Private Career Colleges (PCCs)

FACT SHEET #5: Training Completion Assurance Fund (TCAF)
Information for Students: Private Career College Closure

Revised February 18, 2015

Table of Contents

DEFINITIONS

In this document:

  • Refund: means a refund of fees owing to a student for a discontinued vocational program (could be a full or partial refund)
  • Training Completion: means training provided to allow students enrolled in a vocational program to complete their training if their registered private career college stops operating.
  • Training Completion Provider: means an institution, organization, or person that will be providing a training completion to students as part of a training completion agreement with the Superintendent
  • Unearned fee: means a pre-paid fee for a vocational program that is unearned by the private career college because the program or a paid portion of the program has not yet been provided
  • Vocational program: means a program that was approved by the Superintendent under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005.

MY PRIVATE CAREER COLLEGE HAS CLOSED. WHAT DO I DO NOW?

When a private career college stops operating while students are enrolled in vocational programs, the Training Completion Assurance Fund (TCAF) exists to help provide eligible students with funding towards training completion, or full or partial refunds. The Superintendent of Private Career Colleges receives and assesses applications from affected students, and may provide support to those who are eligible depending on the amount of TCAF funding available.

Am I eligible for a Training Completion or Refund?

Only fee-paying students who signed a contract and are enrolled in approved programs at registered private career colleges are eligible to receive training completions or refunds through TCAF. Students who were enrolled in programs that are not approved under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 (PCCA) and students who were funded completely by a third-party (e.g. WSIB) are not eligible for refunds or training completions.

How do I find out more information?

The Superintendent, along with ministry staff, may contact students by any appropriate method, and will rely on the contact information available at the affected private career college. Generally, the ministry contacts students by email.

At the time of the initial contact, it is unlikely that a training completion provider will have been identified. During the closure process and through email communication following that date, the Superintendent's staff will explain the process for arranging training completions and the rules around refunds.

If you have additional questions, contact the Private Career Colleges Branch at TCAF-PCC@Ontario.ca.

PART 1 – TRAINING COMPLETIONS

How long will it take before I know what my Training Completion options are?

The Superintendent is responsible for finding potential training completion providers. The Superintendent will try to arrange training completion options that have minimal disruption for students. Arranging a training completion is a complicated process that depends on the availability of resources and alternatives. The amount of time it takes to arrange potential training completion options may vary greatly. Every effort will be made to facilitate training completion as soon as possible.

The selection of training completion providers will be based on assessments conducted by the Superintendent. The Superintendent will evaluate all possible options to identify the best possible training completion outcome for students. Due to limited alternatives, only one training completion option may be available. In a small number of cases, no suitable training completion option may be available.

The training completion provider does not necessarily have to be a registered private career college. Section 40 (3) of O. Reg. 414/06 enables the Superintendent to approve another person or organization to provide a training completion, even if that person is not approved to offer the program under the PCCA. However, the Superintendent must be satisfied that this person is able to provide quality training to prepare students for their intended vocation.

How do I accept a Training Completion?

Once all possible training completion providers have been identified, ministry staff will contact students to advise them of their options. Students will be informed of the available training completion opportunities and reminded of the rules governing refunds. Students will be given the Student Claim Form, along with instructions on how to complete the form and return it to the Superintendent.

Students seeking training completion must advise the Superintendent of their choice of training completion by way of the Student Claim Form. The form must be returned to the Superintendent within 14 days, pursuant to section 40(5) of O. Reg. 414/06. Students who do not return the form within 14 days will not be eligible for a training completion and will only be considered for a full or partial refund for the unearned fees paid for the vocational program.

The Student Claim Form must be accompanied by supporting documentation. Students must provide a copy of the signed student contract and copies of all receipts for fees paid to the private career college. The student must also provide documentation of her/his progress in the program to date (e.g. logs, course calendar, etc...).

Once a student notifies the Superintendent of her or his choice for the training completion, she or he is no longer entitled to claim a refund of fees. At this point, the student must take the agreed- upon training completion option.

Am I still eligible for a Training Completion if I have not paid all fees for the program?

