Quality Assurance for Postsecondary Institutions in Saskatchewan

The postsecondary education system in Saskatchewan is described in CICIC'sPostsecondary Education Systems in Canada, Provinces and Territories. The system can be divided into four categories of postsecondary program delivery:

Quality assurance mechanisms in Saskatchewan's postsecondary education system vary by type of institution and program. They include

  • legislation (statutes and regulations)
  • affiliation
  • credit transfer and articulation
  • external and internal review
  • professional accreditation
  • other organizations related to quality assurance

toc / tdm Universities

Legislation

Individual statutes establishSaskatchewan's two degree-granting universities. The authority of eachinstitution to govern itself is outlined in these statutes, their regulations,and bylaws.

On October 29, 2012, The DegreeAuthorization Act wasproclaimed. The University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan areexempt from the legislation.  Thelegislation enables institutions other than the University of Regina and theUniversity of Saskatchewan to be authorized to provide degree programs andgrant degrees, provided they meet the requirements of a quality assurancereview process.  The legislation alsorestricts the use of the terms “university” and “varsity”.

On October 29, 2013, The DegreeAuthorization Regulations cameinto force and the SaskatchewanHigher Education Quality Assurance Board (SHEQAB) was appointed. The SHEQAB oversees the provincial qualityassurance review process and provides its recommendations to government as towhether or not proposed new degree programs should be authorized.

Affiliation

The Universityof Saskatchewan has onefederated college and affiliation agreements with seven other colleges, six ofwhich are theological institutions and one that is focused on Métis educationand cultural studies. The Universityof Regina has threefederated colleges and one affiliate. Federated colleges are administrativelyand financially autonomous, but academically integrated with their hostuniversity. In some programs, colleges federated with the universities offercourses in the same programs and at the same time as those offered at theuniversities. Degrees are granted by the host university.

Credit Transfer and Articulation

Saskatchewan does not have a systematic,province-wide process for conducting credit transfer agreements to and frompost-secondary institutions. The flexibility and details of credit transferpolicy and procedures vary by institution. However, many credit transfersbetween Saskatchewan's two universities can be obtained, and agreements betweenuniversities and other institutions are increasing. Some program articulationagreements are already in place between the universities and SaskatchewanInstitute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) as well as SaskatchewanIndian Institute of Technologies (SIIT), in areas such as business, nursing,integrated resource management, chemical technology, computer science, andadministration.

External and Internal Review

The Saskatchewan government does not playa role in the approval of university programs like a number of other provinces.All universities conduct program reviews including site visits with externalrepresentation. Aspects of faculty qualifications and the curriculum areevaluated. Quality of programs is also monitored through student satisfactionrates.

Professional Accreditation

Many of Canada's regulated professionshave associations that conduct accreditation reviews of university programspertaining to their professions. In these instances, accreditation teams fromthe professions review reports provided by the universities and may conducton-site visits in accordance with the policies and procedures established bythe professions.

Other Organizations Related to Quality Assurance in Universities

All universities in Saskatchewan aremembers of the Associationof Universities and Colleges of Canada(AUCC). Although the association does not perform formal qualityassurance functions, it does maintain membership criteria thataddress the primary mission of institutions; the range of program offerings;the breadth and depth of programs; the nature of members' relationship withparent institutions; the size of enrolment; institutional focus on scholarship,academic inquiry, and research; and compliance with the principles of academicfreedom and responsibility. Institutions applying for membership must host anAUCC Visiting Committee that reports to the AUCC Board of Directors on avariety of items and recommends a decision on whether the applying institutionis providing education of university standard.

The Associationof Accrediting Agencies of Canada (AAAC) isa national organization composed of professional associations involved inpromoting good practices by its members in accreditation of educationalprograms.

toc / tdm Colleges and Institutes

Legislation

The SaskatchewanInstitute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) is established under the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology Act, 1986, which sets out the framework for its operation andaccountability.


In February 2008, the First Nations University of Canada Act was passed by theFederation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Legislative Assembly.  FirstNations University of Canada (FNUniv) is academically federated with theUniversity of Regina.  Their mission is to enhance the quality of life andto preserve, protect and interpret the history, language culture and artisticheritage of First Nations.  Through its Board of Governors, FNUniv isunder the jurisdiction of the Indian Government of Saskatchewan, the Federationof Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN).  The FNUniv is a full member of theAssociation of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).

