Overview

If a private career college stops operating while students are enrolled in an approved vocational program, the Training Completion Assurance Fund (TCAF) can help eligible students with funding so they can complete their training or get a full or partial refund.

This page is for information only. It is not a legal document. For details and the exact wording of references refer to the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 (PCCA) and regulations.

Definitions

Refund
A refund of fees owed to a student for a discontinued vocational program (could be a full or partial refund.)
Training Completion
Training provided to allow students enrolled in a vocational program to complete their training if their registered private career college stops operating.
Training Completion Provider
An institution, organization, or person that will be providing a training completion to students as part of a training completion agreement with the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges.
Outstanding fee
A fee that a student still owed for their training when the private career college closed.
Fee paying student
A student that has paid the private career college directly for their training, and who is not funded by a third party such as Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) or an employer.
Unearned fee
A pre-paid fee for a vocational program that is unearned by the private career college because the program or a paid portion of the program has not yet been provided.
Approved vocational program
A program approved by the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005.

Eligibility for training or refund

Only fee-paying students who signed a contract and are enrolled in approved programs at registered private career colleges are eligible to receive training completions or refunds through TCAF.

The Superintendent of Private Career Colleges receives and assesses applications from students affected by the closure and may provide support to those who are eligible depending on the amount of TCAF funding available.

Applications ineligible for refunds or training completion:

  • students enrolled in programs not approved under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005
  • students funded completely by a third-party (for example, WSIB)

Contacting students

The Superintendent of Private Career Colleges and ministry staff, will use the contact information available at the affected private career college and will generally contact students by email.

When a private career college closes, the process of identifying a training completion provider will begin. It is common to have a waiting period between the closure and when a student's studies start again.

During the closure process and through email, the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges's staff will explain the process for arranging training completions and the rules around refunds if students are not willing or unable to complete their training.

If you have additional questions, contact the Private Career Colleges Branch.

 TCAF-PCC@ontario.ca

Support for employees

If you are a staff member who has been displaced, Employment Ontario can help you can find available supports.

Training completions

The Superintendent of Private Career Colleges is responsible for finding potential training completion providers. Every effort will be made to facilitate training completion as soon as possible. The ministry and the students have roles and responsibilities in the process.

Finding alternative training options

Our role

The Superintendent of Private Career Colleges will evaluate all the options to find the best possible training completion outcome for students with the least amount of disruption.

The training completion provider does not have to be a registered private career college. The Superintendent of Private Career Colleges can approve another person or organization to deliver the training, even if that person is not approved to offer the program under the PCCA. The Superintendent of Private Career Colleges must be satisfied that quality training will be provided to prepare students for their intended vocation.

If no suitable training option can be found, students will be eligible for a refund.

Learn more about refunds.

The ministry will inform students of the training completion opportunities available and remind students of the rules regarding refunds.

The ministry will provide:

  • a student claim form
  • instructions on how to complete the form
  • how to return the form to the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges

Once all possible training completion providers have been identified, ministry staff will contact students to advise them of their options.

Student's role

How to accept training completion or refunds

Students seeking training completion must:

  1. inform the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges of their preferred option using the student claim form that the ministry will provide
  2. return the form to the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges within 14 days as required under section 40(5) of O. Reg. 414/06

Students who do not return the form within 14 days will be:

  • ineligible for a training completion
  • considered only for a full or partial refund for the fees paid
  1. send the student claim form with supporting documentation

Students must provide Superintendent of Private Career Colleges:

  • a copy of the signed student contract
  • copies of all receipts for fees paid to the private career college
  • documentation of progress in the program to date (for example, logs, course calendar)

Note:
Once a student notifies the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges of their training completion choice:

  • they are no longer entitled to claim a refund of fees
  • the student must then take the agreed-upon training completion option

If you owe fees

Students are still eligible for a training completion if they have not paid all fees for the program. The ministry will assess student information to determine whether any outstanding fees are due. If that is the case, students will be required to pay outstanding fees owed to the training completion provider.

The training completion agreement between the training completion provider and the ministry will specify the amount of fees that the provider can charge each student.

Student contracts

With a training completion arrangement, students are not required to sign individual contracts with the training completion provider. Generally, students will not pay fees directly to the training completion provider.

Note: there are some reasons that a student may still sign an individual contract when they start training with the new provider. For example:

  • If the training completion agreement allows the training completion provider to charge students for any outstanding fees they still owe for their program. A student contract must be signed to protect the student.
  • If there are policies and procedures that the student must follow once they begin their studies with the training completion provider.

Refunds

If training is unavailable

If training completion cannot be arranged, a student may be entitled to claim a refund of fees paid to the private career college for a vocational program. The ministry will issue all refunds by cheque in Canadian dollars.

If you decline training

Students who do not want to participate in a training completion (or those who did not accept a training completion within the 14-day period) may file a claim for a refund of unearned fees paid for the program. If approved, the ministry will issue refunds by cheque in Canadian dollars.

