Application Instructions revised 032010 by ashrafp






For further information, please contact the Credentials Validation Service at

Revised March 2010
                   PROGRAM VALIDATION


The process established by the Credentials Validation Service (CVS) is designed to be a
streamlined, seamless, effective, and efficient electronic process that will allow colleges
to submit and receive validation requests and decisions in a timely manner. It is being
implemented as an electronic system. The required Forms and instruction will be
available to all colleges through a web-based mechanism.

It is recognized that colleges will continue to develop program proposals internally
consistent with the policies and procedures individual colleges have established to guide
this process. Once proposals have successfully completed the internal college process, the
new streamlined validation process outlined here will take effect.

The Application for Program Validation package consists of a main cover sheet
(Application for Program Validation) and three Appendices. Appendix A has two parts –
Form 1 and Form 2, while Appendices B and C are one page forms.

What follows here are the detailed instructions on how to complete all the forms to
ensure a complete and comprehensive package is submitted. It is important that
regardless of the process for program development and review used internally in a
college, any programs being submitted to the CVS for validation MUST be submitted
using the package supplied and described below. Submitting a complete and
comprehensive application package will facilitate the process and enable a more timely
decision from the CVS. Information submitted in other formats will, in most cases, result
in a slowing of the process and a request that colleges re-submit the information on the
respective appropriate forms.

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                                   APPLICATION FORM

The first line above the „boxed‟ part of the Application form provides options related to
funding of the program, and here a college is asked to indicate its intent with respect to
seeking, or not seeking, approval for funding from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and
Universities (MTCU). Please indicate the preference of your college with respect to this
proposal by indicating YES or NO to the options provided.

The CVS will forward all documentation received in relation to an Application for
Program Validation to the Colleges Branch, MTCU when it is indicated by the college
that it is their intention to seek approval for funding from MTCU. However, colleges are
reminded that MTCU requires different and additional information and forms, and unless
these additional forms are also submitted to the CVS, the college must ensure they are
sent directly to MTCU in a timely manner following the validation decision. (See further
description of this in the Distribution of Decisions and Documents on Page 7 in the
section below.)

The instructions for completing the remaining portions of the Application for Program
Validation are described below.

1.      College: Insert the name of your college here.

2.      College Contact: Insert the required information as requested. This information
        will be used by the CVS staff to contact the appropriate person at your college
        with any questions related to the application and also the person to whom the
        validation decision will be sent. Please ensure the information is correct and

3.      Proposed Program Title: Insert the title of the program that is being proposed.
        Please use the title that the college is requesting as the approved title, and the one
        that will appear on the graduate‟s credential. Colleges are reminded that there are
        established titling policies and procedures approved, and used, by the college
        system, and all proposed titles should comply with these titling principles. (See
        Heads of Business and Heads of Technology Nomenclature reports for examples
        of these principles.) Also of note here is that “delivery mode” is never part of the
        approved title. Therefore any references to how the program will be delivered
        (through continuing education, part-time, with or without a cooperative education
        experience, etc.) will not be validated if included as part of the approved title.

4.      Proposed Credential: Indicate the credential that the college is planning to offer
        at the successful completion of the program of instruction by inserting a
        checkmark (), or a YES beside the appropriate credential listed. Colleges are
        reminded that all programs of instruction being submitted to MTCU for approval
        for funding must receive validation from the CVS. As well, all programs of

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        instruction leading to the granting of one of the Ontario College credentials,
        regardless of funding source, must also receive validation from the CVS.

5.      Proposed Program Outcomes (Appendix A): The proposed program outcomes
        are to be submitted in two ways; a mapping of the outcomes and the curriculum
        on Form 1 of Appendix A; and, on the Program Description Form found as
        Appendix B.

        There are two program maps that must be completed. One relates to the mapping
        of the vocational learning outcomes (Form 1), expressed at the program level, and
        the other relates to the Essential Employability Skills learning outcomes (Form 2).
        The instructions for completing these two program maps are included in the
        description for Appendix A – Program Maps. Additional information is provided
        here (as well as in Appendix A) to assist with the completion of these two
        program maps and to provide a clarification of expectations.

