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The Private Vocational Institutions Act
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This version is current as of July 26, 2016.
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C.C.S.M. c. P137

The Private Vocational Institutions Act

(Assented to August 1, 2002)

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

DEFINITIONS

Definitions

1           In this Act,

"applicant" means a person applying to operate a private vocational institution; (« auteur d'une demande »)

"board" means the Private Vocational Institutions Appeal Board established under section 7; (« Commission »)

"director" means the director of private vocational institutions appointed under section 2; (« directeur »)

"fund" means the Training Completion Fund established in section 13; (« Fonds »)

"instructor" means an individual who is employed to provide a program of instruction, or is permitted into a classroom to assist in providing a program of instruction; (« instructeur »)

"minister" means the minister appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council to administer this Act; (« ministre »)

"prescribed" means prescribed by a regulation made under this Act;

"private vocational institution" means an institution, school or place in Manitoba that offers or provides, by classroom instruction or distance education to students in Manitoba, a program of instruction in the skill and knowledge required for employment in a vocation, but does not include

(a) a university or college, as those terms are defined in The Advanced Education Administration Act;

(a.1) the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology continued under The Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology Act;

(b) a public school established and maintained under The Education Administration Act or The Public Schools Act,

(c) a private school as defined in The Education Administration Act, or

(d) an institution that is exempted by the regulations; (« établissement d'enseignement professionnel privé »)

"program of instruction" means a course or series of courses of instruction in the skill and knowledge required for employment in a vocation and which, when successfully completed, results in the student's receiving a certificate or diploma from a private vocational institution; (« programme d'enseignement »)

"registrant" means a person registered under this Act to operate a private vocational institution; (« exploitant »)

"registration" means registration under this Act; (« inscription »)

"student" means an individual who has been accepted for enrollment in a program of instruction offered by a private vocational institution; (« élève »)

"vocation" means a vocation prescribed by regulation. (« métier »)

S.M. 2004, c. 16, s. 44; S.M. 2014, c. 24, s. 29; S.M. 2014, c. 29, Sch. B, s. 3(7).

DIRECTOR

Appointment of director

2(1)        The minister must appoint a person as the director of private vocational institutions.

Duties of the director

2(2)        The director must

(a) maintain a register of registrants and registered private vocational institutions;

(b) perform the duties and may exercise the powers conferred on the director by this Act and the regulations; and

(c) perform any other duties that the minister may assign.

Form and content of information

2(3)        Where under this Act or the regulations the director requires or requests that information be provided, it must be provided in a form and content satisfactory to the director.

Director may delegate

2(4)        The director may, in writing, authorize a person to perform any of the director's duties or exercise any of the director's powers under this Act and the regulations.

REGISTRATION

Registration required

3(1)        No person shall operate a private vocational institution unless the person makes application to, and is registered by, the director under this Act.

Expiration of registration or renewal

3(2)        Every registration or renewal under this Act expires on December 31 of the year in which it begins.

Approving the registration of an institution

4(1)        The director may approve an applicant being registered to operate a private vocational institution, or the renewal of a registration, if the director is satisfied that

(a) having regard to the applicant's financial position, the applicant can reasonably be expected to be financially responsible in operating the private vocational institution;

(b) the past conduct of the applicant does not give reasonable grounds to believe that the applicant will fail to operate the private vocational institution in accordance with law and with integrity and honesty;

(c) the applicant is a corporation, and the past conduct of its officers or directors does not give reasonable grounds to believe that the private vocational institution will not be operated in accordance with law and with integrity and honesty;

(d) the applicant will employ instructors with the prescribed qualifications;

(e) the applicant has paid the prescribed fee, provided the prescribed information and posted the prescribed security; and

(f) the applicant is not carrying on activities that are, or if the applicant is registered will be, in contravention of this Act or the regulations.

Approval of programs of instruction

4(2)        The director may approve a program of instruction offered or proposed by an applicant only if the director is satisfied it will

(a) provide the skill and knowledge required for employment in the vocations for which the applicant is offering instruction; and

(b) meet the requirements and standards in this Act and the regulations.

