Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS)

The Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework (OALCF)

The Ontario Adult Literacy Curriculum Framework (OALCF) is a competency-based framework that supports the development of adult learners and literacy programming delivered through the Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) program. As the cornerstone of the LBS program, the OALCF links the program to the requirements of employers, education and training providers and community partners in a clear way and furthers the Employment Ontario promise of building a highly-skilled, highly-educated workforce in Ontario.

For LBS practitioners to obtain secure access to the OALCF Milestone and Culminating Task portal site maintained by Contact North, LBS service providers will be required to submit requests for changes to user accessto Contact North through their SPRA (Service Provider Registration Authority) for EOIS-CaMS.


  • supports the development of task-based programming
  • helps practitioners focus on strengthening the learner’s ability to integrate skills, knowledge and behaviours to perform authentic, goal-related tasks
  • supports the development of contextualized programming that reflects the learner’s culture, language, and other features specific to the learner and their goal
  • builds on current literacy practice and strengthens the links between the LBS Program and Ontario’s employment, education and training system.

The Curriculum Framework (March 2015) is the foundation of the OALCF and outlines what is commonly available at an LBS program. It describes six, broad, competencies - generic categories of learner abilities—that organize the content of the LBS program. These competencies are embedded in authentic and purposeful tasks that show how literacy learning transfers to goal-related activities.

The curriculum framework uses three levels to describe the increasing complexity of these tasks, and learner’s developing proficiency in performing these tasks. 

The curriculum framework also provides examples of what a task at the end of the level looks like; end-of-level tasks are categorized by OALCF goal path, providing practitioners with additional support in designing and implementing literacy programming.

Since it was released in April 2011, the curriculum framework has been subject to minor revisions which have been documented in the OALCF Change Log (October 2011).

In order to support the implementation of the OALCF, frequently asked questions (FAQ) have been developed based on questions submitted through the OALCF mailbox.

  • The first FAQ (January 2012) answers questions about learner plans, milestones, culminating tasks, and goal paths.
  • The second FAQ (February 2012) answers questions around the implementation of the OALCF.

More information on the development of the OALCF, including an overview of the key elements, development process, and how it can be used by learners and practitioners, can be found in the OALCF Curriculum Framework Conceptual Foundation (March 2011). As well, a background paper on the Foundations of Transition-Oriented Programming (March 2011) is also available.

General Questions and Answers

  • How Does the OALCF Improve Adult Literacy Outcomes in Ontario?
  • How Does the OALCF Contribute to Successful Learner Transitions?
  • How Does the OALCF Provide a Basis for Program Development and Assessment of Learner Progress?
  • How are Milestones and Culminating Tasks captured?
  • Are There Further Resources and Tools Available for OALCF?