1. 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 those involved with the administration of provincial and territorial law societies, the practicing Bar, and representatives of the Council of Canadian Law Deans.
NCA’s primary mandate is to protect the public interest by assessing the legal education and professional experience of individuals who obtained their credentials outside Canada or in a Canadian civil law program, and want to apply for admission to a common law Bar in Canada.
2. What is the purpose of the NCA assessment?
The assessment is based on the academic and professional profile of each applicant. The NCA applies a standard on a national basis so that applicants with common law qualifications obtained outside Canada can apply, regardless of where they wish to practise in Canada.
In 2010, Canada’s law societies agreed on a uniform standard that graduates of Canadian common law programs must meet to enter law society admission programs. The National Requirement specifies the competencies and skills graduates must attain and the law school academic program and learning resources law schools must have in place. As of January 2015, the National Requirement applies to graduates of existing and prospective Canadian law schools, and NCA candidates. This means applicants do not need to satisfy different entrance standards to practise law in different common law provinces and territories of Canada.
Upon completion of its assessment, the NCA issues a report to the applicant describing the scope and extent of any further legal education required to demonstrate that their legal education and training is equivalent to that obtained in an approved Canadian common law program. Once the applicant has successfully completed the assigned requirements, the NCA issues a Certificate of Qualification. The Certificate is required to apply to a Canadian common law, law society. The societies are listed here.
3. Do I have to be a Canadian citizen to apply to the NCA for assessment?
No. The NCA evaluates the qualifications of all internationally-trained legal graduates, whether Canadian citizens who have obtained their legal education abroad, newcomers to Canada with an overseas legal education, or people considering immigrating to Canada. The NCA also assesses Canadian civil law graduates who wish to apply to a Canadian common law jurisdiction.
4. Can I become licensed to practise law in the common law provinces of Canada without obtaining a Certificate of Qualification?
The Canadian common law, law societies in Canada require the NCA’s Certificate of Qualification to access their Bar admissions process. Applicants with internationally-obtained legal qualifications can apply to the NCA regardless of the common law province or territory in which they wish to practise in Canada. The NCA does not evaluate the legal credentials for individuals who wish to apply for membership in the Barreau du Québec or the Chambre des notaires du Québec. These bodies each have their own evaluation procedures.
5. What is the purpose of the Certificate of Qualification?
A Certificate of Qualification is issued to individuals who demonstrate that their legal education and training is equivalent to an approved Canadian common law program. The NCA process certifies that an applicant has an understanding and knowledge equivalent to a graduate of an approved Canadian common law program.
6. Is getting a Certificate of Qualification the same as receiving a law degree from a Canadian law school?
No. Obtaining a Certificate of Qualification is not the same as receiving an LL.B., a J.D. or any other degree from a Canadian law school.
7. How can I know how many examinations I will be required to take as part of obtaining a Certificate of Qualification?
An NCA assessment normally requires an applicant to demonstrate competency in specific subjects, as described in NCA Policies. In most cases, applicants may choose to substitute NCA examinations with equivalent Canadian law school courses. In certain circumstances, as explained in the NCA assessment policies, an applicant may be required to attend a Canadian law school and successfully complete specific courses. The number of subjects, examinations, or courses depends upon the applicant’s individual background of legal education and professional experience. All applicants must request pre-approval of any law school courses taken to complete NCA requirements.
8. What are the subjects the NCA usually requires applicants to take?
NCA assessments focus on the core common law subjects in which applicants must demonstrate competence, including five Canadian subjects which are mandatory for all applicants. They are:
- Canadian Administrative Law (mandatory)
- Canadian Constitutional Law (mandatory)
- Canadian Criminal Law (mandatory)
- Foundations of Canadian Law (mandatory)
- Canadian Professional Responsibility (mandatory)
A document explaining the mandatory nature of the indicated course is available where indicated.
