Not all hair schools are created equal.

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Thinking about hair education?  Here are some handy tips to help you get started when researching which hair school and barber school to attend. 

One of the first things you should check for is the school’s accreditation status – that is if the school is officially recognized and authorized to be offering hairstyling education. In Ontario, this means that Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities (MTCU) in addition to the branch that governs public education called Private Career Colleges of Ontario has screened and approved the college. 

Here’s a direct excerpt


“In Ontario, private career colleges that offer vocational programs must, by law, be registered under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005. As well, they must have their vocational programs approved by the Superintendent of Private Career Colleges.”

These two governing bodies verify that a college is teaching an approved curriculum, follows all safety standards, and more importantly, protects the student’s rights and ensures that the college is accountable for all contracts and financial obligations they enter with the student.

What does this mean for you? Well for one thing, an approved curriculum means that your hours accumulated during school will “count” and will go towards the completion of your 3500 apprenticeship quota hours when applying to get your Ontario hairstyling license. 

Moreover, in case the school is ever in violation of its contractual rights, or worse, go bankrupt, you can rest assured that there are provisions from the superintendent and inspectors at PCC (Private Career Colleges) that will defend and support you.

So I’ve found a school that looks interesting. What next?

Step 1:
Check for registration cues – an accredited college should say in it’s contracts, website (and pretty much all print publication) that they are registered under the Private Career Colleges Act, 2005.

Step 2:
This step is the MOST important measure for verifying authenticity. Simply go on the Private Career College Search Service and scan the provincial database to see if the school is registered. This service is offered through the website.  (Yup, the same that you may be familiar with that provides you with information on your health card, driving licenses and social security etc.) If it’s registered, then it will appear in the public record.

Here is a screenshot of what the Private Career College Search Service looks like.

Simply enter the school’s name. If the college is registered, you’ll see its name come up on the next screen along with approved programs offered.  It’s your future. Save yourself from headaches and take time to research before you enroll in any post secondary institution. You will have peace of mind knowing that your rights are being protected and that you are learning an Ontario PCC approved education. You’ll thank yourself later. 

About the MTCU

What we do (adapted from their website) 

  • develop policy directions for universities and colleges of applied arts and technology
  • plan and administer policies related to basic and applied research in this sector
  • authorize universities to grant degrees
  • distribute provincial funds to colleges and universities
  • provide financial assistance to postsecondary school students
  • register private career colleges

As the operator of Employment Ontario, we:

  • deliver employment and training services to people across the province
  • develop policy directions for employment and training
  • support apprenticeship, career and employment preparation and adult literacy and basic skills
  • undertake labour market research and planning

For more information you can contact the Minister’s Office Directory or call 416-326-1600

About Private Career Colleges

Private Career Colleges of Ontario oversees the standards and registration of private colleges and supports students who enter into contracts with these institution. 

To report an unregistered college or for more information e-mail