Consultation process with UNESCO and within Canada

International consultation procedure with Member States

Beginning in 2012, in collaboration with its Member States, UNESCO undertook extensive consultations to gather comments and suggested amendments on the draft version of the Global Convention. This process led to its adoption by Member States in November 2019. Throughout this process, federal, provincial, and territorial governments participated in consultations with the international community and the drafting process, in order to ensure Canada's position was represented, particularly with respect to the following:

  • the constitutional responsibility for education conferred on Canada's provinces and territories; and
  • respect for the autonomy of postsecondary educational institutions and professional regulatory bodies in Canada.

Domestic consultation procedure within Canada

In 2018, CICIC led consultations with assessment services and competent recognition bodies in Canada on the Global Convention. Using data collected, CamProf Inc. subsequently provided a comprehensive data analysis on Canada's implementation of all provisions of the 1997 Lisbon Recognition Convention undertaken by assessment services and competent recognition bodies in Canada, but also Canada's readiness to implement provisions of the Global Convention. It is also important to consider that these assessment services and competent recognition bodies maintain broad autonomy in recognizing academic credentials in accordance with their respective legislated autonomy.

Cover of the CamProf report on the implementation of the provisions of the Lisbon Recognition ConventionIn 2020, the independent report authored by CamProf Inc. and titled Substantial Agreement – Academic Credential Assessment in Canada: Implementation of the Lisbon Recognition Convention and Preparation for the UNESCO Global Convention was published. Although this analysis does not necessarily reflect the official policies, positions, or views of CICIC, CMEC, provincial and territorial governments in Canada, or assessment services and competent recognition bodies in Canada, it does provide useful insight into the implementation of conventions related to qualification recognition in Canada.

The major next steps for Canada's provincial and territorial governments are to:

  • confirm the implementation of the provisions of the Global Convention;
  • reach a consensus on the agreement to ratify the Global Convention, in order to notify Global Affairs Canada, which is responsible for initiating the administrative procedure for having Canada ratify an international treaty; and
  • prepare the declaration that will accompany Canada's ratification instrument, in order to provide specifics about the convention's implementation in Canada.

CMEC continues to collaborate with all interested parties to finalize preparatory steps for a possible ratification of the Global Convention.

Get an overview of the Global Convention, and consult the FAQ.

Furthermore, UNESCO published a practical guide to provide a step-by step approach to recognition of foreign qualifications in line with the provisions of the Global Convention, both for credential evaluation practitioners and for individuals seeking recognition of their foreign qualifications.

What is a competent recognition body and an assessment service?

  • A competent recognition authority or recognition body is an organization officially charged with making binding decisions on the assessment and recognition of an academic credential. In some countries, this responsibility falls to a central organization, and all other organizations must abide by the resulting decision. However, in Canada, these would include postsecondary educational institutions, professional regulatory authorities and associations, and employers. For example, an individual would be required to meet academic requirements to practise as a dental surgeon. Requirements are usually based on provincial or territorial legislation governing access to the profession, and include a duty to protect the public. The resulting recognition decision would become a binding decision for the specific purpose of practising this profession in a given province or territory of Canada.
  • An assessment service is an organization that provides an expert, non-binding opinion on the assessment of an academic credential, as opposed to formal recognition. In Canada, six members of the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada (ACESC) provide these services and produce assessment reports for competent recognition authorities that require assistance. For example, an admissions office at an educational institution may not have the capacity to perform its own assessment of an academic credential issued outside Canada for admission to further studies. It may require internationally educated applicants to initially obtain an assessment report from one of the members of ACESC to later inform its admission decision. CICIC is the Secretariat of the ACESC and continues to assist with the adoption and monitoring of best practices set by recognition-related conventions.