Professional Development and Student event statuses are in flux as we respond to the guidance of health officials. View our event updates here.
Policies & Guidelines
EXPAND TO READ OUR POLICIES
- No Duplication Policy
- National Network Guidelines for PD and Operations
- Complaint Policy
- Sponsorship Policy
- Billeting Policy
- Social Media Policy
- Logo Usage Policy
- Usage of Visiting Committee Reports Policy
- Travel Guidelines Policy
- Freedom from Harassment, Discrimination and Workplace Violence Policy
- Visiting Committee Report Disclaimer
- School Accreditation Appeals Procedure
- Whistle Blower Policy
- Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest Policy
Links to Other Websites
How CAIS protects Personal Information
CAIS keeps Personal Information that its users provide to it in strict confidence. Personal Information is not sold and its users have control over how CAIS obtains, uses, and gives out Personal Information about them. Its users also have access to the Personal Information that CAIS has about them and CAIS respects its users’ privacy when CAIS markets its services.
What type of Personal Information does CAIS collect?
CAIS collects various types of Personal Information. To access certain CAIS services a user may be asked to provide certain contact information (such as name, e-mail address, address, postal code, telephone number, etc.). Should a user wish to attend our professional development courses, the user will also be asked to provide CAIS with credit card or other payment information.
How does CAIS collect Personal Information?
The following are examples of how CAIS may collect Personal Information:
- OnLine Job Applications – Users of the Site may search online for available positions at CAIS and Member schools and submit job applications online with respect to such openings. Users who use such service will be asked to provide a cover letter, a resume and provide particulars as to their work experience, proficiencies and work preferences.
- Educational Events – Users of the Site may wish to sign up to certain educational events offered by CAIS, including its Leadership Institute and conferences. Before registering and participating in these events a user will be asked to provide CAIS with certain Personal Information, including a user name, e-mail address, postal code, telephone number, payment information, etc.
- Clickstreaming – Clickstreaming is a technology that allows the Site operator to track the paths that surfers take as they access a website and look at the site’s pages, and as they use links to other sites. CAIS collects such information from visitors to the Site.
- Web site traffic information – CAIS monitors and analyses traffic information on the Site in order to determine which features and services are popular and useful to visitors, so that CAIS can improve its services. CAIS web servers also seek (as many websites do) to place a “cookie” (a small data file) on a user’s computer’s hard drive which allows the server to identify the computer when it visits again, in order to improve site navigation. This cookie is not used to obtain the user’s name or any Personal Information, and the information that is tracked is used for internal purposes only. However, if a user prefers not to accept cookies, the user can set its browser to reject them or to alert the user before one is placed.
Why does CAIS collect Personal Information?
CAIS collects Personal Information and uses it solely in order to:
- provide ongoing services;
- answer users’ questions, queries or complaints;
- review and evaluate job applications filed online through the Site;
- provide users with information (e.g. through direct mail and/or e-newsletters);
- protect users and CAIS from error and fraud; and
- where required, co-operate with law enforcement authorities, to comply with a court order or to prevent a breach of any applicable law.
CAIS will infer users’ consent to the collection of Personal Information for these purposes through users’ use of the Site and CAIS’ systems.
How CAIS may disclose Personal Information
Users may withdraw their consent after consent has been given
The protection of Personal Information is of critical importance to CAIS. If a user does not want CAIS to use Personal Information collected about the user for marketing or publicity purposes, the user should tell CAIS at the time the information is collected. A user can withdraw its consent any time after the consent is given, provided there are no legal requirements to prevent this, by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
Please note, if a user does not consent to certain uses of information, or if a user withdraws its consent, CAIS may not be able to provide the user with a particular service. If so, CAIS will explain the situation to the user to help the user with its decision.
CAIS asks for consent before sharing Personal Information with third parties
CAIS may share Personal Information about a user within CAIS and with (i) named third parties, i.e. in connection with the National Tracking Project; or (ii) CAIS’ third party vendors (including credit card processors); however, CAIS will not release Personal Information to anyone outside CAIS and such named third parties and third party vendors without the user’s consent.
There are some limited exceptions to the above rule. For example, CAIS may collect, use or disclose Personal Information without a user’s consent if CAIS: i) must disclose information for legal reasons as CAIS may be compelled to release information by a court of law, or other legal or regulatory authority, and if so, CAIS’ policy is to release Personal Information only to the extent that CAIS is required to do so; and ii) has to protect the interests of CAIS as in certain circumstances CAIS may have to collect, use or release Personal Information for its protection; for example, CAIS may do so to detect or prevent fraud.
