The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) was developed in 1980 by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in the United States. NCES released updates in 1985, 1990 and 2000. CIP Canada 2000 is the first Canadian version of this classification.
CIP is designed to classify 'instructional programs', which are defined as follows:
A combination of courses and experiences that is designed 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. (Chismore and Hill, A Classification of Educational Subject Matter, 1978, NCES, p. 165).
Although CIP was specifically designed for the classification of instructional programs, it has also been used to classify courses, and will likely continue to be used for that purpose. CIP can also be used to classify and understand other units. For example, one might use CIP codes to classify institutions by programs offered, students and graduates by programs studied or faculty by programs taught.
The organizing principle behind CIP is 'field of study'. At Statistics Canada, a field of study is defined as a "discipline or area of learning or training" (Statistics Canada, ARCHIVED – 2001 Census Dictionary, Catalogue no. 92-378-XIE).
Several field of study classifications besides CIP have been used at Statistics Canada: the Community College Student Information System (CCSIS) classification, the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), the Major Field of Study (MFS) classification, the Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS) classification and the University Student Information System (USIS) classification.
Several years ago, Statistics Canada decided to implement just one classification for all its field of study data. CIP was adopted because it was a detailed and proven classification with a 20-year history, was up to date, had an established mechanism for updates and a track record of regular updates, and had a proper hierarchical coding structure. As an added advantage, it would provide comparability with the United States. CIP is now the Statistics Canada standard for field of study classification.
Some of the major aspects of CIP are discussed below, under the following headings:
- Structure of the Classification
- Preparing CIP Canada 2000
- Special Aggregation Structure—Primary Groupings
- Assigning CIP Codes to Instructional Programs
- Revision Cycle
Structure of the Classification
CIP Canada 2000 is divided into six chapters.
- Chapter I: Academic and Occupation-specific Programs. This chapter comprises academic and occupation-specific instructional programs offered for academic credit at one or more postsecondary educational levels. These programs usually result in recognized completion points and awards such as degrees, diplomas, certificates or other formal awards.
- Chapter II: Dental, Medical and Veterinary Residency Programs. This chapter comprises residency programs in various dental, medical and veterinary specializations, offered in teaching hospitals and similar locations, that may lead to advanced professional certification.
- Chapter III: Technology Education/Industrial Arts Programs. This chapter comprises technology education and industrial arts programs that are taught at high schools and other non-postsecondary levels.
- Chapter IV: Reserve Entry Scheme for Officers in the Armed Forces. This chapter comprises reserve officer training programs that are offered for limited regular credit and that lead to professionally recognized completions, but that do not lead to academic awards or completions.
- Chapter V: Personal Improvement and Leisure Programs. This chapter comprises personal improvement and leisure-time programs that are not typically offered for academic credit, but that may receive some form of recognition and may lead to a completion award.
- Chapter VI: High School/Secondary Diploma and Certificate Programs. This chapter comprises instructional programs that lead to general diplomas and certificates awarded at the secondary education level only.
The CIP is then subdivided into three levels:
- The first level, referred to as the 'series', comprises two-digit classes. The series represent the most general grouping of related programs. CIP Canada 2000 comprises 49 series.
- The second level, the 'subseries', comprises four-digit classes. The subseries represent an intermediate grouping of programs that have comparable content and objectives. CIP Canada 2000 comprises 385 subseries.
- The third level, 'instructional program classes', comprises six-digit classes. Instructional program classes represent the specific instructional programs. Instructional program classes are the most detailed level within CIP. They are the basic unit of analysis used in reporting instructional programs. CIP Canada 2000 comprises 1,432 instructional program classes.
The format for classes at the series level consists of a two-digit code followed by a period, then by the program title. For example: 01. Agriculture, Agriculture Operations and Related Sciences. There is at least one series within every chapter.
The format for classes at the subseries level consists of the two-digit series code, followed by a period, then by a further two digits that are uniquely associated with that subseries. The code is followed by the program title. For example: 01.01 Agricultural Business and Management. There is at least one subseries within every series.
The format for classes at the instructional program class level consists of the four-digit subseries code, followed by a further two digits that are uniquely associated with that instructional program class. This is followed by the program title. For example: 01.0101 Agricultural Business and Management, General. There is at least one instructional program class within every subseries.
Program descriptions identify the objectives and content of the instructional programs. Program descriptions using phrases such as "any program that focuses on" or "any general program that focuses on" describe academic and general programs. Program descriptions using phrases such as "program that prepares individuals for" or "program that generally prepares individuals for" describe programs designed to prepare individuals for specific occupations.
