Educational qualifications of person

Status: This standard was approved as a departmental standard on April 7, 2016.

Definition

Educational qualifications refers to the official confirmation, usually in the form of a certificate, diploma or degree, certifying the successful completion of an education program or a stage of a program. Successful completion of an education program refers to the achievement of specified learning objectives, typically validated through the assessment of acquired knowledge, skills and competencies. The term 'qualification' is synonymous with 'credential'.

Included are qualifications that certify:

i) successful completion of a full education program which results in a certificate, diploma or degree from an accredited educational institution. The certificate, diploma or degree must be awarded principally on the evaluation of student performance and not on attendance;

ii) successful completion of a stage of an education program, such as university transfer programs (non-university programs of one or two years duration that prepare students to enter the first or second year of a university undergraduate degree program);

iii) the achievement of specified learning objectives independent of participation in a formal education program. These qualifications can be granted by accredited educational institutions or provincial, territorial or federal authorities. This includes persons who pass the certification exam to obtain a Certificate of Qualification in the trades from the provincial, territorial or federal authority.

Person refers to an individual and is the unit of analysis for most social statistics programmes.

Usage

This variable can be used to present information on certificates, diplomas or degrees obtained by the person that pertain to a particular focus of study, such as Canadian credentials obtained, foreign credentials obtained or the most recent credential obtained. The focus of the study should be specified in the data presentation. The Educational Attainment variable is used if the focus of study is on only the highest qualification obtained by the person.

Derivation

Information on educational qualifications can be collected directly from a single question referring to a specific credential obtained by the person. It can also be derived from responses to a set of questions each of which asks whether or not the person has obtained some specific certificate, diploma or degree. It can also be derived from a single question which asks for multiple certificates, diplomas or degrees the person has obtained.

Conformity to relevant internationally recognized standards

This standard is consistent with the definition of Educational qualifications provided in the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics (2012, p. 8, paragraph 20):

Within the context of ISCED, an educational qualification is the official confirmation, usually in the form of a document certifying the successful completion of an education programme or a stage of a programme. Qualifications can be obtained through: i) successful completion of a full education programme: ii) successful completion of a stage of an education programme (intermediate qualifications) or iii) validation of acquired knowledge, skills and competencies, independent of participation in an education programme.

ISCED classifies educational programs and includes a classification of the levels of educational attainment. This standard does not use ISCED levels but, rather, classifications that reflect the language used to describe education levels in Canada.

Classifications

Additional information

See:

Relation to previous version

  • Educational qualifications of person April 07, 2016 to current

    This standard replaces the standard for Certificate, diploma or degree of person 15 years or over.

    The classification "Highest certificate, diploma or degree" is now used to classify the variable "Educational Attainment".

    Revisions to the definition and usage, and the removal of the "Highest certificate, diploma or degree" classification in this standard reflect the new definition of Educational Attainment published by the International Standard Classification of Education and incorporated into ISCED 2011.

  • Certificate, diploma or degree of person 15 years or over June 20, 2011 to April 06, 2016

    This standard replaces the standard for 'Education, highest degree, certificate or diploma'. The standard definition now clarifies that:

    (1) Educational certificates or diplomas awarded to the person by provincial or federal authorities, such as the journeyman/woman designation or teaching and nursing certificates are included; and

    (2) The certificate, diploma or degree must be awarded based principally on evaluation of educational attainment and not on attendance.

    The classification differs from the earlier standard in providing a more detailed classification for postsecondary non-university certificates and diplomas obtained. The classification now includes definitions for each of the classes.

  • Education, highest degree, certificate or diploma July 15, 1998 to June 19, 2011
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