Verifying and amending Personal Information
A user can check its Personal Information to verify, update and correct it, and to have any obsolete Personal Information removed. For the purpose of clarity, CAIS users will have to put requests in writing. There is no charge for verifying or correcting Personal Information. Depending on the circumstances, there may be a charge if a user wants a copy of records. CAIS will let users know in advance if there is a charge.
It may not be appropriate for CAIS to release certain information to a user. Where information will not or cannot be disclosed, CAIS will provide the user with the reasons for non-disclosure.
If CAIS has obtained Personal Information about a user from other third parties, upon the user’s request, CAIS will let the user know the third party that CAIS received it from, subject to applicable law.
Responding to requests
CAIS will use commercially reasonable efforts to deal quickly with a user’s request to see its Personal Information, and will always respond to a user within 30 days of a request. If CAIS needs to extend the time, or CAIS has to refuse a request, CAIS will tell the user why, subject to any legal restrictions and CAIS will notify the user of the new deadline, the reasons for the extension, and the user’s rights under the applicable legislation respecting the extension.
Whenever possible, CAIS will update any Personal Information obtained from any source. If a third party has given CAIS Personal Information which a user tells CAIS is incorrect, CAIS will give the user the name and address of that party so that the user can correct the Personal Information.
There may be files that include Personal Information about more than one user, or that have information confidentiality to CAIS or that is the property of CAIS. As CAIS must protect everyone’s confidentiality and legal rights, CAIS cannot make these files available to persons outside of CAIS. However, CAIS will make available to a user any factual Personal Information about the user contained in such files.
CAIS will maintain commercially reasonable physical, procedural and technical security measures with respect to its offices and information storage facilities so as to minimize any loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, or modification of Personal Information. This also applies to CAIS’ disposal or destruction of Personal Information.
CAIS keeps the Personal Information that it collects strictly confidential. Only authorized personnel have access to this Personal Information. CAIS and its third party vendor personnel who have access to Personal Information receive special training regarding privacy protection.
If any employee of CAIS or its third party vendors misuses Personal Information, CAIS will consider such action as a serious offence for which disciplinary action may be taken, up to and including terminating of employment. If any individual or organization misuses Personal Information provided for the purpose of providing services to or for CAIS, then CAIS will consider this a serious issue for which action may be taken, up to and including termination of any agreement between CAIS and that individual organization.
CAIS’ computer security specialists endeavor to build security into all its computer systems. This should protect Personal Information at all times, when it is stored in data files or handled by CAIS employees.
However, for greater clarity, CAIS cannot guarantee that any Personal Information that a user may choose to disclose via the Internet will not be intercepted by third parties. CAIS assumes no responsibility for Personal Information disclosed through the Internet, which is intercepted, diverted or otherwise accessed.
Retention and disposal
CAIS keeps Personal Information only so long as CAIS needs it for the services that a user is using, to offer the user services and for a reasonable time thereafter, or to meet any legal requirements. CAIS has retention standards which meet these requirements. CAIS destroys Personal Information when it is no longer needed, or removes the user’s name from the Personal Information.
Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS)
264 Welland Avenue, 2nd Floor, Suite P.
St. Catharines, Ontario L2R 2P8
Attention: Privacy Officer
Whatever the circumstances, resolving the problem for the user is CAIS’ primary concern. Providing legal action has not been taken on the matter, the Privacy Officer will consider a user’s concern and the user will receive a response within 30 business days. If the user is not satisfied with the decision of CAIS’ Privacy Officer regarding the complaint, the user can ask how its complaint can be considered further.
CAIS offers three national face-to-face PD programs per year: Heads and Chairs Meeting in October, National Conference in April, and Leadership Institute in July.
CAIS will offer online PD every year and may partner with CAIS schools to extend the learning online to CAIS colleagues.
CAIS National Networks will advise on issues of national significance and support research and professional learning opportunities, including the program for the National Conference in April.
National Networks may offer online PD and use the CAIS office for resources and communication, use of the CAIS website for promotion and posting, and use the CAIS branding, if supported and approved by their Heads.
Only CAIS Heads may seek partnership opportunities with CAIS. No other PD offerings may be made by any groups using CAIS branding, except in accordance with the following guidelines:
If a CAIS school chooses to offer a learning opportunity and invite other colleagues, the Head may seek the partnership of CAIS, which may include communication through the CAIS office, posting on the CAIS website, technical support (recording and/or live streaming), and the use of CAIS branding.
