An overview of the Lisbon Recognition Convention

As agreed to by all provinces and territories, Canada ratified the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region 1997 — commonly known as the Lisbon Recognition Convention (LRC), on June 13, 2018. The LRC became legally binding under international law on August 1, 2018.

The LRC is an international agreement between 56 signatory states and was jointly drafted by:

  • The Council of Europe;
  • UNESCO; and
  • Members States of UNESCO's European and North America region.

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 related to the enhancement of academic and professional mobility and promoting best practices in the assessment and recognition of academic credentials.

The purpose of the LRC is to facilitate the mobility of individuals through the recognition of academic credentials issued in and outside Canada, and to improve access by other countries and individuals to information about the education systems in Canada. The LRC specifies concretely and in greater 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.

In parallel, Canada continues to participate in consultations on the UNESCO Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education 2019 (Global Convention).

Get more information on the Global Convention and the FAQ on the implementation of the LRC in Canada.

Do similar international agreements exist in other regions?

The Lisbon Recognition Convention was ratified by Member States of the UNESCO Europe and North America region, which includes Canada and United States.

However, similar international agreements have also been signed by states in other UNESCO regions. For more information, consult CICIC's Other international agreements section.