NACES Statement of Professional Standards

NACES® is an association of independent, nongovernmental organizations which provide credential evaluation services to individuals who have completed part or all their education outside the United States. Our vision is to serve as the authority in the credential evaluation field and to guide the evolution of the profession in the ever-broadening contexts for applied comparative education in the global community.

NACES member organizations serve education institutions, professional organizations, regulatory and legal entities, business communities, and individuals in the authentication, verification, analysis, and evaluation of education obtained outside the United States. As members we commit to the highest ethical and professional practice standards in the field of international credential evaluation. We do this by:

  • Committing to an annual recertification process for all members;
  • Agreeing to uphold the Bylaws of our association and the criteria for membership;
  • Accepting and adhering to ethical principles and professional conduct through the NACES’ Code of Ethics and Principles of Good Practice documents.
This Statement of Professional Standards is not exhaustive and should not be interpreted as a document outlining the criteria for membership in NACES. It is intended to provide transparency to the public for what we as members of NACES hold to be the basic professional standards for our profession, our members, and the international credential evaluators our members employ.

NACES Standards in Relation to Ethical and Good Business Practices

NACES Members websites and promotional materials must:

  • State clearly and precisely the requirements for evaluation, including all required documents for evaluations.
  • Provide a schedule of fees and services covered, with an indication of the time typically required to complete the services provided.
  • Provide detailed terms and conditions of services.

NACES Members application procedures must:

  • Deal with clients and customers fairly and honestly, without regard to their race, color, creed, sex, age, handicap, or national origin.
  • Obtain as much information and documentation as may be necessary in each individual case to provide as accurate an evaluation as possible, consistent with the purpose the evaluation, and refuse requests for evaluation without appropriate documentation.
  • Notify applicants as soon as possible if additional documentation is required.
  • Respect, keep in confidence, and protect the private information of our applicants within the confines of federal and state law, as regards the confidential nature of such information.

NACES Members agree to:

  • Provide applicants, upon request, a description of the method of determining equivalencies on non-US academic credentials.
  • Accept full responsibility for evaluation decisions and for proper notification of those decisions to applicants and, if appropriate, to other recipients indicated by applicants.
  • Resist attempts to influence improperly the content of an evaluation report to suit a particular purpose, and to refuse offers of compensation for an evaluation that is not based on fact.
  • Avoid imposing new requirements on an applicant who applied under previous requirements if the result will be to the applicant’s disadvantage.
  • Commit to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge about foreign educational systems and to the refinement of credential evaluation policies which such knowledge makes possible.
  • To observe, in any situation not specifically covered by NACES bylaws, Code of Ethics, or Principles of Good Practice, generally accepted standards of professional behavior.
  • Adhere to standards of data privacy and protection.

General Requirements for Membership in NACES

  • NACES members must be independent, private or non-profit organizations.
  • NACES members must employ or have on staff at least one full-time senior evaluator with no fewer than five consecutive years of substantive, supervised professional experience as an international credential evaluator.
  • NACES members must have a substantive reference library pertinent to the evaluation of foreign educational credentials, that includes standard and accepted reference materials in the field international credential evaluation.
  • NACES members’ reference libraries must include substantive historical and contemporary reference materials which are representative of the best resources available to credential evaluators in the US. Reliance on proprietary databases of world education is not deemed sufficient to meet NACES’ membership criteria as regards a reference library.
  • NACES members must make available to the public, on request, the following:
    • The composition of their Board of Directors, Advisors, or other governing group, including officers and administrators.
    • The members of their senior evaluation staff and their qualifications.
    • A clear statement of their evaluation policies.
    • The scope of the services they offer, including the fees for said services.
    • Their application procedures.

NACES Members Evaluation Reports must:

  • Consider and review all necessary and relevant documents concerning an individual’s educational history – the documents evaluated, and the purpose of the evaluation, must be clearly stated in the evaluation report.
  • Be based on appropriate resources in order to provide the most accurate evaluation possible consistent with the purpose of the evaluation request.
  • Include at minimum, the name and location of the institution attended; the name of the qualification received as indicated on the official document or the program followed, if not completed; the year the qualification was awarded, or the years of enrollment if the program is not complete; and the major field of study, if applicable.
  • Clearly state the Member’s judgment concerning the US equivalency of the qualifications received for evaluation.
  • Must clearly state if they have been prepared on the basis of incomplete documentation, or if the evaluation represents a reconstruction of academic documentation.

NACES Standards Concerning the Qualifications of International Credential Evaluators

An international credential evaluator is a professional whose responsibility is the assessment of educational credentials from one country in terms of their equivalence in level, scope, and intent, to credentials from another country.

The evaluators employed by NACES members must be capable and qualified.

  • An evaluator must be able to provide an equivalence that includes the credential earned, as well as subjects completed, their credit values, and grade equivalents.
  • Evaluators must be trained and/or supervised by fully trained senior evaluation staff.
  • Evaluators must possess and demonstrate a thorough current and historical knowledge of all aspects of a given country’s educational system, including traditional academic, vocational, technical, professional, and graduate education.
  • Evaluators must have a thorough knowledge of the bibliographic and reference resources employed in credential evaluation for the countries whose qualifications which they evaluate.
  • Evaluators must have a thorough current and historical knowledge of all aspects of the educational system to which the credentials they evaluate are compared.
  • Evaluators must have a thorough knowledge of the methods and practices commonly used by international credential evaluators to conduct all aspects of a credential evaluation.
  • Evaluators must have a thorough knowledge of the procedures commonly used to identify fraudulent documents and the ability to identify those anomalies or inconsistencies in educational records that may be indicators of fraud, or that need special explanation in an evaluation.
  • Evaluators must have an ability to develop and maintain professional relationships with educational officials in other countries in order to obtain information about educational credentials, programs, and systems in such other countries. This includes the ability to conduct thorough and professional communications with educational officials in other countries.
  • Evaluators must have the ability to explain clearly, and patiently, to the Member’s clients, end-users, and others not familiar with the field of credential evaluation, the various rationales used in preparing an evaluation report.
  • Evaluators must have cross-cultural sensitivity in dealing with colleagues and clients, to the extent that they have contact with such persons.
  • Evaluators must have formal education comparable to the level of a US Bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent.
  • Evaluators must participate on an on-going basis in Member-developed, self-study and outside conferences, courses, continuing educational programs, and professional development and professional activities designed to maintain and further develop the international credential evaluator’s professional knowledge and skills in educational systems of the world and the evaluation of international credentials.
  • Senior evaluators must be capable and competent to evaluate credentials from any country of the world.
  • Senior evaluators must maintain significant appropriate contacts with professional associations in the professional fields for which their employer evaluates foreign educational credentials for the purposes of certification, licensure, registration, employment of professional membership upon such credentials.
  • Senior evaluators must supervise international credential evaluators and support staff and have ultimate responsibility for all evaluations.
  • Senior evaluators must be responsible for establishing and updating NACES members’ evaluation policies and procedures and provide training on the same for all evaluation staff.