Important Changes to NCA Assessment Policy

The NCA certifies that an applicant has:

  • an understanding and knowledge of Canadian law, and
  • knowledge equivalent to that of a graduate of a Canadian common law program.

Equivalence to an approved Canadian common law, law degree serves as the benchmark when the NCA evaluates applicants with legal education or training in another country or in a Canadian civil law program. The Certificate of Qualification does not, however, duplicate a Canadian law degree, which varies between law schools. NCA applicants may be asked to challenge examinations in subjects that all law schools may not require for a law degree.

In January 2014, the NCA approved two changes to its assessment policies. The first change is detailed in policy paragraph 1.2.5, and involves deadlines for an NCA applicant to complete their assigned requirements. The new policy gives all NCA applicants five (5) years from the date of their assessment to complete their requirements. This policy change applies to all active NCA files.

If your file was assessed on or after January 2009, you have five years to complete your assigned requirements and you do not need to contact the NCA for an extension. If your qualifications were assessed prior to January 2009 and you have not completed your assigned requirements, you must contact the NCA to request an extension. Your request must state the reasons for needing an extension.

The second change involves wording in policy paragraph 3 for the assessment of applicants with non-common law training; there are no substantive changes to this part of the NCA policy.

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