A credential evaluator inspects education credentials awarded in one country and determines their equivalent in another. The services of professionals in this field are necessary in any setting where a person with foreign educational credentials wishes to use them to pursue work, apply for college, or engage in similar activities. Credential evaluators usually have a home base where they work, and they focus on determining the equivalency of other credentials in relationship to the home nation. For example, a credential evaluator in India determines how foreign credentials would translate into Indian terms.
The credential evaluator starts with the foreign documentation. Some also provide translation services while others may request that documents be submitted with an accompanying formal translation. She needs to be familiar with the system of education used in that nation so she can determine the most appropriate equivalency. She may conduct some research if she is not familiar with a given nation's credentialing system.
Credential evaluators can inspect credentials from any level of education, ranging from high school diplomas to credentials to practice as a doctor or lawyer. They will translate the end credential into the most relevant terms for the benefit of college admissions boards, employers, and other interested parties. The fee for the service can vary, depending on the level of detail required and the type of research the credential evaluator needs to perform.
Applicants from foreign countries may need to submit original documentation along with an assessment from a credential evaluator. In other cases, a prospective employer or educator will conduct its own investigation. For people who plan to work professionally, this evaluation is critical, as the host nation needs to determine if a credential is sufficient, or if the professional needs additional training and certification. College students can also benefit from the services of a credential evaluator because they may be able to avoid repeat training and classes by submitting accurate information on their level of educational completion.
Qualifications needed to work as a credential evaluator can vary by nation. Some are professionals in the education field and may belong to professional organizations that set standards for their members. Others may work more informally; for example, someone in a college admissions department may be tasked with evaluating foreign educational documentation to determine how to place incoming students. People with an interest in this career can evaluate job listings in their area to determine what kinds of skills and certifications are expected by prospective employers.