Membership in the BC Transfer System
The BC Transfer System is made up of BC public institutions, some BC private institutions and two out-of-province institutions (Yukon College and Athabasca University). Membership is based on approval through a recognized quality assurance process and is described in detail below. For more information, see BCCAT's POLICY 3A: Membership of the BC Transfer System.
A. Public Post-Secondary Institutions in BC
All BC public institutions are ongoing members of the BC Transfer System. BC public institutions are under provincial oversight and adhere to rigorous quality assessment processes as described below.
All public institutions have been authorized through Acts of the provincial legislature. The mission, mandate, responsibilities and governance of public institutions are specified principally in the University Act, and the College and Institute Act of the BC Legislature, as well as in certain institution-specific Acts. Establishment by legislation is sometimes referred to as receiving a charter. The provincial government provides the majority of funding and exercises regulatory oversight for all public institutions.
All public institutions are subject to an annual accountability framework. All public post-secondary institutions in BC receive the majority of their funding from the provincial government, and are subject to a detailed accountability framework every year, conducted through the provincial ministry responsible for post-secondary education. The provincial post-secondary accountability framework emphasizes institutional performance and quality through the establishment and measurement of key performance indicators.
All degree programs must be approved through the provincial processes as outlined by the Degree Quality Assessment Board and undergo rigorous quality assessment processes. The BC Degree Quality Assessment Board (DQAB) is a provincial Board appointed by the Minister of Advanced Education for the purpose of assessing the quality of proposed degree programs at public and private institutions in BC, and recommending approval (or not) to the Minister. The DQAB can conduct both institutional and program reviews using a set of rigorous academic criteria and processes including peer review of degree proposals.
B. Private and Out-of-Province Degree Granting Post-Secondary Institutions in BC
Private institutions that have undergone the rigorous quality assessment processes of the Degree Quality Assessment Board (DQAB), and that have been authorized by the Minister of Advanced Education (i.e. programs given "Ministerial Consent") to offer degree programs in BC are eligible for articulation within the BC Transfer System.
this approval extends only to the authorized degree program(s); it does not apply to non-degree or other programs at the private institution; and
approval to articulate does not guarantee that transfer credit will be awarded by receiving institutions; and
transfer agreements may not be reciprocal: reverse credit is not guaranteed.
Members admitted based in part on DQAB approval to offer degree program(s) in BC sign a "Letter of Assurance" committing them to adherence to the Principles and Guidelines for Transfer and to the norms and standards of the BC Transfer System. Membership can be suspended or revoked. For more information, see BCCAT POLICY 3A: Membership of the BC Transfer System.
The BC Council on Admissions and Transfer also has a policy outlining the processes for recording formal transfer agreements between BC public institutions and private, non-member institutions in the BC Transfer Guide. This policy is titled BCCAT POLICY 3B: Listing of Transfer Agreements with Non-Member Institutions in the BC Transfer Guide. Outside the agreements covered by this policy, credit granted for courses taken at an institution that is not a member of the BC Transfer System is not normally recorded in the BC Transfer Guide.
C. Canadian Public Post-Secondary Institutions
Yukon College, a publicly funded institution, became a member of the BC Transfer System in 1993. Through a reciprocal protocol agreement between BCCAT and ACAT (the Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfer), Athabasca University, a publicly funded institution, became a member of the BC Transfer System in 2012.
BCCAT's revised membership policy outlines procedures and processes for prospective membership in the BC Transfer System by other Canadian public post-secondary institutions not operating in BC.
NOTE: BCCAT POLICY 3A, "Membership in the BC Transfer System" was approved by Council on October 6, 2017. This new, revised policy consolidates three previous policy documents (3A1, 3A2, and 3A3), outlining the terms of transfer system membership of post-secondary institutions, including private and out-of-province institutions.