Sample program descriptions:
01. Agriculture, Agriculture Operations and Related Sciences. This series comprises instructional programs that focus on agriculture and related sciences and that prepare individuals to apply specific knowledge, methods, and techniques to the management and performance of agricultural operations.
01.01 Agricultural Business and Management. This subseries comprises instructional program classes 01.0101 to 01.0199.
01.0102 Agribusiness/Agricultural Business Operations. This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to manage agricultural businesses and agriculturally related operations within diversified corporations. These programs include courses in agriculture, agricultural specialization, business management, accounting, finance, marketing, planning, human resources management, and other managerial responsibilities.
Within each subseries, instructional program classes are listed in numerical sequence. Classes with a more general focus appear at the beginning of the sequence. A residual class appears at the end of the sequence to cover instructional programs that belong in the subseries but are not covered by another instructional program class. For example, within subseries 01.01, Agricultural Business and Management, instructional program class 01.0101 Agricultural Business and Management, General appears first and instructional program class 01.0199, Agricultural Business and Management, Other appears last.
Occasional gaps may be found in the numerical sequence of classes. They result either from deletions of classes that appeared in previous editions of CIP or from moves of classes to new locations in the classification.
Titles generally comprise one word or phrase, such as 'psychology' or 'civil engineering', that conveys the most commonly used or accepted name describing a program.
In some cases, more than one title may be used for the same instructional program. To reflect this, the title of the corresponding instructional program uses words or phrases separated by slashes. This is done in the following situations:
- two or more commonly accepted names exist for the same program, or
- the same program has different names at different educational levels, or
- the program has undergone a recent name change but many institutions still use the older name for the program.
For example, series 15. Engineering Technologies/Technicians includes programs that prepare engineering technologists (the preferred term, but not the only one used) and engineering technicians (an alternative title).
Preparing CIP Canada 2000
CIP Canada 2000 maintains the CIP-2000 structure to permit close comparability between Canadian and U.S. educational data and to facilitate a common approach to future classification revisions. Canada and the United States have agreed to co-ordinate revision activity.
Much of the work in preparing CIP Canada 2000 involved locating institutional references in CIP-2000, converting those to references appropriate for the Canadian context and developing examples of the instructional programs by instructional program class. Beyond that, much of the CIP-2000 classification manual has been incorporated directly into the CIP Canada 2000 manual.
A few structural changes were needed to reflect the Canadian context. The following classes have been added or changed:
- Subseries 16.17 Second Language Learning has been added to cover second language learning on a for-credit basis. Second language learning on a not-for-credit basis is still covered by instructional program class 32.0109, which has been retitled from Second Language Learning to Second Language Learning (not for credit). Subseries 16.17 has been broken out into three instructional program classes: 16.1701 English as a Second Language; 16.1702 French as a Second Language; and 16.1799 Second Language Learning, Other. Series 16. has been retitled from Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics to Aboriginal and Foreign Languages, Literatures and Linguistics.
- Subseries 28.05 and instructional program class 28.0501, both entitled Reserve Entry Scheme for Officers in the Armed Forces, have been added to reflect the unified structure of the Canadian Forces. Series 28 has also been renamed from Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC, ROTC) to Reserve Entry Scheme for Officers in the Armed Forces.
- Subseries 47.05 Stationary Energy Sources Installer and Operator and instructional program class 47.0501 Stationary Energy Sources Installer and Operator have been reinstated. These classes had been included in CIP-1990 and were dropped from CIP-2000.
- Series 55. French (Canadian) Language and Literature/Letters has been moved to within the classification proper. In CIP-2000, this series constitutes an appendix to the main classification. The series retains code 55. and has been retitled from French (Canadian) Language and Literature/Letters to French Language and Literature/Letters. Series 55. is now the French language equivalent of series 23. English Language and Literature/Letters.
The following classes have been deleted:
- Instructional program class 16.0901 French Language and Literature has been dropped. This content is covered by instructional program class 55.0101 French Language and Literature, General.
- Subseries 28.01 Air Force JROTC/ROTC, 28.03 Army JROTC/ROTC and 28.04 Navy/Marine Corps JROTC/ROTC, and instructional program classes 28.0101 Air Force JROTC/ROTC, 28.0301 Army JROTC/ROTC and 28.0401 Navy/Marine Corps JROTC/ROTC, have been dropped. These are replaced by subseries 28.05 Reserve Entry Scheme for Officers in the Armed Forces and instructional program class 28.0501 Reserve Entry Scheme for Officers in the Armed Forces, as described above.
