The Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification Act provide the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour with responsibility for the administration of apprenticeship and certification in New Brunswick in designated occupations. The act also establishes the minister-appointed Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification Board and program advisory committees in designated occupations.
The board's main function is to advise the minister on matters relating to apprenticeship including the designation of occupations, prerequisites for entry to the program and guidelines for implementation of training. The department is responsible for approving programs of study; providing periodic tests; supervising all training and approval of facilities; and approving of courses of study in pre-apprenticeship programs.
External and Internal Review
The Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification Board is responsible for developing the curriculum of the in-class portion of apprenticeship training and for providing it to training deliverers. Although there is no prohibition to other deliverers providing this training, NBCC is currently the main provider of in-school apprenticeship training.
Quality of the program delivery is monitored through student surveys, on-site visits, and the success rates of technical training examinations and final examinations (Certificate of Qualifications).
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 Qualification 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.
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.
Other Organizations Related to Quality Assurance in Colleges and Apprenticeship
The Atlantic Provinces Community College Consortium (APCCC) was established in 1998 as an informal consortium of departments and institutions to enhance cooperation across the community colleges in the four Atlantic provinces of Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. The activities, initiatives, and projects of the consortium are designed to reflect the values and principles agreed to by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) in A Report on Public Expectations of Postsecondary Education in Canada (February 1999). Key areas of performance expectations demonstrating these values and principles include quality and accountability among others. The primary activities of the consortium include sharing information, issues, and solutions and generally promoting consistency, cooperation, joint initiatives, and transferability across institutions. The impact of the consortium on program quality is indirect.
Membership in the Colleges and Institutes Canada is not mandatory for NBCC and CCNB, but they are both members. 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.
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). Apprenticeship training programs in the Atlantic provinces ensure consistent standards of achievement by using the same training standards in a large number of trades and Red Seal examinations for Certificates of Qualifications.
The New Brunswick Association of Career Colleges (NBACC) represents the interests of private career colleges across New Brunswick and is affiliated with the National Association of Career Colleges.