Instructions for Qualifications Based on Foreign Education

Selectees who have completed part or all of their education outside of the U.S. must have their foreign education evaluated by an accredited organization to ensure that the foreign education is comparable to education received in accredited educational institutions in the U.S. An evaluation is required before human resources can make an official job offer. We will only accept the completed foreign education evaluation.

To be acceptable, the foreign credential evaluation must include/describe:

  • The type of education received;
  • The level of education in relation to the U.S. education system, and state that its comparability recommendations follow the general guidelines of the U.S. National Council for the Evaluation of Foreign Educational Credentials;
  • The content of the educational program earned abroad, and the standard obtained;
  • The status of the awarding foreign school's recognition and legitimacy in its home country's education system; and
  • Any other information of interest such as what the evaluation service did to obtain this information, the qualifications of the evaluator, and any indications as to other problems such as forgery.

To ensure evaluations are legitimate, selectees MUST provide an evaluation from a member organization of one of the two national associations of credential evaluation services. The evaluation must be produced during a timeframe when the evaluation service provider was or is a member organization of one of the two national associations of credential evaluation services listed below. Evaluations that have been produced from non-member organizations, or during a time period when the evaluation service provider was not a member of a national association cannot be accepted.

  1. National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) is an association of many credential evaluation services with admission standards and an enforced code of good practice.
  2. Association of International Credentials Evaluators (AICE) is an association of many credential evaluation services with a board of advisors and an enforced code of ethics.

Credential evaluations are not free, and selectees are responsible for the cost of the selected service. The cost will vary according to the complexity of the case and the amount of documentation provided. Prior to submitting any documents to a credential evaluation service, applicants or selectees will also need to obtain English translations of any non-English documents, preferably notarized. The entire credentialing process may take weeks to months.


  • Some federal occupations (e.g., Physicians) have specific foreign education evaluation requirements. Any such requirements will be listed in the associated announcement. Applicants should contact the point of contact listed in the announcement with questions.
  • Some institutions outside the U.S. are accredited by an accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. In these cases, the foreign institution will not be listed on the U.S. Department of Education’s website, but no foreign education evaluation is needed.  To determine accreditation status, selectees will need to review the accrediting agency’s website.  

For more information on Foreign Education and verification, visit the U.S. Department of Education and OPM’s websites