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 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 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 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.

Despite the effectiveness of the existing PQAPA model, changes in the higher education environment, such as; heightened demands for accountability, new forms of instructional delivery, and the globalization of higher education, are increasing pressures on the colleges. Therefore, with a desire for more international outreach and a need for greater credibility of Ontario public colleges, as of January 2016 the colleges will be adopting a model of accreditation.

If you are interested in becoming a part of the CQAAP audit team, you can apply to be an auditor here. If you’d like more information or guidance on the CQAAP process, you can access the CQAAP resources page here.