Education Quality Assurance
The Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designation is available to public and private institutions in B.C. that meet or exceed quality assurance standards set by the province of B.C.
Benefits of EQA
- Showcases recognizable trademark and standard that represents quality in education
- Protects and promotes B.C.’s reputation for quality post-secondary education – both locally and internationally
- Makes it easy for students to identify post-secondary institutions that offer quality learning experiences
- Allows post-secondary institutions to compete at an international level
- Enables post-secondary institutions to host international students on study permits.* These institutions can be found on the federal Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Designated Learning Institutions list
- Provides access to Canada's brand for education and the ability to participate in overseas recruitment and partnership events organized by the federal Department of Global Affairs Canada
- Standardizes certain student rights and protections such as tuition protection mechanisms
- The EQA brand is registered as an Official Government Mark under Federal trademark legislation, which protects it from unauthorized use
*All post-secondary institutions and language schools hosting international students on study permits must have EQA designation.
EQA designation is not required for institutions hosting international students (who do not require study permits) for six months or less.
Standards that are above and beyond: Institutions carrying the EQA designation meet criteria beyond what’s required by legislation, regulatory bodies and accreditation processes. This means:
- Students can be assured they will receive a minimum standard of educational quality
- The institution also meets legislated requirements
- The institution is in good standing with related education bodies
- The institution meets EQA suitability requirements and is abiding by the EQA Standards of Conduct
- Read about EQA suitability requirements and Standards of Conduct (PDF)
Complaint resolution: All EQA designated institutions must have a formal complaint process – an internal process students can use to report a complaint or concern about the institution.
If the dispute resolution processes with the institutions have been exhausted, students may file a complaint with the applicable quality assurance/regulatory body that is responsible for ensuring student protection.
If a student has questions about an EQA designated institution or questions about the standards or criteria used to assess EQA designation, they can contact the Ministry.
Monitoring and enforcement: The province of B.C., through the Ministry of Advanced Education, is responsible for:
- Establishing EQA designation policy
- Setting and enforcing QA standards
- Granting permission for institutions to use the EQA designation mark
- Granting or revoking designation
In order to obtain and maintain the EQA designation, institutions must:
- Sign EQA brand use agreements
- Abide by the standards outlined in the EQA Policy and Procedures Manual
In addition, regular website scans monitor if unauthorized institutions are using the brand.
How to Apply for EQA Designation
The EQA Policy and Procedures Manual sets out the criteria, requirements and obligations of institutions applying for or holding EQA designation. Applications may be submitted online.
Institutions must re-apply and be assessed each year to maintain their designation. Designation will be revoked if the institution no longer meets the quality assurance standards and eligibility criteria.