» Income and Employment Supports Policy Manual

Skip To Navigation

Skip To Content


Published Date: April 01, 2014
Bookmark this page

Approval of Training Programs


Income and Employment Supports Act, Section 20
Income and Employment Supports Act, Section 26(a)
Training Provider Regulation


The Government of Alberta is committed to the provision of high quality cost effective adult training programs, to meet local and provincial labour market needs and attain expected performance outcomes. Within a range of controls the Government of Alberta will consider for approval programs established by training providers that meet policy and regulatory requirements.

The purpose of the program approval process for tuition-based Skills Investment Programs is to ensure:

  • Skills Investment Program requirements are met.
  • Training providers’ programs meet local and provincial labour market needs and support the achievement of expected outcomes for Skills Investment programs.
  • Skills Investment Program costs are acceptable.

The program approval process plays a role in ensuring that the provision of support to individuals to participate in approved programs will be a sound investment for both the Government of Alberta and the individuals.

Approval for contracted training programs is granted to training providers whose programs have been accepted through standard contracting procedures.

For more information see Contract Management Policy and Procedures.


In order for learners to be eligible to access Income Support and Benefits and/or Training Benefits to participate in a Skills Investment program, the program must be approved and funds must be allocated to the program. See Accountability, Overview.

Program Approvals

Consultation with the region in which the program will be offered in relation to regional needs, priorities and budget occurs prior to considering an application for program approval. Once consultation has occurred the application is reviewed to ensure Skills Investment Program requirements are met.

The Government of Alberta approves the following types of tuition-based programs:

  • Literacy and Numeracy 
  • Adult Basic Education
  • Academic Upgrading 
  • University and Technical Institution Entrance Preparation
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Life Skills/Personal Management
  • Integrated Training
  • Immigrant Bridging Programs
  • Occupational Training programs less than 12 weeks in length that are not otherwise approved by Advanced Education  
  • Transitional Vocational Programs

Mandatory Certification

Private training providers applying to the Government of Alberta for program approval must be a legal entity, registered with the Alberta Corporate Registry.

Training providers operating under the authority of a First Nations Chief and Council are expected to have a Band Council Resolution and if applicable be accredited by Alberta Education.

If applicable, training providers must meet the requirements of any mandatory licensing or accrediting processes required by other authorities and/or ministries.

If a private provider is offering an academic upgrading program and wishes to obtain Alberta Education credit toward Grade 12, the Provincial Standards and Processes Branch of Alberta Education must review the program to determine whether the provider must meet the requirements as an Accredited Private School under the School Act. When accrediting is required under that Act, the program must be accredited by Alberta Education.

Financial Security

All private training providers who have programs approved must provide financial security to the Minister in the form of a Surety Bond or irrevocable Letter of Credit prior to final approval of a program.

The Government of Alberta will determine the financial security required.

Maintenance of financial security is a requirement for continued program approval. Providers must seek approval prior to making any changes to the amount of security in place.

Providers must notify the Government of Alberta of any changes in their circumstances that may adversely affect program delivery and must supply financial information upon request.

If, in the opinion of the Minister, a provider fails to comply with the Income and Employment Supports Act, related regulations, policies or agreements with the Government of Alberta, then the security may be forfeited.


All training providers must, at their own expense, insure their operations under a General Liability Insurance contract, in accordance with the Alberta Insurance Act, in an amount of not less than $2,000,000 inclusive per occurrence. Such insurance must cover personal injury and property damage, including loss of use thereof. Such insurance shall include Blanket Written Liability and Non-Owned Automobile Liability.

Training providers shall maintain automobile liability insurance on all vehicles owned, operated or licensed in the name of the training provider in an amount not less than $1,000,000.

Training providers delivering programs in privately-owned buildings (a building not owned by the Government of Alberta) shall submit certificates of insurance to the department prior to the final approval of the program.

All required insurance shall be endorsed to provide the Minister with 30 days advance written notice of cancellation or material change restricting coverage.

Fire and Health Inspections

Fire and Health inspections conducted by the appropriate municipal authority are required by all public and private training providers delivering programs in facilities that are privately owned. Fire and Health inspection certificates must be current and must be submitted to the Government of Alberta prior to the final approval of the program.

Regional Director Approval

In certain circumstances, the Regional Director is delegated the authority to approve a Service Plan for an individual to attend training that is normally not approved by the Government of Alberta. In these situations the Single Program for Unique Client form must be completed. The Government of Alberta accepts the approval of the following:

  • Alberta Education regular K-12 programs delivered under the School Act.
  • Advanced Education approved programs less than 12 weeks, Apprenticeship and Pre-Employment training program.

Kindergarten to Grade 12 programs offered by private schools with religious affiliations are not eligible for program approval.

The Government of Alberta relies upon Alberta Education and Alberta Advanced Education controls to ensure quality for programs approved by these departments.  The Government of Alberta will assess the residual risk and implement additional controls, when necessary.

Types of Fees Payable under Tuition-Based Training

The Government of Alberta will pay tuition, mandatory fees, student association fees, and books and supplies on behalf of adult learners who are attending an approved training program and who meet the eligibility criteria for assistance through the Government of Alberta.

Tuition Fees are payable to the training provider for providing instruction in an approved training program.

Mandatory fees are flat-rate charges incurred by all the learners in an approved training program for libraries, technology, laboratories and any other facilities the use of which is necessary to both assist in instruction and program completion, but does not include tuition fees and fees for health and dental benefits.

Student Association fees means the fees that are payable to a student association body, for student association activities and does not include health or dental benefits.

Book and supplies are approved through the program approval process and paid to the learner.

A detailed breakdown of all fees must be maintained by the training provider and available to the Government of Alberta for monitoring and auditing purposes.

Alberta Education covers the cost of tuition for both full-time and part-time learners under the age of 20 years who are attending Basic Education and Academic Upgrading in the K-12 school system.  Nominal mandatory fees may be charged to learners under the age of 20 years.

To apply for program approval, contact the Delivery Partnerships Unit.

Program Maintenance

Changes After Program Approval

Training providers must advise the Government of Alberta of any proposed changes and receive approval before making the change to:

  • the program for e.g., duration, instructional hours, instructor qualifications 
  • tuition, fees, books or supplies 
  • the premises at which training is provided 
  • the security provided 
  • ownership

Collection of Session Dates and Costs

When collecting yearly session dates and costs, the Government of Alberta will consider the potential impact of fee increases upon the Government of Alberta's learner access to training and a comparison of the tuition fees to previous years and to tuition fees charged for comparable programs.

The Government of Alberta will contact training providers with approved programs to collect session dates and costs on a yearly basis.  Tuition and fee levels established by the training provider and payable by the Government of Alberta are in effect for programs commencing on or after August 1 and prior to July 31st. 

Monitoring and auditing results, non-compliance issues, performance outcomes, and labour market demand will be considered in relation to the ongoing approval of a program.