International quality assurance-related activities

Quality assurance in the postsecondary sector in Canada is tightly aligned to international best practice. Below is a selection of initiatives in which provinces and territories engage, in order to ensure their practices align with global best practices:

International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE)

The International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) is the largest global membership-based organization of its kind, and has been in existence since 1991. In addition to other benefits, membership provides access to: a network of professionals; training and research opportunities; regional networks; and Guidelines of Good Practice, which assess quality-assurance agencies on their alignment of global norms.

Many provincial and territorial quality-assurance agencies are members of INQAAHE. Additionally, some have been externally reviewed by INQAAHE, and were found to be aligned with its Guidelines of Good Practice, such as Quebec's Commission d'évaluation de l'enseignement collégial (CEEC), and the Ontario College Quality Assurance Service (OCQAS).

For more information, consult the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) website.

1997 Lisbon Recognition Convention (LRC)

As agreed to by all provinces and territories, Canada ratified the 1997 LRC in June 2018. The LRC is an international agreement among 55 signatory states, and was jointly drafted by the Council of Europe, UNESCO, and Member States of UNESCO's European and North America region.

The LRC is both a legal text and a guide to good practice, and with the ratification process of the LRC, Canada's provincial and territorial governments demonstrate their commitment to furthering international collaboration on a wide range of issues that are related to the enhancement of academic and professional mobility, and to the promotion of best practices in the assessment and recognition of academic credentials.

The main purpose of the LRC is to facilitate the mobility of individuals through the recognition of academic credentials issued outside of Canada, and, for other countries and individuals, to improve access to information about Canada's postsecondary education systems. The LRC specifies concretely, and in great detail, the responsibilities of ratifying states with respect to the principles and mechanisms for the recognition of academic credentials, and the collection and dissemination of information on education systems, including information on quality-assurance practices.

Get more information on the 1997 LRC.

UNESCO 2019 Global Convention

Parallel to the 1997 LRC, provinces and territories continue to participate in consultations on the 2019 Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education (Global Convention) with UNESCO Member States. The 2019 Global Convention aims to strengthen and support the good practices that have been established, and will be the first normative instrument of recognition with a global scope.

The 2019 Global Convention would encompass all countries and support:

  • the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal 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.

CMEC continues to collaborate with all interested parties to finalize preparatory steps for a possible ratification of the 2019 Global Convention.

Get more information on the 2019 Global Convention.

Comprehensive review of this information: March 2022