Accreditation is a form of independent, professional certification that focuses on schools and programs in a particular field. Accreditation therefore assures international students and their parents that a Canadian school or program adheres to high quality standards - that 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 Canadian accrediting body for fine and performing arts studies in general. In the absence of program-specific accreditation, keep in mind that universities and community colleges in Canada must be accredited by their respective provincial education ministries, and private career colleges should be provincially licensed. In addition, private career colleges may be nationally accredited by bodies such as Canadian Education and Training Accreditation Commission (CETAC). International students can also look at whether a school or program in Canada 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 Education and Training Accreditation Commission (CETAC)
Established: 1984
Location: Fredericton, New Brunswick
As an independent branch of the National Association of Career Colleges, CETAC accredits private post-secondary vocational schools that demonstrate educational excellence. It has been responsible for institutional accreditation of private post secondary institutions in Canada since 1985.

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.