Initiating PLAR

PLAR Applicants Residing Outside of Canada 

Applicants, who are currently living outside of Canada, can complete part of the process (i.e. credential assessment, proof of identity, language proficiency and documentation of education and experience) before moving to Canada, or they can wait until they arrive to do so. It is strongly recommended however that applicants living outside of Canada obtain official copies of all the documents needed for application to the College prior to arriving in Canada to prevent any delays in the application process due to a difficulty in obtaining official documents from educational institutions or previous employers in other countries.

1. Proof of Identity 

The first step to establishing a relationship with the College is to submit an Application for Pre-registration.  This form allows potential applicants to provide the necessary documentation relating to their legal identity as well as information about language proficiency in either English or French.  This application can be found in the Resource section of the website, under Initial Registration. For more information on completing the form, please click HERE.

2. Assessment of Formal Education

The College requires that PLAR applicants have a minimum of an undergraduate degree (in any discipline) from an accredited/recognized academic institution. Applicants who completed their education at a non-CNME accredited institution must have their formal education/academic degree(s) assessed by one of the following approved credential evaluation agencies:

  • World Education Services (WES);
  • International Credentials Assessment Service of Canada (ICASC); or
  • International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES).

Applicants must make arrangements with the credential evaluation agency to have the results of their formal education assessment sent directly to the College.

3. Language Proficiency

A PLAR applicant whose primary language is not English or French, and where any portion of their relevant formal education was not conducted in English or French, must submit test scores of a College-approved language proficiency test. The College requires a language proficiency test to be obtained from one of the following institutions. For information on the costs associated with obtaining a test, please contact the institution directly. 

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - score of 580 required on paper-based TOEFL; 
  • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) - level 7 required on all skills (listening, reading, writing and speaking) - [In Ontario:, International:]
  • CanTEST- a minimum score of 4.0 on each section (listening, reading, writing and speaking)
  • TESTCan (For demonstrating French proficiency only) - a minimum score of 4.0 on each section (listening, reading, writing and speaking)

Test results must be submitted to the College directly from the institution, and must all have been completed on the same testing date. Test results submitted by applicants, or results obtained from tests taken on different dates will not be accepted. Test results are valid for two (2) years from the date of the applicant passing the test.

4. Document of Education and Experience (DEE)

The College conducts a paper-based assessment by comparing academic transcripts, formal education course descriptions and evidence of practice using an evaluation schema that is based on the CNME accreditation standards and the core competencies of the College. This is accomplished using the Document of Education and Experience (DEE), which is completed by the applicant and submitted to the College with any necessary supporting documentation. 

To ensure that the applicant possesses critical knowledge related to the safe practice of naturopathy, applicants are required to provide proof of formal education or experience in four (4) mandatory content areas. To be deemed eligible to move on to the first examination, an applicant must also demonstrate that they have received formal education in 19 ‘general medical’ content areas.

Once all of the above information has been received, the College conducts a paper-based assessment to determine whether an applicant has the requisite education and/or experience in the naturopathic competencies to move onto the written test to provide evidence of professional knowledge. 

Submitting Transcripts to the College

The College requires that university transcripts be sent directly to the College from the applicant’s academic institution. If an academic institution outside Canada is unable to send a transcript directly to the College, the College may accept a certified copy of the transcript issued to the applicant. If the transcript and official university documents are in a language other than English or French, the applicant must arrange to have these documents translated by an official translator. Applicants are responsible for any fees associated with the translation of these documents.

To aid PLAR applicants throughout the application process, a handbook will be available in the Resources section of the website.