What We Do

Certifying Internationally Educated Lawyers and Law Graduates

The National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) assesses legal education credentials obtained either outside of Canada or in a civil law degree program in Canada, for individuals intending to apply for admission to a law society in a Canadian common law jurisdiction. The NCA is a standing committee of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada. It helps Canada’s law societies protect the public interest by making sure that anyone who earned their legal education and training outside of Canada has knowledge of Canadian law similar to that offered by an approved Canadian common law degree program.

Just over five years ago, the Federation undertook a comprehensive review of the mandate, structure, policies and activities of the NCA. The goal was to determine whether the NCA program positioned applicants for success in the law society bar admission process, and in legal practice. One of the review outcomes was a recommendation for a competency-based assessment system for NCA applicants. This led to the creation of the NCA Assessment Modernization Committee with a mandate to make recommendations to the Federation for the development and implementation of a competency-based assessment system for candidates applying to the NCA.

An initial draft competency profile was developed by an appointed Task Force. The draft was refined following feedback from interested parties such as members of the legal academy, members of the legal profession, law societies, and the Federation’s Indigenous Advisory Council. 

The competency profile is intended to serve as the foundation for the development of competency-based assessment tools for NCA applicants.

In March 2024 the competency profile was validated through a large scale survey distributed broadly to members of the legal profession in Canada.  The survey closed March 17, 2024 and the competency profile was finalized in late April. The next step is to identify and develop appropriate assessment tools. To that end, the Federation has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to invite proposals for consultation services to identify and describe possible assessment tools to be used as part of a future competency-based assessment system for the NCA. The closing date for this RFP is June 14, 2024.  For more information please communicate with Lynn Villeneuve, Deputy Director, NCA at [email protected].