The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials
The postsecondary education system in Newfoundland and Labrador is described in CICIC's Postsecondary Education Systems in Canada, Provinces and Territories. The system can be divided into four categories of post-secondary program delivery:
  • universities
  • public colleges
  • private training institutions
  • apprenticeship
Quality assurance mechanisms in Newfoundland and Labrador's post-secondary 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
Newfoundland and Labrador has a Council on Higher Education, established through the Council on Higher Education Act. The Council is not a quality assurance body, but a joint entity of Memorial University, College of the North Atlantic, and the Provincial Government. Its duties are outlined in the Act and relate to making recommendations to the Council members on the strategic directions for public postsecondary education in the province; sharing of services; student recruitment; credit transfer; collaboration; and other matters the Council deems necessary.

Legislation


The Memorial University Act establishes Newfoundland and Labrador's only university. The statute outlines the university's authority to govern itself through the operations of a Board of Regents and Senate. These bodies have the authority to determine all matters relating to programs, qualifications of employees, and all other matters deemed to be in the interest of the institution. No explicit reference is made to accountability mechanisms or quality assurance of educational programming. Program quality responsibilities are implied through the powers and duties assigned to institutions' internal governing bodies.

The Act provides the university with the authority to establish affiliations with colleges or institutions in specifically identified program areas. Criteria for establishing affiliations are set out.

The Act also establishes the Marine Institute as part of Memorial University.

The Marine Institute was formerly known as the Newfoundland and Labrador Institute of Fisheries and Marine Technology and became part of Memorial University in 1992 and is recognized as such in the Memorial University Act.


Other Public Postsecondary Institutions


The Eastern Regional Health Authority's Centre for Nursing Studies and the Western Regional Health Authority's Western Regional School of Nursing, in collaboration with Memorial University's Faculty of Nursing, deliver a Bachelor of Nursing (Collaborative) degree. The degree follows Memorial's curriculum and graduates receive a Memorial University degree, but each site is administered separately. Grenfell Campus, Memorial University, located in Corner Brook, provides some support services to the Western Regional School of Nursing. All nursing graduates in Newfoundland and Labrador must have degrees in nursing. The Centre for Nursing Studies and the Western Regional School of Nursing are regulated by the Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador, the regulatory body for nursing in the Province governed by the Registered Nurses Act, 2008 and Regulations.


External and Internal Review


Approval of new university programs and all matters of an academic character are contained within Memorial University, and specifically within the Senate.

At the graduate level, all new proposed graduate programs, having first been examined within the originating department are subsequently and progressively reviewed by the Committee on Graduate Studies, the Faculty Council, and the Graduate Council, with final approval given by the Senate.

At the undergraduate level, all new proposed undergraduate programs, having first been examined within the originating department are subsequently and progressively reviewed by the Undergraduate Studies Committee of Faculty, the Faculty Council, and the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies, with final approval given by the Senate.

The quality of existing university programs is addressed though an internal Academic Unit Planning process that employs self-study, assessment and external reviewers. This process typically occurs at least once every seven years or sooner if required (e.g., by the regulatory bodies responsible for professional occupations).

Memorial's Board of Regents must report annually to the Minister of Education in accordance with the Transparency and Accountability Act. The Minister tables the Board's report in the Legislature.


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


Memorial University is a member of 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 a 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.


Legislation


The College Act, 1996 establishes the only public college in Newfoundland and Labrador. College of the North Atlantic is the result of a merging of the network of Newfoundland and Labrador's five community colleges into a single institution. Under the Act, the College is responsible for providing a broad range of labour-market responsive programming. The Board of Governors of the College of the North Atlantic is responsible for the governance, conduct of operations, management, and control of the institution including educational policies and activities that relate to quality assurance in the following areas:
  • establishing courses of study;
  • standards of admission;
  • qualifications for diplomas;
  • organizing examinations and examiners;
  • creating academic boards and committees; and
  • recruiting all employees with the exception of the president, who is appointed by the Provincial Government.

The Board of Governors must report annually to the Minister of Education. The Minister tables the Board's report with the Legislature.

The Provincial Government may also make regulations with respect to instructor certification and academic and professional standards for instructors. Provincial Government policy has been developed on instructors' qualification requirements.

