Accreditation of applied business technology schools and programs is a form of independent, professional certification which assures you and your parents that a school or program adheres to high quality standards. This means the school's programs are delivered by qualified faculty and are constantly updated to follow the changes and meet the needs of the working world. Attending an accredited school or program is therefore often thought to make you more competitive in the job market.
In Canada, all public community colleges are accredited by their respective provincial government. Accreditation standards for private career colleges vary from province to province and may include provincial legislation, licensing, certification, accreditation and program approval. For example, institutions may seek voluntary accreditation through the Canadian Education and Training Accreditation Committee (CETAC). Alternately, some institutions have sought to partner in the delivery of industry-based certificates that lead to "certification" of the program (e.g., the Canadian Payroll Association's "Certified Payroll Manager" designation, the Canadian Council of Human Resources Association's "Certified Human Resource Professional" designation, or the Canadian Institute of Travel Counselors' "Certified Travel Manager" designation).
You can also check to see if a school or program has any memberships in, or endorsements by, discipline-specific professional associations which reflect certain standards of quality, but which is not the same as official accreditation.
Some program-specific accrediting and certifying bodies
Insurance Institute of Canada: certifies Chartered Insurance Professional programs.
The Canadian Payroll Association: oversees Certified Payroll Management programs.
The Canadian Institute of Management: accredits programs leading to professional management designations.
The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies, which are educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency's evaluation and that meet an agency's criteria are then "accredited" by that agency.