All CAIS schools may share PD offerings to be posted on the CAIS website if the invitation is extended to all CAIS members and approved by the Head and the CAIS ED.
Each CAIS Conference shall be organized by a Program Committee in partnership with the CAIS office staff. The Chair of the Program Committee will be the contact person for CAIS. The National Conference Program Committee will include representation from the NNACC.
CAIS has officially recognized the following 10 National Networks:
- Junior School Leaders
- Middle School Leaders
- Senior School Leaders
- Academic/Curriculum Directors
- IT Professionals
- Human Resources
- Marketing & Communications
CAIS Conferences are designed for CAIS Members. Non-members (who are employees of independent schools in comparable positions) may attend once, with permission of the CAIS ED, and at double the Member rate.
CAIS Conferences will be evaluated by CAIS and results will be shared with the current and incoming Program Committee.
Budgeting & Fees
The National Networks that have funds may submit a budget to the CAIS Finance Committee for approval until such funds are depleted.
CAIS determines the registration fee and budget in consultation with the Program Committee.
All revenue, including sponsorship, and expenses flow through the CAIS office and will be audited annually.
CAIS maintains an up-to-date database of all National Networks, and all official communication (accreditation, PD, research and/or national programs) is sent through the CAIS office.
National Networks may maintain informal National Network social media communications, including website, LinkedIn, etc, but everything must be aligned with the CAIS brand.
Any CAIS member may request for a communication to be sent through the CAIS office to the network.
CAIS will provide timely information about CAIS PD Programs to member schools on the CAIS website and through e-notifies.
All CAIS PD Programs must use CAIS branding only.
CAIS will approve the criteria and decision-making process for all awards.
Governance and decision-making
All National Network governance structures will comply with CAIS By-laws, policies and procedures.
All National Network executive members will be employed by CAIS schools and have the written consent of their Heads.
Mentoring and orientation
CAIS will inform the National Networks twice per year of any new employees in their network.
CAIS will support a mentoring and orientation program for member leaders that will be implemented by the National Networks.
CAIS serves schools through the development of National Standards, a rigorous accreditation process and a variety of professional development, research and other offerings. Membership in CAIS is voluntary and requires all schools to be accredited. CAIS schools are independent, self-governing entities and, as independent schools accredited by CAIS, strive to operate in the interest of their constituents and the public interest in accordance with recognized and applicable ethical and legal practices.
CAIS does not intervene on behalf of individuals in matters between an individual and a CAIS school. Individuals will be advised to utilize the appropriate reporting structure within the applicable school. When a complaint is made, CAIS will notify the applicable school of the matter.
Companies interested in being a CAIS Sponsor must agree to the following points:
- CAIS does not endorse the Sponsor’s products or services. Any implication of endorsement provides grounds for revocation of CAIS Sponsor status.
- Any interactions with CAIS members and/or member school families must only emphasize the strengths of the Sponsor’s products or services and refrain from referencing the weaknesses of competitors.
- Products or services of sponsors must be of interest to member schools and/or member school families.
- Sponsorship can be revoked if CAIS concludes that the Sponsor’s business practices are inconsistent with CAIS’ core values and/or interests of its members.
- Corporate Sponsor Agreement is not considered complete until it has been received in our office and accompanied by payment in full.
- Sponsors must not use the CAIS name or logo without the express consent of the organization.
- CAIS reserves the right to refuse sponsorship to applicants for any reason.
- Due to the confidential material discussed at our conferences/events, sponsor attendance in certain sessions may be limited or prohibited.
- Certain types of sponsorships made to CAIS require approval from the Executive Committee of the Association’s Board of Directors. Where acceptance by the Executive Committee is required and the Committee is in doubt whether the particular sponsorship should be accepted, the matter may be referred to the full Board for its consideration. Violation of any of the above standards provides grounds for termination of Sponsorship.
- Sponsors must include an unsubscribe option on any and all Sponsor/Member communication. Failure to do so may result in partial or complete loss of sponsorship benefits.
Student safety is a priority for CAIS. This policy is intended to ensure that CAIS Member schools follow a consistently rigorous process when billeting students as part of a CAIS event for students.
In order to participate in a CAIS student activity, a school must demonstrate a thorough process to identify and communicate risks associated with participation in an event.
CAIS requires that schools complete the Memorandum of Understanding between the host and participating schools. CAIS will make the Memorandum of Understanding available to all host schools. CAIS reserves the right to require that police checks be conducted in respect of any persons involved in billeting students.