In exceptional circumstances, if a student declines training completion because attending the training would cause them hardship, they may be granted a full refund. It is unlikely that students who refuse a training completion will obtain a full refund.

Making a claim for refunds

Claims for partial refunds

How to submit a claim

  • you will receive a student claim form from the ministry
  • use the student claim form to claim your refund
  • file your claim within six months from the day the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges officially confirms that the private career college is closed

If you require a student claim form or other forms noted in this information, please email the ministry:

 TCAF-PCC@ontario.ca

Along with the completed student claim form, the student must submit:

  • receipts for any fees paid to the private career college
  • a signed copy of the student enrolment contract

The amount of the refund will depend on:

  • the amount of fees that the student can demonstrate they paid to the private career college
  • the amount of fees that were earned by the private career college
  • other factors as determined by the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges

Claims for full refunds

Students who feel a training completion would cause undue hardship must submit:

  • the student claim form
  • a request for a full refund in writing to the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges that explains the facts of their situation

Request the student claim form from the ministry if you don't have one available.

 TCAF-PCC@ontario.ca

The Superintendent of Private Career Colleges may consider such things as whether:

  • the language of instruction for the training completion is different than the language of instruction of the discontinued vocational program
  • the timing of the training completion extends far beyond what the student had originally planned
  • the student has a written confirmation of an employment start date
  • other extenuating circumstances, such as a death in the immediate family, make the training completion unfeasible

If you can't provide documentation

Students will only be considered for a refund of those fees she or he can demonstrate were actually paid to the private career college. Students who cannot produce receipts for fees paid will not be eligible to claim a refund of those fees.

When you'll receive your refund

In general, refunds will not be paid until at least six months after the first student claim is received. The Superintendent of Private Career Colleges will need to review all claims and supporting documents. This can take anywhere from 6 to 24 months.

Refunds for OSAP students

If you are a student receiving OSAP and you opt for a refund instead of a training opportunity offered under TCAF, your refund will be sent directly to the National Student Loan Service Centre (NSLSC) to reduce your outstanding student loans.

You may receive a refund directly from the NSLSC only if the amount of your refund exceeds your student loan amount.

Travel and dependent care expenses

Expenses must be pre-approved by the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges.
See pre-approval of expenses to find out what you have to submit.

The Superintendent of Private Career Colleges may approve the reimbursement of reasonable travel and dependent care costs associated with a training completion. TCAF can only cover costs that are above and beyond what a student would have paid if they had been able to complete the original vocational program.

For example, if the student spent $20 a week in public transportation to get to their former (original) program and it costs the student $30 to attend the training completion site, the student may be eligible to claim $10 a week in transportation costs.

Travel expenses

Travel costs are expenses incurred to commute to and from the site of the training completion. Travel costs could include the cost of transit passes or may be paid on a per kilometre basis.

Dependent care expenses

A dependent must:

  • reside with the student and be under their care
  • be either wholly or substantially dependent on the student for support
  • be either mentally or physically disabled or a child under 14 years of age

Dependent care provided by family members

In general, approval will not be granted for dependent care provided by family members.

An exception may be made where a paid arrangement between family members was previously in place but additional hours of dependent care are required to accommodate the training completion program. For example, a student previously enrolled in a part-time program will now have to participate full-time in training completion. In this scenario, TCAF would only cover the costs of the extended hours of dependent care.

Example of acceptable proof of the arrangement:
An income tax return with receipts for dependent care expenses filed by the student or the student's spouse/common-law partner. If an exception has been made to support dependent care provided by a family member, the student must submit receipts to substantiate the cost.

Get your expenses approved

Pre-approval of expenses

Along with the student claim form, students that intend to submit claims for travel and dependent care expenses must submit an estimate of those expenses using the Travel and Dependent Care Pre-Approval Form. (See "How to apply")

Any approval of expenses will consider how:

  • the student travelled to the former private career college
  • dependents were cared for when the student attended the program at the closed PCC

Note: travel and childcare expense items not pre-approved by the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges cannot be reimbursed.

How to apply

In order to be considered for reimbursement of approved expenses, students must complete and submit a travel and dependent care request for reimbursement form available from the ministry:

 TCAF-PCC@ontario.ca

The claim for reimbursement must be accompanied by:

  • evidence that the expenses were pre-approved by the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges
  • the expenses were actually incurred by the student (for example, official receipts)

The Superintendent of Private Career Colleges's staff need to review all claims and all supporting documents.

Deadlines and timeframes
  • claims for reimbursement must be filed within 90 days of completing a training completion as outlined in subsection 42(6) of O. Reg. 414/06.
  • expenses cannot be paid until the time for making such claims has expired. (It may take anywhere from 6 to 24 months.)

Repaying OSAP

Students are required to begin repaying student loans six months after full-time studies end.

Contact the National Student Loans Service Centre to confirm the dates that student loan payments are scheduled to start. Programs are available to assist students with repayment.

Within North America:

Outside North America (plus appropriate country code):

For further information on repayment obligations, visit www.ontario.ca/OSAP.