Career colleges in Ontario must operate according to requirements set out in the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005.


To be able to advertise or offer vocational programs in Ontario, your organization must be registered and your vocational programs must be approved by the Superintendent of Career Colleges.

Registration pre-screening

To register your organization as a career college in Ontario, your career college must first complete a pre-screening application. You can do this through the Program Approval and Registration Information System (PARIS).

The pre-screening helps you find out if your institution or programs require approval under the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005.

New registration

A career college business must be registered with the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery (Service Ontario) and must have received a ministry decision of program approval required on a pre-screening application to apply for registration.

You may also register a program that was purchased from a registered career college, involved in an asset sale or franchised. An application for registration includes:

  • organization information
  • information for at least one campus
  • information for at least one program

There are financial implications to registering a career college. Financial security is required along with payment of premiums into the Training Completion Assurance Fund to ensure that your business is viable and that students will have protection. There are also administrative fees for registering a career college, program applications, inspections, renewal of registration and other services.

Read the fee schedule

Renewal of registration

To continue operating you must also renew your registration annually.

Read the Renewal of Registration guidelines.

Communicating with the ministry
You can communicate directly with the ministry online through the Program Approval and Registration Information System (PARIS.)

To register to use PARIS and receive log-in credentials, contact the Career Colleges Branch:


Program approval

The Superintendent of Career Colleges registers and approves vocational programs to be delivered to students. Your career college must seek approval for each program before offering it to the public.

Some colleges and some programs are not required to receive approval from the Superintendent of Career Colleges.

For more information, see career colleges exemptions from registration.

Learn more about pre-screening and registration.

Business operations


Every career college operator must follow the guidelines for advertising a career college or its vocational programs outlined in Ontario Regulation 415/06, under the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005.

Under the regulation, the term "advertisement" means an ad in any language, whether written or oral, and distributed or transmitted by any means including by publication, radio, television or the Internet.

Login to PARIS for more information about advertising.

If you are a career college operator and need access to PARIS, contact:



All registered career colleges must purchase adequate liability insurance prior to registration.

Insurance coverage must be sufficient to:

  • compensate a business for any damages to its buildings or equipment
  • protect the college and its officers, employees, agents and any volunteers in the event that a claim is made

This includes accidents that occur off-campus if attendance at such places is required as part of a vocational program.


Career colleges are required to ensure that students have access to their transcripts for a minimum of 25 years after students graduate.

This is done by a third party so the student can always obtain their transcript.

Your career college must transfer transcripts to your third-party vendor(s) within 90 days after students graduate.

See a list of pre-approved third-party transcript vendors.

Student contracts

You must provide a signed written contract to each student that enrols in a program at your college.

Student contracts must include the terms specified in Section 20 of Ontario Regulation 415/06. These terms are mandatory and excluding them from student contracts will mean a career college is in non-compliance and may be subject to penalties.

Note: Contracts that do not contain all the required terms can also be voided at the student's discretion. The career college would then be required to provide a full refund of fees paid by the student.

If you offer non-vocational programs (that is, programs that do not require approval under the Act), you are not obligated to meet the terms in Section 20 of Ontario Regulation 415/06.

Your career college is required to retain copies of student contracts for at least three years after the student leaves the school.

Records on file

The Superintendent of Career Colleges has specific requirements for storing records and documents at the campus or head office of a career college. The ministry will share timelines with you as part of the registration process, which can help you plan your organization's administration.

Login to PARIS for more information about record retention.

If you are a career college operator and need access to PARIS, contact:


Changes and updates

Changes must be communicated to the ministry according to various timelines outlined in the Ontario Career College Act, 2005. Most changes must be approved by the Superintendent of Career Colleges prior to the change taking place. Once you have registered, the ministry will provide the expectations for communicating changes to the ministry.

Tuition and fees

Fee collection

Career colleges can only charge or collect compulsory fees for a program that have been published online. All fees charged or collected for a program must be in Canadian dollars.

A career college cannot collect fees from prospective students before an enrolment contract is signed. However, 20% of the total fees for a program or $500 (whichever is less) can be collected to process an application or conduct any admission tests or assessments.


Students are entitled to a full refund if they withdraw from a program within two days of signing their enrolment contract.

Students should notify the college in writing when they withdraw and do not have to give a reason for their withdrawal.

After two days, a student withdrawing from the program before it begins is entitled to a full refund minus 20% of the total fees or $500 (whichever is less).

Once a program has begun, refunds can vary, and the amount that a student is entitled to is related to how much training they received at the time they withdrew.

Read the rules career colleges must follow to charge fees and process refunds for students.

Policies and procedures

Complaint procedure

All career colleges must have a written student complaint procedure that meets the requirements set out in O.Reg. 415/06.

Students must be provided with a copy of the procedure when they sign a contract.

Students have access to the ministry's complaint process if their complaint is not resolved through your career college's student complaint procedure.

Any changes to the complaint procedure must be reported to and approved by the Superintendent of Career Colleges before the changes take effect.

Expulsion policy

Your institution must have a policy clearly outlining the reasons a student may be expelled from the school. Students must be provided with a copy of the policy when they sign a contract and any expulsion must be done according to the policy. Institutions are required to inform the Superintendent of Career Colleges of any changes to the expulsion policy before the changes take effect. If the ministry receives a complaint about an expulsion, your career college must demonstrate that it has followed its expulsion policy.

Sexual violence and harassment policy

It is a condition of registration that every career college must have a sexual violence policy. The school's enrolment contract must include an acknowledgement by the student that he or she has received a copy.

The Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005 was amended in 2017 and 2021 to set out specific requirements for a career college's sexual violence policy, such as:

  • requirements to consult students for the development and renewal of the policy
  • requirement to report data on incidents of sexual violence to the ministry
  • to survey students regarding the effectiveness of the policy

The general regulation (O.reg. 415/06) was amended to set related expectations for operations at the career college such as the requirement to:

  • publish its sexual violence policy on its website or conspicuous physical location
  • inform students of supports and services available in the community
  • train managers, staff, students and owners on the sexual violence policy

To view the full list of requirements for a career college sexual violence policy, see Section 32.1 of the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005 and Section 36.02 of O.reg 415/06.

Graduation and job rates

Career colleges are required to participate in the reporting of Key Performance Indicators to provide the public with helpful data on program outcomes.

The Key Performance Indicators include graduation rate, graduate employment rate, graduate employment rate in the field of study, graduate satisfaction rate and employer satisfaction rate.

The Superintendent of Career Colleges:

  • collects key performance indicator data from  career colleges
  • issues a policy directive to outline key requirements for key performance indicators

The key performance indicator results by career college are available on Ontario's Data Catalogue. The results are available from 2014.

Compliance activities


Individuals designated by the Superintendent of Career Colleges conduct inspections to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions approved at the time of registration, and compliance with the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005.

Inspections and field visits are conducted unannounced and on a periodic basis. Career colleges should maintain current up to date records for both students and instructors, and ensure operational documents are compliant to the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005. Inspection reports issued to the career college will identify any issues of compliance and the applicable timeline for response from the school.

Compliance monitors

When the Superintendent of Career Colleges has grounds for concern about a registered career college's compliance with the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005, they may require a third-party individual to act as a compliance monitor to oversee and report on operations at the institution.

Login to PARIS for more information about compliance monitors

If you are a career college operator and need access to PARIS, contact:


Notices and orders

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities regulates career colleges under the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005 and associated regulations. Under the Act, the Superintendent of Career Colleges can issue Notices and Orders to operators that are not conducting their business in accordance with the law.

Find a record of businesses issued with a compliance notice or order.