Pan-Canadian Designation Policy Framework

In 2001, most provincial/territorial governments, including Alberta, and the federal government agreed to the Pan-Canadian Designation Policy Framework to guide jurisdictions in the development of their specific designation policies. The Framework aligns with Alberta’s regulatory requirements for program designation.

The Framework:

  • guides participating jurisdictions in working with educational institutions to improve:
    • performance of student loans portfolios, and
    • accountability for appropriate financial stewardship of the student loan portfolios;
  • signals to institutions that they play a central role in successfully managing financial risk and contributing to students’ success in repaying their student loans by retaining students, ensuring students succeed, and ensuring students improve their overall employability;
  • encourages and emphasizes the establishment of criteria to be used when determining whether a program is eligible for designation and whether designation status can be maintained based on achieving identified benchmarks for performance standards over which the institutions have some influence;
  • recognizes that student aid funding is provided to assist students; not educational institutions. That is, while the withdrawal of designation status could negatively impact an institution’s revenue, the interests of students and the public are of paramount concern.

As part of the Framework, all jurisdictions commit to including the following common elements in their designation policies:

  • the institution:
    • has programs that meet the eligibility criteria as defined by federal and provincial/territorial legislation with respect to post-secondary education;
    • has the capability to appropriately administer the student loan program and be accountable for this administration;
    • provides students with adequate consumer protection and information upon which to make an informed choice about their post-secondary options. Designated educational institutions are also expected to focus on student success, improve ways to retain students, and ensure students improve their overall employability.
  • the level of financial risk of designated institutions is monitored and addressed.

Participating jurisdictions commit to working together with educational institutions to increase repayment performance in the portfolio. As part of designation, educational institutions accept an active role in managing student financial assistance.