Once an application package is submitted and the required fee is received, the process consists of three phases as it is illustrated on this flowchart:
- Phase I – System Coordination Review
- Phase II – SHEQAB Quality Assurance Review
- Phase III – Minister's Decision, Authorization and Monitoring
Phase I - System Co-ordination Review
The Ministry of Advanced Education conducts Phase I to ensure the proposed degree program aligns with provincial needs and priorities and does not unnecessarily duplicate programming already available in Saskatchewan.
The application is then posted on the Government of Saskatchewan's Public Engagement website for 30 days to allow feedback from other post-secondary institutions, professional associations, regulatory bodies and the public. The applicant will be given the opportunity to respond to any feedback received.
The ministry's review, the public input and the applicant's response to the feedback are provided to Cabinet. If approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the application will be referred to the SHEQAB for Phase II of the process.
Phase II - SHEQAB Quality Assurance Review
Once an application has been referred, the SHEQAB will determine what level of quality assurance review is required: an expedited review, a partial review or a full review.
A full review will be required for applicants proposing to offer a degree program for the first time, a degree at a new level or a precedent-setting degree. In these cases, the Board will conduct both an organizational review and a program review using external expert panels for each as required.
A partial review will be required for applicants who are not required to undergo a full review. A partial review may include a program review only, elements of a program review and elements of an organizational review, or a full program review with elements of an organizational review. The Board will determine the appropriate review for each applicant institution.
An expedited review may be permitted for out-of-province applicants that have an established history of offering degree programs or that are authorized to grant degrees in their home jurisdiction and have previously undergone a quality assurance review. The expedited review will ensure that the institution and program meet the Saskatchewan's quality standards.
Depending on the level of review required, an applicant may be required to undergo any or all of the following steps:
- An organizational self-evaluation;
- An organizational review conducted by an external expert panel, possibly including a site visit;
- A program self-evaluation; and/or
- A program review conducted by an external expert panel, possibly including a site visit.
The SHEQAB will review the self-evaluations and expert panel reports to ensure the applicant and proposed program meet the requirements for authorization. Applicants may be given the opportunity to address areas that do not meet standards identified in the self-evaluations prior to review by the expert panels. Applicants will also be provided with a copy of the expert panel's report and will be allowed to submit a written response to it for their consideration.
Upon completion of all required self-evaluations and expert panel reviews, the SHEQAB will make its recommendation to the Minister of Advanced Education whether or not the proposed degree should be authorized.
Phase III - Minister's Decision, Authorization and Monitoring
Taking into consideration the SHEQAB's recommendations, the Minister will decide whether or not to authorize the new degree program. Two options may occur:
- SHEQAB may recommend that the program be authorized, with or without conditions. In this case, the Minister can choose to either:
- authorize the degree; or
- with the approval of Cabinet, refuse the authorization.
- SHEQAB may recommend that the program not be authorized. In this case, the Minister must refuse authorization.
Upon authorization, a private institution will be required to post financial security before being allowed to offer the degree program.
The SHEQAB monitors authorized degrees annually to ensure institutions adhere to the terms and conditions of authorization.
Seal of Approval
When an institution is authorized to offer a degree program in Saskatchewan, it will be granted the ability to use the SHEQAB Seal of Approval. This identifies the program(s) that have met SHEQAB's quality assurance standards.
Seal of Approval