Yes. However, students will be required to pay any outstanding fees owed under their contract with the affected private career college to the training completion provider. The ministry will assess student information in order to determine whether any outstanding payments are due. If so, the training completion agreement between the training completion provider and the ministry will specify the amount of fees that can be charged to a particular student. If the training completion provider is permitted to charge any fees to students, a student contract must be signed between the student and the training completion provider.

What if I will incur additional travel and dependant care expenses as a result of a Training Completion?

The Superintendent may approve the reimbursement of reasonable travel and dependant care costs associated with a training completion. TCAF may only cover costs that are above and beyond what a student would have paid if she or he had been able to complete the original vocational program. For example, if the student spent $20 a week in public transportation to get to their former (original) program and it costs the student $30 to attend the training completion site, the student may be eligible to claim $10/week in transportation costs.

Travel Expenses

Travel costs are those costs that may be incurred for incremental daily commuting expenses to and from the site of the training completion. Travel costs could include the cost of transit passes or may be paid on a per kilometre basis. The maximum cost per kilometre that may be paid is currently 40 cents/km in Southern Ontario and 41 cents/km in Northern Ontario.

Dependant Care Expenses

Any approval for dependant care expenses will take into account how the dependant was cared for prior to the training completion.

Definition of Dependant

A dependant must:

  • Reside with the student and be under their care;
  • Be either wholly or substantially dependent on the student for support; and
  • Be either mentally or physically disabled or a child under 14 years of age.

Dependant Care Provided by Family members:

In general, approval will not be granted for dependant care provided by family members. An exception may be made where a paid arrangement between family members was previously in place and additional hours of service will be required to accommodate the training completion (for example, a student enrolled in a part-time program will partake in a full-time training completion). In this scenario, TCAF would only cover the costs of the extended hours of service. One example of acceptable proof of the prior existence of such an arrangement would be an income tax return with receipts for dependant care expenses filed by the student or the student's spouse/common-law partner.

Where an exception has been made to support the approval of dependant care provided by a family member, the student must submit receipts to substantiate the cost.

How do I know if my travel and dependant care expenses will be approved?

Pre-Approval of Expenses

Along with the Student Claim Form, students that intend to submit claims for travel and dependant care expenses must submit an estimate of those expenses using the Travel and Dependant Care Pre-Approval Form.

Any approval of expenses will take into account how the student travelled to the former private career college and how dependants were cared for when the student attended the program at the closed PCC.

Travel and childcare expense items that are not pre-approved by the Superintendent cannot be reimbursed.

How can I apply to be reimbursed for approved travel and dependant care expenses?

In order to be considered for reimbursement of approved expenses, students must submit the Travel and Dependant Care

– Request for Reimbursement form. The claim for reimbursement must be accompanied by evidence that the expenses were pre- approved by the Superintendent and that the expenses were actually incurred by the student (e.g. official receipts).

Claims for reimbursement must be filed within 90 days of completing a training completion as per subsection 42(6) of O. Reg. 414/06. Expenses cannot be paid until the expiry of the time period for making such claims (it may take anywhere from six to twenty-four months). The Superintendent's staff need to review all claims and all supporting documents.

Do I need to sign a contract with my Training Completion Provider?

Because the Superintendent is entering into an agreement with the training completion provider on behalf of students and the students are generally not paying fees directly to the training completion provider, students are not required to sign individual contracts with the training completion provider.

There is one exception. Subsection 41(2) of O. Reg. 414/06 allows a training completion provider to charge a fee to a student if: 1) the student owed all or part of his or her fees to the former private career college; and 2) the training completion agreement between the Superintendent and the training completion provider allows for the recovery of such unpaid fees.

If the training completion provider is permitted to charge any fees to students, a student contract must be signed. Please see the Enrolment Contract between Training Completion Provider and Student.


PART TWO – REFUNDS

What if no Training Completion option is available?

Where no training completion can be arranged, a student may be entitled to claim a refund of any fees that she or he paid to the private career college in respect of a vocational program. All refunds will be paid by cheque in Canadian dollars.

In order to claim a refund where no training completion is available, the student must submit a completed Student Claim Form within 6 months of the Superintendent declaring the security forfeit. The Superintendent's staff will notify students via email when the security is declared forfeit.