Certificate of registration

4(3)        If the director approves the registration of an applicant under subsection (1), the director must issue the registrant a certificate of registration that includes a list of the programs of instruction that have been approved under subsection (2).

Terms and conditions of registration

4(4)        A registration is subject to the terms and conditions that are prescribed, and any others that are imposed on the registrant by the director.

Registration not transferable

4(5)        A registration is not transferable.

Continuance pending renewal

4(6)        If, before a registration expires, the registrant applies to renew it and pays the prescribed fee, the registration is deemed to continue until the renewal is granted or refused.

Refusal to register

5(1)        The director may refuse to register an applicant who, in the director's opinion, is disentitled to registration under subsection 4(1).

Suspension, cancellation and refusal to renew

5(2)        The director may suspend, cancel, or refuse to renew a registration

(a) for any reason that would disentitle the registrant to registration under subsection 4(1) if the registrant were an applicant; or

(b) if the registrant is in breach of a term or condition of the registration.

Refusal, suspension or cancellation of program

5(3)        If the director is satisfied that a proposed or previously approved program of instruction does not meet the standards contained in subsection 4(2), the director may

(a) refuse to approve it; or

(b) direct a registrant to suspend or cancel its being offered or provided.

Notice of suspension, cancellation or refusal

6(1)        When the director suspends, cancels or refuses to renew a registration or suspends, cancels or refuses to approve a program of instruction,

(a) the director must give notice of that decision, together with written reasons for it, to the applicant or registrant; and

(b) unless the notice states that it takes effect on a later date, the registrant must comply with the notice immediately upon receiving it.

Notice of right to appeal to be provided

6(2)        A notice under clause (1)(b) must inform the applicant or registrant of the right to appeal the suspension, cancellation or refusal to the board under section 8.

PRIVATE VOCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS APPEAL BOARD

Appeal board established

7(1)        The minister may establish a Private Vocational Institutions Appeal Board, consisting of not more than five members appointed by the minister.

Composition of board

7(2)        The board may consist of members who, in the opinion of the minister, are representative of registrants, employers of students who graduate from private vocational institutions, and the public.

Purpose of the board

7(3)        The purpose of the board is to hear and determine appeals under section 8.

Chairperson

7(4)        The minister may appoint the chairperson of the board.

Quorum

7(5)        A quorum of the board is three members, of whom one must be the chairperson or the vice-chairperson.

Procedure

7(6)        The board may establish its own rules of practice and procedure.

Hearing

7(7)        The board may conduct a hearing orally, including by telephone, or in writing, or partly orally and partly in writing.

Evidence

7(8)        The board may receive evidence in any manner that it considers appropriate, and is not bound by the rules of law respecting evidence applicable to judicial proceedings.

APPEALS

Jurisdiction of the board

8(1)        An applicant or registrant who is, or may be, aggrieved by a decision of the director under section 5 may appeal to the board.

No appeal in specified circumstances

8(2)        There is no right of appeal under subsection (1) if the director refuses to grant or renew a registration, or suspends or cancels a registration, because the applicant or registrant has not

(a) paid a prescribed fee that is owing; or

(b) posted the prescribed security in a form satisfactory to the director.

Time for filing appeal

8(3)        An applicant or registrant must file a written notice of appeal with the board within 15 days after the day the director sent the applicant or registrant notice of the decision, or within such further time as the board may permit.

Contents of notice of appeal

8(4)        A notice of appeal must contain

(a) the name and address of the applicant or registrant appealing;

(b) a copy of the notice of the director's decision; and

(c) concisely stated reasons for the appeal.

Board may dismiss appeal without hearing

8(5)        The board may dismiss an appeal without holding a hearing if the board is of the opinion that the appeal is frivolous or vexatious, or that the notice of appeal does not comply with the requirements of subsection (4).

Fixing of date for hearing

8(6)        Unless an appeal received by the board is dismissed under subsection (5), the board must fix a day, time and place at which it will hear the appeal.

Notice of hearing

8(7)        The board must give at least 14 days' notice of the date of the hearing to the appellant, the director and any other person whose interests may, in the board's opinion, be affected by the decision.

