Types of Recognition
Recognition is different depending on the reason why people want to have their specific competences recognized.
Depending on the type of recognition, the authorities that are involved and/or are responsible for such procedures might change.
Legal recognition: recognition of academic degrees for legal purposes. This recognition simply allows people to be called – for instance – “doctor” in a given country and/or be able to take part in competitive staff selections.
Academic recognition: recognition of studies or academic degrees in order to continue studying in other institutions or programs.
Due to Universities’ autonomy, academic institutions themselves must evaluate completed studies and possible substantial differences between the skills and knowledge acquired by students, and the ones that are required by the programs students wish to attend. However, we must reiterate that institutions must abide by the rules and practices that are provided for in regional Conventions (the reference here would be the Conventions that apply to the region where the institution is located) for evaluation purposes. The Congregation for Catholic Education, through its Recognition Office (also called International Information Center on Recognition), can provide guidance on related procedures and, in case of conflict, (authoritative) indications on how to settle disputes.
Professional recognition: recognition for work-related reasons and to carry out specific activities or jobs. In this context, different jurisdictions are involved depending on national legislation and related regulated or non-regulated professions. In this respect, a differentiation should also be made between a more detailed and a more concise recognition, that might open the door to competitive staff selections.
The recognition of degrees held by refugees: Conventions include norms of particular civil relevance that regulate the recognition of degrees declared by refugees, displaced people, or other people with similar or comparable legal status. Each country should adopt all possible and reasonable measures in order to fairly and effectively evaluate whether refugees meet the requirements to access higher education, more advanced studies, or to exercise regulated professional activities, also when declared degrees cannot be corroborated by relevant documentation.