9. Do I need to take a language test?
If the language of instruction of your law degree was in a language other than French or English, or was in English and French, but in a jurisdiction where the official language is different, you will be required to undergo language testing. To prove competence in English, you will need to score a minimum of 7.0 for writing, speaking, reading and listening on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. For competence in French, you will need to score a minimum of 7.0 for, writing, speaking reading and listening on the TESTCan test. If satisfactory evidence can be produced that you have taken either of the prescribed tests and met the standard described above within two years of receipt of your application by the NCA, the NCA’s Managing Director may grant an exemption from the language competency requirement.
10. Why has the NCA requirement for a distance education degree changed from 8 one-semester courses at a Canadian law school and six NCA challenge exams to two years of in-class study at an approved common law institution?
The NCA requirement for distance education has changed in order to comply with the National Requirement, which came into effect in January 2015. The National Requirement is a uniform standard that graduates of Canadian common law programs must meet to enter law society admission programs. It specifies the competencies and skills graduates must have attained and the law school academic program and learning resources law schools must have in place. The National Requirement applies to graduates of existing and prospective Canadian law schools and NCA candidates.
With respect to what constitutes a Canadian law degree, the National Requirement states that:
- The law school’s academic program for the study of law consists of three academic years or its equivalent in course credits.
- The course of study consists primarily of in-person instruction and learning and/or instruction and learning that involves direct interaction between instructor and students.
Primarily is defined as two-thirds (or two years) therefore, all candidates must complete two years of in-class instruction during their legal education.
11. I obtained my qualifying law degree through a distance education program. How can I meet the NCA policy requirements of fulfilling the two year in-class requirement?
In order to meet the NCA policy requirement for distance education, you must complete two full years of in-class study as outlined in section 18.104.22.168.4 of the NCA’s Policies and Guidelines. This course of study must include successful completion of the following NCA core subjects: Canadian Administrative Law, Canadian Constitutional Law, Canadian Criminal Law, Foundations of Canadian law, Canadian Professional Responsibility, Contracts, Torts and Property, plus any other NCA approved courses to total two years of study. Such courses may include: Business Organizations, Family Law, Remedies, Taxation, Evidence, Civil Procedure, Commercial Law, Trusts and Real Estate.
If you are not able to meet all of the eight NCA core subject areas requirements within your two years of in-class attendance at an approved law school, you will be required to complete the outstanding requirements by writing the corresponding NCA challenge exams.
Please note that the five mandatory Canadian subject areas must be taken at an approved Canadian law school or, if you have already completed the two-year in-class requirement, by writing the corresponding NCA examinations.
You could consider any of the following options to complete requirements:
- One year of an LL.M., plus a Legal Practise Course (LPC) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) in the UK.
- Two one-year LL.M. programs (If you choose this option, you could complete an LL.M. at any approved law school in any common law jurisdiction, however, you would need to take the five mandatory Canadian subject areas at an approved Canadian law school, or successfully complete the five corresponding NCA challenge exams after completing two full years of in-class study).
- One two-year LL.M. program
All NCA applicants are responsible for researching options to meet the two-year in-class requirement and are required to seek pre-approval from the NCA with respect to their course selection to ensure that the courses they intend to take fulfill the NCA requirements assigned. To seek pre-approval, simply prepare a proposed plan of study and forward it to email@example.com.
12. My distance education program contained an in-class component. Will this affect the outcome of my assessment?
Attendance in-class at a local satellite campus may affect the outcome of your assessment, but an assessment must be completed to determine if that is the case. If you have participated in in-class sessions, in addition to submitting the documentation outlined in the Assessment Application, you are required to have the institution where you studied send a letter directly to the NCA outlining the nature of the in-class study, the subject areas covered and the number of hours spent in class. For the University of London, please note that the in-class component may only be recognized for those institutions that hold affiliate status.
13. I have extensive professional experience. Why did I receive the same number of recommended courses as other applicants from my jurisdiction who did not practise law?
The NCA assessment considers many factors but is primarily focused on academic qualifications. Bar admissions programs, licensure examinations and professional experience are all taken into account. Unless they specifically address the core common law subjects, they may not have a major impact on the assessment result.