As a federated college, FNUniv adheres to all University of Regina regulationswith respect to admission, hiring of faculty, and academic program development,yet possesses a unique curriculum with a First Nations' perspective.  FNUniv offers all programs available at the University ofRegina in the Faculties of Arts and Sciences as well as its own programs. 

The Saskatchewan Indian Federated College Act of the 
Legislative Assembly of the Federation of Saskatchewan IndianNations (FSIN)established the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (SIFC) as an institution that is administratively andfinancially autonomous, but academically integrated with the University of Regina. The SIFC Act (passed by the Federation of Saskatchewan IndianNations Legislative Assembly) specifies the composition and responsibilities ofthe board of governors. In June 2003, the Saskatchewan Indian Federated Collegechanged its name to the First Nations University of Canada.

The SaskatchewanIndian Institute of Technologies (SIIT)was established in 1976 by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN)through the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies Act. It is aneducational institution of the FSIN, and is governed by a board composed ofFSIN senators, Saskatchewan Tribal Council appointees, and an FSIN executivemember. The institute offers training programs leading to certificates anddiplomas in a variety of trades and technical fields. Many universitiesrecognize the institute's training, and transfer programs are available forstudents who wish to pursue university degrees.

SIIT alsocollaborates with the SaskatchewanInstitute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST), the provincial universities, and other educationalinstitutions to deliver diploma (two-year), certificate (one-year), and tradesprograms. SIIT enhances the curriculum of some of these programs to reflect theunique training needs of SIIT students.

The GabrielDumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research is the educational arm of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan. Theinstitute is the only wholly Métis owned and controlled education institutionof its kind in Canada. The institute is responsible for the design,development, and delivery of specific educational and cultural programs and services.The institute works cooperatively with a number of educational partners and isaffiliated with the Universityof Saskatchewan and the University of Regina as well as a Federation agreement with the SaskatchewanInstitute of Applied Science and Technology. In all of its relationships with its educational partners, theGabriel Dumont Institute has maintained its independence and distinct Aboriginalidentity. Through its network of community learning centres acrossSaskatchewan, the institute maintains a close contact with the people itserves. The programs and activities of the institute are determined by theidentified needs of the Métis and implemented according to the decisions of itsboard of governors.

Saskatchewan's seven regionalcolleges were created in 1988 under the Regional College Act to provide Adult Basic Education and Skills Training toindividuals in areas of the province where access to education can bedifficult. Lakeland College (Alberta) also provides education and trainingprograms and services to Saskatchewan residents in the Lloydminster area.

Affiliation and Federation

The University of Regina has threefederated colleges, First Nations University of Canada, Campion College, andLuther College, as well as two affiliated colleges, SIAST and the GabrielDumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research.  The University of Saskatchewan has onefederated college, St. Thomas More College, and seven affiliated colleges -- TheCollege of Emmanuel and St. Chad, St. Andrew's College, Lutheran TheologicalSeminary, St. Peter's College, Horizon College and Seminary, Briercrest Collegeand Seminary and the Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and AppliedResearch.

 Colleges federated with the universitiesoften offer courses in the same degree programs and complement those offered atthe universities. Degrees are granted by the universities.

Credit Transfer and Articulation

Saskatchewan does not have a systematic,province-wide process for conducting credit transfers to and from universitiesand colleges. The flexibility and details of credit transfer procedures vary byinstitution. However, articulation agreements between universities and SIASTare increasing.

External and Internal Review

New certificate and diploma programs aredeveloped internally by college and institute program and curriculumdevelopment staff with input from program committees composed of externalrepresentatives from industry.

New degree programs must be authorizedpursuant to The Degree Authorization Act.  The degree authorization process includes aquality assurance review, which may involve organizational and program evaluationsconducted by external review teams, depending on the type of quality assurancereview required by the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board.

 

Theological colleges are accreditedthrough theological accreditation agencies in the United States.

