Overview

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.

About micro-credentials

Micro-credentials:

  • 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

Apply now

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 is funding over 65 projects at colleges, universities, Indigenous Institutes and private career colleges across the province, creating up to 250 new micro-credentials. These micro-credentials will be ready for enrolment in 2022.

About the fund

The Challenge Fund’s intent is to increase the number and types of micro-credentials available in the province. These micro-credentials will 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 will 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 a $59.5 million investment 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 more than 65 new micro-credential projects 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

Future work on micro-credentials includes:

  • developing a virtual passport that tracks a person’s 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.

Pilot programs

In 2019, we funded micro-credential pilots through two government programs: RapidSkills and eCampusOntario pilots.

RapidSkills

The RapidSkills pilot program, launched in 2020, encourages the development of short-duration, industry sensitive training and tests its potential.

The goal is to help more workers gain the in-demand skills employers are 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.

RapidSkills currently has 13 projects in colleges across the province.

eCampusOntario

eCampusOntario is a provincially funded centre of excellence and global leader in technology-enabled teaching and learning. eCampusOntario leads a consortium of 46 publicly-funded Ontario colleges, universities, and one Indigenous Institute to develop and test online learning tools to advance the use of education technology and digital learning environments. With funding from the government of Ontario, eCampusOntario has so far 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.