14. If I get a Certificate of Qualification, am I admitted to the Bar?
No. The rules and regulations for admission to practise law in Canada are set by the provincial and territorial law societies. Information about the Bar admissions process can be obtained directly from each law society. The Certificate of Qualification is an essential preliminary step in the education and training program for admission into a law society outside of Quebec. In short, if you did not graduate from a common law degree program in Canada, the Certificate of Qualification is the first step to applying to a law society and becoming a licensed lawyer.
15. Do I have to go through the same articling process even though I have my Certificate of Qualification?
The rules and regulations for admission to practise law in Canada are set by the provincial and territorial law societies. Information about articling programs can be obtained directly from each law society.
16. I am considering attending law school overseas and I am wondering whether there is a list of fully accredited non-Canadian law schools approved by the National Committee on Accreditation?
The NCA does not accredit law programs and as such the NCA does not ‘approve’ non-Canadian law schools. Rather, the NCA researches law schools in other countries, including recognition from the national accreditation bodies in each jurisdiction (the American Bar Association in the United States, the Solicitor Regulation Authority and Bar Standards Board in the UK, the Bar Council of India in India, etc.), to assess applicants’ educational credentials. Consult the NCA Brochure for an overview of the NCA, if you plan to study law outside of Canada.
17. Can you give me advice on which overseas law school I should consider?
The NCA does not provide advice or recommendations regarding law school/program selection. It is incumbent on future applicants to ensure the school/program they are attending is sanctioned by the local Bar/Accreditation authority and that graduates of that school/program are eligible to be admitted to the local Bar, as that is one factor in an NCA assessment. Law school “reputation” is not a factor in NCA assessments.
18. What happens if there are NCA assessment policy changes during the time I am attending law school?
From time to time, NCA policies do change. Only current or “in force” NCA policy is relevant during assessment. That means that notwithstanding any previous policy, applications are assessed based on the NCA policies that are in force at the time of assessment, not at the time of application or at the start of law school. It is recommended that people attending law school overseas who intend to return to Canada following graduation monitor our web site and NCA Advisories for the latest information.
19. How do I apply for assessment?
Complete the online assessment application form. Please note the form will not be processed until payment is received (currently $450 CDN, plus applicable taxes). There is a payment module included with the online form. You must pay by credit card; personal cheques are not accepted.
You must also arrange with your law school or other educational institutions where you obtained your legal education to mail (by regular post or courier) all official and final transcripts to the NCA. If you have been called to the Bar in another jurisdiction please arrange for the issuing institution to mail a letter or certificate to the NCA confirming the date of your Call to the Bar, confirming that your membership is in good standing. Any transcripts for Bar examinations or courses must also be sent to the NCA directly from the issuing institution.
Only official documents submitted directly from the issuing institution are used for the NCA assessments. Documents should be addressed to:
Federation of Law Societies of Canada
c/o National Committee on Accreditation
World Exchange Plaza
1810 – 45 O’Connor St.
20. When can I apply for assessment?
You may apply for an NCA assessment at any time. There are no assessment deadlines. However, your assessment will not be processed until you have completed the online application form and we have received fee payment and all official documents from your law school and, if applicable, from your licensing body. You may apply before you graduate from law school, but your application will be held until your final official transcripts are received from your law school.
21. I have arranged for official transcripts. Can I submit my application before I have received confirmation from the NCA that my official documents have been received?
Yes. However, we will not contact you until we have received your application form. We will hold all official documents sent to our offices.
22. I completed the online application form and did not hear back from the NCA. How do I know the NCA processed my application?
The NCA will send you an acknowledgement email within 10 business days of having received your application.
23. Why am I not receiving e-mails from the NCA?
Some NCA candidates using Gmail may receive NCA e-mails that are re-directed to their spam folders. To prevent this from happening, please ensure that e-mails from flsc.ca are directed to your Inbox. Simply follow these instructions:
- Sign into your Gmail.com Email account using the Chrome web browser.
- Click on the “gear” icon and select “Settings”.
