Accreditation & Quality Assurance
As the agency that coordinates the BC Transfer System, the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT) often gets inquiries from students and institutions in other provinces and other countries asking whether a BC institution is "recognized" or "accredited." Usually, the purpose of the inquiry is to establish whether credits from this BC institution can transfer to BC universities, and by extension, whether they should therefore be acceptable to universities or colleges outside the province.
Quality Assurance in the BC Transfer System
In Canada, post-secondary education falls under provincial jurisdiction, and each province or territory in Canada has developed its own quality assurance mechanisms to ensure the legitimacy of institutions, public and private. In BC, acts of the provincial legislature establish and govern public institutions and the Minster responsible for advanced education approves individual degree programs for both public and private institutions informed by recommendations from the Degree Quality Assessment Board (DQAB). BCCAT relies on these quality assurance mechanisms as a criterion for considering membership to the BC Transfer System but is not, itself, charged with responsibility for quality assessment or recognition of institutions or programs.
Use of the Term "Accredited"
- Many programs in British Columbia institutions have been accredited by professional accrediting or licensing associations.
- In BC, private institutions that are “registered” or “designated” have successfuly undergone the voluntary certification process of the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the BC Ministry of Advanced Education which administers the Private Training Act and associated regulations. (“Designated” institutions are allowed access to student aid and Education Quality Assurance, or EQA, designation.) This process is required to establish eligibility to participate in provincial and federal student financial assistance programs. It does not imply or guarantee that courses or programs taken at these institutions will be recognized for transfer credit at any of the public post-secondary institutions.
Note: These processes were formerly overseen by the Private Career and Training Institutions Authority (PCTIA) which was dissolved in 2014.