Clause 53 (1) (a) of the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005 enables the Superintendent of Career Colleges to issue policy directives setting out standards for vocational programs or classes of vocational programs.

Subsection 53 (2) of the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005 establishes that policy directives issued by the Superintendent of Career Colleges are legal requirements that are binding on all career colleges and every career college must comply with and operate in accordance with the policy directive.

Effective January 2014.

Program approval

Pursuant to subsection 23 (1) of the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005, career colleges that offer a program leading to a developmental service worker credential must have the program approved by the Superintendent of Career Colleges.

Career colleges seeking approval of developmental service workers programs must comply with the directive outlined below and submit a complete program approval application to the Superintendent for consideration.

Upon receipt of program approval, the career college must include the disclaimer language below in all student contracts (duty to inform).

Mandatory requirements

Programs offered at career colleges designed to prepare graduates for employment as a Developmental Services Worker, are required to:

  • meet the expectations outlined in the following sections of the Developmental Services Worker Training Standard (2012) developed by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities
    • vocational standards
    • essential employability skills
  • be a minimum of 1,000 instruction hours

In addition, career colleges are required to inform students through a disclaimer that a vulnerable sector screening is required prior to commencing a placement or practicum.

The Developmental Services Worker standard and disclaimer (duty to inform) are part of this directive.

Similar training programs

Programs related to developmental services (for example, education assistant, or special needs support) that do not provide training for employment as a developmental services worker are not subject to this policy directive.

Note: The career college offering the related program must ensure that all promotional materials and enrolment contracts do not suggest the program provides students with a credential as a development services worker.


Under subsection 24 (1) of the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005, a career college's program approval may be revoked if the Superintendent believes that the program fails to meet the policy directive outlined above. If a career college does not comply with the directive set out above, any or all of the following enforcement actions may be taken:

  • issuance of a Notice of Program Revocation
  • issuance of a Compliance or Restraining Order
  • application to a court for a Judicial Restraining Order
  • proposal to Revoke or to Not Renew Registration
  • prosecution for offences under the Ontario Career Colleges Act, 2005

Duty to inform

Disclaimer for career college use only

Important note for registered career colleges providing training:

  • use the wording below exactly as specified
  • include the school and program name
  • insert student's name where indicated
  • provide the disclaimer to students when the career college and the student review and sign the contract
  • include a signature and date line to record the student's acknowledgement
  • keep the document in the student's file as a record of the disclosure

Disclaimer for students in programs leading to work with vulnerable sectors

This program involves direct contact with vulnerable individuals. Students must obtain a Vulnerable Sector Screening before they start a placement or practicum.

The screening involves a search of the Vulnerable Sector Database, maintained by the Ontario Provincial Police. The search looks for any information about a person in police files, including criminal convictions, outstanding charges, and information about suspected criminal offences or serious criminal investigations. This includes any contact a person may have had with police services under the Mental Health Act, 1990, at

Screening can take 10 to 12 weeks to complete.

It is a good practice to get the results before the training program begins to be sure that you can complete a placement or practicum and graduate.

If you choose to begin the program before you have the results, please plan your time so that you can receive the report before applying for a placement or practicum. If you start the program and do not receive the report, you risk being ineligible for a placement or practicum, and you may not be able to graduate. Tuition and fee refunds may be affected.

You must not do anything during the program or placement that would affect the results of your vulnerable sector screening report. If so, you may not be able to continue your studies.

Further information regarding the Police Reference Check Program and the screening process can be viewed on the Ontario Provincial Police website,

I [ insert student's name ] understand that if I do not obtain a vulnerable sector screening, I risk being unable to:

  • begin a placement or continue a placement
  • graduate
  • receive a partial refund or no refund of tuition, depending on when I withdraw or am expelled from this program

Students signature:




If you have questions contact the ministry at:

Career Colleges Branch
Ministry of Colleges and Universities
77 Wellesley Street, Box 977
Toronto, ON M7A 1N3