The Canadian Tutor Standards have been developed to serve two functions. The first is to provide guidelines for setting up, maintaining or improving tutoring programs in learning environments across Canada. The second is to provide an avenue to formally acknowledge and accredit the quality of the programs and tutor training delivered by institutions or organizations. This accreditation will initially be peer reviewed by members of the LSAC Canadian Tutor Standards Accreditation Committee and will subsequently involve learning specialists who have had their programs accredited.1 Program developers are supported in this process by joining a community of practice to continue to strengthen tutor program development.
The Standards are designed to reflect and acknowledge the fact that tutoring programs vary according to their institutional and academic context. As such, the Standards provide a frame of reference for setting up services, identifying needs and learning outcomes, monitoring, assessment and evaluation. 2 They can be used for self-evaluation or as part of an accreditation process to provide feedback and assurance regarding the quality of the tutor program.
How to Use the Standards
The Canadian Tutor Standards offer prompts and guidance on the following six areas of focus:
- Program Set-up and Administration (Infrastructure and Integrity)
- Needs Analysis
- Program Planning and Design
- Tutor Training and Development
- Assessment of Learning Outcomes
- Program Monitoring and Evaluation
Developers and administrators of tutoring programs should reflect carefully on each of the questions/prompts provided in the Standards document, responding to them as follows.
When creating a tutoring program, developers may use these questions and prompts as general guidelines for creating and implementing tutor training modules and other program features.
The Standards provide a broad view of tutoring and practices based on the values of Social Justice, Ethics, Diversity and Inclusion, Indigenization, Interculturality, and Accessibility. These values are grounded in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.
By using these standards as guides, contributors add to the collegial process of shared and collaborative learning, learner-centred teaching and learning practices, the development of resources that build better programs and that contribute to professional development in the field of tutoring, tutor training and development, and tutor programs. This is a process for continuous improvement.
When seeking accreditation for a tutor program, developers must directly engage with and address each of the questions/prompts. They are expected to provide examples or evidence of how the tutor program meets the guidelines, or to explain why those requirements may not be appropriate or pertinent to that tutoring operation.
These standards are not prescriptive, but developed to be applicable, practical, and useful. Flexibility is key in this process to allow for differences in needs, goals, and contexts. The criteria then do not require specific content, learning environments, or time periods, but do provide enough detail to guide the developers in establishing quality programs to meet the specified program goals.
The Standards act as guides in setting minimum standards, and include the identification of learner needs, tutor training needs, service delivery, assessment, evaluation, and certification. They provide a framework for consistent quality of services, training, supervision, and evaluation that ensures academic integrity and accountability.
Applications for accreditation will initially be peer reviewed by members of the LSAC Canadian Tutor Standards Accreditation Committee, and subsequently involve learning specialists who have had their programs accredited. The accreditation process and feedback are designed to support good tutor training, and to confirm the quality of the institution’s program(s). Accreditation strives to help raise the credibility and profile of the tutoring program(s). Initial accreditation is designed to last for three years, after which, programs may wish to accredit every five years. Further support for accreditation can be found on the LSAC website under Canadian Tutor Standards.