A12 – Issuing of College Credentials

Originator: Vice President, Academic
Approver: Senior Academic Committee
Effective: October 2018
Replaces: November 27, 2015

1. Preamble

Red River College issues a number of official documents that indicate completion of academic programs or courses.

Criteria for Red River College program credentials will facilitate student and employer understanding of the scope of knowledge, skills and application of knowledge and skills underlying each RRC statement or credential. The criteria identified for each statement and credential will also assist faculty in the implementation, revision and delivery of programs.

2. Definitions

Credit Course: Planned training that has a defined set of learning outcomes or competencies and evaluation processes. Credit courses are part of applied certificate, certificate, diploma, post-graduate certificate, post-graduate diploma, or degree programs, apprenticeship and licensure requirements.

Credit Program: A credit program is a Red River College-approved occupation-specific education or skills training endeavour that includes evaluating, documenting and formally recording student achievement in the student’s permanent record. Every credit program is endowed with a specific title, length, admission requirements, course outlines, credit courses, specified learning outcomes or competencies, credit units, completion requirements and credential.

3. Policy

The credentials for credit programs are the following: statement of achievement; applied certificate; certificate; diploma; advanced diploma; baccalaureate degree; post-graduate certificate; and post-graduate diploma. The criteria listed within the procedures will determine the appropriate credential.

An acknowledgement of participation may be issued for non-credit courses.

4. Responsibilities

Senior Academic Committee is responsible for the approval of all new credentials. All parchments awarded by the College for its own courses and programs will be designed and produced by the Office of the Registrar. Any questions related to design should be directed to the Registrar.

Related Policies

A4 – Certification of External Programs and Courses
A6 – Cooperative Education
A20 – Requirements for Graduation
A22 – Academic Standards
S1 – Student Code of Rights and Responsibilities
S2 – Student Discipline
S4 – Academic Integrity
Red River College Credential Qualification Framework

Credentials and Statements Criteria: Length, Credits and Admission Requirements

Credential Name Length Award Credit Units* Admission Requirements
Acknowledgement of Participation Varies No Non-credit Red River College Policy A12.
Statement of
Varies No < 16 Program specific requirements and a range of
learning from open access to specific grade
requirements such as Grade 10, 11 or 12
(includes pathways – transition, exploration,
Applied Certificate 240 – 600 hours Yes 16 – 40 Program specific requirements with a
minimum Grade 12 or mature student.
Certificate 660 – 1140 hours Yes 45 – 75 Program specific requirements with a
minimum Grade 12 or mature student.
Diploma 1500 – 2025 hours Yes 100 – 135 Program specific requirements and Grade 12;
or certificate in the same field, mature
Advanced Diploma 2100 – 2500 hours Yes 140 – 170 Program specific requirements, and Grade 12;
or certificate in the same field, mature
4 years or
8 semesters
Yes 120 (minimum) Grade 12 plus program specific requirements
(for direct entry); or diploma, plus program
specific requirements (for degree completion).
Post Graduate
240 – 480
Yes 15 – 30 Certificate, diploma, advanced diploma or
baccalaureate degree in the same, related or
complementary field.
Post Graduate
480 – 1000
Yes 30 – 65 Diploma, advanced diploma or baccalaureate
degree in the same, related or complementary

* Assumes that 15 hours = 1 credit unit


1. Credential Criteria

Red River College has developed criteria related to program credentials. The criteria focuses on the knowledge, skills and the application of knowledge and skills associated with each credential.

2. Credential Parameters

  1. For a program credential to be awarded, the program must meet both length and credit unit minimums. Baccalaureate degrees will be awarded based on credit units only.
  2. In order to be granted an additional credential, the minimum of 25% of the required credit units of the additional credential must consist of different content and material.
  3. All instructional time will be valued equally regardless of delivery method.
  4. Calibration of credit units for statement of achievement, applied certificates, certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, degrees, post graduate certificates, and post graduate diplomas will be based on a single unit of measure (15 hours instruction = 1 credit unit).
  5. All credit units will be full multiples of 1.0 credit unit.
  6. All credit courses will normally be in 15-hour increments.
  7. A three (3) or four (4) credit course is encouraged as the standard course length.
  8. Other program graduation requirements, such as work experience, or cooperative education, that are not part of a course will not have a credit value.
  9. The length of certificate, diploma, advanced diploma and baccalaureate degree programs may vary slightly depending on graduation requirements, but typically they will be the equivalent of one year, two years, three years or four years of study, respectively.