- Subseries 55.02 Comparative Literature and instructional program class 55.0201 Comparative Literature have been dropped. This reflects the fact that the content is covered by 16.0104 Comparative Literature.
Beyond these changes, and the use of Canadian spelling, there were no other additions or deletions. Even where no current Canadian programs are known to exist for CIP-2000 classes, CIP Canada 2000 retains those classes. This will permit a full range of possibilities for the coding of education data from household surveys such as the 2006 Census of Population. In the census, respondents report not only current programs but also programs studied early in their lives and in other countries.
Inclusions accompany most CIP Canada 2000 instructional program classes. Inclusions are examples of the instructional programs found in the corresponding class. They appear under the heading Examples of included programs. The inclusions were developed based mainly on the program names used in response to the Canadian Census of Population. The wording used reflects the way respondents would typically describe these programs. Because the programs would be described differently in English and French, the actual wording will not typically be strictly equivalent between the English and French versions of the CIP Canada 2000 manual.
Exclusions also accompany most instructional program classes. Exclusions are examples of the instructional programs that could belong in the subject CIP class but do not. They appear under the heading Examples of excluded programs. These are borderline cases. The exclusions have been chosen by expert coders who were aware of potential coding pitfalls. For each instructional program class, the exclusions were selected from among the inclusions of related instructional program classes.
The lists of inclusions and exclusions are meant to facilitate the use of CIP. The lists are illustrative, and will evolve over time in response to questions that arise from the use of this classification.
Special Aggregation Structure—Primary Groupings
An aggregation structure has been developed jointly by Statistics Canada and the National Center for Education Statistics. It is based on work undertaken as a part of the creation of the North American Product Classification System (NAPCS) by Canada, the United States and Mexico.
The structure comprises thirteen 'primary groupings' that are a convenient and useful basis for summarizing and analysing more detailed classes. Two general observations about the primary groupings should be kept in mind:
- Groupings are based on field of study and are independent of the level at which the study was undertaken. Series 21. Technology Education/Industrial Arts Programs and series 53. High School/Secondary Diploma and Certificate Programs are exceptions to this rule; these two series are included in the Other category.
- Primary groupings comprise entire series, with one exception: series 30. Multidisciplinary/Interdisciplinary Studies has been split into its constituent subseries. Those subseries have then been grouped with the closest equivalent series.
The primary groupings are as follows:
The following table details the special aggregation structure. The first two columns list the primary grouping (code and title). The last two columns give the information on constituent CIP series and subseries.
|Primary Grouping||Constituent CIP Series and Subseries|
|00||Personal Improvement and Leisure||32.||Basic Skills|
|34.||Health-related Knowledge and Skills|
|35.||Interpersonal and Social Skills|
|36.||Leisure and Recreational Activities|
|37.||Personal Awareness and Self-improvement|
|02||Visual and Performing Arts, and Communications Technologies||50.||Visual and Performing Arts|
|10.||Communications Technologies/Technicians and Support Services|
|03||Humanities||24.||Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities|
|38.||Philosophy and Religious Studies|
|39.||Theology and Religious Vocations|
|30.13||Medieval and Renaissance Studies|
|30.21||Holocaust and Related Studies|
|30.22||Classical and Ancient Studies|
|23.||English Language and Literature/Letters|
|55.||French Language and Literature/Letters|
|16.||Aboriginal and Foreign Languages, Literatures and Linguistics|
|04||Social and Behavioural Sciences and Law||45.||Social Sciences|
|30.23||Intercultural/Multicultural and Diversity Studies|
|30.05||Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution|
|30.15||Science, Technology and Society|
|05.||Area, Ethnic, Cultural and Gender Studies|
|19.||Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences|
|09.||Communication, Journalism and Related Programs|
|22.||Legal Professions and Studies|
|05||Business, Management and Public Administration||52.||Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services|
|30.16||Accounting and Computer Science|
|44.||Public Administration and Social Service Professions|
|06||Physical and Life Sciences and Technologies||40.||Physical Sciences|
|26.||Biological and Biomedical Sciences|
|30.01||Biological and Physical Sciences|
|07||Mathematics, Computer and Information Sciences||27.||Mathematics and Statistics|
|30.08||Mathematics and Computer Science|
|11.||Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services|
|30.06||Systems Science and Theory|
|08||Architecture, Engineering, and Related Technologies||04.||Architecture and Related Services|
|30.12||Historic Preservation and Conservation|
|47.||Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians|
|09||Agriculture, Natural Resources and Conservation||01.||Agriculture, Agriculture Operations and Related Sciences|
|03.||Natural Resources and Conservation|
|10||Health, Parks, Recreation and Fitness||51.||Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences|
|60.||Dental, Medical and Veterinary Residency Programs|
|31.||Parks, Recreation, Leisure and Fitness Studies|
|11||Personal, Protective and Transportation Services||12.||Personal and Culinary Services|
|43.||Security and Protective Services|
|28.||Reserve Entry Scheme for Officers in the Armed Forces|
|49.||Transportation and Materials Moving|
|12||Other||30.99||Multidisciplinary/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other|
|21.||Technology Education/Industrial Arts Programs|
|53.||High School/Secondary Diploma and Certificate Programs|
Assigning CIP Codes to Instructional Programs
To ensure consistency at the national level, Statistics Canada codes program data submitted from household surveys and from administrative data in institutions' files. This coding is done with the help of software that has been developed to provide a combination of auto-coding and computer-assisted coding. The basic approach is described first-this will be of particular interest to institutions or organizations that need to do their own CIP coding. This is followed by an outline of the process used at Statistics Canada.
