The primary purpose for establishing credit transfer agreements among institutions of higher education is to increase opportunities for students to access postsecondary education by facilitating student mobility between institutions and sectors.
Students need reasonable assurance that they will be able to continue their studies at other postsecondary institutions to complete their educational plans and be able to obtain appropriate transfer credit for work previously completed.
In addition, by ensuring that learners receive appropriate recognition for learning already achieved, efficiencies in both time and money can be gained by students, institutions, and governments. The ability for learners at all stages of their lives and careers to easily move into, between, and out of, postsecondary education is a key component in building a postsecondary education system that makes lifelong learning a reality.
Transfer credit agreements will vary between provinces and territories and may include a variety of approaches to recognizing previous academic achievement including, but not limited to, establishing course-by-course equivalencies, granting unassigned credit, agreeing to grant specified blocks of transfer credit for completed credentials, or the development of prior learning assessment processes.
Credit transfer can occur between public colleges and universities and between those institutions and private postsecondary institutions. This statement may also be applied in situations where a province or territory chooses to facilitate transfer between public and private institutions.
- Ministers recognize that all credit transfer agreements should be consistent with the academic integrity of programs and the right of postsecondary institutions to determine program design and delivery, to determine academic prerequisites, and to establish admission criteria and certification requirements of academic achievement. Ministers also recognize that the academic integrity and governance autonomy of the individual institutions and programs must be protected and preserved.
- Postsecondary institutions within each province/territory should be committed to working with other postsecondary institutions, transfer agencies, and governments, as appropriate, to enhance and maintain credit transfer opportunities. Negotiations between institutions regarding equivalency of credit should recognize that the substance of learning experiences may be equivalent in terms of content and rigour, although the learning has occurred in a variety of ways.
- Transfer students should be made aware that program-specific criteria and other factors, in addition to academic performance, may be used as admission criteria. That is, while possession of academic prerequisites makes an applicant eligible for admission, it does not guarantee admission to a particular program.
- The effectiveness of transfer agreements in optimizing student mobility requires that students, prior to beginning their studies at another institution, have knowledge of and current information about available credit transfer opportunities and limitations. Institutions should be committed to providing, in a routine manner, current and reliable information about transfer of credit policies and the procedures to be followed to obtain transfer credit.
- Students and institutions should be satisfied that transfer decisions are considered in a consistent manner. Postsecondary institutions should develop and maintain clearly stated policies and procedures for consideration of transfer of credit. Students should be able to obtain an institution’s rationale for a refusal, and institutions should have clear procedures for students to appeal such decisions.
- Neither transfer students nor direct-entry students should be advantaged or disadvantaged as a result of the credit transfer process.