NATURAL AND APPLIED SCIENCES ACCREDITATION

Accreditation is a form of independent, professional certification that focuses on schools and programs in a particular field. Accreditation of natural and/or applied science schools and programs therefore assures international students and their parents that the Canadian school adheres to high quality standards. Which means the programs are delivered by qualified faculty and are constantly updated to follow the changes and meet the needs of the relevant industry or working world. Attending an accredited school is often thought to make you more competitive on the job market.

There is no one Canadian accreditation body for university and community college natural and applied science programs as a whole. Schools may be accredited by discipline-specific bodies such as the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB) which focuses on applied science. Or, alternately, you can look to see whether a school or program within the overall field of natural and applied sciences has been accredited by any program-specific accreditation bodies. 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).

International students can also look at whether a school or program has any memberships in, or endorsements by, discipline-specific professional associations which reflect certain standards of quality, but this is not the same as official accreditation.

Accrediting Agencies
Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB)
Established: 1982
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Web: www.cctt.ca/landing_4.asp
The Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB) is a standing committee of The Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT) and is in charge of developing, coordinating and managing the national accreditation program for applied science programs.

Some program-specific accreditation bodies
Canadian Society for Chemistry: They develop, coordinate and manage the national accreditation for undergraduate chemistry and biochemistry programs in Canada.

Canadian Dental Association: The Canadian Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) develops and approves requirements for educational programs preparing dentists, dental specialists, dental interns/residents, dental hygienists and dental assistants.

The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC): AFMC manages accreditation at the undergraduate levels for Canada's faculties of medicine. Accreditation of undergraduate medical education is undertaken jointly between the Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) in Canada and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in the U.S.

Why Accreditation?
The goal of accreditation is to ensure that the education provided meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies, which are educational associations of regional, national or international 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.