3. Program Attributes

  1. All credit programs have formal assessment of learning or skills application (please refer to Policy A22 Academic Standards). The pass mark is 50%. Graduation from a program of study is dependent upon successful completion of all course requirements with a minimum program GPA of 60%.
  2. All credit programs have practical and theoretical components. These components may be integrated and need not be separate learning experiences.
  3. All courses that are part of a full-time credit program must be completed within a required time period to ensure program currency and relevancy. Generally, all requirements for certificate and diploma programs must be completed within five (5) years from the date of initial enrollment and within eight (8) years for a degree.
  4. The maximum time period for the completion of all programs delivered in a part-time or apprenticeship format leading to a RRC certificate or diploma will be eight (8) years from the date of initial enrollment.
  5. Some programs may establish different completion time periods based on accreditation, licensing or industry standards. If students do not complete within the required time period, they may be required to retake some courses or take additional courses to meet current program requirements.

4. Program Components

  1. There will be up to three terms per year with common start, break and end dates as established for each term.
  2. Weekly student class load will not normally exceed:
    • 25 hours of scheduled class, lab, shop and guided workplace simulation time for statement of achievement, applied certificate, certificate, diploma or advanced diploma programs.
    • 30 hours of credit-bearing, instructor-led, scheduled class time, plus shop time, per week in skilled trades training programs.
    • 15 hours of scheduled class, lab and guided workplace simulation time for baccalaureate degree, post graduate certificate or post graduate diploma programs.
    • 40 hours of workplace and industry time per week within co-op, clinical practicum and internship placements in all program.
  3. Programs are expected to include work-integrated learning interventions within their requirements. This experience may take the form of:
    • Clinical: A method of unpaid training that takes place in a clinical setting in the field of study in which students are orientated, typically in health-care programs. Clinicals are taught, monitored and evaluated by RRC instructors or preceptors based on established learning outcomes. Students receive a pass / fail grade. Credits are awarded and clinical experiences are required to graduate.
    • Co-operative Education Work Terms: Co-operative education (co-op terms) combines classroom learning with paid on-the-job work experience monitored by RRC faculty. To increase career growth potential, training alternates between academic semesters and co-op work terms. Co-op work terms are either mandatory or optional, depending on the program. The co-op term does not carry credit units. Students receive a pass / fail grade.
    • Practicum: Practicum refers to the experience by which professional capabilities are developed in a work setting, with the aim of meeting professional registration requirements. The work experience is often a requirement of the academic program, with learning content and assessment developed based on standards and professional competencies as defined by the accrediting body. Other terms used to describe a practicum work experience include professional practice placement, clinical placement or professional placement (O’Shea, 2014).
    • Shop: This method of training generally involves the use of an on-campus shop or mobile training lab to assist students in developing industry-related skills required for the course or program. Students are monitored and evaluated by RRC instructors based on established learning outcomes or competencies. Shop hours are considered the same as course hours (15 hours equals one credit unit), and may be integrated within a course. Students receive a percentage grade or a pass / fail.
    • Simulation: This method of training involves the use of an on-campus simulation learning centre to provide practice-based training related to a student’s field of study. Students are monitored and evaluated by RRC instructors based on established learning outcomes or competencies. Fifteen hours of simulation time is equal to one (1) credit unit. Students receive a percentage grade or a pass / fail.
    • Work Experience: A method of training that involves unpaid on-the-job training. Students are supervised by employers and monitored by RRC faculty. Work experience is a requirement for graduation but no credits are awarded. Students receive a pass / fail grade or a complete / not complete. Minimum length is one week.

5. Baccalaureate Degree Completion

A baccalaureate degree may be a “completion program” that involves a diploma. Diploma credits are considered to be equivalent to two years’ study and are used as part of the overall degree credits. Degree completion programs consist of:

  1. a minimum of 60 credits or the equivalent from an appropriate diploma plus 60 to 65 CU in the final two years,
  2. a minimum of 45 senior credits (300 level or higher),
  3. up to 15 credits but generally 9 to 12 credits of general education electives, a minimum of 9 credits elective courses.

6. Non-Credit Acknowledgement

An acknowledgement of participation may be issued upon completion of non-credit course(s) typically delivered through continuing education, and for which there is no formal assessment of learning.