Parties

8(8)        The parties to an appeal are the appellant, the director and any other person the board considers appropriate.

Decision

8(9)        After considering the appeal, the board may

(a) confirm, set aside or vary the director's decision; or

(b) refer the matter back to the director for further consideration in accordance with the board's instructions.

Decision final and binding

8(10)       The decision of the board is final and binding on the parties and is not subject to appeal.

Time for re-application limited

9           An applicant who is refused registration or a registrant whose registration is cancelled or not renewed may not make a new application for registration for at least one year.

INSPECTIONS AND EVALUATIONS

Interpretation: "registrant"

10(1)       In this section, "registrant" includes a person whose registration has been suspended or cancelled.

Inspections

10(2)       For the purpose of determining if this Act, the regulations, or a term or condition of a registration, is being complied with, the director, or a person authorized in writing by the director, may

(a) enter any premises used by a registrant to provide a program of instruction, or any premises in which records, documents or things relating to a private vocational institution are kept;

(b) require a registrant to produce for examination, audit or copying, any records, documents or things relating to the operation of the private vocational institution that are in the possession or under the control of the registrant;

(c) inspect equipment, facilities, teaching materials and other aspects of the learning environment of the private vocational institution; and

(d) on providing a receipt, remove a record, document, or thing that is relevant to the inspection.

Assistance to director

10(3)       A person who has custody or control of a record, document or thing referred to in subsection (2) must give the director or authorized person

(a) all reasonable assistance to enable the director or person to carry out his or her duties; and

(b) any information he or she may reasonably require.

Warrant

10(4)       A justice who is satisfied by information on oath that the director or authorized person has been prevented from exercising his or her powers under this Act or the regulations may issue a warrant authorizing the director or the authorized person, and any other person named in the warrant, to exercise those powers.

Evaluation of programs

11          The director may evaluate the programs of instruction or the training offered by a private vocational institution to determine whether it provides or will provide the skill and knowledge required for employment in the vocations for which instruction or training is offered.  In doing so, the director or a person authorized by the director in writing may

(a) exercise any of the powers of inspection in section 10;

(b) observe the manner in which instruction and training are being provided to students;

(c) conduct interviews or surveys of students on the premises, or require the private vocational institution to provide the names, addresses and telephone numbers of students and former students for the purpose of conducting off-site interviews or surveys;

(d) require the private vocational institution to have employers or industrial associations acceptable to the director evaluate the programs of instruction being offered by the private vocational institution and provide the results of those evaluations to the director; and

(e) take any other steps, as considered necessary by the director or authorized person, to evaluate programs of instruction or training.

Obstruction prohibited

12          No person shall obstruct the director or a person authorized by the director in making an inspection or evaluation under section 10 or 11, or withhold from such a person or conceal or destroy any record document or thing relevant to the inspection.

TRAINING COMPLETION FUND

Training Completion Fund established

13(1)       The Training Completion Fund is established.

Contributions to the fund

13(2)       The fund is to consist of

(a) proceeds of securities that are forfeited by registrants;

(b) money that registrants are required by regulation to pay into it, which shall be

(i) the prescribed percentage, which shall not exceed 1%, of the student tuition received, and

(ii) paid in the prescribed manner; and

(c) any income from investments of the fund.

Use of the fund

13(3)       The fund may be used only

(a) to make payments under subsection (4),

(i) when a registrant becomes insolvent, or

(ii) when a registrant's registration is cancelled or not renewed; and

(b) to pay for administering and auditing the fund.

Completion of training or refund of tuition

13(4)       If a registrant's registration is cancelled or not renewed, or a registrant becomes insolvent, the minister may pay out of the fund amounts to be used

(a) to pay for the completion of the students' program of instruction in a manner determined appropriate by the director; or

(b) to refund tuition fees in the prescribed manner.

Insufficient money in fund

13(5)       If there is insufficient money in the fund to pay for the completion of the program of instruction or refund tuition under subsection (4), the money paid out of the fund must

(a) not exceed the amount of money in the fund; and

(b) be paid on a pro rata basis.

Investment of fund

13(6)       Money in the fund must be invested with the Minister of Finance.

