Accreditation is a form of independent, professional certification that focuses on schools and programs in a particular field, including trades and apprenticeships. 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 instructors and are constantly updated to follow the changes and meet the needs of the relevant industry. Attending an accredited school or program is often thought to make you more competitive on the job market.

Private career colleges offering trade and apprenticeship programs in Canada should be provincially licensed and may also be generally accredited by national bodies such as Canadian Education and Training Accreditation Commission (CETAC). In terms of discipline-specific accreditation, each province or territory in Canada is responsible for setting the rules and regulations for apprenticeship training. Accreditation can therefore be provincial (for example The Provincial Apprenticeship and Certification Board of Newfoundland and Labrador) or national. Together, the provinces collaborate with the federal government in The Red Seal (Interprovincial Standards) Program, which enables tradespeople to work anywhere in Canada. To earn a Red Seal your skilled trade must be 'designated' or recognized as a Red Seal trade. Individuals can write the interprovincial examination for Red Seal trades when they have completed their apprenticeship technical training and have gained a specified amount of trade-related experience.

Accrediting Agencies
The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program
Established: 1958
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Administered in each province and territory under the guidance of the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA), the Red Seal Program recognizes and sets quality standards in the skilled trades and apprenticeships.

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.