External credentials

Last updated on May 10, 2024

On this page

Students earn external credentials by taking courses, programs, or activities that fall outside the normal BC school curriculum. The Ministry approves all external credentials offered for graduation credit. For example, graduation credits for Grades 10, 11 or 12 given to students who complete specific BC Conservatory of Music programs.

All external credentials must meet the same (or greater) level of depth, breadth, and rigour as Ministry-developed Grade 10, 11 or 12 courses. Additionally, the Ministry requires an evaluation component that assesses the credential's Learning Standards. For more information on program requirements, please see the appropriate applications found below.

Credentials may count as the Arts Education or Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies graduation requirement or as elective credits. Additionally, 4-credit credentials at the grade 12 level may count towards the adult graduation diploma.



First Nations wishing to participate in the External Credentials Program

First Nations wishing to participate in the External Credentials Program by offering language and culture programing are invited to complete the External Credentials Submission: First Nations Language and Culture Programs.


Organizations looking to join the External Credentials Program

Organizations looking to join the ECP, or that are already an approved BC external credential provider, are required to complete both the Organization Information Form and the Application for Recognition of Credential.

Each credential an organization wishes recognized by the Ministry requires a separate Application for Recognition of Credential.


Reporting notes for administrators

The date an external credential was earned can be earlier than the date when the credit is reported to the Ministry (e.g., a credential earned at age 14 or 15 qualifies for Grade 11 or 12 credit).

An external credential must be assigned either a letter grade and percentage, where possible, or "Transfer Standing" (TS).

Learn more