Independent Schools in BC are regulated by the Ministry of Education. A school must be governed by an authority which successfully completes the Ministry’s certification process and operates it in accordance with the provisions of the Independent School Act. A school must also meet zoning, fire, health, and building code requirements in force in the municipality.

Independent Schools may not have programs which promote racial or ethnic superiority, religious intolerance or persecution, social change through violent action, or sedition.

There are four group classifications for independent schools in BC. Schools that meet the criteria for Group 1 receive a grant that is 50% of the average operating grant per student in the public school district in which the school is located. Schools in Group 2 receive 35%. Schools in Group 3 or 4 receive no grants. Group 4 schools have an enrolment majority of international students. Group 1, 2 and 4 may issue the provincial graduation diploma (Dogwood and/or Evergreen). For further details regarding group classifications, please download the following: Requirements For Schools

For information please visit: Establish an Independent School, BC Ministry of Education

The FISA BC office is unable to assist with the school start up process. A list of educational consultants who are experienced in establishing independent schools is available upon request. Email to request the consultant list.


Membership in FISA BC is dependent upon a school being a member of one of FISA BC’s five member associations:

Association of Christian Schools International BC,
Associated Member Society of the FISA BC,
Society of Christian Schools in BC,
Independent School Association of British Columbia,
Catholic Independent Schools in BC,

In addition to adhering to association-specific criteria for membership, schools must:

  1. be certified as a Group 1, 2, 3 or 4 by the BC Ministry of Education (interim certification is not sufficient)
  2. agree with the objects and principles of the Federation as stated in the FISA Constitution
  3. operate in accordance with the Independent School Act
  4. agree to maintain responsible educational standards
  5. be located in British Columbia
  6. agree to a two-year probationary period
  7. agree to pay the annual fees.

New schools generally enter into FISA BC through the Associate Member Society (AMS). AMS Membership Application 2021-22