Quality Assurance Practices for Postsecondary Institutions in Manitoba

The postsecondary education system in Manitoba is described in CICIC's Postsecondary Education Systems in Canada, Provinces and Territories. The system can be divided into six categories of postsecondary program delivery:

Quality assurance mechanisms in Manitoba'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

Manitoba's five degree-granting universities are established by individual statutes. The authority of each institution to govern itself through the operations of a board of governors or regents and a senate is outlined in these statutes, their regulations, and bylaws. Manitoba universities have the authority to determine all matters relating to programs and qualifications of employees and all other matters deemed to be in the interest of the institutions. The statutes establishing individual institutions do not contain explicit reference to mechanisms for or accountabilities pertaining to quality assurance of educational programming. Program quality responsibilities are implied through the powers and duties assigned to institutions' internal governing bodies.

The use of the term "university" is restricted by legislation to use by institutions so designated by legislation.

The Council on Postsecondary Education Act establishes the Council on Postsecondary Education and assigns it responsibility for planning and coordinating the development of the province's postsecondary system. The act prohibits the council from interfering with the basic right of a university or college to formulate academic policies or standards and standards of admission or graduation or their independence in the appointment of staff. However, the council is responsible for assessing the province's educational needs, approving new programs, determining priorities, and allocating funding. It consults extensively with Manitoba's postsecondary institutions and develops consistent and effective criteria for measuring university and college performance. The council also facilitates the implementation of appropriate credit transfer arrangements between universities and colleges.

The act provides the council with the authority to, among other things, review and evaluate postsecondary programs.

The Degree Granting Act, enacted in December, 2006, restricts who may grant degrees to those institutions already having degree-granting authority in their legislation, or to those listed in the Degree Granting Act itself. Government is able to allow by regulation an institution to offer degrees for a limited time to allow those institutions who are not covered under the Act to complete cohorts of students in degree programming. The regulation is intended to be transitional, and not a second method by which an institution can be authorized to grant degrees.

The Degree Granting Act also gives to government the ability to authorize the use of the term "university" in the name of an institution. This authority was previously given to the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba under the University of Manitoba Act.

Affiliation

The Collège Universitaire de Saint-Boniface is established by statute and is affiliated with the University of Manitoba. Degrees are issued jointly.

Credit transfer and articulation

Manitoba does not have a systematic, province-wide process for conducting credit transfers to and from universities and colleges. The flexibility and details of credit transfer procedures vary by institution. Articulation agreements are listed in most institutions' calendars. All new programs must demonstrate how credit transfer will be utilized.

Joint articulation agreements are in place between all Manitoba universities and colleges. Through these agreements, specific academic programs are jointly negotiated, delivery is shared, and, in some cases, two years of a four-year program are delivered by each institution. The universities grant the degrees. The quality of these programs is protected through the articulation agreements and the program review process at each institution.

External and internal review

All new university program proposals developed by universities must be reviewed by another institution that offers the same program. The proposals must then be submitted for approval to the Council on Postsecondary Education. The council reviews each program from need, organizational, and financial perspectives. Quality of programs is assured through peer review of proposed programs by other universities.

The council also must approve any significant changes to university programs.

Professional accreditation

Many of Canada's regulated professions have associations that conduct accreditation reviews of university programs pertaining to their professions. In these instances, accreditation teams from the professions review reports provided by the universities and may conduct on-site visits in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the professions.

Other organizations related to quality assurance in universities

Most public universities in Manitoba are members of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. Although the association does not perform formal quality assurance functions, it does maintain membership criteria that address the primary mission of institutions; the range of program offerings; the breadth and depth of programs; the nature of members' relationship with parent institutions; the size of enrolment; institutional focus on scholarship, academic inquiry, and research; and compliance with the principles of academic freedom and responsibility. Institutions applying for membership must host an AUCC Visiting Committee that reports to the AUCC Board of Directors on a variety of items and recommends a decision on whether the applying institution is providing education of university standard.

The Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada (AAAC) is a national organization composed of professional associations involved in promoting good practices by its members in accreditation of educational programs.

William and Catherine Booth College is an Approved Teaching Centre of the University of Manitoba, a member of the Winnipeg Theological Consortium at the University of Winnipeg, and a full member of the Association for Biblical Higher Education, formerly the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges.

toc / tdm Private Religious Colleges

Legislation

Manitoba has four private religious institutions, all with degree-granting authority. The Canadian Mennonite University is established under the Mennonite College Federation Act. Like other Manitoba universities, the Canadian Mennonite University is governed by a board of governors and a senate, the senate being responsible for the academic policies of the university. Providence College and Seminary is legislated by the Providence College and Theological Seminary Incorporation Act and is governed by a board of directors. Steinbach Bible College is legislated under letters patent to operate as a college and seminary and is listed under the Degree Granting Act as having the authority to grant degrees. William and Catherine Booth College is governed by a board of trustees. The college was given degree-granting powers by the legislature of the province of Manitoba in 1983.

