About CICICContact us Fr
The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials
The postsecondary education system in Saskatchewan is described in CICIC's Postsecondary Education Systems in Canada, Provinces and Territories of Canada. The system can be divided into four categories of postsecondary program delivery:
  • universities
  • colleges and institutes
  • apprenticeship
  • private training institutions

All post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan, both public and private, are covered under the authority of The Post-Secondary Education and Skills Training Act.

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

Legislation


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

On October 29, 2012, The Degree Authorization Act was proclaimed. The University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan are exempt from the legislation. The legislation enables institutions other than the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan to be authorized to provide degree programs and grant degrees, provided they meet the requirements of a quality assurance review process. The legislation also restricts the use of the terms “university” and “varsity”.

On October 29, 2012, The Degree Authorization Regulations came into force and the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board (SHEQAB) was appointed. The SHEQAB oversees the provincial quality assurance review process and provides its recommendations to government as to whether or not proposed new degree programs should be authorized. The SHEQAB ensures that the province's quality assurance review process for new degree applications is rigorous and respected.


Affiliation


The University of Saskatchewan has one federated college and affiliation agreements with seven other colleges, six of which are theological institutions and one that is focused on Métis education and cultural studies. The University of Regina has three federated colleges and one affiliate. Federated colleges are administratively and financially autonomous, but academically integrated with their host university. In some programs, colleges federated with the universities offer courses in the same programs and at the same time as those offered at the universities. Degrees are granted by the host university. Affiliated colleges are associated with a university, but not academically merged with them. Most of the affiliated colleges are theological colleges. Some offer courses to fulfill first and second year Arts and Science course requirements for university degree programs or to meet the entrance requirements for some of the professional colleges within the universities.


External and Internal Review


The Saskatchewan government does not play a role in the approval of university programs like a number of other provinces. All universities conduct program reviews including site visits with external representation. Aspects of faculty qualifications and the curriculum are evaluated. Quality of programs is also monitored through student satisfaction rates.


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


All universities in Saskatchewan are members of the Universities 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 Universities Canada Visiting Committee that reports to the Universities Canada 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.

The SHEQAB ensures that the province's quality assurance review process for new degree applications is rigorous and respected.

Legislation


The Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Sask Polytech) (previously known as the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology [SIAST]) is established under the The Saskatchewan Polytechnic Act. S-32.21, which sets out the framework for its operation and accountability.

In 2010, An Act Respecting The First Nations University of Canada was passed by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) Legislative Assembly. First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) is academically federated with the University of Regina. Their mission is to enhance the quality of life and to preserve, protect and interpret the history, language culture and artistic heritage of First Nations. Through its Board of Governors, FNUniv is under the jurisdiction of the FSIN. The FNUniv is a full member of the Universities Canada.

As a federated college, FNUniv adheres to all University of Regina regulations with 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 of Regina as well as its own programs.

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

The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) was established in 1976 by the FSIN to provide education and skills training to First Nations adults in Saskatchewan, both on and off-reserve. The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology Act allows SIIT to grant diplomas and certificates and arranges formal credit transfer arrangements with other post-secondary institutions. It is an educational institution of the FSIN, and is governed by a board composed of FSIN senators, Saskatchewan Tribal Council appointees, and an FSIN executive member. The institute offers training programs leading to certificates and diplomas in a variety of trades and technical fields. Many universities recognize the institute's training, and transfer programs are available for students who wish to pursue university degrees.

SIIT also collaborates with the Sask Polytech, the provincial universities, and other educational institutions to deliver diploma (two-year), certificate (one-year), and trades programs. SIIT enhances the curriculum of some of these programs to reflect the unique training needs of SIIT students.

The Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research is the educational arm of the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan. The institute is the only wholly Métis owned and controlled education institution of 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 is affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina as well as a Federation agreement with the Sask Polytech. In all of its relationships with its educational partners, the Gabriel Dumont Institute has maintained its independence and distinct Aboriginal identity. Through its network of community learning centres across Saskatchewan, the institute maintains a close contact with the people it serves. The programs and activities of the institute are determined by the identified needs of the Métis and implemented according to the decisions of its board of governors.

