Ontario Qualifications Framework (OQF)

9 – Post-Diploma Certificate


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 either deepen knowledge and skills already gained through a diploma or advanced diploma program or provide graduates of baccalaureate programs with specific knowledge and skills related to an applied occupational area.

Preparation for Employment and Further Study
For employment in a more specialized role and for further postsecondary studies.

Typical Duration
Two semesters or 600-700 equivalent instructional hours.

Admission Requirements
Ontario College Diploma, Ontario College Advanced Diploma, private career college diploma, degree or equivalent and additional program-specific requirements.

Private Career College (PCC)
College of Applied Arts and Technology (CAAT)
Indigenous Institute

Qualification Awarded
CAAT: Ontario College Graduate Certificate


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. Specialized knowledge in a specific field;
  2. A level of knowledge and skill that enhances one's ability to perform a more specialized range of complex and non-routine activities within the field;
  3. Locally determined exposure to disciplines outside the main field of study.

Conceptual & Methodological Awareness/ Research and Scholarship
A prescribed range of skilled operations that includes the requirement to evaluate and analyze current practices, develop new criteria, and may include the provision of some leadership and guidance to others in the application and planning of skills.

Communication Skills
The ability to:

  1. Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly within the requirements of the job responsibilities, 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. A more specialized range of activities, most of which would be complex or non-routine;
  2. Application of knowledge and skills to evaluate and analyze current practices and develop new criteria;
  3. Leadership and guidance may be involved when organizing self or others, as well as when contributing to technical solutions of a non-routine or contingency nature.

Professional Capacity/Autonomy

  1. Individual responsibility or autonomy and/or leadership and guidance for others as part of a team or group;
  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.