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Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board

The Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board is authorized by The Degree Authorization Act to oversee a quality assurance review of institutions seeking degree-granting status in Saskatchewan. The quality assurance review process ensures that new degree programs in Saskatchewan meet high quality standards that promote the recognition of Saskatchewan graduates both nationally and internationally for their academic achievements.


1. About the Board

In October 2012, the Saskatchewan Government proclaimed The Degree Authorization Act and The Degree Authorization Regulations making it possible for post-secondary institutions other than the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan to apply for authorization to grant degrees in Saskatchewan.

In accordance with the legislation, the Ministry of Advanced Education established the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board (SHEQAB) to oversee a quality assurance process that ensures new degree programs in the province meet high quality standards. This process helps promote the recognition of Saskatchewan graduates both nationally and internationally for their academic achievements.

The Board works independently from, but in co-operation with, the Ministry of Advanced Education, and is supported by the SHEQAB Secretariat.

The quality assurance process consists of rigorous evaluations of the organizational capacity of the institution proposing to offer the new degree program and of the degree program itself. In each case, standards and procedures against which the applicant institution and the proposed program will be measured are available by contacting the SHEQAB Secretariat.

In addition to oversight of the quality assurance process, the SHEQAB is responsible for monitoring the fulfillment of any terms or conditions attached to the authorization of degree programs.


The Degree Authorization Act and The Degree Authorization Regulations specify the powers and responsibilities of the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board.

The Board's primary duties are:

  • Review the quality assurance standards that are used in the evaluation of degree programs to ensure that they remain current and aligned with national standards;
  • Review the quality assurance review processes to ensure that they remain current and aligned with national standards;
  • Undertake quality assurance reviews of programs referred to the Board by Cabinet;
  • With respect to each application referred to it, make a recommendation to the Minister, in writing:
    • to issue the authorization with or without terms and conditions; or
    • to reject the application for authorization.
  • Monitor the fulfillment of any terms or conditions attached to the authorization of a degree program;
  • Conduct quality assurance reviews of degree programs that are subject to renewal of their authorization;
  • At the Minister's request, provide insight and advice on matters related to higher education in Saskatchewan.

The Board may also:

  • Interact and share best practices with similar quality assurance bodies in Canada and abroad;
  • Foster knowledge-transfer and capacity-building by organizing or participating in workshops, symposia and training programs on quality assurance;
  • Create greater awareness of the quality of advanced education in the province and assist in creating a "Saskatchewan Quality Assurance Brand" by compiling, publicizing and keeping a current, comprehensive inventory of quality assurance practices and policies used in the advanced education system in Saskatchewan;
  • Provide due diligence on "degree mills" and supply students and other members of the public with information about such organizations;
  • Assist the ministry in the creation and maintenance of a competency matrix for members of the Board;
  • Assist in the recruitment and selection of new Board members, according to the policy established by government for the process;
  • At the Minister's request, submit a report respecting any matter within the Board's functions, powers and terms of reference; and
  • Exercise any other prescribed powers and perform any other functions as articulated in the regulations accompanying The Degree Authorization Act.

The Secretariat to the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board

The Board works independently from, but in cooperation with, the Ministry of Advanced Education. The Board is supported by the SHEQAB Secretariat which is provided by the Ministry of Advanced Education.

The Secretariat assists the Chair and Board in their activities by providing advice on policy and procedure, organizing meetings, setting agendas, co-ordinating all activities of the Board's organizational and program review expert panel teams, and preparing publications. It also receives initial applications from institutions and prepares them for the system co-ordination review stage.

The Secretariat can be contacted by telephone at 306-787-1782 or by email at

Seal of Approval

When an institution is authorized to offer a degree program in Saskatchewan, it is granted the ability to use the Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board Seal of Approval. This identifies the program(s) that have met SHEQAB's quality assurance standards.

Sample SHEQAB seal of approval


2. Board Members

The eight SHEQAB members are appointed by Lieutenant Governor in Council. SHEQAB members are selected according to a competency matrix, which is used to ensure the SHEQAB has the individual and collective skills and knowledge to perform its functions and that its composition reflects diversity and balance. The initial term of office for Board members is three years. After this period, terms will be staggered to ensure membership renewal and a sufficient level of continuity on the Board.

