How to Become a B.C.-Certified Offshore School

B.C.-Certified Offshore Schools are located outside Canada and the Province of British Columbia and are authorized to offer the B.C. curriculum. The Ministry of Education certifies, inspects and regulates offshore schools, and ensures that they meet B.C. education standards. The Offshore School Program creates pathways that support international students who are considering coming to B.C. to study, live and work.

Expansion of the British Columbia Offshore School Program

British Columbia is a global leader in education modernization. British Columbia’s students, schools, teachers and curriculum are world-renowned for excellence:

  • Top-ranking in student outcomes in English-speaking jurisdictions
  • Best student outcomes in Canada
  • Graduation diploma recognized by post-secondary institutions around the world

B.C.’s Ministry of Education is interested in partnering with successful ownership groups that have a history of delivering educational excellence in international settings. To operate a B.C.-Certified Offshore School, you should be prepared to make a significant investment of time and resources.

If your application is successful, you will be invited to begin operation as a Pre-certified Offshore School, which will put you on the path to becoming a fully-certified B.C. Offshore School.

Before you Begin

Application Process

To Apply

  • The Ministry of Education will review your Expression of Interest. This review may take up to six weeks
  • If your Expression of Interest is accepted, you will be invited to Step 2: The Interview
  • The Director of International Education will conduct an in-depth interview with you to assess your motivation, your capacity to operate an offshore school, and your goals and plans for your school
  • You may use this interview to ask questions and get more information about the B.C. Offshore School Program
  • Based on the mutual exchange of information, the ministry will evaluate your responses. This may take up to two weeks.
  • If the ministry determines that you have the potential to successfully open and operate a B.C. Offshore School, you may be invited to proceed to Step 3: The Application
  • Submit a B.C. Offshore School Application form
  • Submit supporting documents, including
    • Business plan for the offshore school
    • Audited financial statements and budget forecasts
    • Local government approvals
  • Pay $5,000 non-refundable application fee to the Ministry of Education
  • The ministry will review your application package. This may take up to six weeks
  • If your application meets all the required criteria, you may be invited to proceed to Step 4: The Application Inspection
  • At the request of the Ministry, you may be required to undergo an initial onsite inspection. If this is the case, a ministry-appointed inspection team performs an onsite inspection of your school at your cost
  • If you pass the application inspection, you may be invited to proceed to Step 5: Pre-Certification


To Become Certified

  • Sign one-year Pre-Certification Agreement with the Ministry of Education
  • Pay the following fees
    • Curriculum usage fee $10,000 per school per year
    • Program administration fee $5,000 per school per year
    • Student registration fee $350 per student per year
  • During the first year of operation, pre-certified schools undergo a certification inspection.
  • A ministry-appointed inspection team performs an onsite inspection of your school at your cost.
  • The ministry makes a decision whether to certify the school based on the recommendations of the inspection team and whether the school meets the requirements set out in the Pre-Certification Agreement
  • If these requirements are met, you will be invited to proceed to Step 6: Certification
  • Sign one-year Certification Agreement with the Ministry of Education. To maintain certification, you must meet the requirements in the Certification Agreement, including:
    • Remaining in good standing with the B.C. Ministry of Education
    • Passing an annual or biennial onsite inspection
    • Paying all fees and expenses