Overview

Private career colleges throughout Ontario deliver a wide range of postsecondary programs designed to provide graduates with the entry-level skills and knowledge they need to become successfully employed in various vocations. These programs must be of high quality and relevant to the needs of both employers and students.

Under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005, every private career college in Ontario must secure the approval of the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges for any vocational program it offers which is 40 hours or more of instruction and costs more than $2,000.

Approval process

Private career colleges submit applications for program approval to the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges through the Program Approval and Registration Information System (PARIS). PARIS is clear and easy-to-use and its dedicated program approval module allows private career college operators to input program information and curriculum details directly for ministry review.

The Private Career Colleges Act,  2005 sets out the requirements for program approval, including descriptions of all courses and subject modules, qualifications of instructors, methods of evaluation, and admission standards.

Communicating with the ministry

Ongoing communication with the ministry is required and done online through PARIS. Private career colleges must keep the ministry informed of significant changes to programs, such as changes to tuition fees, changes to the curriculum or to the maximum number of students. Private career colleges receive login credentials when they first register to use PARIS.

If you are a private career college operator and need access to PARIS, send an email to pcc@ontario.ca.

Application fees

Private career colleges are required to pay fees for various services that the ministry provides such as reviewing applications for registration and program approval.

Read the fee schedule

Program standards

Ontario's private career colleges deliver a wide range of postsecondary programs designed to provide graduates with the skills and the knowledge they need to become successfully employed.

Program standards outline the key skills and knowledge required to do certain jobs, which helps to create consistent training programs, regardless of where students choose to study.

The ministry oversees the development of standards for many programs of instruction. The program standards identify the essential skills and knowledge graduates must acquire to find jobs and continue their career development.

Each private career college must ensure that its programs and its methods of program delivery are consistent with these standards and must assist students to achieve the essential outcomes. To ensure that a program prepares students for the expectations of their industry, the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges may issue a policy directive to require a private career college to meet a program standard.

Login to PARIS to review the program standards required for the licensing of certain programs at private career colleges.

Instructor qualifications

Education and experience

Under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005, an instructor for a vocational program must have:

  • at least 48 months of work or teaching experience in the vocation in the past 10 years. This can be 4 years of work experience, 4 years of teaching experience or a combination of both
    or
  • at least 24 months of experience, within the previous 10 years, working or teaching in the vocation, plus one of the following qualifications:
    1. an Ontario bachelor's degree (or equivalent degree outside Ontario)
    2. a certificate of qualification issued under the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 (or equivalent Canadian certificate)
    3. status as a graduate of an Ontario college of applied arts and technology or registered private career college (or equivalent institution outside Ontario)

Regulated programs

If a vocation is governed by a regulatory body that specifies instructor qualifications, the instructors at a private career college must meet those additional qualifications.

Substitute instructors

Private career colleges may employ substitute instructors that do not meet the requirements if the total amount of a program taught by all unqualified instructors does not exceed 10%.

The Superintendent may approve other instructors that are deemed to be proficient in the subject and/or vocation to be taught. If you would like to seek approval for an instructor that does not meet the qualifications listed above, contact the ministry: pcc@ontario.ca

Third-party assessments

Part of the program approval process involves having a vocational program assessed by a qualified third party who has expertise in program evaluation and who has been approved by the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges.

A program assessment must be based on a complete application for program approval and done at the expense of the applicant.

Each program assessment report is completed in PARIS and is submitted directly to the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges.

Read about third-party assessments