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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Legislation and Accreditation


TRU was established by an act of the British Columbia Provincial Legislature, the Thompson Rivers University Act, in 2005. Leadership and degree-granting powers of the university are also legislated by British Columbia's University Act.

TRU is funded as a public post-secondary institution by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Post Secondary Education and Future Skills. In Canada, post-secondary education is under provincial, rather than national, jurisdiction. Therefore, rather than a national accreditation system for post-secondary institutions, quality in education in BC is assured by the Province of British Columbia. TRU holds an Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designation, for meeting or exceeding the quality assurance standards set by the province. The Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials has a useful explanation of quality assurance practices for post-secondary institutions in BC.

NWCCU accreditation

TRU is committed to student success and the delivery of quality programming. As of Sept. 1, 2018, TRU is accredited at the associate, baccalaureate and master’s degree levels and is compliant with the standards, policies, and eligibility requirements of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). We were the third institution in BC to achieve accreditation from NWCCU, and the first to achieve it in under three years (out of a maximum five-year candidacy period).

Accreditation involves a lengthy, rigorous, ongoing self-evaluation and peer-evaluation process undertaken in collaboration with an independent third party (in this case NWCCU) to assess an institution on a range of internationally-recognized standards of excellence and quality. Accreditation assesses the institution as a whole, covering both campuses and Open Learning, and a range of policies and procedures related to mission fulfilment, university governance, sustainability, student services, and educational programming. The granting of accreditation from NWCCU means TRU has met these standards, and speaks to our commitment to put student success first.

Learn more about TRU's accreditation process and benefits on our accreditation website.

Programmatic accreditation

Individual degree programs are approved by the Ministry of Post Secondary Education and Future Skills. The BC Council on Admissions and Transfer relies on these quality assurance mechanisms of legislation and ministry approval as a basis on which to grant membership to the BC Transfer System.

In addition, many trades, technology and professional programs at TRU are individually accredited by their respective professional associations or regulatory bodies. 

TRU’s academic courses and programs are also regularly assessed through an internal Academic Program Review.

Learn more about programmatic accreditation at TRU


TRU is a full member of the Universities Canada, which represents public and private not-for-profit universities and university degree-level colleges nationally.

TRU is a member of the Research Universities’ Council of BC, which represents the interests of the six major universities in British Columbia. Its mandate is to identify issues facing the universities, provide system wide leadership in the development of relevant public policy and communicate on behalf of the university system. RUCBC also provides a coordinating forum for its member universities and acts as a provincial focal point for dealing with the government of British Columbia and provincial or national bodies associated with universities.

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