Accreditation is a form of independent, professional certification that focuses on schools and programs in a particular field. Accreditation of applied health care and technology schools and programs therefore assures international students and their parents that the 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 or program is often thought to make you more competitive on 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.

There is no one Canadian accreditation body for university and community college applied health care and technology programs as a whole; however, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) accredits programs in sixteen applied health care and technology professions. Alternately, international students can look to see whether a school or program within the overall field of applied health care and technology has been accredited by any other program-specific accreditation bodies. Private career colleges offering applied health care and technology related programs should be provincially licensed and may be generally accredited by national bodies such as Canadian Education and Training Accreditation Commission (CETAC).

You 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
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA)
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
The CMA ensures national standards for the education of health care practitioners who perform diagnostic and therapeutic services to support physicians in the clinical setting.

Some program-specific accrediting bodies:
The Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists (CSRT): CSRT's National Accreditation Program is provided through the Council on Accreditation for Respiratory Therapy Education (CoARTE).

The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME): CNME accredits the four-year naturopathic medical education programs in Canada and the U.S.

Why Accreditation?
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.