- Click on the “Filters and blocked addresses” tab.
- Click on “Create a new filter”.
- In the “From” field, type in flsc.ca.
- Click “Create filter with this search”.
- Click and checkmark the box beside the words “Never send it to Spam”.
- Click “Create filter” button.
Please note: These steps apply to a Windows 10 desktop computer. If you are using a different device or software, the process may vary.
24. How do I know the transcripts sent from my educational institutions were received by the NCA?
Once your application form is complete and your payment has been submitted, you can log into the NCA portal at any time to view which documents the NCA has received. If the transcripts cannot be matched with an application form, we will hold them until both the application form and fee payment are submitted. If the name on your transcripts is not the same as the name on your application form, please follow the instructions in question 25.
25. What else can delay processing my assessment application?
The NCA processes assessments on a “first come, first served” basis. Once all the necessary documentation and fees are received, your file is put into the queue for assessment. Normally, you will receive your assessment result within eight weeks from the date the last document is received. You will receive an email from the NCA informing you of this date.
We open a file and assign a file number when we receive an application form and fee payment. The NCA then waits to receive the required documents from the educational and licensing institutions (if applicable). Once all the documents are received, they are matched to the file and, if ready for assessment, an email is sent to the applicant advising when to expect the assessment result.
It is important to note that the name on your application should match the name on your transcript/Bar documents. This makes it easier for the NCA to match your application with documents received directly from various institutions. Failure to use the same name could mean delays in your assessment. If you have changed your name or if you use different spellings of your name, please advise us. Step 2 of the NCA application form includes a section for you to list any previous or additional names that may appear in your documents or files.
26. What factors are relevant to the assessment of my file?
The factors considered in the assessment of your file are:
- the type of legal system where the legal education was acquired (common law, civil law, mixed, etc.)
- the length and nature of the legal education program;
- the subject areas studied;
- academic performance in respect of the core subject areas required by the NCA, as well as overall academic performance;
- whether the legal education program is recognized and approved by the local regulatory authority which governs admission to the practice of law in that jurisdiction;
- whether the mode of study was full-time, part-time, in-person or by distance;
- age of degree and/or currency of practice;
- professional legal experience and qualifications; and
- the nature and length of professional legal experience.
The assessment criteria are described in greater detail in the current NCA Assessment policies found in NCA Policies and Guidelines.
27. What is the relevance of the jurisdiction in which I obtained my law degree?
The NCA assesses internationally obtained qualifications of applicants who wish to be admitted as a lawyer in a Canadian common law jurisdiction. For this reason, the NCA assessment process focuses on the nature and extent of the common law content in an applicant’s legal education (information on legal system classifications can be found in the current Assessment Policy). As legal education is jurisdiction specific, the jurisdictional legal system is an important factor in all assessments.
28. What is the relevance of the type of law program I attended?
Jurisdictional rules on the Call to the Bar differ greatly. In Canada and the United States, only three year LL.B./J.D. graduates qualify for admission to the Bar, but other countries have various routes that lead to licensing as a lawyer. The NCA examines the national rules for the Call for the law program each applicant completed and uses that information as a factor in assessment.
29. Do I always have an option to write NCA examinations or will I be required to attend law school?
In most cases, the NCA gives applicants a choice of three methods for demonstrating competence:
- through the NCA’s examinations;
- by taking courses in assigned subjects in a Canadian law school;
- a combination of (1) and (2).
However, there are some situations where an applicant will be required to attend law school in Canada. These include graduates of distance education programs and people with no common law education or professional experience.
30. I graduated from a two year Senior Status or Graduate Entry program in the UK. How many examinations will I be required to write?
Senior Status or Graduate Entry applicants are usually required to demonstrate competence in at least seven subjects. This is required to compensate for the shorter educational program. Other factors are considered in the assessment, including academic performance (both overall and in the core subjects), licensure and professional practice. These other factors may increase or decrease the number of subjects assigned.