Photo of SHEQAB board member Octavia Laliberte

Ms. Octavia (Tavia) Laliberte (Chair)

Tavia Laliberte is the current Vice-President, Academics at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) – one of only four publicly funded credit granting post-secondary institutions in Saskatchewan.

In her role, Ms. Laliberte is responsible for strategic leadership, direction and vision of programs at SIIT to promote academic success and create a student-centered atmosphere. Ms. Laliberte has served as a Board member with the national body, Colleges & Institutes Canada (CICan), representing Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Nunavut. She is a current Director with CICan – Social Financing and Innovation, which manages the Government of Canada's first pilot project in 'Social Impact Bonds.' The development and fostering of Indigenous education has been both a focus and a success throughout Ms. Laliberte's academic career.

Barb Gustafson - SHEQAB Board  Dr. Barbara Gustafson (Vice Chair)

Dr. Barb Gustafson recently retired from a 20-year career at Saskatchewan Polytechnic. Previously, she was a faculty member in the School of Business, a co-author of Saskatchewan Polytechnic's Academic Model, Director of Learner Pathways, and Special Advisor to the Provost. Her work has included development of policies and processes to support quality assurance in all programs, including Saskatchewan Polytechnic's degrees.

A lifelong learner, Dr. Gustafson holds four degrees: Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Arts, Masters of Business Administration, and Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration with a research focus on technical/vocational education. She also holds certificates in Adult and Continuing Education, Recognition of Prior Learning, and Program Evaluation.

Dr. Gustafson has served on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment (CAPLA), the Pan-Canadian Consortium on Admissions and Transfer (PCCAT) and as co-chair of the Saskatchewan Transfer Credit and Learner Pathways Council. She serves as a member of the Government of Saskatchewan's Curriculum Advisory Committee and is an elected University of Saskatchewan Senator, representing her hometown of Prince Albert.

Image of Dr. Brad Donaldson

Dr. Brad Donaldson

Dr. Brad Donaldson has more than 17 years of experience in senior leadership positions in the Alberta polytechnic/college system. He is currently the President and CEO of Lethbridge College and is the former Vice President Academic and Dean of the School of Manufacturing and Automation at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). Between the two SAIT roles, he served as the Vice President Academic at Red Deer College and has served on a number of academic and business committees and boards provincially, nationally and internationally. Prior to moving to the academic leadership roles, Brad held many engineering and leadership roles in the global manufacturing sector enabling organizational transformation and responsiveness. His focus was always on meeting the needs of clients through engaged and empowered workforces.

Dr. Donaldson’s wide-ranging experience includes the development and implementation of organizational strategies, the creation of learning organizations embracing systems thinking and cultures of innovation.

Dr. Donaldson holds an EdD in Educational Leadership from the University of Calgary, a Master of Engineering Degree, and a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto.

Image of The Rev. Dr. Marc Jerry

The Rev. Dr. Marc Jerry

The Rev. Dr. Jerry is the President of Luther College at the University of Regina. He has almost 25 years of post-secondary teaching, research, and administrative experience. He holds two degrees in economics, specializing in econometrics and quantitative methods, as well as two graduate degrees in theology. Dr. Jerry was a tenured faculty member in the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University (MRU) where he taught economics and business statistics and won MRU's prestigious Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award. He also held administrative positions including as a department chair in the business faculty.

Prior to becoming President at Luther, Dr. Jerry worked for the Donald School of Business (DSB) at Red Deer College (now Polytechnic) where he taught economics, leadership, and strategy. He was co-chair of the team that led the curriculum development of their Bachelor of Business Administration. He also served on the institution-wide learning outcomes development team. In addition, under the direction of Dr. Jerry, the Work Integrated Learning program was created at the DSB and grew dramatically over a five-year period from an initial 5 students in Year 1 to 50+ students prior to his moving to Saskatchewan.

Dr. Jerry has specialized not for profit board governance training through the Institute of Corporate Directors as well as he holds the public sector governance designation through the Johnson Shoyama School of Governance at the University of Regina. An ordained Lutheran clergy, Dr. Jerry has also served parishes in both Anglican and Lutheran churches. During his time as a parish pastor, he served on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada's National Church Council and chaired a national theological study on sacramental practices of the church.

