The audit model that operated between 2005 and 2015, titled the Program Quality Assurance Process Audit (PQAPA), was developed through a joint government – college sector working group known as the Coordinating Committee of Vice-Presidents, Academic (CCVPA) / Colleges Branch of then the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) Working Group between 2003 and 2005. Prior to the full implementation of the PQAPA a pilot project was conducted in five of the colleges of applied arts and technology. In the fall of 2006 the Pilot Project was evaluated by Dr. William Massy. His evaluation confirmed that the PQAPA reflected global best practices and was well suited to the needs of the Ontario college system at the time.
The Ontario public colleges, through the work of OCQAS have developed a strong, well-received, and effective quality assurance system since 2005. Following the external review and evaluation of the PQAPA model by Dr. John Randall in 2010 using international validated criteria, and the recognition from the International Network of Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) in 2011 as being an agency that meets their Guidelines of Good Practice, it was obvious that the OCQAS already provided much of the structure and processes that are required to be a viable accrediting agency allowing the system to move from a model of audit to a more widely recognized model of accreditation.
Heightened demands for accountability and a desire for more international outreach the Ontario public colleges decided to explore the adoption of an accreditation model.