 

External and Internal Review


It is the policy of College of the North Atlantic that formal program reviews will be conducted for all programs for which a College parchment is awarded. Such reviews through due process will provide opportunity for input by external and internal stakeholders and will be completed once every five years. The mandatory formal review based on a five-year cycle should not prevent nor preclude continuous informal evaluation processes. Relevant Academic School Dean(s) are responsible for managing program reviews in accordance with scheduled five-year review plan for updating purposes and to ensure relevance to meet the demands of the marketplace


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 Public Colleges


College of the North Atlantic is a member of the Colleges and Institutes Canada. Colleges and Institutes Canada does not perform formal 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 by its members in accreditation of educational programs.


Legislation


The Private Training Institutions Act establishes a provincially appointed superintendent of private training institutions. All operating private training institutions must be registered and must satisfy the superintendent that they have competent instructors and sufficient equipment for the teaching of designated programs and can provide instruction at reasonable rates. To ensure that institutions are complying with the legislation, the Provincial Government conducts regular inspections.

The Provincial Government may also make regulations with respect to prescribing the training, equipment, and means of instruction to be used; requiring the approval of the superintendent for courses of study; requirements for admission; qualifications of teachers; demonstrators' methods of instruction; premises and equipment; and prescribing the minimum number of hours of instruction.

The regulations under the Private Training Institutions Act are extensive and include specific criteria for instructor qualifications.


External and Internal Review


Information on internal review processes may be obtained from individually registered private training institutions.

The superintendent of private training institutions in Newfoundland and Labrador reviews and approves every course of study prior to registration of the institutions. Before approving a course of study, the following information must be provided by applicants:
  • a needs assessment, including a market analysis;
  • admission standards;
  • curriculum content;
  • program duration; and
  • graduate certification.

To ensure compliance with the Private Training Institutions Act and Regulations, the Department of Education has regional program consultants whose responsibilities include direct liaison with their regional private training institutions, as well as conducting periodic visits, and, most importantly, compliance review.

Students enrolled in programs in registered private training institutions that meet Student Aid eligibility requirement can apply for student financial assistance.


Legislation


The Apprenticeship and Certification Act governs apprenticeship training in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Minister of Immigration, Skills and Labour has authority over apprenticeship matters. The Apprenticeship and Certification Act requires that the Minister appoint a Provincial Apprenticeship and Certification Board and that the Board be directly accountable to the Minister. The mandate of the Provincial Apprenticeship and Certification Board is very broad covering a number of apprenticeship training issues. The Board:
  • sets policies to ensure that the Apprenticeship and Certification Training Act is implemented;
  • accredits institutions to deliver apprenticeship programs;
  • designates occupations for apprenticeship training and/or certification;
  • establishes Provincial Trade Advisory Committees for each designated occupation;
  • establishes examination committees to conduct practical examinations for apprentices and trade qualifiers;
  • approves Plans of Training; and
  • provides advice to government on labour market matters related to training and certification.

External and Internal Review


The Provincial Apprenticeship and Certification Board accredits apprenticeship programs offered by both public colleges and private training institutions to ensure standards are consistent across institutions delivering provincial curriculum and to ensure credit transferability between institutions for students completing training; it develops the form and contents of plans of training and determines and approves the objectives of every course of instruction included in plans of training. The Board develops a memorandum of understanding for apprenticeship for designated occupations and determines all disputes related to them. Further it can revoke journeyperson certification in the cases of a fraudulent application.

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 Canadian provinces and territories developed the Red Seal program in cooperation with the federal government (Employment and Social Development Canada) to standardize trade skill requirements and provide greater employment mobility throughout Canada. A provincial Certificate of Trades Qualifications bearing the Red Seal is recognized in all Canadian jurisdictions.

The Atlantic Apprenticeship Council (AAC) was established to share common concerns and economical opportunities for cooperation among apprenticeship programs in the four Atlantic Provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island). AAC's priority is the Atlantic Apprenticeship Harmonization Project (AAHP), a commitment to align apprenticeship programs and systems in Atlantic Canada. There are three overarching objectives of AAHP:

  • increase the mobility of apprentices and ease the associated processes for all stakeholders through elimination of current complexity of rules, standards, names, curriculum policies, books, etc.;
  • improve completion rates and time of completion for apprentices through greater availability of training to apprentices by collaborative curriculum development, increased alternative delivery and sequenced training that allows maximum utilization of existing training;
  • increase the number of apprentices and journeypersons through shared program marketing, improved testing processes for apprentices and trade qualifiers, better access to holders of foreign credentials, and support to gender and equity groups.