CICan releases new national framework for micro-credentials

Ottawa, March 25, 2021 – With more and more Canadians looking to colleges and institutes for upskilling and reskilling opportunities, micro-credentials have never been in such high demand, or so important to Canada’s economy. They can be incredibly varied however, with different approaches and programs on offer across the country. That is why Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) has launched a national framework to offer a standard definition and guiding principles that help educators create nimble and responsive micro-credentials that meet high quality standards and help learners choose the right credential for them.

This new framework defines a micro-credential as a certification of assessed competencies that is additional, alternate, complementary to, or a component of a formal qualification. It also articulates the leadership role colleges and institutes are playing in offering micro-credentials, largely in response to the needs of employers in their communities.

Read the national framework.

Initial work on the definition and the guiding principles was conducted by a special committee of Vice-Presidents, Academic, representing colleges and institutes from across Canada . After consulting with members, employers and other stakeholders, a consensus was reached that is supported by all the regional associations representing colleges and institutes: Atlantic Colleges Atlantique, l’Association des collèges privés du Québec, BC Colleges, the British Columbia Association of Institutes and Universities, Colleges Ontario, the Council of Post-Secondary Presidents of Alberta (COPPOA) and the Fédération des cégeps, as well as regional representatives from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories.

“With technology evolving at such a rapid pace and affecting most sectors of the economy, keeping up with change requires all of us to practice lifelong learning”, notes CICan President and CEO, Denise Amyot. “Post-secondary institutions must support learners in this new environment and can do so by offering flexible education pathways adapted to their various needs. Micro-credentials are a critical part of that ecosystem and are expected to continue growing, which is why it was so important to find some common ground and elaborate guiding principles on which we can all agree.”

To better understand the current and evolving landscape of micro-credentials that are being developed and on offer at colleges and institutes, CICan has also undertaken a wide-ranging study on the subject. The detailed report will be published on April 13, 2021 along with a webinar offered to CICan members and other interested parties on the same date.

About Colleges and Institutes Canada:

Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) is the voice of Canada’s publicly-supported colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics, and an international leader in education for employment with ongoing programs in over 25 countries. CICan’s members add over $190B to Canada’s economy each year and contribute to inclusive economic growth by working with industry and community partners to offer more than 10,000 programs to learners in urban, rural, remote, and northern communities.



For more information:

Julien Abord-Babin
Senior Strategic Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
Phone: 613-746-2222 ext. 3131
Twitter: @CollegeCan