What you need to know about attending a career college in Ontario.
On this page Skip this page navigation
Notification of name change
We’re updating content to show the name change of Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 to the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005 effective January 1, 2024. Read more about other terms related to the change of name.
Career colleges offer certificate and diploma programs in fields such as:
- health services
- human resources
- applied arts
- information technology
They often appeal to people who:
- need specific job skills to join the workforce
- have academic qualifications and want to add to their practical skills to become more competitive in the job market
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
In Ontario, career colleges that offer vocational programs must, by law, be registered under the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005.
Career colleges must also have their vocational programs approved by the Superintendent of Career Colleges and must operate and support students as:
- directed by the Superintendent of Career Colleges
- outlined in the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005
Career college checklist
- Find out if the career college is registered and the vocational program you want to take is approved under the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005.
Note: If you enrol in an unregistered institution, or an unapproved vocational program, the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005 may not protect you.
- Make sure that you:
- speak with employers in the field to make sure the career college's programs meet their needs
- visit the college to see the facilities and equipment
- understand the total cost of enrolling in the program, including the application fee, tuition, books, equipment, transportation, room and board, etc.
- meet the admission requirements of the program you registered for
- sign an enrolment contract with a representative of the college
- Read important information in the Statement of Students' Rights and Responsibilities.
Reporting an unregistered college
If you have information about an institution providing vocational training without being registered, and you believe they should be registered, you may notify the ministry to investigate.
Note: not all organizations require registration. See career colleges exemptions from registration.
Submit an inquiry to the ministry online or e-mail:
If you choose to contact the ministry online, you will first be prompted to register for a login.
Graduation and satisfaction rates
The Superintendent of Career Colleges collects data about graduates of programs at career colleges in Ontario. This key performance indicator (KPI) data can be very helpful to students when considering which institution and program to attend.
Filing a complaint against a career college
Every career college must have a complaint procedure for students to follow. By law, the Superintendent of Career Colleges cannot consider student complaints until after a student has first followed the college's complaint procedure.
If you have already complained directly to your college and you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can then request that the Superintendent of Career Colleges review your complaint.
You can contact the superintendent online to file a student complaint.
The Superintendent will review your complaint to determine if the college operated in compliance with the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005.
Information for former students
Students who have left or graduated from a career college, and require a student transcript, can request one:
- from the career college you attended
- from a ministry approved vendor
Former students may be contacted to participate in a ministry authorized survey about the outcome of their studies. This is to collect data for the career college's key performance indicators.
If you have any concerns or questions about these procedures, please contact either:
- your former school directly
- the ministry by emailing PCC@ontario.ca
Overview of name change
Effective January 1, 2024, the name of the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 (PCCA) is amended to the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005 (OCCA). Names and references related to the operation of career colleges are also changed as a result.
Where these terms appear in related content:
- private career college is now career college
- Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 (PCCA) is now Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005 (OCCA)
- Superintendent of Private Career Colleges is now Superintendent of Career Colleges
- Private Career Colleges Branch is now Career Colleges Branch
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org