        Vocational Learning Outcomes Map (Form 1): The purpose of the Vocational
        Program Learning Outcomes map is to demonstrate how the proposed program
        either fits or does not fit with existing programs approved in the college system.
        It is the responsibility of the applying college to accurately demonstrate the
        existing relationship between the program being proposed and any other existing
        programs in the system. This is done by mapping the proposed outcomes against
        existing outcomes and demonstrating that there is sufficient and appropriate
        curriculum in the program to ensure that graduates have had opportunities to
        reliably demonstrate their ability to meet the outcomes.

        Essential Employability Skills Map (Form 2): The Ministry has approved a new
        policy with respect to Essential Employability Skills. The approved Essential
        Employability Skills outcomes are listed in Form 2 of Appendix A. Under the
        new policy there is no difference or distinction between the Essential
        Employability Skills required for any graduate with an Ontario College
        credential. (The Credentials Framework indicates that in programs of instruction
        leading to an Ontario College Graduate Certificate, the meeting of the Essential
        Employability Skills is locally determined, as it is assumed students win these
        programs will have achieved the Essential Employability Skills in other programs
        of instruction.) All graduates must reliably demonstrate their ability to meet all
        the Essential Employability Skills learning outcomes listed on Form 2. This map
        requires the college to demonstrate that there is sufficient and appropriate
        curriculum in the proposed program to allow all graduates to reliably demonstrate
        their ability to meet all the Essential Employability Skills.

6.      Program Description (Appendix B): A program description is to be supplied on
        the form found as Appendix B. The information requested is not new; however,
        the form, on which the college is asked to submit the information, is new. In
        Appendix B, the college is asked to provide a brief description of the program,

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Revised March 2010
        similar to what might be used as, or found in, advertising or a calendar
        description. There is a request that colleges include some reference to related
        occupational areas where graduates are expected to find employment. Also, the
        college is to provide a list of the vocational learning outcomes, expressed at a
        program level. It is important that when program learning outcomes are
        developed, the college assures that the level and rigor of the outcomes are
        consistent with the Credentials Framework and the credential being proposed.

        The last thing the Program Description asks the college to identify is the
        Admission Requirements. Of note in this section is the fact that Admission
        Requirements are stipulated in the Credentials Framework and colleges must
        ensure that proposed Admission Requirements are consistent with the Credentials
        Framework and conform to MTCU policies.

7.      Program Curriculum (Appendix C): Appendix C asks the college to provide a
        list of the curriculum being offered in the proposed program of instruction.
        Colleges are asked to identify all the courses being offered, by semester. Where a
        college has developed and assigned college-specific codes, these should be
        indicated on the form (second column). In cases where this is done, these course
        codes (only) can be used to identify relevant curriculum on the two program maps
        (Forms 1 and 2, Appendix A). Where a college has not developed or assigned
        college-specific course codes, the course titles should be entered in this column.
        In the column titled Course Title, the college is asked to provide the title of the
        course and a brief description of the course. This description would be a calendar
        description or such similar descriptor as may be used in advertising the course.
        There is no request to provide detailed information about each course, nor is the
        college asked to provide course-level outcomes.

        It is important that the college identify those courses in the program curriculum
        that have been designed to deliver General Education (courses that are of an
        elective nature as well as those that are mandatory for students to take). This is
        again an area where MTCU has approved a new policy and colleges are
        encouraged to become familiar with the new policy and to ensure that the
        requirements for General Education as articulated in the Credentials Framework
        are met or exceeded in the proposal. To this end, colleges are asked to clearly
        identify those courses in the curriculum that have been designed to deliver
        General Education.

8.      Regulatory Status Form (Appendix D):
        The role of regulatory colleges and voluntary membership associations in
        controlling employment in an occupation, trade or profession, conferring
        professional designations or in developing standards of practice is not always
        clear-cut. It is important for students that information about programs of
        instruction accurately describes entry-to-practice requirements in a field of study.

