Can I become licensed to practise law in the common law provinces or territories of Canada without getting a Certificate of Qualification?
If you have studied law abroad, you must have an NCA Certificate of Qualification to qualify for law society bar admissions in all common law provinces and territories in Canada.
What is the purpose of the Certificate of Qualification?
A Certificate of Qualification proves you have shown the NCA that your knowledge of Canadian law is similar to the knowledge of someone who got their law degree through an approved Canadian common law program. The NCA gives you a certificate once you finish the process.
Is getting a Certificate of Qualification the same as receiving a law degree from a Canadian law school?
No. Getting a Certificate of Qualification is not the same as earning an LL.B., a J.D. or any other degree from a Canadian law school. But it does show that you have knowledge similar to someone who has those qualifications.