Assigning CIP codes: the basic approach
The basic coding tool is the classification manual available in both hard-copy and electronic format.
In addition to the manual, those coding programs using CIP should ensure that they also have the following information:
- program title
- program description
- type of institution
- duration of study
- nature of the academic award
With this information at hand, the coding of a single-discipline instructional program is relatively straightforward. The coder first determines the appropriate chapter. The coder then selects all likely series and from among those chooses the most applicable. The process is then repeated at the subseries level, and again at the instructional program class level. This top-down process is facilitated by referring to the inclusions and exclusions in the manual.
Several examples are presented to show the coding process.
Suppose the coder has the following information:
- program title: Canadian History
- program description: five-credit MA through department of history, faculty of arts and sciences
- type of institution: university
- duration of study: one year postgraduate
- academic award: MA
The academic award confirms that the program is a credit course and belongs in Chapter I: Academic and Occupation-specific Programs. The coder will next try to identify the appropriate two-digit series. In this case, from the title and description, series 54. History is the clear choice. Within series 54., only subseries 54.01 History exists. Within 54.01, instructional program class 54.0107 Canadian History is selected. By referring to the inclusions, the coder will find that Canadian history is explicitly part of this class. This confirms the results of the top-down process. The institution type and duration of study were not used.
In a second case, the coder has the following information:
- program title: Mathematical Physics
- program description: five-credit MSc through department of physics, faculty of science
- type of institution: university
- duration of study: postgraduate
- academic award: MSc
The academic award confirms that the program is a credit course and properly belongs in Chapter I: Academic and Occupation-specific Programs. The coder will next try to identify the appropriate two-digit series-in this case, series 27. Mathematics and Statistics, series 40. Physical Sciences and series 41. Science Technologies/Technicians are possibilities. Based on the program title and description, the program is not pure mathematics, nor is it technological in nature. This rules out series 27. and 41. Within series 40., subseries 40.08 Physics is most applicable. Within 40.08, instructional program class 40.0810 Theoretical and Mathematical Physics is selected. By referring to the inclusions, the coder will find that Mathematical Physics is part of this class. Use of the inclusions in this way confirms the results of the top-down process. The institution type and duration of study were not used.
In a third case, the coder has the following information:
- program title: Film Law
- program description: Master of Laws through faculty of law with specialization in film law
- type of institution: university
- duration of study: postgraduate
- academic award: Master of Laws (LLM)
The academic award confirms that the program is a credit course and belongs in Chapter I: Academic and Occupation-specific Programs. The coder will next try to identify the appropriate two-digit series. Possible candidates are series 22. Legal Professions and Studies and series 50. Visual and Performing Arts. Series 50. focuses on the actual performance. Series 22. prepares individuals for the legal profession and related research. Based on the program title and description, series 22. is the clear choice. This is an advanced law degree and therefore, within series 22., the program belongs in subseries 22.02 Legal Research and Advanced Professional Studies (Post-LLB/JD). Within 22.02, there are no instructional program classes which specifically include this specialty in the description. The coder would therefore consider that this likely belongs to instructional program class 22.0299, which is the residual class for this subseries. Referring to the inclusions confirms this. The institution type and duration of study were not explicitly used in this determination.
In a fourth case, the coder has the following information:
- program title: Truck and Coach Mechanic
- program description: This apprenticeship certificate program completes the in-school requirements for the truck and coach technician apprentices. Students are offered instruction in subjects such as trade practices and auxiliary systems, engine systems, electrical systems, fuel systems, drive trains, and steering, suspension, and brake systems.
