NOTE: These are not official definitions, but their intent is to promote a common understanding.
Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) - A trade agreement among provinces, territories, and the federal government that aims to make it easier for people to use their credentials to work anywhere in Canada, and to move goods and services across the country. Nunavut is the only Canadian jurisdiction that has not signed the AIT.
Assessment - Measures a candidate’s skills, knowledge, and credentials, against the standards they must meet to get a license or certificate. A candidate can be assessed using examinations, by evaluating their credentials and prior learning, or by asking them to demonstrate what they can do.
Assessment method(s) - Techniques used to gather different types of evidence. These include
Assessment, Principles of - A set of principles used for RPL to make sure an assessment is fair, flexibile, reliable, and valid. (see individual definitions)
Assessment process - The series of key steps that a trained assessor follows when working with a candidate.
Assessment tools - A collection of exercises, self-assessment documents, recording tools, resources, and supporting information developed to assess candidates.
Assessor - A person who is trained to use the assessment methods, tools, and resources and who is responsible for assessing a candidate’s skills, knowledge, and abilities.
Bridging Programs - Programs of study, courses, or activities to give candidates who are trained outside of Canada the skills and knowledge they need to work or take a post-secondary program within Canada. A bridging program is an example of an accommodation mechanism that complements the competencies or qualifications earned outside of Canada.
Chapter 7 of the AIT - Chapter 7 is the Labour Mobility chapter of the Agreement on Internal Trade. It allows people who are certified in one jurisdiction to register in any other Canadian jurisdiction without undertaking additional training or exams.
Competency-based Assessments - Measure skills and expertise by asking a candidate to demonstrate their competencies. Competency-based assessments allow individuals to show what they know and what they can do.
Documentation - For RPL purposes, it is evidence that supports a candidate’s claim that they have prior learning. Documentation includes things like transcripts, certificates, job descriptions, articles, support letters, and evaluations.
Essential Skills - The skills a person needs for work, learning, and life. They give the foundation for learning all other skills and allow people to move forward with their jobs and adapt to changes in the workplace.
Evaluation - Judging a candidate’s skills, knowledge, and abilities against a set of criteria, and recording the results.
Evidence - Information that compares a candidate’s competence against the standard. Evidence includes all the documentation that a candidate offers to support their prior learning. To be useful, evidence must be valid, authentic, sufficient, and current. There are three types of evidence:
Evidence collection - A way to assess a candidate: the candidate finds, creates, or gets from others the documents that will show an assessor their skills, learning, and achievements.
Evidence File - An organized collection of documents that verify a candidate’s skills, knowledge, and achievements.Evidence, Rules of - The rules of evidence that RPL uses to make sure a candidate’s evidence is valid, sufficient, authentic, and current. (see individual definitions)
Experiential learning (see Learning: Non-formal)
Fair Registration - The most-important value named in the Fair Registration Practices Act. The Review Officer is responsible to make sure all regulating bodies follow the Act and to promote fair registration. These are the components that organizations must use to assess and register candidates under the act
Fair Registration Practices Code - The section of the Fair Registration Practices Act that sets out the general duty for regulating bodies to follow practices that are transparent, objective, impartial, and follow a fair process and the specific duties that allow them to do that.
Fairness -One of the principles of assessment. A fair assessment follows these practices
Flexibility - One of the principles of assessment. A flexible assessment follows these practices
Formative assessment (see Assessment: Formative)
FRPA- Fair Registration Practices Act
Holistic - An approach which uses the whole learning process, and considers the many ways of knowing and understanding that include social, emotional, and cultural.
Informal Learning (see Learning)
Immigration Key Terms - [click here]
Internal Review - A rehearing, reconsideration, review or appeal or other process provided by a regulating body in respect of merits of a registration decision, regardless of the terminology used to describe the process.
Inter-rater reliability - How consistent the results are from those evaluating the same evidence.
International Qualifications Recognition (IQR)- The work, policies, and practices used to recognize the qualifications of a candidate who is educated outside Canada. The IQR field works with stakeholders who are involved in creating processes and policies to make sure regulating bodies follow the principles and values of quality assurance to assess a candidate for an educational program or work in a trade or profession.