Annual report

13(7)       The minister must annually prepare and publish a report that includes a financial statement for the fund for the preceding year.

Audit of fund

13(8)       The fund is subject to audit by the Auditor General.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

False advertising

14           A private vocational institution must not engage in advertising, or make a representation, that is false, deceptive or misleading.

Rescission of contract

15(1)       A student who enters into a written contract with a registrant in respect of a program of instruction may rescind the contract by giving notice to the registrant within seven days after entering into it.

Manner of notice

15(2)       Notice of rescission must be in writing and must be given by

(a) delivering a copy of it personally to the registrant; or

(b) sending it to the registrant by registered mail, delivery, fax or another type of communication facility for which confirmation of delivery may be obtained.

Address re notice

15(3)       A notice under subsection (2) must be delivered or sent to the registrant at the address shown in the contract.

Effect of rescission

15(4)       As soon as practicable,

(a) the student who rescinds a contract must return to the registrant any goods received under the contract; and

(b) the registrant must, in the prescribed manner, return any money received or realized in respect of the rescinded contract.

Prior notice of change in location

16(1)       A registrant must not change the location at which a program of instruction is provided without providing written notice to the director in advance.

Notice of material changes

16(2)       A registrant must, within five days after the event, notify the director in writing of

(a) any change in its address for service;

(b) in the case of

(i) a corporation, any change in the officers or directors or in the shareholders holding more than 10% of the voting shares of the corporation, or

(ii) a partnership, any change of the members in the partnership; or

(c) the occurrence of any other prescribed event.

No actions by unregistered institutions

17(1)       No person who owns or operates a private vocational institution who is not registered under this Act is capable of maintaining a proceeding in a court in Manitoba in respect of a contract made in whole or in part within Manitoba, or against a person resident in Manitoba, in the course of, or in connection with the, conduct or operation of the private vocational institution.

Interpretation: contract

17(2)       For the purposes of subsection (1), "contract" means a contract entered into by or on behalf of a person receiving instruction or training.

Service by director or board

18          A notice or order required to be given, delivered or served by the director or the board under this Act or the regulations must be given by

(a) delivering a copy of it personally; or

(b) sending it by registered mail, delivery, fax or another type of communication facility for which confirmation of delivery may be obtained.

Protection from legal action

19          No action or proceeding for damages may be brought against the minister, the director, members of the board or any person acting under the authority of, or engaged in the administration of, this Act or the regulations because of anything done or omitted in good faith

(a) in the performance or intended performance of a duty under this Act or the regulations; or

(b) in the exercise or intended exercise of a power under this Act or the regulations.

OFFENCES AND EVIDENTIARY PROVISIONS

Certificate as evidence

20(1)       A statement about any of the following that purports to be certified by the director is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof of the facts in the statement for all purposes in any action, proceeding or prosecution:

(a) the registration or non-registration of any person;

(b) the providing or failing to provide any information or document required or permitted to be provided to the director;

(c) the time when the facts upon which proceedings are based first came to the knowledge of the director;

(d) any other matter pertaining to registration, non-registration, providing or failing to provide information under this Act or the regulations.

Certificate admissible

20(2)       A statement certified by the director under subsection (1) is admissible in evidence without proof of the appointment or signature of the director.

Proof of minister's signature

20(3)       A document purporting to be signed by the minister, or a certified copy of one, is receivable in evidence in any action, prosecution or other proceeding as proof, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the document is signed by the minister without proof of the office or signature of the minister.

Offences

21(1)       Every person is guilty of an offence who

(a) gives false information in an application made under this Act or in a document or statement required to be given under this Act or the regulations;

(b) contravenes any provision of this Act or the regulations; or

(c) fails to comply with a requirement of the director made under this Act or the regulations.

Separate offences

21(2)       If a contravention or failure mentioned in clause (1)(b) or (c) continues for more than one day, the person committing the failure or contravention is guilty of a separate offence for each day it continues.

Directors and officers of corporations

21(3)       If a corporation commits an offence under this Act, a director or officer of the corporation who authorized, permitted or acquiesced in the commission of the offence is also guilty of an offence, whether or not the corporation has been prosecuted or convicted.

