Approval and Review of Joint Programs Offered by Two or More Institutions

See the Footnote for the definition of a Joint Program(1).

Reviews of Joint Programs and other inter-institutional programs are governed by the IQAPs of the participating university/universities granting the degree. Partner institutions may, but are not required to, use Joint IQAPs (which require the same approval process as IQAPs for individual institutions). Whether a joint and separately approved IQAP is used, or whether the separate institutions prefer to build their joint processes into their separate IQAPs, the following are the Quality Council’s suggestions for inclusion in the IQAP related to both new program approval and cyclical program reviews:

  1. The self-study brief clearly explains how input was received from faculty, staff and students at each partner institution. There will be a single self-study.
  2. Selection of the reviewers involves participation by each partner institution.
  3. Where applicable, selection of the “internal” reviewer requires joint input.
    • It could include one internal from both partners (this is impractical if there are multiple partners); and
    • It could give preference to an internal reviewer who is from another Joint program, preferably with the same partner institution.
  4. The site visit involves all partner institutions and preferably at all sites (with exceptions noted in footnote). Reviewers consult faculty, staff and students at each partner institution, preferably in person.
  5. Feedback on the reviewers’ report is solicited from participating units at each partner institution, including the Deans.
  6. Preparation of a Final Assessment Report and Implementation Plan requires input from each partner.
  7. There is one Final Assessment Report and Implementation Plan that are subject to the appropriate governance processes at each partner institution.
  8. The Final Assessment Report and Implementation Plan are posted on the university website of each partner.
  9. Partner institutions agree on an appropriate monitoring process for the Implementation Plan.
  10. The Final Assessment Plan and Implementation Plan should be submitted to the Quality Council by all partners.


  1. For all inter-institutional programs in which all partners are institutions within Ontario, the Quality Council’s standard New Program Approval and Cyclical Program Review Processes will apply to all elements of programs regardless which partner offers them, including Ontario Colleges of Applied Arts & Technology and Institutes of Technology and Advanced Learning. For joint and collaborative programs in which some partners are institutions outside Ontario, the elements of the programs contributed by the out-of-province partner will be subject to the quality assurance processes in their respective jurisdictions. The Quality Council will maintain a directory of bodies whose postsecondary assurance processes are recognized and accepted as being comparable to our own. In cases where such recognition is not available, the Quality Council will determine, on a case-by-case basis, the appropriate action to be taken on quality assurance if the collaboration is to be permitted to proceed. (Source: Quality Assurance Framework, Section 1.6)