Approved by the CAIS Board, August 2017
This policy governs the publication of and commentary on social media by employees, Board members, volunteers, and independent contractors of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS). For the purposes of this policy, social media means any facility for online publication and commentary.
This policy is in addition to and complements any existing or future policies regarding the use of technology, computers, e-mail and the internet.
Please be sure to read our Confidentiality And Conflict Of Interest Policy, which is incorporated herein by reference, especially the section on Public Pronouncements, which reads: “No person to whom this Policy applies, other than the Chair of the Board and the Executive Director, shall speak to, or interact with, the public, media, or other organizations on matters pertaining to CAIS’s operations or policies without having been explicitly authorized to do so by the Chair of the Board or the Board of Directors.”
CAIS employees, Board members, volunteers, and independent contractors (CAIS Personnel) are subject to this policy to the extent they identify themselves as a CAIS employee, Board member, volunteer, or independent contractor. CAIS Personnel are to use good judgment in all online comments. Even on their personal time they must post responsibly and respectfully.
When engaging in personal social media use, CAIS Personnel should not use their identity as CAIS employees, Board members, volunteers, and independent contractors, including CAIS email accounts in association with personal sites that are outside the scope of CAIS’s mission. Privacy settings that might allow others to post information or see information that is personal should be set to limit access. Be mindful of posting information that you would not want the public to see.
Before engaging in work related social media, CAIS Personnel must obtain the permission of the Executive Director. Once permission has been granted, CAIS Personnel are free to publish or comment via social media in accordance with this policy (Note: any potential crisis communications or mainstream media inquiries must be referred to the Executive Director or the Chair of the Board). The overall goal is to participate online in a respectful, relevant way that protects our reputation.
The following guiding principles should be respected when using social media:
- Confidential information should never be published. Confidential information includes things such as unpublished details about our business, details of current projects, financial information, and research. All information relating to member and candidate schools is confidential. We must respect the wishes of our members regarding the confidentiality of current projects. We must also be mindful of the competitiveness of their industry.
- Copyright laws should be understood and respected. It is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use or fair dealing of copyrighted material owned by others, including CAIS copyrights and brands. You should never quote more than short excerpts of someone else's work, and always attribute such work to the original author/source. It is good general practice to link to others' work rather than reproduce it.
- Respect should always be maintained for the audience, CAIS, and coworkers.
- Don't be afraid to be yourself, but do so respectfully. This includes not only the obvious (no ethnic slurs, offensive comments, defamatory comments, personal insults, obscenity, etc.) but also proper consideration of privacy and of topics that may be considered objectionable or inflammatory - such as politics and religion.
- CAIS members, partners and suppliers should be protected. Member schools, partners and suppliers should not be cited or obviously referenced without their approval. Never identify a member, partner or supplier without permission and never discuss confidential details of a member engagement.
- Identify and respond to mistakes openly and quickly. If you make an error, be up front about your mistake and correct it. If you choose to modify an earlier post, make it clear that you have done so. If someone accuses you of posting something improper (such as their copyrighted material or a defamatory comment about them), deal with it quickly - better to remove it immediately to lessen the possibility of a legal action.
Policy violations will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination for cause.
CAIS requires that a Member school:
- Maintain accurate disclosure of its status as a Member school in accordance with this policy; and,
- Include CAIS’ logo in a variety of areas, including the school website, promotional materials and/or prospectus.
It is the responsibility of all Candidate and Member schools to represent their membership and accreditation status accurately in accordance with this policy.
Candidate schools may use 'CAIS Candidate Member School' logo found in CAIS Connect and they must state that they are working to achieve accreditation by a certain date.
If a Member school is given Conditional Accreditation, the school may use CAIS’ logo.
A Member school put on condition remains a Member pending resolution of the issues causing the condition and may describe itself as having accredited status during the period after it is put on condition and until the Board reviews the Member’s Interim Report responding to the conditional status. After that period, the Member must refer to itself as having Conditional Accreditation if that is still its status. Once the conditions are satisfactorily resolved, the school’s membership and accreditation status is renewed by the Board and publicized by the school and by CAIS.
On first reference in written materials, schools are expected to use the full name of “Canadian Accredited Independent Schools”. The abbreviated form of CAIS’ name may be used on second and continuing references.
Schools are invited to contact the Executive Director’s assistant for the logo image formats and for some examples of schools promoting their membership and accreditation status. Member schools that have recently used the logo in marketing promotions are also invited to share samples electronically with the Executive Director.
