FAQs on quality assurance

What is quality assurance and how is it different from accreditation?

Quality assurance is a series of processes and policies intended to maintain and continuously improve academic program standards. Canada’s system of quality assurance is multi-layered, with roles shared among provincial and/or regional authorities and the institutions themselves.

In Canada, accreditation is the process by which university programs in professional fields are subject to review by professional bodies at the relevant provincial, Canadian or international levels. Accreditation by professional bodies ensures that the content of university programs, teaching resources and research outputs are of consistently high quality to meet competency expectations and to support future professionals in their area of expertise. Note, as a federal country, Canada does not have a national accreditation authority for universities.

Who ensures the high quality of a university education in Canada?

Canadian universities are committed to delivering the highest quality academic experience, and they do so by maintaining formal, robust and transparent quality assurance processes. As education falls under provincial or territorial jurisdiction in Canada, these university-level polices are set within each province’s established system of quality assurance. While the overall system is decentralized, it is also comprehensive and comparable across the country.

Who has the authority to grant a university degree in Canada?

In Canada, a university is given the authority to operate as a degree-granting institution through provincial legislation or charters.

How do I find the right university/program for me?

Canada’s universities vary from being in the centre of the country’s largest and most vibrant urban areas to being in a more rural setting with easy access to Canada’s open spaces and natural beauty. There is also a wide range in academic choice, with more than 15,000 undergraduate and graduate degree programs available across the country. University Canada’s universitystudy.ca website and its related print publication – the Directory of Canadian Universities – are useful tools to find the institution and program that best suits your interests.

Will my degree be recognized outside Canada?

A Canadian degree is globally recognized. The Canadian Degree Qualifications Framework  ensures that Canadian universities meet common high quality standards that are recognized internationally.

Universities Canada