Learning Resources: Provincial Approval Process

Last updated on April 1, 2022

Date came into force or revised

Issued and in effect August, 2002



Policy Statement

School boards are required to use either Recommended learning resources or those approved through a district process. School boards must approve the policies and procedures for the district approval process.

Rationale or purpose of the policy

This policy provides information relating to the granting of Recommended status to learning resources for use in classrooms. It also clarifies the roles and responsibilities of the Ministry and Boards of Education/school districts in regards to the evaluation and selection of learning resources. This will provide clarity to teachers and school districts in their selection of learning resources to support curriculum initiatives.


Under the authority of the School Act (PDF), Section 168 (2) (e):

168 (2) The minister may make orders for the purpose of carrying out any of the minister's powers, duties or functions under this Act and, without restriction, may make orders…

(e) governing educational resource materials in support of educational programs

Section 3 of Ministerial Order 333/99, the Educational Program Guide Order (PDF), should be referred to in conjunction with this policy:

3. (1) A board or francophone education authority may only use the following educational resource materials:

(a) resource materials in an educational program guide specified in section 1 of this Order;

(b) resource materials in a document referred to in column 1 of Table 1;

(c) the educational resource materials referred to as authorized or recommended in the most recent "Catalogue of Learning Resources," published from time to time by the Ministry of Education and Child Care;

(d) other educational resource materials that, subsequent to the publication of the Catalogue referred to in paragraph (c), are designated by the minister as authorized or recommended; and

(e) educational resource materials that the board or francophone education authority considers are appropriate for individual students or groups of students.

(2) Before a board or francophone education authority uses educational resource materials referred to in subsection (1) (e), the board or francophone education authority must approve those educational resource materials in accordance with evaluation and selection criteria and procedures established by the board or francophone education authority.

Policy in full

The Ministry of Education and Child Care supports resource-based learning and encourages teachers to employ a range of education media.

Learning resources to be used in the classroom must go through a formal evaluation process, either at the Ministry level or the district level.

The Ministry of Education and Child Care is responsible for evaluating and selecting learning resources to support provincial curriculum. Any challenges to the use of recommended learning resources will be addressed by an Educational Resource Advisory Committee. Resources will retain their Recommended status for five years after which time they may be withdrawn from grade collections and lose their Recommended status. A withdrawal earlier than five years will occur if there is a successful challenge to the resource or if the resource has been determined to be unsuitable as a result of a Ministry review.

The approval of learning resources by districts must be based on policies and procedures established by the district and approved by the Board of Education. Any challenges to the use of district-approved resources will be dealt with at the district level.

Procedures Related to the Policy

The provincial learning resources evaluation process supports both English language and French language curriculum.

Evaluators are primarily practicing educators.

Evaluation criteria are divided into four categories: Content, Instructional Design, Technical Design and Social Considerations. Media specific evaluation forms are used (the forms may be found in Evaluating, Selecting and Managing Learning Resources: A Guide). [unavailable pending revisions]

Resources that are chosen using the Ministry evaluation process receive Minister's Order and become Recommended and are included in the grade collections for each curriculum.

Resources evaluated and approved through the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol process and which meet the criteria for inclusion in a grade collection are given Recommended status in BC.

The Ministry evaluates learning resources that will be used by teachers and/or students for instructional purposes, and that either

  • provide comprehensive support for a significant portion of the learning outcomes for a grade or course (categorized as comprehensive resources), or
  • address a narrow range of learning outcomes not covered by current Recommended resources (categorized as additional resources).

Contact information

If you have any questions relating to the Challenges to the Use of Recommended Learning Resources Policy, please contact