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Credential Evaluation

What Is A NACES Evaluation?

Industries often have an association, organization or guild that brings firms with similar products and services together. This is to share ideas, network, launch new innovations and set industry standards. In international credential evaluation, that organization is called the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, or “NACES” for short. Various credential evaluation agencies enjoy membership in this organization; International Education Evaluations (IEE) has been a member since 2018, exemplifying the quality of our reports.

So, what exactly does NACES do? What makes an evaluation from a NACES-affiliated organization special? And why is this important for individuals seeking US credential evaluation? 

NACES’ History and Responsibility

NACES was founded in 1987 to fill a unique gap in the United States. Historically, this has been a nation with a rich legacy of hosting foreign students, welcoming immigrants and attracting individuals from all over the world. By default, this guarantees that individuals were bringing not only their families and fortunes, but also their educational and professional backgrounds. Prior to the existence of NACES, international credential evaluation was handled by the United States government via its foreign credential evaluation service. This was closed in December 1973, as the government felt this was not something it needed to do, motivating the private sector to step forward.

Most countries across the world have public organizations or government agencies handling credential evaluation to ensure conformity with their standards and rules, such as NOKUT in Norway and Australian Education International National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (AEI NOOSR) in Australia. However, the United States does not currently have such a public entity responsible for handling or evaluating educational accomplishments earned abroad, nor did it assign any replacement after its withdrawal from this space. Instead, private organizations and evaluators offer their services and expertise in international and comparative education for the purpose of credential evaluation.

In order to set ethical standards in credential evaluation, various credential evaluation companies came together to form NACES in 1987. It has since become the premier authority in the United States for monitoring the comparative education industry, protecting stakeholders and following trends in best practice. Still to this day, NACES plays an instrumental role in guaranteeing that your education from outside of the United States can be faithfully reviewed, understood and converted for use in the USA. This non-governmental organization sets the standards for fair, high-quality credential evaluation, which includes the evaluation product itself, the processes that go into preparing the evaluations, and the description of the ideal senior evaluator.

Membership in NACES

A chief responsibility of NACES is its recognition of agencies. When choosing a credential evaluation provider, it is recommended to go with one that is known, trusted and knowledgeable. A NACES seal of approval gives assurance that the educational documentation will be reviewed by well-trained, qualified professionals who know how to compare education between systems. Membership in NACES also reveals that an agency or company meets ethical expectations, promoting a sense of commonality that firms across the industry follow.

In order to keep its membership, an organization must comply with NACES’ requirements and criteria. NACES keeps a list of members on its site. To join, there is a lengthy screening process; NACES does its due diligence to ensure that the applicant meets its standards, follows ethical practices, and possesses fluency in international comparative education topics.

Additionally, each NACES organization is required to have at least 1 Senior Evaluator; this is an individual who possesses high knowledge of education systems across the entire world, has at least 5 years of experience in the credential evaluation field, can explain international education concepts well, and is able to detect discrepancies and even fraud.

Furthermore, NACES members cooperate specifically on fraudulent educational qualifications. Each member organization has a system for detecting fraud and shares the names of individuals who commit the fraud with all other NACES organizations. There is frequent communication between organizations about this topic, and much discussion has been made in the industry to detect and report educational fraud.

The collaboration between credential evaluation agencies through NACES demonstrates the broadly agreed upon understanding of how this work functions. However, individual differences between agencies exist, as seen in the product layout, methodologies, types of products and services offered, internal policies and discretion, and areas of expertise. NACES broadly provides ethical standards to certify that credential evaluators treat everyone fairly and possess staff that hold applicable knowledge and experience with respect to education systems.

The Importance of a NACES Evaluation

When you present your education for evaluation, you will naturally want to be sure that your academic history is in good hands. With such sensitive and personal data being shared, combined with the life-changing opportunities available on the other side of the evaluation, this process for an individual seeking employment, education, licensure, or immigration opportunities can be incredibly stressful, delicate, and worrisome. 

The existence of NACES should assuage any worries; you can be sure that there are many mission-driven, well-informed international education professionals who want to help you in your pursuit of new adventures, as well as help your future employers, adjudicators, and constituents with understanding who you are and what you’ve accomplished. Most institutions require a credential evaluation from a NACES member, which keeps in conformity with their standards for admissions while also helping them understand foreign educational achievements. NACES can show you its member organizations, who can then assist with getting your education recognized, thus potentially removing barriers that may be keeping you from achieving your dreams in a new country. 

In summary, a credential evaluation from a NACES member provides credibility to the analysis of your educational history. It will be obvious to the reader of your report that your education was analyzed and interpreted by confident professionals well-versed in education systems, comparative education, and ethical standards in the credential evaluation industry.

IEE and NACES

While IEE has been evaluating credentials for over 40 years, we met the requirements for our NACES membership in 2018, proving the quality of our evaluations and methodologies. Our organization’s evaluation services department employs experienced international education professionals coming from backgrounds in credential evaluation, university admissions, teaching and more. We have seen credentials and institutions from across the globe and have both a vast library of resources and a competent staff of experts to help us guide, make and defend our findings. We regularly take steps to guarantee that our staff is performing at the highest level in order to serve our clients and partners well, from internal training to specialized teams to process audits.

Additionally, IEE has established itself as a leader in credential evaluation. Our 3-day processing time leads the industry, allowing our clients to receive their reports for immediate use in their pursuits of education, licensure, employment and more. Furthermore, IEE maintains a 24-hour customer service team, so that your questions or concerns can be addressed at any time. We are thrilled to say that our customer service rates are among the highest in the industry. Lastly, we aim to be transparent about our pricing, so that way, you know exactly what you are paying for.

Beyond our offices and credential evaluation service, IEE regularly attends and participates in conferences related to international education, professional licensure, university admissions and immigration, such as AACRAO, TAICEP and NAFSA. We have also begun to publish content on our website about evaluation methodology, the credential evaluation industry, explanations from the US education system, and even our efforts to aid internationally educated professionals in fields like nursing. This is an industry that we understand well, and our company mission and values motivate us to exceed expectations in excellence and ethics. Overall, IEE is proud to be a member of NACES and has proven to be deserving of its good standing in the organization. 

We hope you will consider IEE for your credential evaluation, and based on our membership in NACES, you can be sure that we comply with the highest of ethical, professional and performance standards in this industry. 

Please see our list below with all of the NACES member organizations and links to their sites.

A2Z Evaluations, LLC

Academic Evaluation Services, Inc.

Center for Applied Research, Evaluation and Education, Inc.

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.

Educational Perspectives, nfp

Educational Records Evaluation Service, Inc.

Foreign Academic Credential Service, Inc.

Foundation for International Services, Inc.

Global Credential Evaluators, Inc.

Globe Language Services

Institute of Foreign Credential Services, Inc.

International Academic Credential Evaluators, Inc.

International Consultants of Delaware, Inc.

International Education Evaluations, Inc.

International Education Research Foundation, Inc.

Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. International Education Consultants

SpanTran: The Evaluation Company

Transcript Research

World Education Services, Inc.

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About author

Garrett Garcia is a Senior Evaluator and Team Lead at International Education Evaluations (IEE) with 4.5 years in the international credential evaluation industry. Prior to IEE, Garrett spent 3.5 years teaching English in Istanbul, Turkey. He loves being able to assist people from all over the globe with accomplishing their goals and is also an avid traveler.
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