The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials

Since 2012, UNESCO, in collaboration with its Member States, has undertaken a project to draft a new Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education.

This Global Convention would encompass all countries and support:
  • the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, especially as it concerns the quality enhancement of higher education
  • growth in student mobility
  • the recognition of academic credentials as a global right
  • international consistency in recognition procedures and
  • increased international cooperation

Consultation process

UNESCO has undertaken extensive consultations with Member States to gather comments and suggested amendments to the draft version of the Global Convention. Throughout this process, provincial and territorial governments provided comments to inform Canada's position.

  • in June 2017, the consultation focused on the initial draft text.
  • in November 2017a second version of the draft text was discussed at the 39th Session of the UNESCO General Conference. For more information, consult CMEC's Report of the Canadian Delegation.
  • in March 2018, UNESCO consulted with Member States on the text of the third draft of the proposed Global Convention. Provincial and territorial governments were invited to submit comments on the text to CICIC. Canada's position was then transmitted to UNESCO through Global Affairs Canada.
  • In spring and summer 2018, CICIC consulted assessment services and competent recognition bodies in Canada on a draft of the proposed Global Convention. The information collected is intended to inform provincial and territorial governments' decision-making processes with respect to the possibility of Canada's ratifying the proposed Global Convention.
  • in December 2018, UNESCO held the First Intergovernmental Meeting on the Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education. The meeting was organized by UNESCO to bring together technical and legal experts appointed by Member States and associate members. The aim of the meeting was to assist UNESCO with examining the revised preliminary draft of the Global Convention, dated November 12, 2018, in light of comments from Member States and relevant stakeholders received during the March 2018 round of consultations.
  • on March 18-22, 2019, UNESCO held a second intergovernmental meeting and completed the work with Member States.


At the 39th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in November 2017, Member States agreed on timelines to have the final text ready for the 40th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in November 2019. The Global Convention would then be ready for ratification by Member States.

The provincial and territorial ministries/departments responsible for education in Canada are closely following any future discussions.

For more information, consult UNESCO's Web site.