Educational Affiliations Policy

Policy Number: 407
Policy Effective Date: February 10, 2021
Approval Body: Board of Governors with Education Council Jointly
Sponsor: VP Academic

Context and Purpose

Educational affiliations are agreements with post-secondary institutions or other bodies that create opportunities for educational programming, student pathways, or applied research. Educational affiliations extend Vancouver Community College's (VCC; the College) ability to create learning experiences for students, partnerships for offering credentials, collaborations for applied research and scholarship, or equivalent course/credit pathways between institutions.

This policy and related procedures establish the guiding principles for educational affiliations and establish a development and approval process that assists Vancouver Community College in making informed judgements about the desirability of specific affiliations and in articulating a clear process that governs agreements.

Scope and Limits

This policy and related procedures applies to affiliation agreements entered into by VCC involving:

  • the issuance of a VCC credential, a VCC course completion credit, a joint credential and/or course completion credit involving both VCC and another institution/body; and/or

  • the recognition of a credential or course completion credit offered by another institution; and/or

  • a joint applied research project agreed to at an institutional level between VCC and another organization(s) that involves employees, students, and/or publication of research under the College's name.

The policy does not apply to:

  • Education Service Contract training (see Policy 406) or other industry partnerships, unless they result in the recognition of a credential or course completion credit offered by another institution, a joint credential,  or a joint research project at an institutional level.

  • Education Service Contracts that relate to packaging existing programs or courses that have already gone through governance approval (such as offering another cohort of a program or a series of approved courses taught for a client).

  • Articulation agreements between VCC and other post-secondary institutions that are included in the BC Transfer Guide.

  • Agreements with other organizations for the sole purpose of providing practicum/clinical placements, work experience, or cooperative education.

  • Applied research projects funded through Canadian, British Columbia or other provinces/territories government funding, or funding secured by individual employees to support a research project.

  • Affiliations that do not involve education such as procurement, finance, and facilities.


  1. All educational affiliations will align with and support the mission, mandate, and strategic direction of VCC.

  2. Opportunities for educational affiliations are considered with organizations that share compatible goals and values with VCC, and agree to conform to all VCC's policies and procedures.

  3. Educational affiliations should enhance the quality, range, and relevance of VCC's educational and applied research offerings, and should improve student access, transferability, and opportunities.

  4. VCC has ultimate responsibility for the quality, academic standards, and student experience of any academic credential granted in its name, and educational affiliations must recognize the respective roles of Education Council and the Board of Governors in decision-making over educational matters.

  5. Educational affiliations must ensure institutional academic freedom and independence from interference in educational decision-making and applied research. Agreements must respect all elements of academic freedom established in VCC policy and in VCC Collective Agreements. All educational affiliations are open to public scrutiny to ensure transparency.

  6. VCC will only establish educational affiliations with partners who can demonstrate appropriate academic or professional standing, along with financial and legal standing. Agreements should have evident benefits for all partners, while minimizing risk to any partner.

  7. Affiliation agreements will specify terms for dates of review and renewal and the credential to be awarded, and will include mechanisms for dispute resolution, non-compliance, and cancelation of an agreement.

  8. All educational affiliations must establish terms to protect intellectual property.

  9. All affiliation agreements will be subject to periodic review, no less than once every five years.


Affiliation Agreement
An arrangement with another institution or body that involves the awarding of a credential, the establishment of equivalency between the courses or programs between VCC and another institutions, the movement of students between institutions, or applied research projects at an institutional level. Common examples include:
Applied Research Project
A project established by VCC as an institution in partnership with other institutions where funding or resources are provided to the College, and involves the research activities of employees or students.
Agreements that provide for inter-institutional transfer of credit for courses or programs. These formal agreements set out the terms under which credits or credentials awarded by one institution will be given transfer status by the other institutions. Normally the submission requirements will resemble those within the BC Council of Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT) guide.
Block Transfer
The process whereby a block of credits is granted to students who have successfully completed a certificate, diploma, or cluster of courses that is recognized as having an academic wholeness or integrity, and that can be related meaningfully to a credential at another institution.
Consortium Model
An agreement in which several institutions collaborate on the development of a generic curriculum but independently offer parts of or the entire program at their institution or jointly administer a program that is hosted at one or more institution.
Joint Credential
The process whereby two or more independent institutions offer designated portions of a jointly developed/agreed to curriculum that result in a credential where both institutions are cited as the credential granter.
Memorandum of Understanding
An agreement between two or more parties outlined in a formal document. It is not legally binding but signals the willingness of the parties to move forward with a contract.

Related Resources

VCC Policies

Other Resources

See related procedures 407
Generated at: 12:18 am on May. 18, 2024