Foreign Trained Professionals

Surveying for Foreign Trained Professionals

Land surveying is a world-wide profession.  However, requirements and responsibilities vary considerably from one country to another. It is important that you know the specific educational requirements prior to making a decision to pursue a land surveying career in Canada.

Educational Requirements

To become a land surveyor in Canada, a foreign-licensed land surveyor must first become a candidate with the Canadian Board of Examiners for Professional Surveyors (CBEPS), which establishes, assesses and certifies the academic qualifications of individuals who apply to become land surveyors and/or geomatics professionals in Canada, except for the province of Quebec.  For Quebec, please go to

Once CBEPS is satisfied that you meet the entrance requirements and have passed the necessary examinations, you will be issued a Certificate of Completion and can begin the entry process with a provincial surveying association or the Association of Canada Lands Surveyors (ACLS).

The minimum entrance requirement to become a CBEPS candidate is proof of graduation from, or proof of entrance in, a two-year Geomatics program at a technical institute or degree program in a university. Other applicants shall be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Academic Credentials

To become a candidate, you will need to provide the following (in English or in French):

  • A summary of your education and training
  • An official transcript of your grades (must be sent directly from your educational institution to CBEPS)
  • A certified copy of any diploma, degree or certificate given to you by your educational institution

This information will determine the examinations that you will be required to complete. You can also apply for further exemptions, if you feel you meet the requirements for a particular subject. You must submit a separate exemption request for each additional subject.

You must provide the following information:

  • An official detailed description of materials covered by the course(s) that you feel are equivalent to the topics you would like to be exempt from, which includes a breakdown of the number of hours spent on each of the topics.
  • The prerequisites for the courses
  • Copies of examinations written during the course(s)
  • Copies of lab assignments during the course(s)
  • The name of the instructors who taught the course(s).

You will also have to obtain a Credential Evaluation Report (Basic Assessment Report) from an international credential evaluation service (see:

The CBEPS Candidate Evaluation Committee will review the information you have provided and will let you know if you are accepted as a candidate, and what, if any, exemptions you have been awarded.  This assessment process takes two to three months.

Candidates can appeal the Committee’s decision, and have the matter handed over to a third party.  The appeal process takes two to three months.


Following submission of a completed application, applicants will be advised about the examinations that are required. Examinations are held twice a year—usually March and October, and typically over a period of 3-5 days. You must pass all 11 examinations in the core syllabus and two of the five examinations in the elective syllabus. You have seven years to complete all of your examinations.

Study guides and learning outcomes for the 16 examination subjects are available here:

Fee for Assessment/Admission - $350.00
Fee for Examination (per subject) - $175.00
Fee for Appeal of each examination - $100.00

Language Requirement

There is no formal language proficiency level required and no testing is necessary for eligibility to write the examinations.  However, it is important that applicants self-assess, and use the resources on the following links in order to determine if their language proficiency level is sufficient to write the examinations.

Note:  Examinations can be written in English or French.

Further Information

The CBEPS Candidate Handbook outlines the various procedures and subjects, and should have the answers to many of your questions:

The Guide to Becoming a Professional Surveyor in Canada is a summary of the information presented on the CBEPS website


Once you have your certificate of completion from CBEPS, you will be required to article with one of the provincial surveyors associations and pass some professional exams before you can work as a land surveyor in Canada.  

The ACLS does not have an articling process but has experience and practical training requirements.  To qualify for an ACLS licence to practice, candidates must have two years of experience and practical training in surveying in the previous five years.  To obtain a Canada Lands Surveyor commission, candidates must also have either passed or been exempted from writing the CBEPS hydrography exam, or passed the ACLS online hydrography exam.

Licensed Canada Lands Surveyors (CLS) are the only ones authorized by the Canada Lands Surveyors Act to perform cadastral surveying on Canada Lands, which are formed by Aboriginal Reserves, Federal Parks, all lands in the three territories, and offshore areas not under provincial jurisdiction

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