Affected students are encouraged to contact the ministry at TCAF-TCU@Ontario.ca if you are unsure when you must submit your Student Claim Form.

Along with the completed Student Claim Form, the student must submit receipts for any fees paid to the private career college and a signed copy of the student enrolment contract. If eligible, the amount of a refund will depend on the amount of fees that the student can demonstrate she or he paid to the private career college, among other factors.

What if a Training Completion is available but I do not want to attend?

Students always reserve the right to refuse a training completion. Students who do not want to participate in a training completion (or those who did not accept a training completion within the allotted 14 day period) may file a claim for a refund of unearned fees paid for the vocational program. If approved, refunds will be paid by cheque in Canadian dollars.

In exceptional circumstances, students who refuse a training completion may be granted a full refund if and only if attending the training completion would cause the student undue hardship. It must be noted that the criteria for determining undue hardship are very stringent. It is unlikely that students who refuse a training completion will obtain a full refund.

Students who feel a training completion would cause undue hard- ship must submit, along with the Student Claim Form, a request for a full refund in writing to the Superintendent, explaining the facts of their situation. When determining whether the training completion would cause undue hardship, the Superintendent may consider such things as:

  • whether the language of instruction for the training completion is different than the language of instruction of the discontinued vocational program;
  • whether the timing of the training completion extends far beyond what the student had originally planned and the student has a written confirmation of an employment start date; or
  • whether other extenuating circumstances, such as a death in the immediate family, make the training completion infeasible

How do I submit a claim for a refund?

Claims for refunds must be filed using the Student Claim Form within six months from the day the Superintendent declares the institution's financial security forfeit. If you require a student claim form, please email the ministry at TCAF-TCU@Ontario.ca.

Along with the completed student claim form, the student must submit receipts for any fees paid to the private career college and a signed copy of the student enrolment contract. The amount of the refund will depend on the amount of fees that the student can demonstrate she or he paid to the private career college, the amount of fees that were earned by the private career college, and other factors as determined by the Superintendent.

Submitting a Claim for a Refund

If the student does not choose to take one of the available training completion options, if the student does not submit the required Student Claim Form within 14 days for a training completion, or if she or he has not been offered a training completion because a suitable training completion was not available, the student may submit a claim for a refund.

Claims for refunds must be submitted within six months of the day the Superintendent declares the financial security forfeit. Students must submit supporting documentation along with their claim, including a copy of the signed enrolment contract, all receipts for fees paid to the private career college and evidence of the student's progress in a vocational program (e.g. record of marks, graded tests, course outline).

What happens if I can't submit supporting documentation?

Students will only be considered for a refund of those fees she or he can demonstrate were actually paid to the private career college. Students who cannot produce receipts for fees paid will not be eligible to claim a refund of those fees.

When will I get my refund?

In general, refunds will not be paid until at least six months after the first student claim is received. The Superintendent will need to review all claims and supporting documents. This can take anywhere from 6 – 24 months.

If I receive OSAP, when do I need to start repaying my loan?

You are required to begin repaying your student loans six months after you cease full-time studies. You should contact the National Student Loans Service Centre at 1-888-815-4515 (within North America) or 1-800-225-2501 plus appropriate country code (outside North America) to confirm the dates your student loan payments are scheduled to start. Programs are available to assist you with repayment. For further information on repayment obligations, please visit the OSAP website at www.ontario.ca/OSAP.

This document is provided for your information and convenience only. It is not a legal document. For further information and the exact wording please refer to the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 and regulations.

Need More Information?

If you have questions about the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005
contact the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities at:

Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities
77 Wellesley Street West, Box 977
Toronto, ON M7A1N3

Email: tcaf-tcu@ontario.ca
Fax: (416) 314-0499
OR

Visit our website at:
www.tcu.gov.on.ca/pepg/audiences/pcc/tcaf.html

The full text of the act and regulations can also be downloaded from the Ontario government E-Laws website at:
www.e-laws.gov.on.ca

Revised February 18, 2015: Clarification provided to Student Claim process throughout.