Core Quality Standards
1994, the Government of Ontario took an important step towards literacy
reform by raising the bar in the adult education system. Through Literacy
Ontario, they published, Framework and Quality Standards for Adult
Literacy Education in Ontario. The Framework includes definitions of
literacy and literacy education, guiding principles, a vision statement,
system-wide objectives and strategies, and core quality standards for
literacy programs. The Core Quality Standards is a set of eighteen
statements that define what “quality” in an adult education program looks
like. Today, these standards, listed below, continue to inform and shape
ongoing adult literacy program development and new initiatives in provincial
quality literacy program has a clearly written statement of mission, and
objectives which it follows and shares with the people involved in the
program and with other stakeholders in the community.
quality literacy program is rooted in the community it serves. Learners
participate in decisions that affect them and their communities. The
program reflects its own philosophy and objectives and strengthens
individuals, their communities, and their cultural identity.
Program commitment to learners
quality literacy program values, plans for, and provides opportunities
for learners to increase literacy and numeracy skills, life skills,
critical thinking, and problem-solving.
Learner commitments to program
quality literacy program asks for a realistic commitment of time and
effort from learners to meet their identified goals.
Respect for learners
quality literacy program maintains a good rapport and promotes mutual
respect among learners, practitioners, and others in the organization.
Programs provide a supportive learning environment, respect for
learners' privacy, and constructive feedback on achievements.
Learner-centred approaches and methods
quality literacy program uses approaches and methods that respect
learners as individuals and that are learner-centred. It supports
learners to participate individually and collectively in order to take
control of their learning.
Access and equity
quality literacy program respects differences. It has structures and
supports in place to increase access and equitable outcomes and to help
learners from all backgrounds reach their goals.
quality literacy program evaluates learners' progress on an ongoing
basis. The process involves the learners and contributes to their
quality literacy program offers instruction often enough and long enough
to allow learners to make reasonable progress toward their literacy
goals. The frequency and duration of a program may vary according to
learner needs and objectives as well as to the resources available to
Ratio of learners to instructors
quality literacy program has a ratio of learners to instructors which is
appropriate to learners' needs and levels as well as to the mode of
quality literacy program uses a wide variety of learning materials which
are consistent with the program's philosophy, suitable for adults, and
relevant to learners' needs. The materials are in accord with the
Ontario Human Rights Code.
quality literacy program has practitioners trained in adult education
with a focus on basic education. They have initial and ongoing training.
quality literacy program uses positive and effective strategies to
attract learners and other participants.
quality literacy program helps learners get the support services they
need, either in the program or in the community. For example, these
services are transportation, child care, counseling, assessment, and
information and referral for economic, cultural, and social needs.
quality literacy program has community and organizational links:
- to meet program
- to help learners
move successfully from one educational program to another, to greater
community involvement, to further training, or to employment;
- to integrate and
strengthen literacy delivery at the local level; and
ensure that literacy education is integrated within the broader
educational and training system.
quality literacy program does what it says it will do. It is accountable
to its learners, sponsoring organizations, partners, community, and
funders. All stakeholders, not only program staff, are accountable for
the success of the program.
quality literacy program develops and maintains sound financial and
administrative systems in order to provide accurate and timely program,
statistical, and financial information.
quality literacy program evaluates its effectiveness annually.
Evaluation of the program is a participatory and continuous process.
website, offering practitioner training for those working in Literacy and
Basic Skills programs, is one initiative that responds to Core Quality