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.
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.
How many exams can I expect to take to earn a Certificate of Qualification?
The number of exams, subject areas or courses you will need to take depends on your legal education and professional experience. You will generally need to take at least the five mandatory Canadian law subjects.
Read section 5. (Legal Education) of the NCA Policies to get a clearer idea of the specific subjects that the NCA may assign you. In most cases, you can take equivalent Canadian law school courses instead of the exams. In other cases, you may be required to attend a Canadian law school and complete specific courses.
What are the subjects the NCA usually requires applicants to take?
NCA assessments focus on the core common law subjects in which applicants must show they are competent, including the five Canadian subjects that are mandatory for all applicants:
- Canadian Administrative Law (mandatory)
- Canadian Constitutional Law (mandatory)
- Canadian Criminal Law (mandatory)
- Foundations of Canadian Law (mandatory)
- Canadian Professional Responsibility (mandatory)
The links explain why some courses in this list are mandatory.
Do I need to take a language test?
You must do language testing if:
- your law degree was offered in a language other than French or English, or
- your law degree was offered in English or French in a jurisdiction where the official language is neither English nor French
To prove your competence in English, you need to score at least 7.0 for writing, speaking, reading and listening on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.
To prove your competence in French, you will need to score at least 7.0 for writing, speaking reading and listening on the TESTCan test.
If you can prove that you have taken either of the tests above and met the standard of 7.0 within two years of the NCA receiving your application, you may not have to take a language competency test. For more information, consult section 11. (Language Proficiency Requirement) of the NCA Policies.