French and Québec authorities finalized 14 mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) in Paris on April 27. The MRAs were signed during the first meeting of the bilateral committee responsible for implementing an agreement between France and Québec on recognition of professional qualifications, co-chaired by Pierre Arcand, Québec’s Minister of International Affairs and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, and Alain Joyandet, France’s Secretary of State for Cooperation and La Francophonie.
The MRAs signed in Paris apply to three professional orders (chartered accountants, certified general accountants and social workers) and 11 regulated trades concentrated mainly but not exclusively in the construction sector. A total of 16 MRAs have now been signed by professional orders and regulated trades in France and Québec. An MRA was recently signed by the French and Québec orders of architects.
In the words of Minister Arcand, “These arrangements will lift another obstacle by facilitating recognition of professional competence. In a context of global competition and demographic change, recruiting qualified workers will help us meet our manpower needs in a variety of sectors.”
Dispensing opticians, physiotherapists and medical radiology technologists also agreed on April 27 to finalize MRAs by 2010, and negotiations are under way for nurses, speech therapists and practitioners of other regulated trades. Close to a hundred mutual recognition arrangements are expected to be signed by French and Québec authorities over the coming years.
The agreement between France and Québec on mutual recognition of professional qualifications was signed in Québec City on October 17, 2008, by Québec Premier Jean Charest and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Press conference video (in French)
France-Québec agreement on the mutual recognition of professional qualifications