Professional Accreditation

Many of Canada's regulated professionshave associations that conduct accreditation reviews of college and instituteprograms pertaining to their professions. In these instances, accreditationteams from the professions review reports provided by the colleges and mayconduct on-site visits in accordance with the policies and proceduresestablished by the professions.

toc / tdm Apprenticeship

Legislation

The SaskatchewanApprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission is an industry-led agency responsible for creating a relevant,accessible, and responsive apprenticeship training and certification system tomeet employers' and employees' needs and priorities. It delivers this mandateunder the framework of The Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Act, 1999 [PDF] and The Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Regulations, 2003 and The Apprenticeship Trade and Certification Commission Regulations.

External and Internal Review

In relation to quality assurance, programstandards are established using national occupational standards to set thetraining framework. The commission is responsible for establishing industryoccupational standards, for apprenticeship curriculum and examinationdevelopment, and for training purchases for in-school delivery throughobtaining input from industry representatives (workers, employers) andcommission staff on trade boards. The commission's curriculum and examinationdevelopment boards and trade examining boards update and approve curriculum andrevise examinations.

At the request of the commission, SIASTdelivers most of the technical training for apprentices; however, in some ofthe trades, apprenticeship technical training is provided by the SaskatchewanIndian Institute of Technologies, regional colleges, private vocationalschools, SaskPower, the Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council, andout-of-province colleges. It is the responsibility of program reviewers atindividual institutions to evaluate the quality of apprenticeship in-schooltraining. At the request of the commission, employer and employeesrepresentatives of each designated trade meet annually to discuss issues,concerns, and new directions for technical training.

Other Organizations Related to Quality Assurance in Colleges, Institutes, and Apprenticeship

Saskatchewan's regional colleges are allmembers of the Associationof Canadian Community Colleges(ACCC). ACCCdoes not perform quality assurance functions with respect to its members, butit does promote quality programming and the use of high academic standards byconducting research and facilitating broad discussion on quality assuranceissues.

The Associationof Accrediting Agencies of Canada (AAAC) isa national organization composed of professional associations involved inpromoting good practices in accreditation of educational programs. Informationon the activities of these professions with colleges and universities can beaccessed through the AAAC Web site.

An InterprovincialStandards "Red Seal" Program promotes and facilitates the standardization of provincial andterritorial apprenticeship training, as well as the regular updating ofnational trades standards in order to reflect the ongoing technological changestaking place in all trades. The Red Seal program was developed by the Canadianprovinces and territories to standardize trade skill requirements and providegreater employment mobility throughout Canada. A provincial Certificate ofTrades Qualifications bearing the Red Seal provides training recognition inmost jurisdictions throughout Canada. For employers in other jurisdictions, theRed Seal is an assurance of quality training and certification to nationallyrecognized standards.

toc / tdm Private Training Institutions

Legislation

Private vocational schools in Saskatchewanoffer employment-related programs for adults and are governed by The Private Vocational Schools Regulation Act, 1995 [PDF] and by The Private Vocational Schools Regulations, 1995.

External and Internal Review

Saskatchewan Advanced Education administersthe requirements of The Private Vocational Schools Regulation Act, 1995 andRegulations. The legislation requires that institutions, programs, andinstructors be registered with the ministry. The ministry does not directlyevaluate private vocational school programs for quality. However, registrationand monitoring of program, curricula, including a review of labour marketresearch to support new programs, has an impact on quality. The Canadian Education and Training Accreditation Commission (CETAC) is a national association that accredits Canadianprivate vocational schools at the institutional level. Accreditation isvoluntary.

Information on internal review processesmay be obtained from individually licensed private vocational schools.

toc / tdm Relevant Legislation

 

Provincial legislation can be accessedthrough the Internet at http://www.qp.gov.sk.ca/


toc / tdm Additional Sources of Information

Ministry of Advanced Education 
Web site: http://www.aeei.gov.sk.ca/
Universities & Private Vocational Schools Branch
Ministry of Advanced Education
1120 - 2010 12th Ave.
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 0M3
Tel: 306-787-7381
Fax: 306-798-3379
 
Technical and Trades Branch
1120 - 2010 12th Ave.
Regina, SK S4P 0M3
Tel. 306-787-5922
Fax. 306-787-3159

Revision: 2013-10-16


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