Private Training Institutions – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I choose a post-secondary institution?
  2. What is accreditation?
  3. What is a private training institution?
  4. What is the Private Training Institutions Act?
  5. How do I register a private training institution?
  6. How do I know if a private training institution is registered?
  7. How do I know if the instructor in a private training institution is qualified?
  8. What financial assistance is available to me?
  9. Is my certificate/diploma for this private training institution recognized?
  10. How do I file a complaint against a private training institution?
  11. Who is responsible to set policies for private training institutions?
  12. If a private training institution closes, what do I do about my transcript or diploma?

1. How do I choose a post-secondary institution?

As a potential consumer, it is your responsibility to make sure the program and institution is right for you. Spend as much time and consideration choosing the post-secondary institution as you would a career.

Check out Industry

Check out future job markets in your field of interest and contact potential employers. Ask what training they look for in employees. Seriously investigate and compare all institutions offering the training that interests you.

The fact that individuals have completed a training program in a college, private training institution or a university does not guarantee employment. However, a good program should provide graduates with the skills required to meet the minimum employment standards of a particular occupation.

Visit the Institution

Make appointments to visit these institutions and ask for a program outline indicating entrance requirements, prerequisites, length of the program, what skills will be taught, how much of the training will be classroom lectures and how much will be in practical experience, and whether the program offers on-the-job experience. View the facility and ask about student/teacher ratios. Check out the equipment used to determine if it meets industry standards and/or is up to date and whether there is sufficient equipment for the number of students enrolled.

Compare tuition and book costs with other institutions. Are there additional costs? If there is a substantial difference in tuition, ask why. Are there bursaries and scholarships available?

If it is a private training institution, look for a current registration certificate indicating that the institution is registered with the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour.

Request a list of employers who have hired graduates, statistics on number of graduates, number of graduates working full time/part time, and how many are working in their chosen field of study. Ask if job placement assistance is available through the institution and exactly what that means. Discuss what type of position and salary level you can expect upon completion.

^ Top of Page

2. What is the difference between ‘registration’ and ‘accreditation’?

In Newfoundland and Labrador, all private training institutions offering vocational training of 50 or more instructional hours are required to be registered with the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour in order to operate unless exempted under the Private Training Institutions Act and Regulations. The purpose of registration is to ensure private training institutions meet established criteria to ensure quality training programs. The process collects information that allows the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour to evaluate the adequacy of training facilities, relevance of curriculum, and instructor qualifications.

Once the required information and documents are provided by the proposed institution, an assessment is conducted and a recommendation is made to the Superintendent of Private Training. If approved, a Certificate of Registration is granted and forwarded to the institution. Following approval, the Department creates a registration record for the institution and continues to monitor the institution’s compliance with provincial legislation. As part of this process, the Department assesses applications for registration of training programs and instructional staff.

Provincial requirements for the registration of private training institutions, programs and instructional staff are described in the Standard Operating Procedures for Private Training Institutions in Newfoundland and Labrador (revised September 2015) (1.5 MB).

Unlike registration, which is a Government-facilitated process, accreditation of private training institutions in Newfoundland and Labrador may be conducted by associations external to Government. Institutional accreditation is not a requirement for registration as a private training institution in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Institutional accreditation is a formal organizational review process for assessing private post-secondary schools and colleges for their overall program quality assurance, educational accomplishments, business and financial responsibilities. While institutional accreditation may assess some of the same areas as those assessed for provincial registration, it does not focus on specific program-content areas and related occupational standards, nor does it approve instructional staff. The Canadian Education and Training Accreditation Commission (CETAC) is an example of one organization responsible for the institutional accreditation for private training institutions in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Program accreditation is a formal content-review process for the assessment of programs against a specific set of standards. It provides a professional assessment of the quality of the educational programs offered by the training agencies. Program accreditation also encourages improvements to meet the rapid changes in industry. A major objective is the identification of programs that meet skill standards, stimulate curriculum improvements, encourage program quality assurance and offer up-to-date training facilities. In Newfoundland and Labrador, program accreditation may be either facilitated by Government/government bodies (i.e. the Provincial Apprenticeship and certification Board for provincial apprenticeship programs) or conducted by associations external to Government, and may be a requirement for registration of individual programs depending on the nature of the program.