Login to CAIS Connect to access the CAIS Logo Style Guide and Assets.
A Visiting Committee Report belongs to the school for which it was written. CAIS recommends that a school make public information about its accreditation status, in accordance with the Policy on Usage of Logo, and the findings contained in the Visiting Committee Report. If only a portion of the Visiting Committee Report is made public, the school must accurately reflect the totality of results.
All Visiting Committee Reports and accreditation status letters are sent by the Executive Director to the Head of School and Chair of the Board; these accreditation status letters may be distributed to the school community but may only be made public in full. In the case of share capital schools, the accreditation status letters and Visiting Committee Reports are sent to the Owner of the School and Chair of the Board. CAIS encourages schools to share all correspondence and Reports with their full Board.
CAIS will keep Visiting Committee Reports confidential in accordance with the disclaimer set out therein. In response to inquiries from the public, CAIS will disclose only a school’s membership and accreditation status; provided that in the case of a Member being put on condition, during the period after the Member is put on condition until the Board reviews the Member’s Interim Report responding to the conditional status, CAIS will describe the Member as having accredited status rather than Conditional Accreditation. Information regarding a school’s progress in the initial accreditation process, or issues of concern for a Member under review, is not made public by CAIS.
This report is a confidential document. Final copies of the report have been submitted to the Board of CAIS, as well as to the Head and Chair of the Board of the school. Beyond this distribution, no one, including the Visiting Committee Chair and other members of the visiting team, the CAIS Evaluation Council (herein collectively referred to as “the CAIS Team”) and the CAIS office, is authorized to release any of the information contained in this report without the express written approval of the Head or Chair of the Board of the school.
The goal of the CAIS Team is to determine the actual situation, as it existed in the school, its program and its procedures, and not to pass judgment on the school’s personnel. This report is an objective description of circumstances at the school as they appeared to the CAIS team.
This report is not intended to be used as an assessment of the professional competency of any of the school’s personnel and its use for such purpose is expressly disclaimed and prohibited by CAIS.
Any recommendations on safety issues should be addressed as soon as is feasible. While the CAIS team may comment on conditions related to safety, the report is not a substitute for periodic inspections of the facilities by the school as required by law and by principles of good practice in risk management.
The members of the Visiting Committee, voluntarily and to the best of their ability, applied their professional judgment in arriving at the conclusions reported in this report.
CAIS recommends that the school’s legal counsel review the specific recommendations and suggestions put forth in this report or variations thereof that the school may make before implementing them in light of any contractual obligations with staff and to ensure the compliance of the school’s operations, plant and equipment with any applicable federal, state or provincial statute or regulation or Municipal By law.
A school that is subject to an accreditation decision of the Board may appeal to the Board to ask the Board to modify its decision. Any such appeal will be subject to the following procedures:
- Within 15 days after the Board’s decision has been communicated to the school in writing, the school must give written notice to the Executive Director that the school wishes to appeal the Board’s decision.
- Within 30 days after giving the notice referred to in 1., the school must file in writing with the Executive Director an appeal notice identifying the exact decision being appealed, the reasons why the school believes the decision was in error, any evidence supporting the school’s position, and, if the school would like to appear before a hearing of an appeals committee of the Board, a request for a hearing.
- If a hearing is requested, the hearing will be held before an appeals committee made up of the Chair of the Board (who will chair the appeals committee), the Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee, the Chair of the Governance Committee, the Chair of the Standards Council and two other members of the Board. No member of the Evaluation Council shall be a member of an appeals committee. The Chair of the Evaluation Council and the Executive Director shall appear at the hearing to answer any questions the appeals committee may have.
- The hearing will normally be held by conference call at a time agreed between the Chair of the Board and the school; provided that the hearing will be held within 30 days of the receipt of the hearing request unless the school agrees otherwise. If the school wishes to have an in person hearing, the hearing will be held at a place agreed between the Chair of the Board and the school and the school will cover any CAIS travel costs which are consistent with the CAIS Travel Guidelines.
- The appeals committee will meet following the hearing and will make a recommendation to the full Board as to whether the Board’s decision being appealed should be modified, and if so, in what manner. This recommendation will be made to the Board and reviewed by the Board within 30 days of the hearing. The school will be informed in writing by the Executive Director of the Board’s decision whether to modify its decision being appealed within 10 days of the Board’s reconsideration of the decision.
- The Board’s decision being appealed will remain in effect during the appeals procedure.
- The Board’s decision after the appeals procedure is final and binding.