3 The Standards

Standard 1: Program Set-up and Administration (Infrastructure and Integrity)

  1. The need for a tutoring service or program is identified so that those responsible for funding and support can make informed decisions. The tutoring program aligns with the organization’s mission and goals. Institutional needs are identified and considered when proposing and offering tutoring services. The type of institution (e.g., college, university, undergraduate, and/or graduate) and culture of the institution is identified.
  2. The title and objectives of the tutoring services and program are established.
  3. The program is adequately budgeted for staff, tutors, equipment, and space.
  4. Job description(s) are developed for tutors. Tutor responsibilities are identified and articulated as part of their employment. Other roles/responsibilities might also be included (e.g., Teaching Assistants).
  5. The tutor program meets institutional requirements for FIPPA confidentiality, student rights and rules. Applicable institutional and HR policies and procedures are identified. Records and files are protected.
  6. The hiring process is done by committee, using fair practices, to avoid favouring one group over another.
  7. The hired tutor pool reflects diversity.
  8. Identified learner needs, tutor prerequisites, competencies and experience are considered when hiring tutors.
  9. Faculty reference(s) and/or interview(s) from tutor centre administration ensures tutors are qualified and a good fit for the tutor program or service.
  10. Relevant Employment Standards and/or Agreements are put in place for hiring, including but not limited to Policies and HR practices for hiring within the institution, and Union-related issues that may affect tutors.
  11. A service model or administrative structure is established that supports tutor development, and that includes employee expectations, compensation, tutor hours, tutoring procedures, training, evaluation, and data collection.
  12. Tutors are required to complete training as specified by the tutor program administration and protocols. There is a clear timeframe for the development of their tutoring competencies.
  13. Marketing and advertising strategies are developed to promote tutoring. Any high-needs, specialized cohorts, or target groups are identified. Internal communication systems are utilized for promotion where possible.
  14. The possibilities of using tutor training for any other academic support/mentorship positions on campus has been explored.

Standard 2: Needs Analysis

  1. Understanding and identifying the needs of the learners ensures that the program and tutoring objectives, and content and assessment methods meet those needs.
  2. Qualified staff and faculty analyze learner needs to ensure the tutoring program is set up effectively to meet learning needs within the scope of their services.
  3. The identified needs of learners are reflected in the objectives, design of the program/service, supported content areas, and assessment methods of the program.
  4. Systems are set up to determine the learner’s tutoring needs when they book a tutor or use tutoring services.
  5. Learning outcomes for students and tutors are clear and measurable.
  6. The intended outcomes for the tutoring services are identified, measurable, and understandable to the users and administration.
  7. Tutor training requirements and competencies are identified.
  8. Measures to ensure diversity, inclusivity and accessibility within the program are evident. Any restrictions on the tutoring services are identified and explained.

Standard 3: Program Planning and Design

  1. Program developers take the needs analysis into consideration as they develop curriculum, learning materials, and methods of assessment and evaluation.
  2. Curriculum is designed and developed by facilitators experienced or trained in the design and development of tutor training programs.
  3. Learning outcomes are used to structure and enhance learning, improve communication about important concepts and skills and are linked to assessment practices.
  4. Training is developed to reflect the program objectives. The rationale, length, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and tutor learning outcomes and/or competencies are clearly identified.
  5. Where possible, the principles of UDL are incorporated into the design of the training program, along with methods designed to support the needs of diverse students, JEDI principles (justice, equity, diversity, inclusion), and awareness of Indigenous issues, interculturality, and neurodiversity.
  6. Learning-how-to-learn skills and learning strategies have been incorporated into the program design with attention given to current research into effective learning strategies for diverse learners.
  7. Professionalism, the development of an ethical disposition (including academic integrity), and the need to maintain privacy is clearly represented within the program design.
  8. The duration of the training, assessment and evaluation methods, and modes of the training are made clear to the tutors in training.
  9. Academic integrity is integral throughout the curriculum and practices recommended for tutoring.
  10. Learning materials are developed for the course or training aligned with the curriculum and modes of learning.
  11. Learning materials are current, relevant, up-to-date, and consider institutional, social, and cultural needs, as well as learners’ backgrounds.
  12. Learning materials are reviewed regularly to maintain relevancy to ensure that academic, social, and cultural needs are met, as well as the individual needs of learners.
  13. Tutor roles and responsibilities are clearly defined.
  14. Processes are included to help a tutor to understand, apply, and maintain boundaries, and to promote effective communication, problem solving, and conflict resolution skills.
  15. Information for referring students to other institutional resources along with material to help a tutor deal with situations outside of the tutor role (such as how to refer a student for health and wellness, appropriate referrals to institutional resources and services, and crisis intervention contacts) are included in the training materials.