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Revised March 2010
        Regulated Professions and Trades
        For some professions and trades, there is legislation requiring workers in the
        profession or trade to be licensed or certified by a regulatory body in order to
        practice the profession or trade in Ontario. The authority of these regulatory
        bodies comes from an Ontario statute e.g. Professional Engineers Act.
        Government generally limits the granting of legislative regulatory authority to
        private bodies in occupations and professions where it has identified that there is a
        public interest in having oversight over the standards of the profession or trade.

        Some regulatory authorities have a legislated right to determine educational level
        and to accredit programs of study and will restrict certification or licensing to
        graduates of these programs.

        The purpose of accredited status is to maintain the quality of programs, to
        promote continuing improvement of instruction and to ensure that students
        receive an education consistent with standards for entry into practice or advanced
        practice in their respective field or discipline.

        Regulatory Authority without Accreditation

        Most regulatory authorities do not have legislative authority to accredit or
        approve educational programs but they do determine requirements to practise as a
        member of the profession and control use of the professional designation. They
        may also develop standards of practice and competence.

        The organization will identify the criteria for registration/membership which may
        include a requirement for the successful completion of certain identified
        educational programs. The list of programs might be those offered by named
        institutions or programs accredited by other third party accrediting bodies, for
        example the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario recognizes programs
        accredited by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.

        All decisions regarding students’ eligibility for licensing or certification, in a
        regulated profession or trade, fall within the jurisdiction of the certification
        or registration authority.

        Voluntary Associations

        In the majority of occupations, professions and trades there is no statutory body
        regulating entry-to-practice requirements but voluntary membership associations
        may determine rules for their own members. Voluntary certification is used by
        these member associations to represent an individual‟s professional competence
        and affirms a knowledge and experience base for practitioners in a particular
        field. One or more private association may represent a profession and they
        generally function as advocates for their members and may also develop
        voluntary standards of practice.

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        A voluntary professional association and/or organization has no legislative
        authority to require that a student complete an accredited or recognized program
        as a condition of employment. Voluntary membership associations may, however,
        accredit or recognize programs that are required for membership in their
        organization, e.g. CIPS (Canadian Information Professional Association).

        Some voluntary associations do not recognize or accredit specific educational
        programs and membership may be determined by examination, proof of
        employment, character reference, etc. for example the Canadian International
        Freight Forwarders Association.

        Process for Submitting Information

        In light of recent changes to the Minister‟s Binding Policy Directive, Framework
        for Programs of Instruction, the importance of maintaining the integrity of
        College credentials and protecting interests of students and employers who
        require a reasonable guarantee of consistency and quality in programs of
        instruction is recognized. It is also important that the marketing related to a
        College‟s program reflects accurate and comprehensive representation of the
        program or programs.

        As the Quality Assurance agent for the Colleges, through the CVS, the Colleges
        are now required to submit information on a new or modified program indicating
               a) the program in question is certified, registered, licensed or granted
                   some form of official recognition by a regulatory authority that is
                   authorized by Ontario law to grant such certification, registration or
                   other form of recognition, in order for graduates to work in the
                   occupation in Ontario or use an occupational title; or
               b) the college is seeking or has obtained recognition or accreditation of
                   the program by a voluntary external body.

        This information will be submitted to the CVS by the new Appendix D in the
        Application for Validation package. This new form, called the Regulatory Status
        Form (or Appendix D) is in two parts to address situations of mandatory
        regulatory requirements and voluntary requirements.

