University accreditation in Alberta is a form of independent, professional certification which assures you that a university or program adheres to particular standards.
Canada does not have a national system of university accreditation. Education is overseen by each provincial government, and in order to be authorized to operate, universities must comply with the province's legislation concerning post-secondary education. In Alberta, this legislation is called the Post-Secondary Learning Act. The Act establishes criteria for institutions applying to provide degree programs in Alberta.
Another way of ensuring a university's quality standards is to check their association membership. In Canada, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) is a national organization that develops quality assurance policies and processes which its members agree to comply with. Therefore, membership in the AUCC and compliance with provincial legislation is generally accepted in lieu of institutional accreditation. Alberta is one of 8 provinces that has established a second level of provincial higher education quality assurance, which is the Campus Alberta Quality Council. The Council works with the education Ministry to review and make recommendations on institution applications.
Specific university departments or programs may be accredited by national or international organizations. Some examples are the Canadian Forestry Accreditation Board (CFAB), Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN), Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA, formerly FIDER), Computer Science Accreditation Council (CSAC), and Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Christian universities can have separate accreditation from bodies such as The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) or The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS).
University accreditation and government recognition ensure the quality of your education: the school's programs are delivered by qualified faculty and are up-to-date. A degree or other credential from an accredited university or university program can help make you more competitive on the job market.