Unless your career program meets exemption criteria, you are required by law to licence any career training programs you want to offer.
The career program licensing process is designed to allow private career colleges to participate in Alberta's post-secondary learning system, while also providing consumer protections for students.
The career program licensing process is completed in 4 steps.
Please note that your licensing team contact will guide you through each stage of the application process. It is important not to complete each step until you are advised to do so.
Step 1. Pre-application
Contact a licensing team member
Our licensing team can help you find out:
- if your program requires a licence
- if your proposed program could meet licensing requirements
- how the application process works
- what documentation you need to have to apply
- how to research curriculum relevance and the labour market
After you speak with a licensing team member, you can start to gather the information you'll need to support your application. Use the pre-application guide to get started.
These are basic requirements for any career program licensing application:
- evidence of curriculum relevance
- evidence of labour market demand
- program information, including a program outline and proposed fees
- evidence of practicum availability (if it is a required part of your proposed program)
Find out what information is needed to meet these requirements.
Your licensing team member may also inform you that additional documentation is needed. Please ensure you also provide that with your submission.
Submit your research data
Your licensing team contact will review the information you collected to determine if licensing is required, and if your data meets application requirements.
If the information you provided meets requirements, you can move on to the next step.
Step 2. Application
Contact your licensing team member after you complete your pre-application.
The licensing team will send you materials for stage 1 of the application guidelines. Please confirm your application addresses everything outlined below. If you have questions about these requirements, please contact your licensing team member.
Your career program licensing application must include:
- your name
- your home and business address
- the address of the premises where the training will be provided
- the application fee, made payable to the Government of Alberta
- a description of the career training and the credential to be awarded
- a copy of the credential
- information about any legal claims pending against the applicant
- information about the applicant’s previous or current ownership of private career colleges, or experience in the operation of other private career colleges
- information about the individual responsible for the day-to-day operations
If additional information is requested to help the Private Career College branch review your application, your application will not be approved until you provide that information.
Financial resource statutory declaration
Your application must include a statutory declaration declaring that:
- the information provided is true and accurate to the best of your belief
- you have the necessary financial resources to effectively deliver the vocational training on an ongoing basis
You must provide the following program documentation:
- instructor qualifications agreement
- admission requirements for each program
- program details
Find out more about program requirements.
You must provide the following business documentation:
- Declaration of Authority — including the documents requested
- institution profile
- fire and health inspection forms
Learn how to meet business requirements.
If stage 1 of your application is approved, you're ready to post financial security.
Step 3. Post financial security
In stage 2 of the licensing process, private career colleges are required to post security before they receive their licence. See financial requirements for detailed information about completing this step, including a list of approved financial institutions and ongoing requirements.
- post and maintain security for every campus where licensed career training is offered
- pay the amount required by government
- ensure the post is in the form of a surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit issued by an approved financial institution
The security you submit must remain in force while you have a licence. You cannot make any adjustments without written approval by government. Government can also require you to increase your security amount at any time, if it's determined that your current post is no longer sufficient.
Do not post financial security you have completed Stage 1 of the licensing process, and you have been advised to do so by your licensing team contact.
How your security amount is calculated
Your licensing application included a statutory declaration that projected tuition revenue for all licensed programs offered by your private career college over a 12-month period. That estimate is used to calculate how much security you need to post, based on the security requirements table:
Table 1. Security Requirements Based On Annual Tuition Revenue
|Annual Tuition Revenue||Program Length|
|17 Weeks and Under||Over 17 Weeks|
|$50,000 - $100,000||$6,000||$12,000|
|$100,001 - $200,000||$12,000||$24,000|
|$200,001 - $300,000||$20,000||$40,000|
|$300,001 - $400,000||$28,000||$56,000|
|$400,001 - $500,000||$36,000||$72,000|
|$500,001 - $750,000||$50,000||$100,000|
|$750,001 - $1,000,000||$62,000||$124,000|
|$1,000,001 - $1,250,000||$90,000||$180,000|
|$1,250,001 - $1,500,000||$110,000||$220,000|
|$1,500,001 - $1,750,000||$130,000||$260,000|
|$1,750,001 - $2,000,000||$150,000||$300,000|
|$2,000,001 - $2,250,000||$170,000||$340,000|
|$2,250,001 - $2,500,000||$190,000||$380,000|
|$2,500,001 - $2,750,000||$210,000||$420,000|
|$2,750,001 - $3,000,000||$230,000||$460,000|
|Over $3,000,000||Revenue x 8%||Revenue x 16%|
Security requirements are based on this formula:
- 8% of projected tuition revenue if licensed programs are primarily 17 weeks or less in length
- 16% of projection tuition revenue if licensed programs are primarily longer than 17 weeks
Your posted security amount will be adjusted to actual tuition revenue 12 months after your licensed training program begins and after your private career college's next financial year end date.
After you successfully post financial security, you're ready to attend the mandatory information session.
Step 4. Information session
After all of the licensing requirements are met, your private career college representative attends an information session to review the Terms and Conditions of Licensing document before it’s signed. You will receive the document in advance so you can read it beforehand.
Other ongoing licensing requirements will also be discussed so you are fully aware of the roles and responsibilities of private career colleges offering licensed training programs in Alberta.
Pay the annual licensing fee
You'll also be asked to pay your annual licensing fee, which is prorated to the date your licence was issued.
After you successfully complete this step, you will receive your career programming licence. Learn about what you need to do to maintain your licence.
Application fees are due in the first stage of your application process. Your application will not be processed until these fees are paid.
New career college
|For initial program||$300|
|Each additional program||$100|
Existing career college: new location
|For initial program||$300|
|Each additional program||$100|
Existing career college: new program
Annual licensing fees are due by April. Your first licensing fee will be pro-rated, based on the date your license is issued.
|Annual Licensing Fees||Cost|
|For one program||$800|
|Each additional program||$50|
Pay your fees on time
Late application or licensing fee payments may result in your licence being delayed. Being late with your annual payments may result in compliance action.