        In cases where the program area has mandatory regulatory requirements, the
        status of the program (at time of application for validation) in relation to receiving
        this recognition must be recorded. At the time of application the program may
        have received this recognition or the recognition may be pending (in that the
        college has made application or is otherwise working towards the mandatory
        recognition or accreditation). In either case the college is asked to submit written
        evidence, from the regulatory body, to support the status identified in Appendix
        D. Where a college indicates that the college is working toward accreditation and
        that this mandatory recognition/accreditation is “in process”, it is expected that

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        once the college has received the final accreditation it will forward written
        evidence of this to CVS to complete the file. Where a college has indicated it is
        working towards accreditation and has submitted a date by which it expects to
        achieve this recognition, the CVS will, in absence of receiving written evidence
        by the date given, contact the college to follow-up and confirm the receipt of the
        accreditation as evidenced by receiving the written confirmation.

        In cases where the college has chosen to apply for voluntary recognition or
        accreditation, this status must also be indicated. The college will attach written,
        supporting evidence from the regulatory body in question indicating the status of
        the voluntary recognition or accreditation of the program in question. Where a
        college has indicated it is working towards this voluntary recognition and/or
        accreditation and has submitted a date by which it expects to achieve this
        recognition, the CVS will, in absence of receiving written evidence by the date
        given, contact the college to follow-up and confirm the receipt of the recognition
        being sought as evidenced by receiving the written confirmation.

9.      Date of Submission: Please indicate the date on which the application form and
        the required attachments are sent to the CVS. Although there will be an indication
        of when the materials were received by the CVS, the college is asked to indicate
        the date they were sent. This will help the colleges and the CVS be more accurate
        in the tracking of Applications.

10.     Date of CVS Response: The CVS will insert the date here indicating when a
        decision was made and when a response was sent to the applying college. Having
        this date on the return form, along with the decision of CVS, further contributes to
        the accurate tracking of the applications and will provide an indication of the
        timeliness of the CVS decisions.

11.     Validation Decision: The CVS will indicate its decision in this space. For those
        applications that are validated, the CVS will insert the relevant Approved
        Program Sequence (APS) Number. This is a unique identifier assigned to each
        approved program in the system. Previously this number was assigned by the
        Colleges Branch, MTCU upon approval and funding of a program. Under the
        Self-Regulatory Mechanism, this APS Number will now be assigned by the CVS
        to indicate a program has been validated. The assigning of the APS Number will
        signal to the College, and any other relevant parties, that the program has been
        validated. In cases where the college has indicated it is planning to submit the
        program for approval of funding to MTCU, this APS Number is the indication to
        MTCU that CVS has validated the program. This APS Number will be assigned
        to all programs of instruction validated by the CVS regardless of the colleges‟
        intention to submit it to MTCU for approval for funding, or not. The APS Number
        will be conveyed to the college as part of the CVS decision.

        The validation decision will be made in relation to the proposed program having
        program outcomes that are consistent with the credential being proposed and with

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Revised March 2010
        the Credentials Framework, and that the proposed title is consistent with approved
        nomenclature / titling principles and practices in the college system.

        The staff of the CVS will engage in discussions and consultations with applying
        colleges when this is required to fully understand and validate a proposal. When
        the results of these discussions are such that required changes cannot be made and
        a decision to not validate the proposed program is taken, reasons for this decision
        will be documented and sent to the college. Opportunities will be available for a
        college to re-submit a separate application for validation at a future time.

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Revised March 2010

There are two distinct distribution routes for the CVS decisions.

In cases where colleges indicate they are planning to seek MTCU approval for funding,
the CVS has agreed to forward, to the Colleges Branch, ALL documentation received in
the course of validating the program. In these cases, the applying college will receive
notification that the documents and the decision have been forwarded to the Colleges
Branch, MTCU.

It must be pointed out that MTCU requires different, and additional, information than that
required by the CVS. Where a college has submitted all the required documentation (the
Board of Governors Attestation, the signature of the President, and the Program Delivery
Information) to the CVS, this will be forwarded to the Colleges Branch, MTCU. Where a
college has not submitted all the additional information with its application for validation,
the decision notification of CVS will serve as a notice that the college will be required to
submit the additional information directly to the Colleges Branch, MTCU once it is ready
and complete.