Time limit for prosecution

21(4)       A prosecution under this Act may be commenced not later than one year after the day the alleged offence was committed.

Penalty

22(1)       A person who is guilty of an offence is liable on summary conviction

(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $5,000., or imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or both; and

(b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $25,000.

Other penalties

22(2)       In addition to a fine or other penalty, the judge may require the convicted person to pay damages or make restitution to any person who suffers loss or damages as a consequence of the commission of the offence, in such amount as the judge considers appropriate.

REGULATIONS

Regulations

23          The minister may make regulations

(a) prescribing vocations to which this Act and the regulations apply;

(b) exempting any vocation or class of private vocational institution from this Act or the regulations or from any provision of them;

(c) respecting the registration and renewal of registration of private vocational institutions and their registrants, including

(i) terms and conditions of registration,

(ii) the information required in support of an application for registration or renewal,

(iii) the information to be kept in the register,

(iv) the information in the register that is to be publicly available, and

(v) the information to be contained in a certificate of registration;

(d) requiring the payment of fees on application for registration or renewal of registration, including additional fees for filing after the due date, and prescribing fee amounts;

(e) respecting security required to be posted, including the form, terms and amount of, and collateral for, security, and providing for the forfeiture of securities posted and payment of the proceeds into the fund;

(f) respecting records to be created and maintained by registrants and private vocational institutions, including financial records and enrollment records, and respecting standards of record keeping;

(g) respecting information that registrants and private vocational institutions are required to provide to the director and to students, and the times, form and manner in which information is to be provided;

(h) respecting information that registrants and private vocational institutions are required to make publicly available, including requirements respecting the posting of certificates of registration issued by the director;

(i) respecting access by students to their personal information, as defined in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, in records that are in the custody or under the control of registrants or private vocational institutions;

(j) respecting the protection of personal information, as defined in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, in records that are in the custody or under the control of registrants or private vocational institutions;

(k) respecting the terms and conditions that must be included in contracts entered into between registrants and students or other individuals who contract with registrants to receive education or training;

(l) respecting the approval of, and changes to, programs of instruction, including related labour market information to be provided by applicants and registrants;

(m) respecting the requirements for the admission of students in private vocational institutions, the qualifications of instructors, and the methods of instruction;

(n) prescribing the minimum number of hours of instruction in a vocation that constitutes a program of instruction in that vocation;

(o) prescribing the certificates, diplomas or other documents that students may receive from a private vocational institution;

(p) prescribing the maximum fees that may be paid or received for a program of instruction, and that may be charged for the materials used by or the services supplied to any student of a private vocational institution, and requiring that materials be provided to a student when payment is made;

(q) prescribing the terms and conditions on which money paid for or on account of programs of instruction in a private vocational institution is to be either retained by the registrant or refunded to the payer;

(r) prohibiting the use of any advertising relating to a private vocational institution that is false, deceptive or may tend to mislead, and requiring the discontinuance of any specified advertisement or means of advertisement by, or on behalf of, a private vocational institution;

(s) respecting the terms and conditions that a private vocational institution must meet or fulfill to be designated as an institution that offers programs for which student financial assistance under The Student Aid Act may be obtained;

(t) prescribing the percentage of student tuition required to be paid into the fund under subsection 13(2), and the manner in which those contributions are to be paid;

(u) respecting payments out of the fund and the administration of the fund generally;

(v) specifying those events about which a registrant or a private vocational institution is required to notify the director;

(w) governing the conduct, operation and management of private vocational institutions;

(x) respecting any other matter the minister considers necessary or advisable.

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS

24 and 25   

NOTE: These sections contained consequential amendments to other Acts that are now included in those Acts.

REPEAL, C.C.S.M. REFERENCE AND COMING INTO FORCE

Repeal

26          The Private Vocational Schools Act, R.S.M. 1987, c. V70, is repealed.

C.C.S.M. reference

27          This Act may be referred to as chapter P137 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

28          This Act comes into force on a day fixed by proclamation.

NOTE: S.M. 2002, c. 23, came into force by proclamation on January 1, 2003.