Private career colleges
What you need to know about attending a private career college in Ontario.
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Private career colleges offer certificate and diploma programs in fields such as:
- health services
- human resources
- applied arts
- information technology
They often appeal to people who:
- need specific job skills to join the workforce
- have academic qualifications and want to add to their practical skills to become more competitive in the job market
Private career colleges often work with small groups of students rather than large classes, and offer:
- flexible learning schedules
- enrolment at many different times during the year
- compressed programs that deliver training over a short time
In Ontario, private career colleges that offer vocational programs must, by law, be registered under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005.
Private career colleges must also have their vocational programs approved by the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges and must operate and support students as:
- directed by the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges
- outlined in the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005
Private career college checklist
Find out if the private career college is registered and the vocational program you want to take is approved under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005.
Note: If you enrol in an unregistered institution, or an unapproved vocational program, the PCCA may not protect you.
Make sure that you:
- speak with employers in the field to make sure the private career college's programs meet their needs
- visit the college to see the facilities and equipment
- understand the total cost of enrolling in the program, including the application fee, tuition, books, equipment, transportation, room and board, etc.
- meet the admission requirements of the program you registered for
- sign an enrolment contract with a representative of the college
Read important information in the Statement of Students' Rights and Responsibilities.
Reporting an unregistered college
If you have information about an institution providing vocational training without being registered, and you believe they should be registered, you may notify the ministry to investigate.
Note: not all organizations require registration. See Private career colleges exemptions from registration.
Submit an inquiry to the ministry online or e-mail:
If you choose to contact the ministry online, you will first be prompted to register for a login.
Graduation and satisfaction rates
The Superintendent of Private Career Colleges collects data about graduates of programs at private career colleges in Ontario. This key performance indicator (KPI) data can be very helpful to students when considering which institution and program to attend.
Filing a complaint against a private career college
Every private career college must have a complaint procedure for students to follow. By law, the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges cannot consider student complaints until after a student has first followed the college's complaint procedure.
If you have already complained directly to your college and you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can then request that the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges review your complaint.
You can contact the superintendent online to file a student complaint.
The Superintendent will review your complaint to determine if the college operated in compliance with the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005.
Information for former students
Students who have left or graduated from a private career college, and require a student transcript, can request one:
- from the private career college you attended
- from a ministry approved vendor
Former students may be contacted to participate in a ministry authorized survey about the outcome of their studies. This is to collect data for the private career college's key performance indicators.
If you have any concerns or questions about these procedures, please contact either:
- your former school directly
- the ministry by emailing PCC@ontario.ca