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Unexpected bid disqualification - if educated outside Canada - beware

I feel the community needs to hear about an unfortunate recent experience I had with a GAC bid.  Everything seemed normal at first - renowned Canadian company asks me to join their team for a GAC bid - everyone touches up their cvs and demonstrates how they meet the mandatory criteria, the bid goes in, and then GAC procurement decides.  Surprisingly (to me at least), the firm the bid was unsuccessful because (among other things) I did not meet the mandatory criteria of having a relevant Master’s degree. Hmmm.  I have been in a dozen GAC bids - many successful, and I was a 30-year employee of CIDA where, if I can recall back that far, having a Master’s degree was a requirement in my initial entry competition.  So what happened?  Well it turns out that my British Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are not recognized by GAC, at least not in a bid process, unless they have been certified as equivalent to Canadian degrees by an organisation accredited with the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada. This is a process of equivalency determination that has a fee and a validation time of (according to the website) up to 35 days - too short for many bids.  So don’t say you have not been warned!  Anyone with any non-Canadian education credentials would be wise to pay up front to get their equivalency certified before they go into their next GAC bid. 

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