31. I obtained my legal education by completing a one year Graduate Diploma in Law program. What can I expect in terms of assessment outcome
The NCA Assessment Policy requires three years of legal education, or equivalent, including two years of in-class study before a Certificate of Qualification can be awarded. Given that a GDL is a one year program, Policy 22.214.171.124.3. requires that GDL graduates complete the equivalent of two years of legal education. Additionally, an in-class GDL graduate who has no additional legal education will be required to complete one year of in-class studies in law by completing, for example, one of the following:
- the Legal Practice Course or Bar Professional Training Course in England (the grade achieved must meet the NCA’s academic performance policy); or
- an LL.M. from a common law jurisdiction in substantive common law subjects (the grade achieved must meet the NCA’s academic performance policy).
32. I attended Bar school training above and beyond my law degree. Will you take it into consideration?
Bar school training is a factor in all assessments. Please ensure all documents pertaining to your Call are forwarded to the NCA directly from the issuing institution.
33. I graduated from a law school in a jurisdiction with a mixed legal tradition that includes some common law components. How will you assess my qualifications?
Graduates from mixed jurisdictions that include a common law component will be assessed on the same basis as common law graduates, taking into consideration the common law content of their programs and experience. Most mixed graduates will be asked to demonstrate competency in at least eight subjects.
34. I graduated from a jurisdiction that follows a different legal tradition than common law. How will you assess my qualifications?
Applicants from legal systems that do not have a substantial common law component, such as civil law, are considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants who have no common law exposure (academic or professional) are, in the absence of relevant professional legal experience, unlikely to receive any recognition for their legal credentials.
35. What is the significance of academic performance?
Your academic performance is an indicator of your command of the legal concepts covered during your legal education. NCA policy includes academic performance, both overall law school performance and grades in the nine core common law subjects (see question 8). If the overall academic performance and/or grades in any of the nine core common law subjects are low, additional examinations may be assigned.
Applicants with poor overall academic performance (i.e. Third Class or lower standing in the U.K., India and Nigeria or a GPA of less than one (1) in Australia) do not normally receive any recognition for their degree.
Canadian Core Subjects
36. Why does the NCA require that competence in the Canadian core subjects must be demonstrated either through the successful completion of courses at a Canadian law school or through the NCA examination process?
Canadian common law programs are subject to a rigorous approval process to ensure that the schools and their graduates meet the National Requirement (adopted by the law societies in 2010) specifying the competencies and skills that applicants for admission to law society bar admission programs must have and the required academic program and learning resources. The NCA does not engage in a comparable review of foreign law schools, relying instead on the approval or accreditation status of the law program by the authorizing body in its jurisdiction (the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority in the UK for example).
Since the NCA accepts most of the courses on its list of Core Competence Requirements as equivalent if they were taught at a common law school, in the absence of a requirement for the Canadian courses to be either taken at a Canadian law school or through the NCA exams it would be possible for some NCA applicants to acquire a Certificate of Qualification without taking any NCA exams or Canadian law school courses. The requirement that candidates either take the NCA exams in the Canadian core subjects or take the courses at a Canadian law school provides a measure of quality assurance and meets the obligation that the regulators of the legal profession have to ensure that all applicants for licensing possess the required competencies.
37. There was an exception for Bond University. What is the status of that arrangement?
The NCA has terminated its informal arrangement with Bond University in Australia under which the NCA has accepted courses in the Canadian core subjects taught at Bond as equivalent to those taught at Canadian law schools. The NCA made this change to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly no matter where they obtained their law degree.
38. When did the decision to terminate the arrangement with Bond University come into effect?
To ensure that the policy change does not prejudice students already enrolled or about to start their legal studies at Bond, the NCA continued to recognize as equivalent the following Canadian courses successfully completed by any student who commences their legal studies at Bond University by January 2015 (subject to sufficient academic performance as detailed in the NCA Assessment Policy): Canadian Administrative Law, Canadian Constitutional Law, Canadian Criminal Law and Foundations of Canadian Law.
