Inspection Process

Independent schools in B.C. provide an alternative to public school education – offering flexible options for Kindergarten to Grade 12 programs. Parents and students usually choose these schools for their specific philosophical, religious or educational approach.

B.C. is a world leader in the regulation and monitoring of independent (private) schools through a dedicated legislative framework under the Independent School Act. Independent school inspections are conducted in regular cycles, and review facilities (meeting safety standards and municipal/regional codes and by-laws), educational programs (meeting curriculum requirements), and school administrative compliance.

Each year the Ministry of Education conducts over 200 independent school inspections. Working with the Inspector of Independent Schools, inspection team members are qualified and experienced B.C. educators (active and recently retired administrators and school principals). 

Maintaining Certification: Evaluation and Inspection

Rigorous evaluation and inspection processes ensure that all independent schools meet and maintain the legislated standards and requirements for their classification.

There are two types of inspections:

Inspection Schedules:

Group 1 and 2 schools delivering a non-distributed learning (DL) program

  • External evaluation at least once every six years
  • Monitoring inspection at least every 2 years

Group 1 and 2 schools delivering a DL program

  • External evaluation at least once every two years
  • Monitoring inspection in the years between

Group 3 schools

  • Monitoring inspection at least once every two years

Group 4 schools

  • External evaluation at least once every two years
  • Monitoring inspection in the years between

For more information see the External Evaluation and Inspection for Independent Schools Policy

Non-Compliance

If an evaluation or inspection reveals that a school is non-compliant in a specific area:

  • Step 1: The Independent Schools Branch notifies the school authority so that they can make the necessary changes by a specified deadline.
  • Step 2: The school follows up with a letter to the Ministry of Education indicating that the issue has been resolved.
  • Step 3: If the issues reported were significant, the Independent Schools Branch will follow up with a compliance verification inspection.
  • Step 4: If a school remains non-compliant, all government funding may be withheld, the school may be reclassified, or the school's classification may be suspended or cancelled.