Dr. Jerry holds an Airline Transport Pilot License along with a Class 1 Flight instructor rating. He served as the Department Chair of Mount Royal's Aviation Department, President of the Canadian Association of Aviation Colleges, a board member of Aviation Alberta, and on the flight training working committee of the Air Transport Association of Canada where he worked to improve regulations on the use of flight training devices in fixed wing training.

Head shot of Lori Kidney

Lori Kidney

Lori Kidney is a Farm Business Owner Operator in North East Saskatchewan. Lori attended the University of Saskatchewan, College of Commerce, graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and Human Resource Management.

Lori currently sits on the Cumberland College Regional College Board, the Parkland College Board, and the North East School Division as a Trustee. In addition, she has held various roles within the boards, including Chair of Recruitment Committees and Chair of a Governance and Risk Committee, and sits on an Agriculture Advisory Committee.

Prior to full-time farming and board work, Lori spent 18 years in the private sector in various sales and account management roles within the agriculture industry. Lori is highly involved in the local community and has a passion for linking education and industry.

Laurie Rancourt

Dr. Laurie Rancourt

Dr. Laurie Rancourt is a semi-retired senior executive with over 27 years of experience in Canadian post-secondary education. Her most recent full-time role was that of Senior Vice‑President, Academic at Humber College in Etobicoke, Ontario; a role which she held from 2014 to 2021.

Prior to that, Dr. Rancourt spent just under four years as President and CEO at Northern Lights College (NLC) in British Columbia. At NLC, Ms. Rancourt undertook a comprehensive strategic planning process. Under her leadership, the College saw increased enrolments in strategic areas and was designated by the Ministry of Advanced Education as the BC Centre of Training Excellence in Oil and Gas. She oversaw the negotiating and management of successful local, regional, provincial, and international partnerships as well as the development of strengthened relationships within the community.

Prior to serving as President and CEO at NLC, Dr. Rancourt held several roles of increasing responsibility at Collège Boréal in Northern Ontario. This included roles such as Academic Vice‑President and Vice-President of Corporate Services. Prior to these VP roles, she also served as a faculty member and then moved to a variety of management positions including Co‑ordinator of Health Sciences programs, Dean of Community Service programs, Manager of Job Connect, and Registrar.

Dr. Rancourt holds a PhD in Higher Education Administration from the University of Toronto - Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), a Master of Arts degree in Integrated Studies (Work, Organization and Leadership) from Athabasca University, and a Bachelor Degree (Liberal Science) from Laurentian University.

She remains active in higher education with current roles as Adjunct Professor at Central Michigan University, Sessional Lecturer at OISE, and owner/operator of her own higher education consulting business.

SHEQAB board member Keith Walker

Dr. Keith Walker

Keith Walker (PhD., D.D.) is a professor in the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Saskatchewan. His academic interests, expertise, and activity revolve around executive leadership, organizational development, positive organizational studies, governance and applied ethics in education, public administration and the not-for-profit sectors. He identifies as a husband (Viv), father, grand-father, teacher-scholar, colleague and friend. Keith's formal education has been in several disciplines and fields of study, including physical education, theology, philosophy, education, and educational administration.

Reverend Doctor Walker is an ordained minister with the Christian and Missionary Alliance of Canada. Keith's occupations range from international coach to teacher to minister to educational administrator to professor in various contexts. His international academic work has extended to over 15 countries (keynotes, workshops, consultancies and collaborative research projects).

In his 28th year at the University of Saskatchewan, Keith has supervised over 100 graduate students to completion; he is the author or co-author of over 100 refereed articles and chapters, along with more than 15 books. He has held (mostly with others) over a dozen SSHRC grants in the areas of his academic interests.

SHEQAB Member Dr. Christie Schultz

Dr. Christie Schultz

Dr. Christie Shultz is known for her work as a leader in professional, continuing and online education. She is also a scholar of leadership in higher education, care ethics in leadership and qualitative research methodologies. Dr. Schultz currently serves as the Dean of the Centre for Continuing Education (CCE) at the University of Regina.