^ Top of Page

3. What is a private training institution?

A private training institution is a private business which offers instruction or training in a vocation and a course of study whether by correspondence or home study course. These institutions are privately owned and operate as a business.

^ Top of Page

4. What is the Private Training Institutions Act?

The Private Training Institutions Act is the legislation which regulates private training institutions in Newfoundland and Labrador. The act and the regulations provide the requirements that must be met to register a private training institution and the operational guidelines that have to be in place to maintain registration.

^ Top of Page

5. How do I register a private training institution?

Registration of new private training institutions can be considered by the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour provided the applicant can demonstrate that the program addresses an unmet need for specific training.

You can contact the Manager of Private Training Institutions by telephone at 1-709-729-3100 or by e-mail at lynettehann@gov.nl.ca to request an application to register a new private training institution. You may also refer to Chapter 2 of the Standard Operating Procedures for Private Training Institutions in Newfoundland and Labrador (revised September 2015) (1.5 MB), which outlines all necessary requirements for registration of new institutions. Registration forms can be found by visiting the Private Training Institutions – Forms and Applications page.

^ Top of Page

6. How do I know if a private training institution is registered?

The Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour maintains a list of registered Private Training Institutions.

^ Top of Page

7. How do I know if the instructor in a private training institution is qualified?

Instructors are required to meet specific requirements as set out in the regulations and are approved by the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour. You can contact a program consultant, private training section, in the Division of Literacy and Institutional Services to verify that an instructor is registered.

^ Top of Page

8. What financial assistance is available to me?

Public institutions and many private training institutions are designated for Canada/Newfoundland and Labrador student loans. Students can apply for a loan by contacting the Student Aid office at 1-709-729-5849, or toll free 1-888-657-0800, or by visiting the Student Aid website.

Information on other forms of financial assistance is located at www.aesl.gov.nl.ca/postsecondary/financialaid.html.

^ Top of Page

9. Is my certificate/diploma for this private training institution recognized?

Registration of a private training institution in Newfoundland and Labrador, including its associated training programs, recognizes that specific legislative requirements have been met. In order to be designated for Canada/Newfoundland and Labrador student loans, private training institutions must first be registered with the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour.

Recognition of training by employers may be linked to hiring requirements and is often employer-specific. Students are encouraged to check with prospective employers or local occupational associations to determine whether specific training will prepare them for employment opportunities. Industry is the best source of information on whether a training program is preparing you for employment and is therefore ‘recognized’ by industry.

^ Top of Page

10. How do I file a complaint against a private training institution?

In the initial stage, all reasonable attempts should be made with the private training institution contact (perhaps an instructor, or a school counsellor) to resolve the issue. If that is not possible, the complainant may call the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour to register a concern. The student will be advised that, if appropriate, the first course of action the student must take is to address their complaint, in writing, to the administration of the private training institution. The response of the private training institution to the complainant must be in writing to eliminate any misunderstanding. If the issue remains unresolved, the complainant may then communicate the concern to the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, in writing, and attach a copy of the letter of response from the private training institution.

^ Top of Page

11. Who is responsible to set policies for private training institutions?

While the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour outlines key policy areas that private training institutions are required to have in place, each private training institution develops their own policies on such things as attendance, dress codes, completion requirements, etc. These policies are filed with the Department and prospective students receive a copy from the private training institution (often included within a Student Handbook) before they sign the student contract. Private training institutions are required to provide a copy of their policies to students at least 48 hours before a contract for training is signed, and students are encouraged to review these policies in detail.

^ Top of Page

12. If a private training institution closes, what do I do about my transcript or diploma?

Under the regulations that govern private training, institutions are required to retain student records for a period of 50 years. In the event that a private training institution closes, all student records are required to be delivered to the Department of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour for storage. A student may then contact the Department to request a copy of his/her academic transcript and/or diploma. Where a student might have been trained out by another institution, the transcript or diploma may be issued by the train-out institution.

For information on how to request a copy of your transcript and/or diploma, please visit www.aesl.gov.nl.ca/postsecondary/transcripts.html.

^ Top of Page