Overview

Micro-credentials are rapid training programs offered by colleges, universities and Indigenous Institutes across the province that can help you get the skills that employers need. They help people retrain and upgrade their skills to find new employment.

About the programs

Micro-credential programs:

  • take less time to complete than degrees or diplomas
  • may be completed online and may include on-the-job training
  • many are created with input from business sectors, so the skills being taught match employer needs

Apply now

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) now includes hundreds of micro-credential programs, with more to come. The micro-credentials plan ensures loans and grants will be available to more learners to rapidly upskill and reskill for in-demand jobs.

Check your local college or university’s website to see if they offer micro-credentials.

How to enroll

After you’ve found a program you’d like to take, register with the school offering the program. If the program 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, we are providing $15 million through the Ontario Micro-credentials Challenge Fund.

Ontario postsecondary institutions, working with local industry and employers, were encouraged to submit a proposal to apply for funding to develop new or to expand existing micro-credentials.

Proposal submissions closed as of June 25, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EST. We will provide details on successful projects in the months ahead on this page.

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

For more information about the Challenge Fund, please contact psepolicy@ontario.ca.

Our plan

In 2020, we announced a $59.5 million investment over three years to support micro-credentials.

Our investment will help:

  • create an online portal to access micro-credential training opportunities
  • create new micro-credentials in response to regional labour market needs
  • strengthen partnerships between postsecondary institutions, training providers and employers
  • launch a public awareness campaign to promote micro-credentials among learners and employers
  • support students with financial need to pay for education geared to in-demand jobs, through the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
  • develop a virtual passport that tracks a person’s learning experience

Our plan also includes prioritizing micro-credentials with changes to the Second Career program. This will help support workers laid off due to  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.

Updated: September 22, 2021
Published: December 09, 2020