Posted Aug. 16 2023

New requirements for knowledge of French necessary for the issuance of an Attestation of Collegial Studies

July 2023 - Bill 96, adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec in May 2022, makes significant changes to the Charter of the French language. Certain aspects of the bill affect English-language colleges and CEGEPs, or colleges and CEGEPs who offer programs in English. 

Article 88.0.18 of the Charter of the French language establishes that «the attestation of collegial studies cannot be delivered to the student who does not have sufficient knowledge of French in order to be able to interact, flourish in the within Quebec society and participate in its development. » It also states that the requirements for this are established by regulation. 

From the entry into force, on July 1, 2023, of the Regulation concerning the requirements of knowledge of French necessary for the issuance of an attestation of college studies, it will be the responsibility of institutions to ensure that students demonstrate their knowledge of French, according to the expected levels, before obtaining their attestation. 

What are the new French language requirements for AEC certification?

Persons enrolled in a program leading to an AEC offered, in whole or in part, in a language other than French, the Regulations stipulate that they may demonstrate that they meet the requirement of knowledge of French if they find themselves in one of the following situations:

  • hold a certificate of eligibility for teaching in English in Quebec Eligibility | Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education (; Or
  • hold a secondary school diploma (DES) in French in Quebec; Or
  • hold a high school diploma (DES) in English and have successfully completed the Secondary 5 French as a second language course; Or
  • hold an AEC, issued by a college in Quebec, for a study program in which the language of instruction for all courses was French; Or
  • have successfully completed a study program, given in French in Quebec, leading to the issuance of a diploma of college studies or a diploma of university studies; or 
  • have successfully completed, outside of Québec, a study program given in French leading to the issuance of a diploma equivalent to a diploma of college studies or a diploma of university studies; Or
  • have passed the OQLF exam leading to certification of a level of French appropriate to the exercise of their profession (ex: Courtier Immobilier Résidentiel or Courtier Immobilier Commercial); Or
  • have completed, in Canada, at least three years of full-time secondary or post-secondary education in French;
  • reside or have resided in an Aboriginal or First Nations community, in a settlement where the Aboriginal community lives, or in Category I and Category 1-N within the meaning of the “Bay Territories Land Regime Act”. James and New Québec” (chapter R-13.1).

The student will be responsible for providing their institution with a valid certificate of achievement proving that they have reached the required level of proficiency in French, otherwise they will not be able to receive their certificate.