This standard was replaced by a new departmental standard on June 20, 2011.
Education generally pertains to the process by which knowledge, skills and values are passed from one generation to the next. Education in the past has been seen primarily as the learning of life and labour force skills before entry to the labour force. Training was seen to deal more with the development of specific labour skills and it was seen to precede entry to the labour force. Increasingly, training is seen as part of labour force participation as attempts are made to better match labour supply skills with labour demand skills. Education, as well, may now continue into the labour force participation years and, indeed, into retirement years. Literacy and numeracy deal with outcomes and are measures of educational achievement.
- School attendance
- Educational attainment
- Education, highest degree, certificate or diploma
- Major field of study
School attendance refers to whether or not a person is currently attending school (or has done so in the past eight months) and taking courses which could be used as credits towards a certificate, diploma or degree.
Some sources may restrict collection to the population aged 15 and over where it is assumed that the population aged between 5 and 15 are attending. Other sources, particularly provincial administrative sources, may collect for other age groups, for example, the population aged four and over. The population covered should be clearly stated in the classification.
Educational attainment refers to the highest level of schooling a person has attained in terms of grades of elementary or secondary school completed and certificates or diplomas obtained. It also refers to post secondary institutions attended and certificates, degrees or diplomas granted.
While a hierarchy of educational attainment is implied with this variable, in a number of instances the levels are not entirely hierarchical. For example, the placement of Trades certificate or diploma as a higher level of attainment than the Secondary (high) school graduation certificate is justified on the basis of the former being obtained primarily for employment or occupational purposes by persons who were, on the whole, beyond the secondary school age at the time of completion of the course. However, a sizable proportion of the group may never have obtained a secondary school certificate. In effect, it cannot be implied that, if a person has attained a certain level, they have necessarily attained all lower levels.
Some sources may restrict collection to the population aged 15 and over. Other sources, particularly provincial administrative sources, may collect for other age groups, for example, the population aged four and over. The population covered should be clearly stated in the classification.
It should also be noted the data will be most meaningful when tabulated by age groups in the population such as the population aged 25 and over since younger groups are less likely to have achieved their life-time attainment potential
Education, highest degree, certificate or diploma
Highest degree, certificate or diploma refers to the highest educational certification attained by a person.
Some sources may restrict collection to the population aged 15 and over. Other sources, particularly provincial administrative sources, may collect for other age groups. The population covered should be clearly stated in the classification.
Major field of study
Major field of study refers to the instructional programs (combination of courses and experiences) a person has taken to accomplish a predetermined objective or set of allied objectives such as preparation for advanced study, qualification for an occupation or range of occupations, or simply the increase of knowledge and understanding.
Under this definition, instructional programs, while containing courses and other learning experiences (such as laboratories, field experiences, practical applications, research assignments, etc.), are not merely the sum of such components. A list of courses, for example, cannot be equated with a program, much less successfully completed program, unless there is evidence that an institution or other provider recognizes the existence of such a program and certifies completion of it. This point is set forth via the operational criteria described below.
There are two criteria that refine the conceptual definition for operational purposes:
- An instructional program must be offered by, through, or under the auspices of an educational institution or other provider.
- Accomplishment of predetermined objectives must mean, in practice, the presence of a set of structured learning experiences, as defined by an institution or other provider, that lead to a completion point, and that point must be formally certified via an award or other form of recognition.
Instructional programs that meet the above criteria include:
- Post secondary programs culminating in the following awards: Post secondary Certificates, Associate's Degrees, Bachelor's Degrees, Post baccalaureate Certificates, Master's Degrees, Post-Master's Degrees, First-Professional Degrees, Specialist Degrees, Doctoral Degrees and Post-Doctoral Certificates.
- Secondary programs culminating in the following awards: Regular High School Diplomas, College Preparatory Diplomas, Vocational Diplomas, Regents of Honors Diplomas, High School Equivalence Certificates, Certificates of Academic or Vocational Competence, and Certificates of IEP Completion.
- Secondary and post secondary Cadet and Junior/Senior R.O.T.C. programs.
- Adult education programs leading to certificates of completion in credit or non-credit programs of various types.
- Residency programs conducted by the dental, medical and veterinary professions that lead to advanced professional certification.