Participate in the consultation for the update of the Canadian Research and Development Classification (CRDC) 2020 V1.0

Opened: August 2023
Closed: October 2023 Results posted: March 2024


The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and Statistics Canada have collaboratively developed and released a new Canadian Research and Development Classification (CRDC) 2020 Version 1.0 in October 2020. This shared standard classification is available for use by the federal research granting agencies, Statistics Canada and any other organization or individual that find it useful to implement. The CRDC is aligned with international research and development classification standards.

Statistics Canada, as custodian of the CRDC, and its close partner research funding agencies, have agreed to undertake minor revisions of the classification every year or two, and major revision every five years. In fact, all parties already agreed that the first CRDC 2020 version 1.0 will be revised within 2 years of its first release date, and on a five-year cycle after that, with the possibility of 'evergreening' for minor changes once a year to reflect the changes in the research fields. We now have the opportunity to revise the CRDC 2020 V1.0 after being released for more than 2 years.

This consultation was only targeted toward Field of research (FOR) of the CRDC 2020 V1.0.

Consultative engagement objectives

This consultation aimed to gather feedback from users who have already implemented the classification, as well as other interested parties who might want to suggest updates or changes, but not significant conceptual or structural ones (which are reserved for the 5-year revision cycle).

Federal research funding agencies, Statistics Canada's statistical programs related to R&D data, members of the research community and their partners, and Canadians who feel the need for the CRDC 2020 V1.0 to be revised at this time, are invited to provide feedback for the revision of the Field of research (FOR) of the CRDC Version 1.0.

The feedback will be analyzed, and recommendations for changes or revisions to the CRDC will be made, following 2 key steps:

  1. Collection of feedback and data to assess classification revision needs and gaps
    1. Launch of a consultation process that will capture the needs and gaps of the CRDC 2020 V1.0 - FOR as perceived mainly by the federal research granting agencies, Statistics Canada and the research community
    2. Analysis of data collected at the research funding agencies to identify any missing fields of research
  2. Review of CRDC 2020 V1.0 - FOR and validation of proposed changes
    1. Review of feedback and analysis to inform any possible revisions
    2. Validation of proposed revisions with field expertise

Closing date

This consultation is closed.

Results of the consultative engagement

Statistics Canada received feedback from a variety of people such as members of the research community and organizations, and we want to thank participants for their contributions to this consultative engagement initiative. Their feedback have helped guide the revision to the CRDC 2020 V1.0.

We invite you to read the report on the Revision of the Canadian Research and Development Classification (CRDC) 2020 Version 1.0.

How to provide feedback during the consultation?

Proposals for the revision of the Field of research (FOR) of the CRDC 2020 V1.0 revisions must contain the contact information of those submitting the change request:

  • Full Name
  • Organization (when an individual is proposing changes on behalf of an organization)
  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Phone number

Should additional information or clarification to the proposal be required, participants might be contacted.

Proposals must be submitted by email to

Consultation guidelines

Individuals or organizations are encouraged to follow the guidelines below when developing their proposals.

Proposals should:

  • be based on the CRDC 2020 V1.0 - FOR, therefore reading it is important before submitting changes;
  • clearly identify the proposed addition or change to the Field of research (FOR) of the CRDC 2020 Version 1.0; this can include the creation of entirely new classification items related to the classes and subclasses or modifications to existing classification items within the classes and subclasses. This consultation will not result in the modification of higher-level classifications items (divisions and groups);
  • outline the rationale and include supporting information for the proposed change;
  • when possible, describe the empirical significance (i.e., expenses, value-added or GDP, number of researchers, etc.) of proposed changes, and especially real structural changes (resulting in a change in the scope of a current classification item);
  • be consistent with classification principles (e.g., mutual exclusivity, exhaustiveness and homogeneity within categories);
  • be relevant, that is, proposals should:
    • describe the present analytical interest;
    • define how the change would enhance the usefulness of data;
    • be based on appropriate statistical research or subject matter expertise.

Please consider the questions below when preparing your input for the consultation on the revision of CRDC 2020 V1.0-FOR:

  • Are there research and development (R&D) services or activities for which you cannot find a satisfactory CRDC code?
  • Are there R&D activities or services that you find difficult to place in CRDC 2020 V1.0?
  • Are any R&D activities or services missing?
  • Are there R&D or combinations of R&D that have significant economic value and analytical interest that you would like to see with a specific or separate CRDC classification item (classes and subclasses)?
  • Are there classification items you find difficult to use because their descriptions are vague or unclear?
  • Are there pairs of classification items you find difficult to distinguish from each other? Are there boundaries that could be clarified?
  • Are there R&D activities or services that you are able to locate in CRDC 2020 V.10, but you would like to have them located in a different classification item or level of R&D activities? Please clearly indicate why;
  • Is the language or terminology used in CRDC 2020 V1.0 in need of updating to be consistent with current usage in the research field?

Note that submissions do not need to cover every topic; you can submit your comments or proposals on your specific area(s) of concern only.

The following criteria can be used to review the proposals received:

  • consistency with classification principles such as mutual exclusivity, exhaustiveness, and homogeneity of R&D activities or services within categories, with no overlapping to avoid double counting;
  • have empirical significance as an R&D activity or service, expenditures (government and private sectors), number of researchers involved, etc.;
  • are related to collectable and publishable data;
  • be relevant, that is, it must be of analytical interest, result in data useful to users, and be based on appropriate statistical research, subject-matter expertise, and administrative relevance.
  • be consistent with the Canadian System of National Accounts to some extent (for statistical purposes);
  • special attention could be given to specific R&D activities or services, including:
    • new or emerging R&D activities or services;
    • R&D related to new or advanced technologies;
    • any field of research that may be missing from the current version of the classification.

Treatment of proposals

Statistics Canada will review all proposals received in collaboration with research funding agencies. They reserve the right to use independent parties or other government employees, if deemed necessary, to assess proposals.

The federal research granting agencies and Statistics Canada will consider feedback received from this consultation to finalize the revision of Canadian Research and Development Classification (CRDC) 2020 V1.0 - FOR, which will be published in early 2024, with a new version which could be either CRDC 2020 V1.1 or CRDC 2020 Version 2.0 depending on the extend of the approved changes.

If deemed appropriate, a representative of Statistics Canada or the research funding agencies will contact respondents (including virtual or physical meetings) to ask additional questions or seek clarification on a particular aspect of their proposal.

A report summarizing the findings of this consultation will be published on the Statistics Canada website later in 2024.

Please note each proposal will not necessarily result in a change to the CRDC 2020 V1.0.

Official languages

Proposals may be written in either of Canada's official languages - English or French.


Statistics Canada is committed to respecting the privacy of consultation participants. All personal information created, held or collected by the Agency is protected by the Privacy Act. For more information on Statistics Canada's privacy policies, please consult the Privacy notice.

Note of appreciation

We thank all respondents in advance for their interest and participation in this consultation on the revision of the Canadian Research and Development Classification (CRDC) 2020 Version 1.0 - FOR. Your contributions are valuable to us.