Ontario Qualifications Framework (OQF)

8 – Advanced Diploma


The qualification categories distinguish between levels of knowledge based on a continuum ranging from the mastery of particular, established bodies of knowledge and skills to levels at the frontiers of knowledge where new knowledge is created and established assumptions and methods are challenged. Each qualification may be seen as a reference point along that continuum. The descriptions of each qualification outline its purpose, typical admission requirements and typical duration.

Overall Program Design and Outcome Emphasis
Programs provide the knowledge, skills and attitudes to enable graduates to work within a broad range of technical and/or management functions in a broad range of occupational areas. Graduates understand both the required conceptual frameworks as well as applications related to the specific occupational area.

Preparation for Employment and Further Study
For employment at entry-level positions and for more specialized education at an advanced level.

Typical Duration
Six semesters or 1800-2100 equivalent instructional hours.

Admission Requirements
Secondary school diploma or equivalent; or at least 18 years old (PCC) or at least 19 years old College of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT); or is the holder of an admission requirement established by the Board of Governors (CAAT) or Superintendent of Private Career Colleges (PCC) for a specific program of instruction and additional program-specific requirements.

Indigenous Institute

Qualification Awarded
CAAT: Ontario College Advanced Diploma


This section outlines the generic competencies that the holder of each qualification is expected to be able to demonstrate, with a focus on knowledge and skills transferable to the workplace or useful for further study. The descriptors indicate the different categories of competencies, which vary in nature and degree depending on the qualification. The capacity to work creatively and autonomously is required at all levels but in contexts that range from fixed routines to those characterized by ambiguity and uncertainty.

Depth and Breadth of Knowledge

  1. The skill and knowledge requirements for successful performance of a specialized range of activities, most of which would be complex or non-routine in an occupational setting;
  2. At least some breadth beyond the vocational field, with exposure to at least one discipline outside the main field of study within the themes of: arts in society; civic life; social and cultural understanding; personal understanding; and science and technology, to increase awareness of the society and culture in which they live and work.

Conceptual & Methodological Awareness/ Research and Scholarship

  1. A significant range of skills associated with fundamental principles and complex techniques across a wide and often unpredictable variety of contexts in relation to either varied or highly specific functions;
  2. Understanding and application of mathematical concepts and reasoning; analyzing and using numerical data; and conceptualizing;
  3. Application of a variety of thinking skills and a systematic approach to anticipate and solve problems;
  4. Ability to analyze, evaluate and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Communication Skills
The ability to:

  1. Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience;
  2. Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Application of Knowledge

  1. Contributions to the development of a broad plan, budget or strategy;
  2. New/additional applications of technical, creative or conceptual knowledge to practical and/or real world situations;
  3. Significant judgment in the planning, design and technical leadership and/or guidance functions related to products, services, operations or procedures.

Professional Capacity/Autonomy

  1. Accountability for self and others in achieving the outcomes for a team;
  2. Ability to manage their own professional development.

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge
An understanding of the limits of their own knowledge and skill level and an appreciation of the methods and techniques that they are not qualified to employ.