Writing NCA Examinations
39. When and how can I expect to receive the results from my exams?
The results are generally released 10-12 weeks after the date of the last scheduled exam of each session. If they are available earlier, they will be released as soon as possible. All applicants will be notified by email once all results are available. To ensure the integrity of the grading process, the NCA cannot expedite the grading of individual exams.
40. Is it possible to have my NCA exam(s) graded sooner and released before the 10-12 week period?
No, to ensure the integrity of the grading process, the exams are graded all together so that the examiners can re-read and re-evaluate the exams as they go along and as is appropriate to ensure consistent and fair results for all applicants writing the same exam.
41. How do I obtain the study material contained in the syllabus?
The NCA exams are self-study. Therefore, applicants must obtain the material themselves. A list of publishers is attached to each syllabus so that you may contact them to buy the required texts. However, you may also consider purchasing the material at a local law school bookstore, law library or other bookstore, or by searching the web for other sources (e.g. Google). Always consult the syllabus before purchasing the materials as the textbooks change from time to time. In particular, ensure that you purchase the correct edition of all texts. Required cases and articles can normally be found on the internet. CanLII is a good resource that is free to the public. Other resources are listed in the syllabus.
42. How can I get access to Lexis Nexis (Quicklaw)?
The majority of case law and legislative resources needed by NCA students are available on CanLII, the free legal information resource funded by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. That includes all decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada, and all federal, provincial, territorial and appellate courts.
The first time you sign in to Quicklaw you will be asked to change or personalize your password. Remember your User ID and password are personal, and should not be shared with anyone.
43. I have been assigned several exams. How many exams should I/can I attempt in one sitting?
You may attempt as many or as few exams in each exam session as you wish. The factors you may consider in deciding how many exams to write include your familiarity and comfort level with the subject matter, the depth and breadth of the study material, and the time you can devote to studying for each topic, given work, family and other commitments. Generally, most applicants attempt 2-4 exams per session with varying degrees of success. You must however complete all the subjects assigned within the time frame indicated in your Assessment Result Report.
44. Does the NCA offer tutorials or classes to help study for the exams?
No, the NCA exams are self-study. However, you may wish to explore via the internet resources available through several Canadian law schools and private tutoring services. The use of these resources is voluntary and is neither required by the NCA, nor provincial law societies, nor endorsed by the NCA.
45. What can I bring into the exam room?
The NCA exams are open-book. You are permitted to bring into the exam any study related material, including original texts, photocopies or hand-written or typed notes. Exams are, however, taken by pen and paper, therefore electronic devices of any kind are not permitted into the examination. Please consult the Exam Rules for more information.
46.Can I mark up my exam material for use during the exams?
Yes, your study material may be highlighted, tabbed, indexed or notated, etc.
47. At the end of the exam, can I keep my study material I used during the exam?
Yes, you can keep your study material used during the exam. You cannot, however, retain the exam questions.
48. Can I use a computer to take my exams?
No, the exams are all written with pen and paper. Please ensure you write legibly so the examiners can grade your paper appropriately. Writing considered illegible by the examiner may result in your exam not being fully graded or your exam being disqualified. The NCA recommends that you double space your answers and use blue or black ink (no pencils) to avoid smudging or fading.
49. What do I need to get into the exam?
You will need valid government issued photo ID. Please ensure that the name on your ID is consistent with the name on your NCA file as this is what will appear on the examination roster list when you sign in. If you require a name change to your NCA file, please contact the NCA at firstname.lastname@example.org and include any necessary documentation (e.g., marriage certificate). You will also need your NCA file number to include on all exam materials. To ensure anonymity, DO NOT write your name on the exam, on your answer sheets or on the exam envelope.
50. What is the NCA exam cancellation policy?
An administrative fee of $55 Canadian (plus applicable taxes) per exam will be applied to all cancellation requests. Cancellations will be accepted up to and including the day of the exam. Failure to advise the NCA of your cancellation by the date of your exam will result in the forfeiture of your exam fees. No refunds will be issued once your scheduled exam has taken place.