- type of institution: community college
- duration of study: one year
- academic award: certificate
The academic award and duration of study, together, confirm that the program is a credit course and belongs in Chapter I: Academic and Occupation-specific Programs. The top-down process continues as previously. Using the institution type, program title and program description, the coder will choose series 47. Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, subseries 47.06 Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technologies, and then instructional program class 47.0613 Medium/Heavy Vehicle and Truck Technology/Technician. By referring to the inclusions, the coder will find that Truck and Coach Mechanic is part of this class-and thereby confirm the coding choice.
The coding of combined majors, also called 'double majors' or 'joint majors,' and multidisciplinary programs follows the same top-down approach. The difference here involves the choice of residual class in the event that there is no specific class for the combined program. The approach to combined majors and multidisciplinary studies is as follows:
- Proceeding top-down, the coder tries to find an instructional program class that explicitly covers the combined program. If such a class is found, the program can normally be assigned directly to that class. For example, a double major involving 11.0501 Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst and 27.0301 Applied Mathematics, General would be coded to 30.0801 Mathematics and Computer Science.
- Otherwise, if the component disciplines belong to the same subseries-but not the same instructional program class-the program can normally be coded to the residual category (a class ending in 99) within that subseries. For example, a double major involving 14.0902 Computer Hardware Engineering and 14.0903 Computer Software Engineering would be coded to 14.0999 Computer Engineering, Other.
- Otherwise, if the component disciplines belong to the same series-but not the same subseries-the program can normally be coded to the residual category (a class ending in 9999) within that series. For example, a double major involving 14.0902 Computer Hardware Engineering and 14.1101 Engineering Mechanics would be coded to 14.9999 Engineering, Other.
- Otherwise, if the component disciplines belong to different series, the program is normally coded to instructional program class 30.9999 Multidisciplinary/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other. For example, a double major involving 14.0902 Computer Hardware Engineering and 27.0301 Applied Mathematics, General would be coded to 30.9999 Multidisciplinary/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other.
- An exception to the use of 30.9999 involves combined/joint language majors. Language studies are covered by series 16. Aboriginal and Foreign Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, series 23. English Language and Literature/Letters and series 55. French Language and Literature/Letters. Where programs involve combinations belonging to two or more of these series, the combined programs are coded to residual instructional program classes within series 16. Aboriginal and Foreign Languages, Literatures and Linguistics. For example, a combined French/Spanish major is coded to 16.0999 Romance Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, Other. For similar reasons, a combined French/German major or a combined French/English major is coded to 16.9999 Aboriginal and Foreign Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, Other.
Assigning CIP codes: Statistics Canada's process
A large number of records, from both household surveys and educational institutions, contain data on instructional programs. This has led Statistics Canada to develop tools-over and above the classification manual-to simplify and speed up the process, and ensure a high level of consistency.
The first of these tools, used for interactive coding, incorporates all the features of the manual. It also enables users to click to see which institutions are offering a given program and what name each institution attaches to the generic CIP program title. That store of institutional program information is the 'reference file' used to ensure consistency. The software also contains regularly updated information, and enables users to search and code to other field of study classifications. Further information on this coding tool is available from the Centre for Education Statistics at Statistics Canada.
The second tool, used for automated coding, reads and codes program information stored in an electronic file. The success of auto-coding depends on the quality of the reference file available to the system. In the case of program files submitted by colleges and universities, the reference file is a historical file of the CIP codes previously assigned for that institution. Using that historical file ensures consistency. In the case of instructional program information coming from household surveys, such as the Census of Population, the reference file is based on household survey information rather than institutions' full and formal program names and descriptions. In either case, the auto-coding tool is run in batch mode; the system reports which programs have been coded successfully and which require further attention.
Programs requiring further attention are referred to expert coders, who use the interactive tool described above. If a good decision is still not possible, the coders are able to refer the case to an expert panel comprising representatives from Statistics Canada and postsecondary institutions.
For information on concordances between CIP and other national and international field of study classifications, see the Statistics Canada website.
CIP has a 10-year revision cycle. Revising a statistical classification involves a complete review of the conceptual basis of the classification as well as a review of user needs and available tools. Part of that review involves determining whether proposed changes would work better than the current practices and thus warrant a revised version of the classification.
Between revisions, updates can also be made to address significant changes in the instructional programs being offered. Canada and the United States have agreed that, at five-year intervals, the midpoint in the revision cycle, an assessment will be made of the need for such an update.
CIP Canada 2000 is the first Canadian version of the Classification of Instructional Programs. We invite user feedback.