In cases where colleges indicate to the CVS that they are not intending to seek approval
for funding from the Colleges Branch, MTCU, the decision of the CVS will be sent only
to the applying college. This will include returning all documents received by the CVS
for the validation decision.

While the CVS will keep records of its validation decisions, documents will be returned
to the applying college along with the indication of the CVS decision.

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Revised March 2010
                              PROGRAM MODIFICATIONS

In an attempt to clarify the requirements and the process related to Program
Modifications, this section provides direction in this area.

Consistent with the conditions articulated during the MTCU “Transition Phase” (that
time from April 1, 2003 until the creation and operation of the CVS, February 1, 2005),
modifications of programs may be related to content or title. During the Transition
period, the Ministry articulated the fact that modifications of title would need to be
“approved”, while modifications of content needed “approval” only when these
modifications resulted in the program being re-classified or re-coded. This basic
distinction will remain under the CVS.

Modification of Title: In cases where a college wishes to change the approved title of a
program, this change or modification of title will need to be validated by the CVS, as the
approval of titling falls within its mandate. To request a modification of title, a college
would send an e-mail to the CVS requesting this modification. The request will need to
contain the existing title, the proposed new title, and a rationale for the change. Colleges
are reminded of the information above under the Proposed Title section (Page 3) that
speaks to the existence of system-wide titling policies established by the college system.
Any proposal for a modification to a program title must be done in keeping with the
systems titling and nomenclature principles. This is particularly applicable in the areas of
Business and Technology programs where there are Nomenclature Reports that determine
system-wide accepted approaches to the titling of programs.

CVS will consider these requests (for a modification of program title) in light of the
overall responsibility it has for ensuring that titling conforms to system-wide
nomenclature / titling principles and policies. An additional consideration will be the fact
that approved titles are closely aligned with program classification from the MTCU
perspective. In areas where there are Provincial Program Standards the titles for these
programs are primarily determined by the Program Standard. As the Provincial Program
Standard applies to all programs approved within the specified program category (i.e., the
MTCU code) these programs will all have similar titles. The modification of titles for
programs approved within a program area where there is a Provincial Program Standard
will require full consultation with the respective “Heads of” reporting group, as well as
with the staff involved with the Program Standard initiative at MTCU.

General titling policies include the following:
    Titles should reflect a field of study, primarily, and not a job title or specific
      employment-related position a graduate may secure.
    Programs with similar outcomes should have similar titles.
    Modifiers attached to approved program titles must be supported by appropriate
      and substantial additional vocational learning outcomes.
    Approved titles must appear on the final credential conferred by the college.

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       Non-approved titles and other descriptions of programs may be used in the
        advertising of a program of instruction as long as there is a clear indication of the
        approved title included.

Modification of Content: There is an expectation that programs of instruction are
reviewed and modified on a regular basis to ensure programs are current. Where changes
to courses or program outcomes occur in the process of a review and renewal of the
program, these changes do not need to be approved or validated by the CVS as long as
the program remains essentially the program it was prior to the changes. For example, a
program in the Applied Arts area that has been approved as a Gerontology program may
revise and change courses from time-to-time to ensure the most current information is
taught. This may require a change to vocational learning outcomes as the courses change.
However, the focus remains the same – Gerontology.

When there is a significant change to the content of the program that would result in it
having a different focus (i.e., it changes from a general Gerontology program to become a
program with a focus on assisting elderly people in a home care situation and may, for
the sake of example, be more aptly be described and considered a program for the
training of health care attendants) this would in fact require the college to submit the
“new” program to the CVS for validation, as it would likely result in a different title and
a different credential being conferred at the end. It is then considered a new program. As
well, whenever there is a change in title, there is the possibility of a change in the
categorization of the program from the perspective of MTCU and this may result in a
change of funding parameters assigned to the program in question.

Any questions about the completion and submission of forms should be directed to staff
of the Credentials Validation Service at 416-596-8799 ext 225 or electronically to

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Revised March 2010
Revised M arch 2010

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