Private career colleges

Students registering for collegeWhat you need to know about attending a private career college in Ontario.

Private career college programs

Private career colleges offer certificate and diploma programs in fields such as:

  • business
  • health services
  • human resources
  • applied arts
  • information technology
  • electronics
  • services
  • trades

They often appeal to people who:

  • need specific job skills to join the work force
  • have academic qualifications and want to add to their practical skills to become more competitive in the job market

Private career college structure

Private career colleges often work with small groups of students rather than large classes, and offer:

  • flexible learning schedules
  • enrolment at many different times during the year
  • compressed programs that deliver training over a short time

Standards and registration

By law, private career colleges must be registered and must have their programs approved by the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges.

Confirming registration

You can search for registered private career colleges through ServiceOntario’s Private Career College Search Service.

If an institution is not registered and offers an unapproved program, it's breaking the law. If you enrol in an unregistered institution or an unapproved program, the law doesn't protect you.

Filing a complaint

Registered private career colleges are required to have a complaint procedure in place for students. If you have already completed this and are not satisfied with the outcome, complete a student complaint form and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities will review your case.

Reporting an unregistered college

If you have information about an unregistered private career college, you can e-mail PCC@ontario.ca.

Private career college checklist

Before you apply to a private career college, make sure:

  • the college and/or program are registered under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005
    Remember: If you enrol in an unregistered institution or an unapproved program, the law doesn't protect you
  • you speak with employers in the field to make sure the private career college's programs meet their needs
  • you (or someone you know and trust) have visited the college to see the facilities and equipment
  • you know the total cost of enrolling in the program, including the application fee, tuition, books, equipment, transportation and room and board
  • you meet the admission requirements for the program
  • you have read the Statement of Students' Rights and Responsibilities
  • both you and a representative of the college have signed an enrolment contract
Updated: August 12, 2014