Register of Postsecondary and Adult Education Institutions

Detailed information for March 2007





Record number:


This tool is designed to identify the universe of public and not-for-profit postsecondary and adult education institutions in Canada and their programs of study.

Data release - The final update was in March 2007. Data from this program are available through the online catalogue number 81-005-X (free).


The register is designed to identify the universe of public and not-for-profit postsecondary and adult education institutions in Canada and their programs of study. Institutions have been classified in a more detailed level than previously, so that users can identify, compare and analyse the information in a more comprehensive manner.

As well, all programs offered at the various types of institutions (universities, colleges and institutes, career colleges, etc.) are classified to a common standardized classification known as the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP-see "Documentation" below). This permits data users to compare programs of study among the various types of institutions.

With the July 2005 update, the title was changed from "Register of Postsecondary Institutions" to "Register of Postsecondary and Adult Education Institutions" to more accurately reflect the contents of the Register.

In order to keep the register current, Statistics Canada performs annual, quarterly and ongoing updates of its database based on information received from various sources (see the link "How We Update the Register" in "Documentation" below).

The register will be used in a variety of ways. First and foremost the register serves as a general directory for interested users such as students, parents and institutional researchers, as well as other federal departments. In addition, it can be used as a source file by other survey managers for sampling for other postsecondary surveys. Basic counts of institutions can also be generated for analytical purposes by other researchers.

Collection period: Information is collected on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis, depending on the source.


  • Adult education and training
  • Education, training and learning
  • Fields of study

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The population of units covered by the survey are all public and not-for-profit Canadian postsecondary and adult education institutions (universities, "community colleges and CEGEPS", school board adult education, government-direct and postsecondary consortia) compiled by the Centre for Education Statistics of Statistics Canada. The register comprises educational institutions falling in North American Industry Classification (NAICS) industry series 61121, 61131 and 61151 (see the "additional documentation" link below). The main collection units are internal secondary sources including the Business Register (BR-record number 1105) and program data from the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS-record number 5017).

Instrument design

Not applicable.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design and a longitudinal follow-up.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore, no sampling is done.

Data sources

Data are collected from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources.

The major data sources include the Business Register (BR, which provides legal and operating name, North American Industry Classification System ((NAICS) code, and city name), the Postsecondary Student Information System (PSIS, which provides program of study data), postsecondary association membership lists (which provide names and addresses of institutions), and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC, which provides lists of institutions designated for Canada Student Loans). Note the data source diagram below:

Error detection

Manual error detection covering data type, code set validity, outlier and coherence between data elements is performed.


No imputation is done for this statistical program.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

During the postsecondary and adult education institution data production process, Statistics Canada performs a series of data quality controls which include:

(1) Checking for internal consistencies, e.g., executing frequency tables and examining outliers for certain data elements;

(2) Comparing current inventory of postsecondary and adult education institution information with incoming institution association membership lists, the Business Register, and any published information from the institutions themselves, to detect any unusual or unexpected changes; and

(3) Comparing information with other data sources.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

Conceptual development of the Register of Postsecondary Institutions began in 2001-2002 with system development and phased implementation of data elements taking place during the years 2002-2003 and 2003-2004. For the 2004-2005 period, the register contains most public and not-for-profit institutions and is commencing collection of the largest private for-profit postsecondary institutions.

The target population is very stable and as the information is collected indirectly via secondary sources, undercoverage is minimal. The maintenance of close relations with respondents is also an important factor in minimizing non-response.


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