BC Government Issues New Standards Related to Private Training Programs

Last Updated: December 9, 2016

As you know, the Private Training Act (PTA), a new law that sets a new approach for regulating private training institutions in British Columbia (BC), received Royal Assent last year. On your behalf, Yoga Alliance® has been monitoring the status of this new law to determine how it may affect BC’s yoga teacher training programs (YTTs).

The PTA will be brought into force on September 1, 2016. At that time, the Ministry of Advanced Education’s Private Training Institutions Branch will replace the Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA), the current agency overseeing private career training regulations.

The new standards for regulating private training in BC − identified in regulations released by the Ministry of Advanced Education earlier this month − are referred to as “certification.”

Certification Under the PTA

Under the law, private training institutions require a certificate if they provide, or offer to provide, at least one “career-related program” with 40 hours or more of instructional time, and tuition of at least $4,000. Under the law, a “career-related program” is one that either enhances a student’s employability in a career occupation or improves a student’s ability to carry out a career occupation.

For private training institutions requiring a certificate, certification may be achieved via one of two pathways: registration and designation. Registration is the minimum standard for private training institutions in BC and baseline requirements will include submitting an application, having general liability insurance, demonstrating sufficient financial resources, paying certification and program fees, and receiving programmatic approval for at least one career-related program.

Designation is a higher level of regulation that is required for institutions that intend to enrol international students on study permits or students who wish to access financial assistance through StudentAidBC.

Yoga Alliance is working hard to gain further insights as to how the Ministry of Advanced Education will apply the PTA to YTTs. Right now, we know that as of September 1st, all institutions currently registered by PCTIA – including a number of YTTs – will automatically become “certified” under the PTA. These certifications will expire seven months after the institutions’ fiscal year ends and institutions will apply for recertification before that time under the new rules. We will continue gathering information on this process and provide updates as they become available.

What's Next?

Until September 1st, PCTIA is still in place and will continue to operate until the PTA comes into force. In the meantime, all institutions currently registered by PCTIA should receive an email from regulators explaining how the PTA will affect you specifically, including details such as deadlines, schedules and fee requirements. If you are currently regulated by PCTIA and have not yet received this information, you should send an email to

Over the coming weeks, the Ministry is offering a number of information sessions for currently registered institutions to explain the new regulatory approach. Information sessions are scheduled for Vancouver, Victoria, and Kelowna, and we encourage currently registered institutions to attend. A schedule and links to register for information sessions is available on the PCTIA website.

Although Yoga Alliance cannot provide legal advice to individual YTTs about how they should interact with the Ministry regarding the new regulation, we continue working to learn more about how the PTA may affect BC YTTs, including YTTs that are currently registered with PCTIA and those that are not. As we have additional information, we’ll provide updates. The success of the yoga community under this new framework is important to us, and we look forward to working with you to meet the needs of BC’s yoga teachers and schools.

If you plan to attend one of the PCTIA information sessions and/or would like to share information about your particular situation with Yoga Alliance, please contact us at

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