Micro-credentials from Ontario’s postsecondary schools
Learn how to get rapid training opportunities for the in-demand skills employers need.
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Micro-credentials are rapid training programs offered by postsecondary education institutions across the province that can help you get the skills that employers need. Micro-credentials help people retrain and upgrade their skills to find new employment.
- take less time to complete than degrees or diplomas
- may be completed online and may include on-the-job training
- are often created with input from business sectors, so the skills being taught match employer needs
The micro-credentials portal is a starting point to explore the hundreds of micro-credentials available in Ontario, with more being added regularly.
This new resource is part of Ontario’s micro-credentials strategy, helping learners access more opportunities to train or upskill for in-demand jobs.
Loans and grants are also available to eligible learners to rapidly upskill and reskill for in-demand jobs. Hundreds of micro-credentials are approved for financial assistance through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), with more to come.
You can also check your local postsecondary education institution’s website to see more information about the micro-credentials they offer.
How to enrol
Once you have selected a micro-credential you’d like to take, register with the school directly. If the micro-credential is OSAP-approved, you can then apply for financial assistance through OSAP for Micro-credentials.
Log-in to your OSAP account to apply for funding for micro-credentials.
Ontario Micro-credentials Challenge Fund
To accelerate the development of micro-credentials and expand program offerings, Ontario is providing $15 million through the Ontario Micro-credentials Challenge Fund.
Ontario postsecondary institutions, working with local industry and employers, were encouraged to apply for funding to develop new or to expand existing micro-credentials.
After a successful call for proposals, Ontario approved over 65 projects at colleges, universities, Indigenous Institutes and private career colleges across the province, creating up to 250 new micro-credentials.
About the fund
The Challenge Fund’s intent was to increase the number and types of micro-credentials available in the province. These micro-credentials respond to regional labour market needs and increase collaboration between the private and public sectors through formal partnerships among postsecondary institutions, training providers and employers.
The micro-credentials developed from this fund focus on training that:
- is employer responsive and leads directly to local or regional jobs
- provides upskilling to existing employees within their current jobs
- supports a local COVID-19 response or other critical area of need within a community
The funding was available to:
- publicly assisted colleges and universities
- Indigenous Institutes
- private career colleges
- private degree-granting institutions
Progress on our plan
In 2020, we announced $59.5 million over three years to support micro-credentials.
So far we have:
- created an online portal to access micro-credential training opportunities
- supported the creation of up to 250 new micro-credentials in response to regional labour market needs through the Micro-credentials Challenge Fund
- strengthened partnerships between postsecondary institutions, training providers and employers
- promoted micro-credentials among learners and employers
- supported students with financial need to pay for education geared to in-demand jobs, through OSAP
- piloted a virtual passport that allows a learner to track, store and share their learning experience
Our plan also includes prioritizing micro-credentials with changes to the Better Jobs Ontario program (formerly Second Career). This will help support workers laid off due to COVID-19 by making it easier for them to retrain and upgrade their skills.
In 2019, we funded micro-credential pilots through two government programs: RapidSkills and eCampusOntario pilots.
The RapidSkills pilot program, launched in 2020, encouraged the development and tested the potential of short-duration, industry sensitive training.
The goal of the program was to help more workers gain the in-demand skills employers were looking for in the auto and advanced manufacturing sectors. RapidSkills provided funding to selected lead organizations to develop and deliver training to workers who were laid off, underutilized or at risk of layoff.
The pilot program ended in 2021, with 14 projects funded in postsecondary institutions and training centres across the province.
eCampusOntario is a provincially funded centre of excellence and global leader in technology-enabled teaching and learning. They lead a consortium of publicly-funded colleges, universities, and Indigenous Institutes in Ontario to support digital transformation and encourage innovation, collaboration and partnerships to connect Ontario’s campuses to the future of learning. With funding from the government of Ontario, eCampusOntario has facilitated 36 pilots at Ontario colleges and universities. Learn more about these pilot programs at eCampusOntario.
We will update this page as we continue to develop and expand micro-credentials.