Are you interested in starting your own private career college? Each provincial and territorial government oversees and administers their own processes for registering and operating a private training institution. Please refer to your applicable province in the list below as a starting point.
In British Columbia, all organizations that provide at least one career-related program with 40 hours or more of instructional time, and tuition of at least $4,000, must be issued a certificate from the Private Training Institutions Branch of the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. Private career colleges are governed by the Private Training Act and associated regulations.
Click here to go to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills’ Training “Information for Institutions” webpage, which explains the application and orientation process.
It is advised that all parties who are interested in opening a private career college in British Columbia refer to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training’s “Starting a Private Training Institution in BC: What you need to know before applying for a certificate” (June 2021) document.
Private career colleges in Alberta are required to apply and receive a license to offer career training programs. Training institutions are regulated by the Private Vocational Training Act and its regulations.
Click here for the Government of Alberta’s Private Career Colleges overview page, which includes the process for applying for a career training license.
In Saskatchewan, career colleges (also known as private vocational schools) must be registered with the Ministry of Advanced Education, and receive approval of the programs they offer. Private career colleges must comply with the authority of the Private Vocational Schools Regulation Act, 1995, the Private Vocational Schools Regulations, 2014, and the Post-Secondary Education and Skills Training Act.
Click here to visit the Government of Saskatchewan’s Career Colleges website, which includes all information regarding the process for registering a new institution in the province.
The Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration oversees private career colleges in the province of Manitoba. Private vocational institutions are governed by the Private Vocational Institutions Act and associated regulations.
In Manitoba, private training providers that offer programs that include more than 40 hours of instruction, or more than $400 in tuition costs.
Click here for more information from the Government of Manitoba on the steps required to start a private career college in this province.
The Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Colleges and Universities is responsible for approving the registrations of new private career colleges. In Ontario, a private career college is defined as “an education institution or other institution, agency or entity that provides one or more vocational programs to students, administered through individual written contracts with the students, for a fee”.
Private career colleges must adhere to the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 and its regulations.
Click here for more information on registering a private career college in Ontario through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
A permit issued by the Ministry of Higher Education (Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur) is required to open and operate a private educational institution in Quebec. These private colleges are governed by the Act Respecting Private Education and its regulations, and the College Education Regulations of the General and Vocational Colleges Act.
The Private Occupational Training Branch, under the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, oversees the registration process of new private career colleges in New Brunswick. All private organizations and trainers delivering programs to enhance or improve an individual’s employability are required to register under the Private Occupational Training Act.
Click here to visit the Government of New Brunswick’s website for information on the process and eligibility for Registration of a Private Occupational Training Organization.
In Nova Scotia, the Private Career Colleges Division of the Ministry of Advanced Education manages the registration of private training institutions offering occupational training in this province. This division also administers the Private Career Colleges Act, which all career colleges must adhere to.
Click here to visit the Private Career College Division’s website, for all information on the registration process and associated fees.
Prince Edward Island
Private career colleges in Prince Edward Island must be registered with the Administrator of Private Training Schools, under the Ministry of Education and Lifelong Learning. These private institutions are regulated by the Private Training Schools Act.
Click here to visit the Government of Prince Edward Island’s website for more information on this registration process.
Newfoundland and Labrador
In Newfoundland and Labrador, the Department of Education is responsible for approving all programs offered by private career colleges, and manages the institution registration process. Private training institutions must abide by the Private Training Institutions Act and associated regulations.
Click here to visit the Ministry of Education’s Private Training overview page, which contains all details and forms required for the registration of a private career college.
It is also advised that private career college owners and operators refer to the associated policies and procedures outlined in the “Standard Operating Procedures for Private Training Institutions in Newfoundland and Labrador” document.
The Government of Yukon’s Department of Education requires all institutions offering occupational training programs over 45 hours to register. Private training institutions (also called trade schools) are governed by the Trade School Act and its regulations.
Click here to visit the Government of Yukon’s official Private Training Institutions page for more information on the registration process.
In the Northwest Territories, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Employment is responsible for managing private training institutions. The Government passed the Post-Secondary Education Act in 2019, which provides guidance on the registration and operation of private training institutions, however, the Act has not yet come into force. Click here to read a plain language summary of the Act, prepared by the Government of Northwest Territories.
Click here for more information on opening a private career college in Northwest Territories. As information is expected to change with the new legislation, interested parties are advised to reach out to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Employment directly, using the contact information available on the website linked above.
In Nunavut, the Department of Education is responsible for the governance of adult and post-secondary education. Please click here for information to contact the Department of Education directly, for more information on the process to open a career college in Nunavut.