Refunds will be issued in Canadian funds and applied to the same credit card used at the time of exam registration, without exception. Applicants using foreign credit cards are responsible for any difference in transaction fees, or variations that result from fluctuating exchange rates. All cancellations for NCA examinations must be completed online using your NCA Portal credentials.
The NCA does not accept advance registrations nor retain fees in trust. Exams may not be deferred to a later session.
51. Can I defer my exam?
The NCA no longer accepts deferrals. You must now cancel your exam and re-register for a future session.
52. How do I cancel my exam?
If you have registered and wish to cancel your exam(s), you must make your request through the NCA portal. Once you have signed into your portal, you will find the refund option under the “Exam history” heading of the “My Course Info” tab. Make your cancellation request by clicking on the “Refund” button located beside the exam(s) you wish to cancel. You will need to request a refund for each exam individually. You cannot select multiple exams at the same time.
A administrative fee of $55 Canadian (plus applicable taxes) is required for each exam cancellation. Refunds will be applied, in Canadian dollars, to the same credit card the exam was charged against. Applicants using foreign credit cards are responsible for any difference in transaction fees, or variations that result from fluctuating exchange rates. All cancellations for NCA examinations must be completed online using your NCA Portal credentials. Once a refund has been processed, the transaction cannot be reversed and a refund of any administrative fees charged cannot be issued.
If you have any questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
53. If I do not cancel my exam(s) by the deadline or I fail to notify you of my cancellation, will this count as an attempt?
If you do not attend your exam or fail to notify the NCA by the specified deadline, you will forfeit your exam fees and will be required to re-register and pay the full exam fee in order to take the exam. Your failure to appear for an exam will not be recorded as an attempt.
54. What happens if, for personal or medical reasons, I miss an exam that I have registered to take?
The NCA does not set make-up exams. The exams are scheduled only four times a year. If you miss an exam for any reason (whether personal, professional, medical or other), you will be required to reschedule that exam to another exam session. No special exam sessions will be set.
Missing the exam in such cases will not count as an attempt and will not prevent you from registering to write the exam at the next session, provided you meet the registration deadlines and comply with all other assessment and exam policies.
55. What happens if I fail to return the exam questions at the end of the exam?
You must return the exam questions in the envelope provided along with your answers. Failure to return the questions will result in the automatic disqualification of your exam. Your attempt will be recorded, however, you will not obtain any result (pass or fail). To retake the exam, you will be required to re-register for the exam and pay the applicable exam fee.
56. Can I write my exams in a location other than Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, or Vancouver?
Applicants may be able to arrange to write examinations in other locations within Canada and in other countries, at their own expense. Further information on approved sites can be obtained by contacting the Examinations Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. Not all requests will be approved particularly where a site already exists. Sites will not be approved in regions covered by the six cities listed above.
57. I am a student with a disability, how do I apply for special accommodations for my exams?
The NCA accommodates applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring accommodation must submit their request by completing the Accommodations Request Form and providing supporting documentation. Special accommodations will be determined on an individual basis. For information concerning exam accommodations, please contact the NCA Examinations Manager (email@example.com).
58. If I am unsuccessful and fail an exam, will I be able to register for the exam session immediately following?
Applicants may not register to retake an exam until they receive the results of the prior effort, and cannot register in the session immediately following the one in which they most recently wrote the exam. For example, if a candidate fails an exam in January, the earliest opportunity to retake the exam would be in August of the same year.
59. How many times may I attempt an exam?
Applicants may retake a failed NCA examination twice. In the event of a third failure, applicants are required to take the failed subject at a Canadian law school. A fourth and final attempt may be granted at the discretion of the NCA Managing Director, as detailed in Section 1.4.5 (Page 9) of the current NCA Policies.
60. I am writing my last exam and have articling lined up/want to write the next law society bar exams, can the results of my exam be expedited?
No, exams must be graded as a group to ensure consistency and fairness in the grading process. Results are released as soon as they are available but generally not until 10-12 weeks after the date of the last exam of the session.