All certified private training institutions in BC must meet regulatory standards in the following areas:
When an institution intends to offer a program, it must first be submitted to PTIB for a decision on whether the program requires approval and if so, whether the program is approved. A career-related program that meets the threshold of 40+ hours of instruction and $4,000 tuition is considered a career training program and must be approved.
Only students enrolled in approved programs are eligible to make a claim for a tuition refund in the event that the institution ceases to be certified or misleads the student regarding the program. Student enrolment contracts must clearly state whether the program is an approved program or a program that does not require approval.
Approved programs must have a curriculum that enables a student to meet the program's learning objectives. The institution must ensure that the length of the program, its method of delivery and equipment and facilities support the program's learning objectives. A program outline must be attached to the enrolment contract. Students must receive course outlines on or before the first day of a course and course materials must be relevant and in the language of instruction.
If the program is regulated by another regulator, the institution must meet and maintain that regulator's requirements. For more information, refer to Career Occupations and Other Regulators.
Instructors of career-related or practical courses must have a certificate, diploma or degree and two years of related work experience OR 10 years of work experience in an occupation relevant to the course. Instructors of academic courses within a career training program (e.g. biology or math) must have a degree relevant to the course.
All students enrolling in approved programs must sign contracts that set out accurate information about the program including start and end dates, hours of instruction, method of delivery and the credential to be granted on completion. The contracts must also include the admission requirements for the program, a list of tuition and mandatory fees, a program outline, and the institution's tuition refund policy. Institutions must provide a copy of the signed contract to a student.
Fees and Tuition
Institutions may not charge more than $250 for a domestic student application fee or $1,000 for an international student application fee.
PTIB does not regulate the amount of tuition an institution can charge. However, if your enrolment contract is for longer than six months, you cannot be required to pay your tuition in a single instalment.
Institutions are required to have a tuition refund policy that meets regulatory standards. This policy must be provided to you or posted on the institution’s website before the institution can accept any tuition.
You may be entitled to a full refund if:
- The institution enrolls you in a program for which you do not meet the admission requirements and you have not misrepresented your knowledge or skills when applying for admission.
- If you change your mind and withdraw from the program within 7 days of both you and the institution signing the enrolment contract (provided it is before the start of the program).
- If the institution fails to provide the work experience within the contract term.
Refunds are payable within 30 days of the date of withdrawal/dismissal or PTIB’s determination that a refund is due.
If you are owed a tuition refund and you have paid for but not received textbooks or other course materials, including equipment or uniforms, the institution must also refund the fees charged for these items.
Learn more about tuition refunds.
If a program contains a work experience (practicum, preceptorship, clinical placement, co-op), the institution must provide the work experience before the end date of the program. The institution must monitor and evaluate the work experience. The work experience must include activities that are directly related to the program's learning objectives and be under the supervision of someone who is qualified in an occupation that is relevant to the program.
Institutions must have a dismissal policy and provide a copy to students before the start date of the program. The policy must set out reasonable grounds to dismiss a student and the process the institution will use to dismiss a student.
Dispute Resolution Process
Institutions must have a written dispute resolution policy. The policy must describe how a complaint is to be handled and allow for a student to be represented by an agent or a lawyer. No fee may be charged by an institution to handle a student complaint. The institution must give the student a written decision within 45 days of the student making the complaint.
Students are required to exhaust the institution's dispute resolution process before filing a claim against the Student Tuition Protection Fund.
To learn more about regulatory standards, you may wish to look at the Private Training Act Policy Manual.