NACES: Understanding its Role in Educational Credential Evaluation

Understanding its Role in Educational Credential Evaluation

Educational credential evaluation is crucial for individuals who have previously studied abroad and wish to pursue further education or employment in the United States. It involves assessing and verifying the authenticity and equivalence of foreign educational credentials. To facilitate this complex task, organizations like NACES play a pivotal role. This blog will explore NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) and its significance in educational credential evaluation.

What is NACES?

NACES, is a non-profit association of independent agencies in the United States that provide credential evaluation services. It was founded in 1987 with the primary goal of ensuring consistency, reliability, and ethical standards in the evaluation of international educational credentials. NACES members adhere to strict guidelines and maintain high standards of practice.

The Role of NACES in Educational Credential Evaluation

NACES member organizations serve a critical function in evaluating foreign educational credentials. Here’s an overview of their key responsibilities and the benefits they offer:

1 Comprehensive Credential Evaluation

NACES members are experts in evaluating a wide range of foreign educational credentials, including transcripts, diplomas, certificates, and academic records. They assess the level, content, and authenticity of these documents.

2. Equivalency Determination

One of the primary roles of NACES member organizations is determining the equivalence of foreign degrees and qualifications to those offered in the United States. This is crucial for various purposes, including admission to educational institutions and professional licensing.

3. Assessment of Transcript Authenticity

NACES members use various methods to verify the authenticity of academic transcripts and documents, including direct contact with foreign educational institutions, background checks, and cross-referencing information.

4. Compliance with U.S. Standards

NACES member organizations are committed to ensuring that their evaluations align with U.S. educational standards and are consistent with the U.S. Department of Education guidelines and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

5. Evaluation Reports

Upon completing their assessment, NACES members provide detailed evaluation reports that explain the equivalency of foreign credentials in the U.S. education system. These reports are vital for admissions offices, licensing boards, employers, and individuals.

6. Accessibility and Transparency

NACES member agencies make their evaluation processes transparent and accessible to the public. This transparency builds trust and ensures that individuals understand the evaluation process and its outcomes.

When is NACES Services Required?

NACES services are required in various scenarios, including:

1.Admission to U.S. Educational Institutions

International students applying to U.S. colleges and universities must submit credential evaluation reports to demonstrate the equivalence of their foreign qualifications to U.S. standards.

2. Professional Licensing

Certain professions, such as medicine, law, and engineering, require individuals to undergo a credential evaluation to ensure they meet the educational and licensing requirements of the respective state or licensing board.

3. Employment

Employers in the United States may request a credential evaluation when considering candidates with foreign educational backgrounds. This helps ensure job candidates possess the qualifications required for a specific position.

4. Immigration

Individuals applying for U.S. visas, particularly employment-based visas like the H-1B, often need to provide educational credential evaluations to demonstrate their qualifications and eligibility for the visa.

The NACES Evaluation Process

The process of obtaining a credential evaluation through a NACES member organization typically involves the following steps:

1.Document Submission

The applicant submits their educational documents, including transcripts, diplomas, and certificates, to the NACES member agency of their choice.

2. Authentication and Verification

The NACES agency reviews the submitted documents and may conduct background checks and verification with the issuing institutions to ensure the authenticity of the records.

3. Equivalency Assessment

Experts at the NACES agency assess foreign educational credentials and determine their equivalence to U.S. academic standards. This process may include credit hour conversions and GPA calculations.

4. Evaluation Report

Upon completion of the assessment, the NACES agency issues an evaluation report. This report specifies the U.S. educational equivalency of foreign credentials, making it easier for educational institutions, employers, or licensing boards to understand the individual’s qualifications.

5. Submission to Relevant Authorities

Depending on the purpose of the evaluation, the individual may need to submit the evaluation report to colleges, universities, employers, or professional licensing boards.

Benefits of Using NACES Member Agencies

Utilizing NACES member agencies for educational credential evaluation offers several benefits:

  1. Credibility: NACES member agencies are known for their high standards, credibility, and expertise in evaluating foreign credentials.
  2. Consistency: NACES members follow established standards, ensuring consistency in the evaluation process.
  3. Acceptance: Many educational institutions, employers, and licensing boards in the U.S. recognize and accept evaluations conducted by NACES member agencies.
  4. Transparency: The process is transparent, and evaluation reports are detailed and easy to understand.
  5. Efficiency: NACES members typically complete evaluations on time, which is crucial for meeting application deadlines.


NACES, the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, plays a vital role in individuals’ educational and professional journeys with foreign educational credentials. Its member agencies are trusted entities that ensure the equivalence and authenticity of foreign qualifications in the U.S. Whether you are an international student aspiring to study in the United States, a professional seeking licensing, or an employer considering candidates with international backgrounds, NACES member agencies provide a valuable service that fosters transparency, credibility, and consistency in the evaluation of educational credentials. Understanding the role of NACES and its member organizations can be instrumental in achieving your academic and professional goals in the United States.