External and internal review

The Department of Advanced Education and Literacy funds private religious college programs that are not theologically based. These colleges must submit annual reports to the Council on Postsecondary Education.

toc / tdm Public Colleges

Legislation

The Colleges Act establishes board governance for Manitoba's colleges. These institutions are responsible for "enhancing the economic and social well-being of the province through the provision of a broad range of educational opportunities." The colleges may provide university courses by way of agreement with universities and may participate in joint programs with respect to education and training and related services developed and delivered in conjunction with universities or other accredited/recognized postsecondary institutions.

The minister of advanced education and literacy may designate college mandates, establish guidelines for education and training including programs evaluation guidelines, appoint persons or committees to review and evaluate college programs, and appoint persons to inspect any matter related to the management and operation of a college. All ministerial authority related to the Colleges Act has been delegated to the Council on Post-Secondary Education.The Colleges Act establishes boards of governors as the governing bodies of the colleges. Among the boards' activities are

  • determining policies regarding programs of study
  • establishing student admission requirements
  • evaluating programs of study on a regular basis in accordance with department guidelines
  • conducting at least every five years a special organizational and operational review in accordance with department guidelines

On the recommendation of the minister, the government may appoint an administrator of a college if the board of governors takes up a practice or tolerates a situation incompatible with the mandate of the college or the act, or if, in the opinion of the minister, it is otherwise in the public interest to do so. This power has never been used.

The colleges are required to submit to the department annual reports that must include audited financial statements, annual academic reports, and any other information that the minister requests. The minister must in turn table the report in the provincial legislature.

The Colleges Act also establishes college program advisory committees composed primarily of external industry representatives. These committees participate in the development of new programs and the review of existing programs of study.

The Council on Postsecondary Education Act establishes the Council on Postsecondary Education and gives it the responsibility of planning and coordinating the development of the province's postsecondary system. The act prohibits the council from interfering with the basic right of a university or college to formulate academic policies or standards, standards of admission or graduation, or their independence in the appointment of staff. However, the council is responsible for assessing the province's educational needs, approving all new programs, determining priorities, and allocating funding. The council consults extensively with Manitoba's postsecondary institutions and develops consistent and effective criteria for measuring university and college performance. It also facilitates the implementation of appropriate credit transfer arrangements between universities and colleges. The act also provides the council with the authority to review and evaluate postsecondary programs.

Affiliation

Manitoba's colleges have no formal affiliations with universities or other colleges.

Credit transfer

Credit transfers between Manitoba's colleges and other Canadian community colleges and universities are considered by program and administrative staff on a course-by-course basis that includes a review of course content, student evaluation methods, and teacher qualifications.

External and internal review

The Council on Postsecondary Education must approve all new college program proposals. The council reviews each program from quality, organizational, and financial perspectives. Quality of programs is assured through review of proposed programs by industry groups in the program area.

The Council must also approve significant changes to college programs.

Professional accreditation

Many of Canada's regulated professions have associations that conduct accreditation reviews of college programs pertaining to their professions. In these instances, accreditation teams from the professions review reports provided by the colleges and may conduct on-site visits in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the professions.

Other organizations related to quality assurance in colleges and apprenticeship

Membership in the Colleges and Institutes Canada (ACCC) is not mandatory for Manitoba's colleges. ACCC does not perform formal quality assurance functions, but it does promote quality programming and the use of high academic standards by conducting research and facilitating broad discussion on quality assurance issues.

The Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada (AAAC) is a national organization composed of professional associations involved in promoting good practices by its members in accreditation of educational programs.

toc / tdm Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship training in Manitoba combines on-the-job workplace training and technical instruction. The Apprenticeship and Certification Act establishes the Apprenticeship and Certification Board and the Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training, and Trade as the co-authorities for training and certification in trades designated for apprenticeship training in Manitoba. Under the Act, the Board is appointed by and accountable to the minister. The Board develops objectives, standards, and requirements for apprenticeship and certification in designated trades and- with the approval of the Minister-makes regulations respecting trades and apprenticeship. . The Board appoints trade-specific Provincial Trade Advisory Committees (PTACs) to provide advice on regulation content and training standards in each designated trade.

The Apprenticeship Branch, a branch of Manitoba Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade, is responsible for delivering certification examinations and for issuing Certificates of Qualifications. A Certificate of Qualification is recognized by employers as being a valuable work credential. Nine of Manitoba's 50 designated (regulated) trades have been specified for compulsory certification, meaning that only persons who hold a Certificate of Qualification and registered apprentices may work in the trade.

External and internal review

The national occupational analysis (NOA) is a document produced by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. It is used to set the national standards for a trade, to create basic provincial program standards for a trade, to create parameters outlining the tasks of a trade for regulatory purposes, and to develop item banks for interprovincial certification examinations.

Manitoba is a member jurisdiction of the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship's Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program. The Manitoba Apprenticeship Branch participates in the development of examination and standards products used by all jurisdictions in the pan-Canadian program. The Branch also facilitates the development of occupational analyses for trades that are not inter-provincially recognized.

The program standards (technical training) for each trade are developed by a provincial trade advisory committee (PTAC), comprised of representatives from industry, or by an industry working group working for or with the PTAC. College instructors may provide input into the development of program standards at the request of the PTAC. Apprenticeship Branch staff facilitate the curriculum development process. The Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Board approves curriculum content and certification standards for each trade, based on PTAC recommendations.

