In 2007, the provincial and territorial ministers responsible for advanced education endorsed a statement on quality assurance for three main purposes:

  • To provide assurance to the public, students, employers, and postsecondary institutions at home and abroad that new programs and new institutions of higher learning meet appropriate standards and that performance against the standards will be assessed by appropriate means
  • To provide a context for identifying how degree credentials compare in level and standard to those in other jurisdictions, with a view to facilitating the search for continuous improvement, the education and training of an internationally competitive workforce, and international recognition of the quality of Canadian credentials
  • To improve student access to further study at the postsecondary level by establishing a degree-level standards context in which policies on the transfer of credits and credential recognition may be developed and, in fairness to students who choose non-traditional providers, to focus discussion of credit transfer and credential recognition on the academic standards that the programs involved have met

The statement is to be used as a guideline in decision making relating to new degree programs and new degree-granting institutions within a province or territory. It contains three sections:

  • Canadian Degree Qualifications Framework
  • Procedures and Standards for New Degree Program Quality Assessment
  • Procedures and Standards for Assessing New Degree-Granting Institutions

The framework of standards includes

  • Descriptions of the general learning outcome competencies expected of degree holders at the bachelor, master's, and doctoral levels
  • Standards for quality assurance reviews of sufficient rigour to ensure the confidence of all stakeholders