Saskatchewan's seven regional colleges were created in 1988 under The Regional College Act to provide Adult Basic Education and Skills Training to individuals in areas of the province where access to education can be difficult. Lakeland College (Alberta) also provides education and training programs and services to Saskatchewan residents in the Lloydminster area.


Affiliation and Federation


The University of Regina has three federated colleges, First Nations University of Canada, Campion College, and Luther College, as well as one affiliated college, the Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research. The University of Saskatchewan has one federated college, St. Thomas More College, and seven affiliated colleges -- The College of Emmanuel and St. Chad, St. Andrew's College, Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Peter's College, Horizon College and Seminary, Briercrest College and Seminary and the Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research.

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


External and Internal Review


New certificate and diploma programs are developed internally by college and institute program and curriculum development staff with input from program committees composed of external representatives from industry.

New degree programs must be authorized pursuant to The Degree Authorization Act. The degree authorization process includes a quality assurance review, which may involve organizational and program evaluations conducted by external review teams, depending on the type of quality assurance review required by the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board (SHEQAB).

There are several faith-based post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan that offer theological degrees, where some of these institutions are affiliated colleges (i.e. Horizon College & Seminary; Briercrest College & Seminary) and one is a private vocational school (i.e. Canadian Revival Training Centre). All of the faith-based institutions need to follow the naming requirements in The Degree Authorization Regulations for their theological degrees, which help clarify for students and others which degree programs are theological in nature. Some examples of the theological degrees granted are as follows: Bachelor of Biblical Studies; Bachelor of Christian Ministry, and Bachelor of Sacred Music. Some theological colleges are accredited through theological accreditation agencies in the United States.


Professional Accreditation


Many of Canada's regulated professions have associations that conduct accreditation reviews of college and institute 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.


Legislation


The Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission is an industry-led agency responsible for creating a relevant, accessible, and responsive apprenticeship training and certification system to meet employers' and employees' needs and priorities. It delivers this mandate under the framework of The Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Act, 1999 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, program standards are established using national occupational standards to set the training framework. The commission is responsible for establishing industry occupational standards, for apprenticeship curriculum and examination development, and for training purchases for in-school delivery through obtaining input from industry representatives (workers, employers) and commission staff on trade boards. The commission's curriculum and examination development boards and trade examining boards update and approve curriculum and revise examinations.

At the request of the commission, Sask Polytech delivers most of the technical training for apprentices; however, in some of the trades, apprenticeship technical training is provided by the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, regional colleges, private vocational schools, SaskPower, the Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council, and out-of-province colleges. It is the responsibility of program reviewers at individual institutions to evaluate the quality of apprenticeship in-school training. At the request of the commission, employer and employees representatives 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 all members of the Colleges and Institutes Canada. Colleges and Institutes Canada does not perform quality assurance functions with respect to its members, 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 in accreditation of educational programs. Information on the activities of these professions with colleges and universities can be accessed through AAAC's Web site.

An Interprovincial Standards "Red Seal" Program promotes and facilitates the standardization of provincial and territorial apprenticeship training, as well as the regular updating of national trades standards in order to reflect the ongoing technological changes taking place in all trades. The Red Seal program was developed by the Canadian provinces and territories to standardize trade skill requirements and provide greater employment mobility throughout Canada. A provincial Certificate of Trades Qualifications bearing the Red Seal provides training recognition in most jurisdictions throughout Canada. For employers in other jurisdictions, the Red Seal is an assurance of quality training and certification to nationally recognized standards.


Legislation


Private vocational schools in Saskatchewan offer employment-related programs for adults and are governed by The Private Vocational Schools Regulation Act, 1995 and by The Private Vocational Schools Regulations, 2014.


External and Internal Review


Saskatchewan Advanced Education administers the requirements of The Private Vocational Schools Regulation Act, 1995 and Regulations. The legislation requires that institutions, programs, and instructors be registered with the ministry. The ministry does not directly evaluate private vocational school programs for quality. However, registration and monitoring of program, curricula, including a review of labour market research to support new programs, has an impact on quality. The Career College Accreditation Program (CCAP) is a national association that accredits Canadian private vocational schools at the institutional level. Accreditation is voluntary.

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