Learning: Formal learning - Learning through programmes of education or training given by educators and trainers whose credentials are recognized, which leads to diplomas and qualifications that are also formally recognized.
Learning: Informal learning - Learning through experience in life and at work —also called experiential learning. The learner may not realize at the time that their experience has added to their knowledge, skills and competence
Learning: Non-formal learning - Learning that may be recognized with an informal certificate, that a learner takes through informal programs in the workplace, in the community, or through a volunteer organization or continuing education program.
Mentorship - An experienced worker gives ongoing advice and help to someone with less experience in the same work or field of study
Moderation - Assessors agree on a process for making assessments for a particular occupation or set of learning outcomes.
Non-formal learning (see Learning)
Observation/validation - An assessor watches a candidate do particular tasks that show their ability to work with particular competencies.
Occupation - A set of activities that make up a person’s usual or main work or business, especially as a way to earn a living.
Occupational Standards - The skills, knowledge, and abilities set by a regulatory body that a person needs to work in their occupation safely and competently.
Observership - A candidate spends part or all of a work day with a competent tradesperson or professional to observe the tasks they perform and the skills they use to do their job. The candidate does not take part in any of the work.
Pathways to Licensure - A model that gives all the steps for a candidate to take if they are educated outside Canada and want to work in Nova Scotia. The steps start before the candidate leaves their home country and include preparing, getting their qualifications assessed, and registering in their occupation.
Prior Learning - Any learning that a candidate has, including formal education, work and volunteer experience, and learning from other activities such as informal training, hobbies, travel, and living in a community life that gives them skills, knowledge, and abilities
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) - The process of identifying, assessing, and recognizing the skills, knowledge, and abilities that a candidate has gained through work experience, non-formal learning, and other prior learning. PLAR works with the many competencies a candidate has that are not part of their formal credentials
Proficiency level - The rank a candidate is given to show how well they perform a skill or where they fit within an area of competency.
Quality Assurance - The guidelines for RPL set out principles and values that make it a good-quality process
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) - Assesses the learning and credentials a candidate brings. There are three assessment programs
Reflective practice - Refers to thinking back on particular experiences to answer questions such as these
Registration in a Profession - The process a regulatory body uses to accept a candidate’s credentials and give them a title, license, or certificate to practice in a particular jurisdiction. Registration often refers to the final step in the process, which is getting a title, license, or certificate. For the Fair Registration Practices Act, it refers to all the steps a candidate must take: applying, being assessed, and registering.
Registration Review - The FRPA Review Office evaluates the processes each regulatory body uses to assess candidates who want to register to work with their organization. The purpose of these reviews is to make sure the registration processes are fair and so comply with Nova Scotia Fair Registration Practices Act
Regulated Occupation - An occupation where a regulatory body, with authority given by government, sets the standards for candidates to meet to qualify to practice in that occupation or hold a license, certificate or, where applicable, title in it.
Reliability - One of the principles of assessment. It refers to the consistency of the tools an assessor uses and to the ability of assessors to evaluate the same evidence with consistent or similar results – also called inter-rater reliability.
Restricted Licence - A regulatory body recognizes enough of a candidate’s credentials to allow them to practice their profession in a limited way
Review Officer - In Nova Scotia, this person supports regulators and makes sure they follow section 13 of the Fair Registration Practices Act, which falls under the Civil Services Act. The Review Officer is responsible to
Self-appraisal/self-assessment - A process a candidate follows to measure their own skills, knowledge, and abilities against particular standards and criteria.
Self-Assessment Tools - Processes or instruments that allow candidates to evaluate their qualifications and competencies by answering direct questions. Using these allows the candidate to assess their chances of finding work, being accepted into an educational program, or being recognized by a regulatory body.
Sufficiency - A rule that guides the type of evidence a candidate can submit. Sufficiency deals with the amount of evidence a candidate needs to show that they have the skills, knowledge, and ability they need.
Summative assessment (see Assessment: Summative)
Third Party Assessors - People or organizations other than the regulatory body that play a role in the assessment and registration process.
Validity - One of the principles of assessment. A valid assessment follows these practices