Standard 4: Tutor Training and Development

  1. The tutor training program is delivered by facilitators who are qualified and trained in delivering tutor training and in the use of tutoring methods and materials. Other staff or faculty engaged in the training have the competence and qualifications required to deliver training.
  2. Professional development for facilitators is supported and encouraged through the creation of professional development plans.
  3. The methods, resources, and responsibilities for delivering the training are identified. The rationale for how training modules are delivered is clear. (e.g., in person, online, synchronously, asynchronously, in workshop format, in talking-circles format, etc.)
  4. Tutor training is offered in a way that models the tutoring approach, such as a strengths-based, facilitative approach.
  5. Learning materials provide a curriculum overview and learning resources as well as assessment and feedback methods.
  6. The training program provides a focus on content and general problem analysis. Methods for engaging tutors with the content are identified. (e.g., individually, in small groups, in large groups, in writing, orally, etc.)
  7. Consequences, procedures and/or alternatives for a tutor who misses or falls behind in training or in submitting assessments are specified.
  8. The procedures, roles, and responsibilities for monitoring and evaluating the tutor training program are clear.

Standard 5: Assessment of Learning Outcomes

  1. The outcomes of the tutor training program are assessed according to the knowledge, skills and abilities to be demonstrated by the tutor. The outcome assessments take into account the standards to be measured against the range of assessment methods, scoring and reporting methods, feedback systems, and those affected by the learning and assessment.
  2. Reporting and communication systems are in place to support tutor progress.
  3. There is a clear method for monitoring and certifying the tutors’ progress. Tutors receive a badge or certificate of completion that outlines the title and objectives of the training, level of achievement or competence.
  4. Ways for tutors to reflect on their learning throughout the program are incorporated into their learning and development.
  5. Methods used to assess the learning outcomes for tutors are clear to the tutors and tutor trainers.
  6. The learning outcomes for tutors are aligned with the institutional needs analysis. A recording and/or reporting system is put in place for this.

Standard 6: Program Monitoring and Evaluation

  1. Program evaluations identify the scope, goals, rationale, criteria, methods and timing of the process(es) used. Regular monitoring and evaluation are carried out to determine if the tutor program is meeting its objectives.
  2. The program leader/admin, faculty, and staff set up systems to continually assess and improve the integrity, functionality and performance of the tutoring services and program needs.
  3. Data sets and reports are clear and transparent and describe the findings in light of the tutor program objectives.
  4. The results of evaluations are considered when improvements or changes are made to the tutor training and/or tutor program.
  5. Methods used to monitor the program and the tutor training are systematic, clear, and reportable.
  6. Learning outcomes are clearly identified, accessible, and compiled to assist in the ongoing development of tutors and/or to certify tutors as they achieve their competency levels.
  7. A range of methods are used to evaluate the tutor program, tutor training development, and learning outcomes with the evaluation and assessment methods being aligned with the needs analysis and processes for continuous improvement.
  8. Certification and/or acknowledgement is provided for facilitators and others involved in the program.
  9. Learner use of their learning outcomes are monitored and reported throughout the year.
  10. Reports clearly describe the results of evaluations, assessments, findings, and recommendations as these relate to the program or service objective.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

Canadian Tutor Standards Copyright © by Learning Specialists Association of Canada is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book