Technical training is delivered primarily by Manitoba's colleges. The Apprenticeship Branch, which is responsible for ensuring the quality of course content and instruction on industry's behalf, monitors the quality of training delivery. Each training provider also plays a role in ensuring the quality of its services.

A review of program content takes place approximately every three to five years. Student surveys are used when it is deemed appropriate. Overall apprentice success on the final certification examination is reviewed on an ongoing basis. Pan-Canadian reviews of examination results are conducted on an as-needed basis.

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program promotes and facilitates the standardization of provincial and territorial apprenticeship training, as well as the regular updating of pan-Canadian trades standards in order to reflect the ongoing technological changes taking place in all trades. The Canadian provinces and territories developed the Red Seal program in cooperation with the federal government (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada) in 1958 to standardize trade skill requirements and to provide greater employment mobility throughout Canada. A provincial Certificate of Qualification bearing the Red Seal endorsement indicates that a journeyperson has met nationally recognized training and certification standards in a particular trade and meets other jurisdictions' standards without requiring further testing or examination.

Other organizations related to quality assurance in colleges and apprenticeship

Membership in the Colleges and Institutes Canada (ACCC) is not mandatory for Manitoba's colleges. ACCC does not perform formal quality assurance functions, but it does promote quality programming and the use of high academic standards by conducting research and facilitating broad discussion on quality assurance issues.

The Association of Accrediting Agencies of Canada (AAAC) is a national organization composed of professional associations involved in promoting good practices by its members in accreditation of educational programs.

toc / tdm Private Vocational Institutions

Legislation

The Private Vocational Institutions Act sets out requirements for the operation of registered private vocational institutions in Manitoba. The purpose of the act is to register the province's private-for profit and private-for-non-profit career colleges, provide limited consumer protection to students enrolled in registered programs offered by these institutions, and ensure that institutions provide the skills and knowledge required for entry-level employment in the vocation for which instruction or training is offered. A private vocational institution may operate in the province only if it is registered with the Department of Advanced Education and Literacy and if the Director of Private Vocational Institutions (hereafter: ?the director") is satisfied that the school can reasonably be expected to be financially responsible in its operations, will provide appropriate vocational training to students, and meets the requirements of the Act and regulations. The department may inspect any vocational institution at any time to observe methods of instruction and inspect materials used in the programs of study delivered by the institution and may cancel certificates of registration if the director is not satisfied that the institution is sufficiently providing said skills and knowledge in the vocation or if the school breaches the terms of its registration.

Private vocational institutions may call themselves "colleges," as there is no restriction on the use of the term.

These institutions can grant diplomas or certificates. In the Private Vocational Institutions Regulation (the regulations made under the Private Vocational Institutions Act), the director may prescribe the amount and type of financial security schools must provide, the schools' contributions to the Training Completion Fund, the manner in which tuition refunds must be calculated, and the requirements of enrollment contracts. It also prescribes the registration requirements for private vocational institutions, the various fees payable by schools and by students to schools, renewal and cancellation requirements of private vocational institutions registration, and forms that private vocational institutions may use. There are also requirements for employer or industry attestations during the program registration process, applicant references, and declarations of instructor qualifications.

Students who attend training programs that are registered by the director may be eligible to apply for student financial assistance provided that the programs are also designated for the purposes of the Canada and Manitoba student loan program. Institutions may deliver non-registered courses and programs, but students in these programs are not eligible to apply for student aid and are not protected by the Training Completion Fund, an insurance fund that is maintained by the director and funded by student contributions collected by the institutions.

External and internal review

All applications for private vocational institution registration must be reviewed and approved by the director housed in the Department of Advanced Education and Literacy. The director may request that a program submission be reviewed by an Industry Relations Committee composed of representatives from the local industry and other industry and education system stakeholders who will examine entrance requirements, the job market, employer attestations, and projected employment data, as well as instructional materials, facilities, equipment, and data on capacity to deliver training, prior to registering new programs.

Department surveys may also be conducted with persons who have attended courses at any time during the year. Student satisfaction is an element of these surveys.

Information on private vocational institutions' internal review processes may be available from individual schools.

toc / tdm Relevant Legislation

Most provincial legislation can be accessed through the Internet.

toc / tdm Additional Sources of Information

Citizens' Inquiry Office
Provincial Government Information Office
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
Tel.: (204) 945-3744
Fax: (204) 945-4261
E-mail: mgi@gov.mb.ca
Web site: http://www.gov.mb.ca/help-answerdesk.html
 
Manitoba Apprenticeship
1010 - 401 York Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3C 0P8
tel. (204) 945-3337
Email: apprenticeship@gov.mb.ca
Web site: http://www.gov.mb.ca/tce/apprent/index.html
 
Council on Postsecondary Education
Room 410, 330 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0C4 Canada
Tel.: (204) 945-1833
Fax: (204) 945-1841
Web site: http://www.copse.mb.ca

List of recognized degree-granting and non-degree-granting postsecondary institutions in Manitoba

Revision: 2010-05-31


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