Private Career Colleges:

Registering a Private Career College in Ontario


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Who has to be registered

The Superintendent of Private Career Colleges, under the authority of the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 registers institutions that provide instruction in the skills and knowledge required in order to get a job in a particular vocation. Before these programs can be delivered, the institution must be registered and the program approved.

Until an institution has been registered and its programs approved, it is a violation of the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 to deliver or advertise the delivery of vocational programs.

An institution cannot enrol or collect tuition from students until the registration and program approval process is complete.

Private career colleges are private postsecondary institutions that enter into contracts with individual students to provide one or more vocational training programs for a fee.

  1. The Private Career Colleges Act, 2005 does not apply to a college of applied arts and technology, university, public or private elementary and secondary schools and institutions that do not have a physical presence in Ontario.

It should be noted that some institutions are exempt from registration and some programs do not require approval under the Act. For more information on who is covered under the Act, see Fact Sheet #1 – Exemptions Under the Act. (PDF, 78 Kb)

How to register a private career college in Ontario

For a detailed overview of the registration process, please consult the PARIS Reference Guide for Applicants/Registrants and the Renewal of Registration Guidelines.

To register a private career college, applicants must complete a three step registration process:

  • Registration Pre-Screening
  • Application for Registration, including Application for Program Approval
  • Site Visit/Inspection

Please note that some programs do not require the approval of the Superintendent under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005. If you are intending to offer only non-vocational programs, you may not be required to register. Please refer to Fact Sheet #1 – Exemptions Under the Act. (PDF, 78 Kb).

Private Career College Pre-Screening

If you are interested in registering your organization as a private career college in Ontario please complete the online Private Career College Pre-screening Process. The information you submit will be used to assess whether the programs proposed by an organization require approval under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005.

If it is clear that that your institution requires registration, you will be sent an email almost immediately after completing the pre-screening process that advises you to proceed with the registration process. In many cases, ministry staff will need review the information you provide to determine whether your organization needs to be registered. If additional information is required, staff will contact you directly. Once it has been determined whether registration is required, you will receive a formal response from the Private Institutions Unit. The normal turnaround for a response to a Pre-screening application is approximately four to six weeks.

Please ensure that the Registration Pre-Screening form is completed accurately. It is important to provide as much information as possible about every program you intend to offer and include any additional information that you believe will be helpful in determining the status of the program under the Act.

Registration Application

The registration process is a rigorous exercise. It normally takes between six and eight months to complete all the necessary requirements to become a registered private career college in Ontario.

If it is determined that your institution requires registration, the next step is to complete the applications for registration and program approval online using the Program Approval and Registration Information System (PARIS).

In order to log in to the PARIS system, you will need a ministry-issued username and password. Your username and password will be sent to you by email at the address you provided during pre-screening.

Once your applications have been reviewed by the ministry, an e-mail will be sent to you outlining any corrections or additional submissions required. You will be given a firm two-week deadline in which to submit the required information. It is important to ensure that you have submitted a complete and accurate application by the two-week deadline. If the required information is not submitted by the deadline, the application and supporting documents will be returned to you with instructions to re-submit a complete application. Any re-submissions will be treated as new applications and will be processed in the order they are received. Please note it is an offence to knowingly provide false information on any material related to the registration of your private career college.

In order to be registered, a PCC must provide the ministry with the required amount of financial security. There are three types of financial security that can be posted under the Act:

  • A surety bond guaranteed by a surety company.
  • A letter of credit issued by a bank or financial institution that is supervised or examined by the central bank of Canada or another governmental authority in Canada.
  • A personal bond accompanied by collateral security issued by Canada or by any province of Canada.

The type of financial security PCCs choose to provide to the ministry must be in the form specified by the Superintendent. A surety bond, a letter of credit or a personal bond that is not in the specified form will not be accepted.

Financial Templates

In order to be registered, a private career college must provide the ministry with the required amount of financial security. For further information please see the PARIS Reference Guide for Applicants/Registrants.


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