Please note that effective December 7 2020, the Quality Council's Quality Assurance Framework and Guide will be unavailable due to planned maintenance. A PDF version is available from the QC in the meantime. Should you have any questions about where to find relevant resources or information in the Framework or Guide, please contact Amanda McKenzie

Quality Assurance in Canada

There is no national University accreditation system in Canada; all education is regulated provincially.  The University of Waterloo is a member of Universities Canada, which establishes standards of quality for all Canadian degree programs.

“As higher education in Canada falls under the jurisdiction of the country’s 10 provinces and three territories, Canadian universities generally receive the authority to grant degrees from provincial legislation (a few universities still retain charters).

Under this authority, each Canadian university is autonomous in academic matters and determines its own quality assurance standards and procedures. These institutional policies and procedures are formal and transparent, and are coupled with an external review by the relevant provincial quality assurance authorities. For some professional programs, institutional policies and processes also undergo professional accreditation.

In addition, there is support for a Canadian Degree Qualifications Framework and a commitment to a common framework of quality standards across all Canadian provinces. This means that Canadian universities have a shared understanding of the value of one another’s academic credentials and that our high quality standards are recognized internationally.”     

- Universities Canada (


At the provincial level, degree-granting authority is regulated by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities’ Post-Secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act, 2000, and all degree programs are subject to approval and regular review by the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance.

“The rigorous quality of Ontario’s publicly assisted university undergraduate and graduate university programs is ensured through a combination of each university’s institutional quality assurance processes and an external review of these processes, as set out in Ontario’s Quality Assurance Framework.

An independent body, the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance (the Quality Council), is responsible for approving all new undergraduate and graduate programs offered by the publicly assisted universities. All new program proposals are also subject to external review by disciplinary experts prior to program approval. The Quality Council also audits each university’s quality assurance processes on an eight-year cycle to ensure that each university is operating in conformity with Ontario’s Quality Assurance Framework when it is reviewing or modifying its existing programs. All programs are reviewed against Degree Level Expectations and all must identify learning outcomes and how their achievement will be assessed in undergraduate and graduate programs. The Quality Council communicates its decisions to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.” 

- Universities Canada (


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