Monitoring and Reporting

The Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board monitors institutions that have been authorized to grant degrees. Monitoring helps to ensure that quality is maintained and that institutions are meeting the expectations that come with authorization to grant degrees in Saskatchewan.


3. Board Competency Matrix

SHEQAB Competency and Composition Matrix

To ensure the SHEQAB has sufficient diversity to represent a broad range of perspectives and that, collectively, it has the knowledge and experience necessary to perform its functions, a competency and composition matrix is used to facilitate the selection of Board members. The matrix is based on the core competencies as set out below.

No single Board member can be expected to possess all the attributes and characteristics listed; however, overall, the profile of the Board should present as many of them as possible.

Core Competencies

  • Knowledge of policies, practices and procedures related to quality assurance, accreditation, and audits, including those in other provinces and international jurisdictions;
  • Recent senior leadership, administration or managerial experience;
  • Demonstrated proficiency in undergraduate and/or graduate level teaching, scholarship, research and service;
  • Program development and review experience;
  • Commitment to, and experience in, enhancing the student learning experience;
  • Knowledge of, or experience in, the Saskatchewan post-secondary system;
  • Knowledge of innovative technology enhanced learning;
  • Demonstrated interest in, and awareness of, trends and issues in post-secondary education, such as: international and transnational education, learner pathways, credit transfer, learning outcomes;
  • Demonstrated leadership in corporate business, industry, the professions, community-based organizations or other public interest groups, with an interest in an evolving workplace;
  • Experience working with First Nations and Métis educational communities and/or institutions;
  • Knowledge of and experience in the various regions of Saskatchewan, including the North;
  • Knowledge of the relationship between post-secondary education and the labour market;
  • Understanding of diversity as set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code; and
  • Understanding of fair processes (e.g., natural and administrative justice).

The overall composition of the Board will be considered with respect to the following attributes:

Composition Attributes

  • Resident of Saskatchewan
  • Employed by the University of Saskatchewan
  • Employed by the University of Regina
  • First Nations or Métis
  • Gender balance

4. Programs and Services

Degree Granting in Saskatchewan

The quality assurance review process ensures that new degree programs in Saskatchewan meet high-quality standards that promote the recognition of Saskatchewan graduates both nationally and internationally for their academic achievements.

Find information on Degree Granting in Saskatchewan about:

  • How to Apply
  • After an Application is Submitted
  • Degree Applications
  • Exceptions

Use of the Terms "University" and "Varsity"

Any institution that is not already authorized to do so must receive approval from the Lieutenant Governor in Council, pursuant to section 6 of The Degree Authorization Act, to use the terms "university," "varsity" or any abbreviation or derivation of these terms, in its name or in any advertising or promotional materials relating to the institution or its programs. This is to ensure that the integrity of these terms is well protected in Saskatchewan, and to avoid improper use of the terms that may mislead the public.

If an institution has been previously authorized in another jurisdiction to use the terms "university" of "varsity", or any derivation or abbreviation of either of these terms, in its name, the institution may request an exemption from section 6 of the Act. In accordance with section 17 of the The Degree Authorization Regulations, the previous authorization must have been obtained in one of the following ways:

  • by virtue of an Act of the legislature of another jurisdiction;
  • from the public authority in another jurisdiction having overall responsibility for the institution; or
  • from an authority having responsibility in another jurisdiction for the accreditation of post-secondary institutions.

Please contact the SHEQAB Secretariat at 306-787-1782 or email for more information regarding the process by which approval to use the terms "university" and "varsity" may be obtained.


5. Forms and Publications


The Saskatchewan Higher Education Quality Assurance Board uses the following standards to assess institutions seeking authorization to provide baccalaureate (Bachelor's) and graduate (Master's and doctoral) level programs. The standards are approved by the Minister of Advanced Education.

Annual Reports

Meeting Minutes

 2024 2023 2022 2021
 Mar. 7 Mar. 31 Mar. 14 Jan. 19
  Jun. 15 Jun. 13 Jun. 22
  Oct. 18 Oct. 19 Oct. 4

6. Additional Resources


7. Legislation

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